This hotel is a far cry from what it once was as the Park Hyatt and former JW Marriott. The facilities themselves are exceptional, though in need of better maintenance. The location is excellent and most room layouts extraordinary. However under the "reign" (as opposed to "stewardship") of InterContinental all I can say is... Five stars are you crazy?
A five star hotel has a clear sense of identity. This one is suffering from a severe identity crisis. They have run off most of the American clientele, except for conventioneers. There are many guests now from overseas that are vacationing mixed in with business travellers, conventioneers and during my stay, shockingly, gaudy gold buying companies that you would expect at a Radisson or Holiday Inn. So you get everything from tourists shopping and enjoying sight seeing in Los Angeles, to the few (relative to days of old) American business travellers to gaudy gold buyers allowed to hang their oversized and hideous signs just outside the “Spa.”
I want to be clear that I enjoyed meeting the increasing variety of guests there and even giving them pointers on where to “star gaze.” That was not the issue per se. The problem is that a hotel with five star status is either a top notch full service resort (which this hotel is not) or it is a reliable consistent higher end business destination (again, not so--they do not even have a business center, but send guests to Kinko's--seriously?). The best five star hotels can pull off BOTH seamlessly, attending to all the needs of various clientele.
The food also is suffering an identity crisis, now consisting of ridiculously expensive, tiny and fussily arranged dishes, steaks that are like now also tiny and leathery (I’ve had much better at Marriott’s under-rated mid-level hotels). And the Spa, built by the former Park Hyatt has treatment rooms that are unparalleled anywhere else I have been in the States. In addition, their staff for the most part, and treatment therapists are also excellent. However, the hotel, trying to discover another identity (read "identity" as generate even more revenue), has opened the Spa doors to local clientele (I suspect trying to compete with the tony but overdone Equinox down the street). This has clogged the “Fitness Center” day and night and made the Spa largely unavailable to hotel guests, especially the business clientele that are in meetings all day and have limited openings in their schedules. I’ve never been to a Spa where I began to feel they’d rather I just go home than walk in seeking another treatment. Though they claim hotel guests have priority, it became clear very quickly that this was not the case.
The only consistent identity this hotel has now, is one of getting every penny in every way conceivable and some inconceivable--and keeping rooms full, full, full no matter what the cost to their guests and hard working employees (the hotel is also pretty soundly understaffed). One night they sent up a room service disaster. Apologies were in short supply and God forbid they would consider “comping” anyone for anything. I had to go round and round. And the best I could do was ask for the order to be remade, nearly two hours after I had initially ordered my meal.
The best thing about the hotel that remains, however tenuously, is by far the staff. And I’m not talking about the bean counters at the front desk or the GM whose sole purpose in life is to get that fifth star, guests and his extraordinary staff be damned. (For what he has done to this once very special hotel, I’d like him to see stars all right.) I find the reviews of this hotel highly suspicious and out of sync with what is actually going on there. I agree with the reviewer about the bills. I actually handed my last one over to my CPA--I'm not kidding.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The InterContinental Los Angeles Century City is a taste of true Hollywood style. Our convenient Westside address is within walking distance of 20th Century Fox Studios, MGM Tower, Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive and upscale shopping at Westfield Century City. A quick drive will take you to the Getty Center, Los Angeles city centre, UCLA or the beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City Hotel Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Intercontinental