Frankly, this is the very first time I have been disappointed in something so highly rated by TripAdvisor. Just quickly:
We booked for one night because of a meeting on Wednesday evening in LA, less than two miles from the hotel. We drove in six+ hours, and while it wasn't the easiest to find it was found quickly. I'll start with the positives because they started right away!
First off, the staff - wow. They are enthusiastic, helpful, friendly - heck, it's like the Boy Scout motto is part of their training! They offered a glass of sparkling lemonade while I was checking in and while I declined, they took it out to the car to give to my wife. They then directed me to the gated, underground (i.e. under the building) parking, which while not free was certainly both reasonable and unbelievably magnificent in Los Angeles. (Small note - the ceiling is not terribly high, therefore the pipes below the floor are fairly low, resulting in hatchback contact. Worth watching out for.)
Due to our meeting time, we could only just put our stuff in the room, wash our faces, and head out. It was at this point we noticed the very nice facial soap with an orange citrus scent. We also noticed that due to the design of the entryway, the door to the room does not open completely. There is some sort of weird panel near the floor behind where the door tries to open. There's a very antique wall heater of some kind just inside the door. There is a slightly musty smell. And when washing our faces, we saw the cracked basin in the sink, but with no time to talk to anyone about it we headed out.
We got back around 11:30pm, exhausted, and got undressed and into bed. On taking off my shoes and walking through the room, I found an area where it feels like there are cracks or holes, where the carpet sinks in, between the bedroom and the bathroom. On laying down in the bed, I realized the mattress is ... firm, to be kind. It's on a platform. We also took the time to read the small sign on the bed informing us that if we wanted a top sheet between ourselves and our duvet, we needed to have request it. Exhausted, I put my head down. At this point, I noticed the vinyl shutters in the room do not quite completely close. As our room was on the ground floor facing the street, I had to improvise some receipts stuffed underneath to keep them closed.
About the street - there is a window-style air conditioner built into the wall facing the street, which I could see to outside through (a small hole, granted, but it is still there). But that was nothing compared to the continuous and rather loud traffic. All ... night ... long! The windows looked to be single-pane and (upon further investigation of the inside of the shutters in the light of day) hardly sealed.
In the daylight, I found a few other interesting items. First, the shower - nice, serviceable, old, loads of hot water, and as is typical of someone my height (six foot one) excellent at cleaning my chest hairs. No matter, a great percentage of places are like this for me. But I also saw on the wall between the shower and the bathroom door, which is quite beat up by the way, some sort of yellowish runny stains on it with an exceptionally disturbing (in this day and age) red one on the (also very beat up) floorboard. Now the fact that the door opens physically ON to the toilet may be simply because of the age of the building and the plumbing design, but the oddly placed pedestal on the sink is quite modern.
There are two light switches in the bathroom, one for the light and fan and the other for ... well, I couldn't tell what it did. there is a heating element as well on the ceiling, which looks to be from a mid-50's electric stove top, but it never did a thing. And I feel fairly certain the fan was the prop from the airplane in the movie Casablanca, judging by both its age and surprising level of noise.
Throughout the room, the painting job is slapdash. The floorboards are really beat up. The clothes rod in the closet is scary looking, either badly painted and worn or honestly I don't know.
I'm surprised at how much I found, considering we had just enough time for me to grab some of the (very good and very plentiful) included continental breakfast and take it back to the room before we had to leave. Again, a truly friendly staff, I cannot say enough about them, but I just did not have the time to discuss it with them. I do honestly believe they would have done whatever they could to improve the situation, but this type of trip prevented me from being able to discuss it with them and frankly considering the reports everyone else seems to have made I was caught off guard by all of this stuff. I know things go wrong, but I don't expect a place rated as highly as this to require me to address this many shortcomings.
Had I noticed two other items when we arrived we would have been late to our meeting, as they passed beyond unpleasant to dangerous: the first was some sort of power cable coming from the bottom of one of the outlets, down into the carpet. I do not know where it went or what it was for but I cannot believe that type of rigging would pass code. The second was the fact that the smoke alarm had no battery and appeared to be inoperative (no light). I know that wouldn't pass code.
In conclusion, this is a very pretty, funky, cool place with excellent on-site underground parking, a heated outdoor pool, a staff that would make any Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons or wherever proud, in a really great location in Hollywood, but with what I found in my room I just can't come to grips with the fact this hotel is (as of 1 March 2012) the #2 rated hotel in Los Angeles on TripAdvisor. My experience really doesn't seem to match others'.
Please see my photos to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about in this review.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just one block from Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Hollywood/Highland Center. We feature mostly very large One-Bedroom Suites. We also have smaller "Single" rooms, which are great for short stays and we have Two-Bedroom suites that sleep up to six people. All suites have a full kitchen, dining area, living room with pull-out sofa, and either one or two private bedrooms. We don't just talk about amazing guest service...we live it. Come and experience a truly unique and independent hotel. Enjoy the complimentary snacks available 24 hours a day, complimentary breakfast, and complimentary WiFi. Turndown service every night, and a newspaper delivered to your door each morning. Also enjoy access to the private club, The Magic Castle. There are age and dress code restrictions, so please ask us about it. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Magic Castle Los Angeles
- Hotel Magic Castle