The first part of my recent trip to the USA was spent in Dallas, Texas for a conference, which was great but entirely work. I wanted to get away for some me time afterwards so I booked an extra week in Los Angeles for a little shopping and to visit some friends. My budget was limited but I wanted to stay in the fabulous neighbourhood of West Hollywood. I decided to try somewhere new on this trip so I booked in at Grafton Hotel on Sunset after a recommendation from some travel industry people.
I spent 6 nights, 7 days at Grafton on Sunset and I’m happy to now share with you my review.
Colourful. Fun. Comfortable. They are the three words that spring to mind when I think of Grafton on Sunset. As you roll-up outside the front of the hotel you get a glimpse of how colourful the place is. The boutique hotel offers 102 rooms and 6 hollywood themed suites each offering modern amenities and all the necessary comforts you would require for your stay.
You enter the hotel from the street, with the hotel room floors beneath you built into the hilled landscape. This is a fairly common design for the area as this part of West Hollywood is a collection of hills. At the back of the lobby there is a small deck with outdoor seating that sits high above the pool and offers a beautiful views of West Hollywood. The hotel is shaped like a ‘U’, similar to that of older motels in the area but clearly built to make the most of the surrounding views.
During my stay the hotel was in the midst of a refurbishment so the lobby was a temporary set-up and the bar/lounge was closed off (Bar20 is due to open this month). Also on the entrance level is their new restaurant, Oliver’s Prime Steakhouse. Despite the makeover in progress, you’re still greeted with colourful walls, comfortable white lounges in the foyer and smiling, friendly staff.
A lovely point of difference is Grafton’s saltwater, outdoor pool. Sun beds and outdoor seating surround the pool and the sun hangs above for the majority of the day without anything obscuring it. If you love to sit in the sun you’ll be happy here.
There is a variety of rooms to choose from starting with the Standard King room right up to the glamorous Rat Pack Suite. I stayed in a Standard King room located on the second floor (one floor below the lobby) which is accessible via the lift in the lobby or down one flight of the internal stairs. I always used the stairs and claimed it as my daily exercise.
The brightly coloured walls were coupled with contemporary furnishings, making it a fun but still inviting place to relax. Large windows overlooking the pool was a lovely view to have during the day, and the chaise lounge seated next to it was where I spent my time working. There is a desk in the room but I loved being by the sunshine. After all, these rooms are not really designed for the business-type who sit in their room all day. It’s all about party and fun in the playground of West Hollywood.
A king bed is dressed in animal print which perfectly compliments the playful theme of the room. The extra-large picture hung as a backboard features the legs of a woman wearing black high heels and fishnets. It’s sexy but not tacky. I actually really wanted to take the artwork home. A mini bar fridge is located beneath the huge flatscreen TV, and there is a walk-in wardrobe to hide away all your daily shopping.
The bathroom was compact but had everything I needed. The shower over bath isn’t my preferred set-up but as I hardly used my room for lazing around I barely noticed. The shower is also fitted with pump packs of shampoo, conditioner and body wash, saving on little bottles taking up precious space. The vanity holds some complimentary essentials like a shower cap, makeup remover towelette and hand soap. I wish more hotels had face towelettes, they are very handy when you drag yourself home at 2am. And if you can’t leave home without your rubber ducky, don’t worry, Grafton’s cute green frog is there to welcome you on arrival and he is yours to keep!
Oliver’s Prime Steakhouse has just opened their doors at Grafton on Sunset and they are already proving they have some of the best food on the Sunset strip. The restaurant carries the contemporary, colourful aesthetic you see throughout the hotel with their white leather booths and dark wooden tables accented with metal features and artful lighting.
They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but they pride themselves on their steaks. Being vegan meant I didn’t put this to the test but I did get some of their delicious sides and the staff were so friendly they were happy to alter things to my needs.
It’s no secret I think West Hollywood is possibly the best neighbourhoods, but the location of Grafton on Sunset is particularly good no matter where you want to travel in LA. Situated in the middle of the action on Sunset Strip, there are things to see and do within walking distance (something extremely rare in LA as everything is usually so spread out).
The Comedy Store and House of Blues are a stones throw from your front door. Shopping and world class restaurants are all within a few blocks but the best part has to be that you are so close to all the other fabulous hotels on the strip, which also happen to be some of the best drinking spots. The Mondrian is literally next door, and you are just minutes away from The London, Andaz, The Standard, Sunset Tower Hotel and Chateau Marmont.
Grafton on Sunset offer a complimentary chauffeur service within a 3mile radius so it’s great if you don’t like driving in a foreign country and you want to save on taxi fares. Get a ride to Hollywood & Highland or down to Melrose Drive for tourist activities or jump in a cab to shop up a storm at The Beverly Centre or Robertson Blvd. I used Uber to get most places, which made getting around a breeze and because I was so close to everything I never spent more than $20 on a cab fare.
Where have you stayed in Los Angeles? Does this hotel sound up your alley? Let me know by commenting below.
Image sources: Grafton on Sunset