COVID-19 has been tough, especially in Los Angeles where most indoor activities, including restaurants and gyms, remain off-limits. Throw in a newborn child, the shutdown of pre-school for our four-year-old, and an extremely stressful season in my entrepreneurial career and my wife and I found ourselves in desperate need of some fresh air (we don’t have that in LA either during fire season). But last weekend, we enjoyed a staycation in West Hollywood…a welcome break from tempest around us.
A West Hollywood Staycation
It was only for one night…my parents graciously agreed to take the kids overnight…but we had a delightful stay at the Andaz in West Hollywood. It’s rare we get to visit hotels in our city and this marked the first time I had stepped into this very trendy hotel.
We were assigned a beautiful suite and had a great date night. I will publish a full review of the Andaz in the next week, but the room was spacious, service excellent, and breakfast quite tasty (high marks for the coffee). And that pool…oh so Hollywood. You don’t go to this rooftop pool to swim, but to show off your liposuction and breast augmentations.
West Hollywood is full of great restaurants that adapted to the pandemic by expanding their outdoor dining areas. We had dinner at Cecconi’s, a wonderful restaurant that always brings back happy memories of the meals I used to enjoy here with Ben from One Mile at a Time when he was in LA. Thank you Ben for introducing me to this delicious restaurant!
Our stay was Friday night. Around midday on Saturday I drove to my parents, about 25 minutes away, to pick up the kids and bring them back. Amongst the plastic and silicone, Augustine and I actually went swimming on the rooftop pool!
So in the end we not only enjoyed a much-needed date night, but precious time with our kids since our gym pool remains closed.
I cannot believe I have not done this before. Usually if we need a break, we drive up to Santa Barbara or down to San Diego. That won’t change, but it was fun to simply drive across town and enjoy a night in the trendy Andaz. We’ll certainly do it again.
When was your last staycation?
Sweetness!…can’t wait to go to Europe again!
Great hotel and used to stay there quite a bit some years ago. Was one of the first Andaz properties I recall.
My only gripe are the hermetically sealed rooms…”c’mon it’s California! No wonder Led Zeppelin broke the window and tossed a sofa out of one of the rooms in the 70’s when it truly was the “Riot House.”
Certainly would have been nice to have a patio or even some fresh air, but I understand the need to soundproof the windows considering how loud Sunset Blvd is.
My last staycation was a few weeks ago. A buddy of mine wanted to take his family to his sister’s for a couple of nights about 4 hours drive away. I was on vacation from work and housesat for them. And to take care of their two cats and one dog. Not a dog person by any means but the dog just LOVES me for some reason. The cats as well, but they hate the dog. So the dog follows me everywhere so the cats avoided me because of the dog. OK, fine. But a nice change of scenery, they told me eat whatever I wanted and they had DirecTV which I dumped a couple of years ago so I vegged out on nonsense television and put up with the dog. Was planning on a trip to Boise that week but the flights got cancelled and/or changed so it wasn’t a practical trip after that. But still, all in all better than sitting around my own house yet again.
Sounds like a fun trip!
It did the trick.
Our favorite staycation is the Hershey Hotel, an hour from our house and close to the grandparents. Our last trip there was January 2020. I keep looking at the availability but the county has been a PA hot spot.
I do them quite often ( although none since March); I have a condo in Bangkok, from which I can easily walk to GH or get the BTS to a string of Marriotts. I did it more when status was determined by stays rather than nights ( ..so lots of 1 night staycations).
Same in Melbourne where I’m very close to the GH and The Westin.
I like staycations. Sometimes I book for one night but stay longer if the mood takes me.
But with ZERO turnover income from other tourism-related investments since March I won’t be able to afford them unless things improve rapidly…
Splitting time between Melbourne and Bangkok sounds like a great life! Throw in a little Bali as well plus a great coffee culture. Enjoy!
Props for the Eero Aarnio -designed Puppy 🙂
Even though it was misappropriated by son!
try hotel bel air next
Great Hotel…used to love a once a year splurge there..and that bar is the best in LA. But I have trouble now supporting a property owned by the Sultan of Brunei who promotes the stoning and whipping of his citizens for adultery and homosexuality.
Matt, what do you think about an out of town visitor coming to LA early next month? I am in desperate need to get a change of scenery and I’ve never left LAX. Flying AA on a 787 or 777 up front means low risk of COVID on the plane my plan would be to rent a car an drive around for a few days. Outdoor dining, likely pleasant weather seems like a winner.
Ryan, you will have a great time. My favorite part of California is Carmel, but the Andaz would be a great choice or perhaps head down to San Diego and check outlet Andaz there as well. But West Hollywood is full of some of my favorite places. In addition to Cecconi’s, try Fig & Olive and if you do stay at the Andaz, Katana is just a block away. Head down to Santa Monica Blvd where you can buy groceries if you want to dine in (there’s a big Sprouts and Trader Joe’s within walking distance with Whole Foods not far) and all the bars have re-opened. Enjoy!
Welcome to the land of fame, excess; am I gonna fit in?
Thank you. Likely will stay at the SLS. Looking forward to it.
The Fig & Olive on Melrose near La Cienega? It permanently closed this summer.
Really? Say it isn’t so.
Cecconi’s looks like the sort of establishment meant to separate a fool from his money. Una catena per douchebags. I find it galling to eat at most Italian restaurants outside of Italy. At least it wasn’t Matthew’s usual steak and potatoes.
Look, of course it was more expensive and less tasty than being in Italy…but for Los Angeles, this was great Italian food. The salmon was particularly exquisite.
The prices for the pizzas are especially exorbitant. Italians would be shocked. Don’t you think the quality/price ratio is much higher for Japanese or Thai restaurants in Los Angeles? Why bother with “Italian” as interpreted by Soho House at all? It’s for the Meatpacking/Las Vegas-style club-“restaurant” crowd. Ugh, when will Thailand reopen?