WHAT’S IT LIKE
Step into former Hollywood glamor and sophistication in this architecturally beautiful building in the heart of Culver City’s blossoming activity. If you’re wondering where is Culver City: well, it’s in between downtown, LAX Airport, and nearby universities. For many film studios, this is considered the hub of production, and it is not uncommon for movies to film in the neighborhood or even the hotel itself. Often, celebrities and local glitterati often sip and sup in this trendy abode. Plans for a new metro line just a block from the hotel are in the works, and getting to LAX is no more than a 20 minute drive.
A small foyer leads guests to an unassuming front desk that looks more like a restaurant maître d’ station than reception. The staff, which seems to handle multiple tasks in this boutique operation, are pleasant and welcoming to the mix of business and leisure clientele here. The elevator is covered in a panoramic photograph of the neighborhood before its total rebirth as a shopping and dining mecca today. John Wayne and Charlie Chaplain once owned the hotel, which has since hosted notable guests including the cast of The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, both produced nearby. Also, Ronald Reagan and Greta Garbo once called the Culver Hotel home.
Make a beeline for the lobby lounge each evening where live jazz bands swoon both guests and locals that find the atmosphere abuzz until the wee hours of the night. A dinner menu is available here and in the adjacent restaurant. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself seated next to members of Hollywood’s elite or mustachioed hipsters. Upstairs, guests will find a traditional speakeasy decked out with antique furnishings in a dim, sleek setting.
Back downstairs, and on the outdoor patio, there is plenty of seating for receptions or group functions. Room service also serves from the same decadent menu. Complimentary breakfast is served each morning in the lobby, which adds tremendous value to a night here.
Area social functions and small corporate get-togethers head to the second floor where meeting rooms include business tycoon Harry Culver’s former office as one of the gathering spaces. The original ceiling and much of the woodwork is still in place, and even the walk-in safe, where all of his loot was stored, now doubles as a bar for special events. The 24-hour fitness room and small business center are available nearby.
Due to the flat-iron building’s architecture, which is protected as a historic landmark, each guest room features a different shape and antique furnishings. All have small sitting areas and historic photographs, but the main focus is undoubtedly the padded bedframes with thick duvets and pillows.
Notable is the power strip featuring numerous power outlets for guests’ multiple devices. Free wireless Internet and coffeemakers are great perks, and traditionalists will love the deconstructed minibar stocked in an old-fashioned suitcase. In the recent renovation, many of the building’s former antique pieces were kept to add character to the mix of new and old. Subway tiling, Gilchrist & Soames toiletry products, large vanities mark the bathrooms, many of which have windows facing outside.
Those with business travel in the area have discovered a gem, but due to its central location, it is really convenient to all parts of Los Angeles. Talk about a hotel with plentiful local character and a hefty dosage of glamour, the Culver is it.