InterContinental Los Angeles Century City
At first glance, the InterContinental seems to be in a dead zone of western LA, though it's handy for Fox Studios if you should have a meeting there (there's no public tour). However, in easy reach are the flashy shops of Rodeo Drive, and the hotel is neatly placed between the attractions of Hollywood and coastal Santa Monica.
Some of the glamour of neighbouring Beverly Hills has rubbed off on the InterContinental. The lobby is a big modern space with a glass roof running its length, letting natural light illuminate comfy sofas and a piano. As a hotel dominated by suites with balconies, it offers great views of the sprawling metropolis, bookended by the high-rise buildings of the Downtown in one direction and Santa Monica in the other; and from some rooms you can see the famous Hollywood sign. An office block next door was used as a location in the Die Hard films.
On arrival, I find two complimentary bottles of swanky Voss water. My King Bed Superior room is airy and well-appointed, with a Keurig capsule coffee maker and a minibar. A door opens onto a large balcony with expansive city views. The bedroom is a pleasant space with a pale green carpet whose pattern suggests fallen leaves. The king-size bed is very comfortable, with a soft additional pillowtop and pillows which are pitched at the right level of not too hard or soft.
The minibar runs from snacks to a range of wine and spirits. The lemon pistachio cookies look good; but at a price of $US10, I resist. The toiletries in the bathroom are from Agraria, and derived from lemon verbena leaves.
For more relaxation, there is a sauna, a pool and spa treatments on level two of the hotel.
The Mari restaurant serves an unsurprising international hotel menu, though with a Japanese tinge. The breakfast buffet is pricey at $US29, but there are plenty of a la carte options around the $US20 mark. Beyond burgers and sandwiches, the lunch menu has a good range of seafood choices including sushi. The dinner menu is similar, with the addition of mains such as a Peruvian rock snapper stew. Prices are reasonable, ranging from a $US15 flatbread to a $US39 steak. The adjacent bar serves a simpler menu all day.
The hotel offers a free drop-off service to sights within a precise 1.5 miles. This will get you to the shops of Rodeo Drive, as well as the fashion outlets of the nearby Westfield mall. Cultural attractions close by include the Annenberg Space for Photography and the Museum of Tolerance. Every Sunday morning the Beverly Hills Farmers Market takes place on Civic Centre Drive.
The InterContinental Century City is a comfortable hotel with lots of light and space. It's often used by Hollywood stars wanting to escape the bright lights, so its distance from the action may be a good or bad thing depending on your disposition.
The hotel is a relatively peaceful space amid the hustle of LA, a good place to recharge after a busy day in the big city.
There is not much within walking distance if you want to dine out.
Tim Richards was a guest of the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City and DiscoverLosAngeles.com