Travel Well

Relaxing Retreat Steps Away from the Stars

BY: Veronica An
Published: Monday, July 4, 2016 | 5:20 PM

Hollywood is synonymous with California. While tinseltown is an undisputed tourist draw, this city has a lot to offer locals as well. But when it comes time to take a break from the frantic pace of Hollywood and Highland, it can be tough to find an affordable retreat close to the action.

The Hollywood Hotel is conveniently located on North Vermont Avenue – close enough to the Vermont/Santa Monica Metro Red Line Station to walk – yet still far enough away from the main drag to feel like a retreat.

The Hollywood Hotel sits on an unassuming street but offers a luxurious experience as soon as you step in the doors. The hotel combines California style elegance with movie-type glamour without being cheesy.

The 103-room hotel was originally established in 1903 and is undergoing a renovation. The new rooms are outfitted with modern conveniences like iPod chargers, HDMI compatible flat screen TVs and convenient reading lamps. Spotlight-like lamps and classy photography adorn each room.

Each room includes a therapeutic rainfall shower and tropical Poggessi tolitres from Tuscany. The bathroom has a full-length mirror and is the perfect scene for your pre-party beauty rituals. The timeless decor makes each room feel like home. From pillowy beds with an abundance of throw pillows to a reading chair and glass-topped desk, this room is a perfect retreat from the world.

Many rooms have mini-balconies that overlook the hotel’s Fountain Courtyard.This palm-treelined space has couches, tables and a bar that opens nightly for the hotel’s social hour which allows guests to meet and mingle. Other common areas include the welcoming hotel lobby and Toad in the Hole below-ground restaurant.

The restaurant offers comfortable tables under an ivy-draped canopy. They serve a stunning complimentary breakfast each day – including a custom-made omelette bar and Belgian waffles – they even offer soymilk on the cereal bar. According to hotel staff, the restaurant will soon be open for lunch and dinner. If their menu is anything like their breakfast spread – there won’t be any reason to leave the premises in search of food.

After waking up to a hot, custom-made breakfast, spend your morning lounging by the pool or make an appointment to enjoy one of the three private saunas. These spa-like accommodations will melt away stress and leave you feeling refreshed. There’s also a well-equipped gym for the fitness buffs.

As luxurious as the hotel is, be sure to take advantage of its location by exploring Hollywood. As Jeff Zarrinnam, Director of Hollywood Hotel, said, “Hollywood is a vibrant area where there is much to see and do, with any number of places to dine, drink, play, and relax, all in one location.”

Hollywood is known for the Walk of Fame – where more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars emblazon the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street. Find your favorite Hollywood icon while exploring the city.

In your wanderings be sure to visit the decadent Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Store. This chocolate mecca is Hollywood’s answer to your sweet tooth and features an old fashioned soda fountain, tantalizing sundaes and free chocolate samples when you walk in the door.

For a savory meal, Jeff Zarrinnam recommends the Trails Cafe. This cafe sits at the northern entrance of Griffith Park and feels like a Northern California retreat. They offer Stumptown coffee, California avocado sandwiches and tasty granola and with yogurt.

Other landmark restaurants like Musso & Frank Grill, which was established in 1924, is a must-visit for a martinis, seafood cocktails, steaks, and retro dishes like Welsh Rarebit. Be warned – they fill up fast so be sure to make a reservation for a timely dinner or lunch date.

While there are tours and tour buses around every corner, it can be difficult to find one that provides a star-worthy experience. Jeff recommends taking private tours of Hollywood landmarks like the Pantages Theatre and Paramount Studios with companies like LA Inside Tours. These tours offer guests a sneak peak of famous landmarks.

When you want a break from the shopping, sights and sounds in the heart Hollywood, take a hike. Hiking to the Hollywood sign is practically a rite of passage and offers a stunning view of the city. Choose from a variety of difficulty levels including the easy Mount Hollywood Trail, the moderate Canyon Boulevard Trail, and the strenuous Cahuenga Peak Trail. Even though you can’t touch the sign itself, these trails offer amazing views of this Hollywood icon.

A Hollywood experience wouldn’t be complete without a little nightlife. The Hollywood Hotel features its own Comedy Club that many A-list celebrities have visited including, Jessica Biel, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, BJ Novak and Aiden Quinn.

Spend your days exploring Hollywood and come home to a stylish retreat each night.

The Hollywood Hotel is located at 1160 North Vermont Avenue, Hollywood. Please visit for more information. To book reservations, call 800-800-9733 or email

For more information on The Walk of Fame visit

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Store is located at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. Call (323) 466-0399 or visit

Trails Cafe is located at 2333 Fern Dell Drive, Los Angeles. Call (323) 871-2102 or visit for more information.

Musso & Frank Grill is located at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. Call (323) 467-7788 or visit

For more information on LA Inside Tours visit, call 800-549-6625 or email

For more information on hiking to the Hollywood Sign visit

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