The latest issue of New Zealand’s number one travel magazine, Let’s Travel, is out and it features my article about two of the coolest hotels I’ve ever stayed at. The theme of the piece is about the “greatest rock & roll hotels”, focusing on two in LA that sit at the top of the heap.
If you download the magazine or subscribe to physical print copy, you’ll find out why the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood has been the rock star hotel of choice for more than 50 years. You’ll also learn why the less than 10-year old Redbury in the heart of Hollywood is starting to attract some of the biggest names in showbiz too.
My girlfriend and I started with a night at the Redbury and the suite was enormous with retro furniture and touches like a record player and stack of classic vinyl LPs. It’s fair to say we were both blown away when the door was unlocked to our room – wow. The deep reds of the hallway walls and enormous images from Hollywood’s golden era give the Redbury an almost mysterious vibe, something I describe in the Let’s Travel article as being a kind of “bohemian opulence”. The whole property, not to mention the location across the road from the iconic Capitol Records Tower, was awesome.
From there it was a short cab ride out of downtown Hollywood and along Sunset Strip to the Sunset Marquis. A contender for my favourite hotel on the planet, if you are obsessed with popular music and popular music history, there is no more captivating place you could ever wish to stay.
The Sunset Marquis has an effortless and unpretentious cool with its Spanish-inspired architecture, gorgeous tropical-looking gardens, 60s-minimalist swimming pools and most obviously, its history. If These Walls Could Rock is the coffee table book we found in our suite and it tells the tales of the Sunset Marquis’ most famous guests – everyone from Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, the Rolling Stones, the Bee Gees etc etc.
The Sunset Marquis still has a top recording studio in its basement that is used by A-list musicians (Sting had been in a couple of days before us) and across the entrance way from the hotel’s bar is a gallery showcasing some of the finest rock photography ever produced.
Below are my favourite photos from these two unforgettable addresses, with a couple of extra LA snaps thrown in too. The photos begin with the Sunset Marquis and are a combination of my own images alongside images provided by the hotels.
The Sunset Marquis: