To be honest, I’m usually pretty disappointed by the level of service in most American hotels. Rarely does a bellhop bring up my bags and give me a tour of my room. I hardly ever meet hotel managers and concierges who are passionate about their properties, much less ones who are committed to making my stay as effortless and personalized as possible. If like me, you’re someone who appreciates this level of service in an affordable hotel, then there’s a hidden treasure called the Culver Hotel that you will love for your LA visits. Recently voted the #1 Most Romantic Boutique Hotel in California and Top Ten in the nation by the readers of USA TODAY, the hotel has that vintage-meets-modern look you’d expect at a newly-renovated chateau in France or Switzerland. My room was decorated in neutral grey and white with a pop of turquoise, an antique armoire (which opened on its own when I entered the room, a charming reminder of the hotel’s purported haunted reputation). The classic, 1920’s-inspired bathrooms featured white subway tiles, Carrera marble and chrome fixtures. I spent my evenings with friends in the Grand Lobby, listening to live jazz music (and running into some other LA-based fashion bloggers), before heading into the sexy Velvet Lounge for signature cocktails like the incredible “Good Witch”. If George Clooney and A$AP Rocky ever did a hotel collab, I imagine it would look a lot like this.
While the hotel itself is stunningly appointed, it was the service that makes this gem stand out from the crowd. The management is not only friendly but makes that extra effort so appreciated by weary travelers. The second day of my stay, a beautiful fresh arrangement of pink lilies magically appeared in my room, courtesy of the staff. Whether I asked about directions to the nearest drugstore or which cocktail to drink or what else I should see in Culver City, every member of the staff was knowledgeable and took their time to guide me. And yes, I was a blogger there to review the hotel, but tellingly, my friends and photographers who visited me at the hotel were treated with the same level of courtesy and respect by the staff when they weren’t with me.
Within walking distance of film studios, restaurants, wine bars, theatres and galleries, the Culver Hotel is located in Culver City, which is celebrating its 100th year anniversary thru September 2017. In its inception, Harry Culver envisioned a city devoted to the film industry and a hotel devoted to its stars, and both thrived during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Both the city and the hotel fell into a slump in the 40’s, but like every good Hollywood movie plot, there’s a great comeback story here. The New York Times now describes Culver City as “Los Angeles’s newest stylish neighborhood… One part Hollywood nostalgia, one part modern design, the city-within-a-city now inspires expressions like ‘nascent Chelsea’ and ‘L.A.’s new restaurant mecca’.” And like every great comeback story, there’s always the one hero who maintained his dignity, never gave up hope and pulled herself out of the ruins to stay true to her values. In Culver City, that hero is the Culver Hotel.
Many thanks to the Culver Hotel for partnering on my visit. To learn more about Culver City and its 100th Year Anniversary celebration, visit culvercity100.org.
Photography by Stephanie Vu