Quiet residential location within a 15-minute walk of Rodeo Drive
Hourglass-shaped swimming pool lined with cabanas
In-room spa treatments by Stylebee
Retro-modern rooms with customized minibars; some have private balconies
Viviane restaurant opened in October 2015
24-hour room service
Fee for Wi-Fi
Retro-chic style may feel a bit too retro for some tastes
While the Avalon lacks some of the glamour of better-known Beverly Hills hotels, it is equally convenient and the price tag is substantially lower. Tucked in a modest residential section of the neighborhood, the 84-room hotel is a 15-minute walk to the shops and restaurants of legendary Rodeo Drive. The hotel has three buildings –- the Olympic, the Beverly, and the Canon -- hidden behind palm trees. Light-filled rooms are decorated in a retro-modern style with geometric marble bathrooms. The restaurant, Viviane, spills out into the pool area and delivers gourmet cuisine to Hollywood producers holding court in poolside cabanas.
The Avalon was originally built in 1949 (as the Beverly Carlton) and refurbished in 1999, with interiors by Kelly Werstler, a renowned Los Angeles designer. Werstler's aim was to give the hotel a fresh look without destroying the character of the original design; the result is a retro-chic style (though some may feel that the emphasis is a bit too much on the retro, not enough on the chic). The centerpiece of the hotel is an hourglass-shaped pool, visible from the lobby, lined with cabanas. The retro palette of seafoam green and cream runs through the lobby to the rooms and includes strong accents of azure blue. Classic furnishings, including pieces by notable designers such as George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Charles Eames, dot the property. This hotel is geared mostly toward business travelers and couples, but also attracts some small families. There are no areas catering to children.
The Avalon is in a quieter part of Beverly Hills, about a 15-minute walk from Wilshire Boulevard and the most famous stretch of Rodeo Drive. It's near the neighborhood border with West Los Angeles, the edgier section of tourist-friendly Hollywood. It's a convenient location for anyone doing business in Beverly Hills or attending awards shows, gifting suites, or conferences. By car it is roughly 15 minutes to the Sunset Strip and 30 minutes to Santa Monica and Hollywood.
Is the decor retro or dated? Though the design was meant to be 1960s Hollywood with a chic, modern twist, the sea-foam green color palette may feel a bit too Florida '80s for some tastes. Rooms have big mirrored walls and fossil stone tables with curved-waterfall edges. The fabric-wrapped platform bed is comfortable and dressed in pristine white Italian linens. Bathrooms are large with dramatic use of marble in a geometric pattern. Generous amounts of sunlight filter through sliding glass doors. Some rooms have private balconies and many rooms are wheelchair accessible. Junior Suites, One-Bedroom Suites, and a Penthouse are offered along with standard Classic Rooms. Creature comforts include flat-panel TVs, designer toiletries, hypo-allergenic bedding (by request), and down comforters.
The vintage hourglass-shaped pool, a throwback to the days when Marilyn Monroe romped here, brings mid-century charm to the property. The gourmet restaurant, Viviane, opened in October of 2015, after our visit. A 24-hour fitness center with treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes and free weights makes it easy to squeeze in a workout. Personalized one-on-one training is available for a fee and on Saturdays there is a free poolside yoga class. Business services available include printing, faxing, shipping/receiving, and free computer access at the front desk. There is a daily charge for Wi-Fi . Free coffee/tea is served in the lobby in the morning.
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