July 14, 2011

West Hollywood, CA. May, 2005

I call this snapshot “Breakfast in Los Angeles.” Sunshine, two empty Coronas and a full ashtray. This was my first visit to the Wyndham Bel Age, a hotel of revered memory, and I loved it. The room was some suite-type effort with a gauzy curtain you could pull across the room to give a flimsy hint of privacy around the bed. (You could also play “bride” with it.) And its balcony gave onto a courtyard where you could see everyone else’s balcony. Like this one on the floor below. The location was terrific, just steps away from Sunset Blvd, which made for convenient early-morning running (through Beverly Hills to Rodeo Drive and back), but which still allowed it to remain blessedly quiet. There was a pool on the roof for short lap swimming. And we spotted the dreaded Gwyneth Paltrow in the lobby, skinny as a rail in a beautiful turquoise raw silk suit. Sadly, the hotel is no more. It had changed ownership by the time I visited next. (This was the trip during which I went for a late-night swim and there were two fabulous sistahs in the pool, laughing like crazy and sing-song yelling, “Black people can’t swim!”) And then it closed for extensive renovations and a rebirth as The London West Hollywood (“English country flirts with California sun and dances with Hollywood’s Golden Age.” If you say so.) On my most recent LA visit, we stayed at the creepy Mondrian. Lots of noise. No photos, please. And half the people I know who’ve stayed there have had issues with mysterious unfounded extra charges on their bill. Oh, well.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the dreaded Gwynet. Your adventures continue to make me smile.