SUNSET TOWER HOTEL TODAY
A little over a decade since owner Jeff Klein first reinvented the landmark Sunset Tower, creating what is known today as the unofficial epicenter of Hollywood, 2018 marked a time for "the lady" (as he often refers to the building) to get a facelift. Klein embarked on a refresh of the hotel and common areas with his personal touch; with the goal of restoring its heart and soul while not compromising the character of such an iconic building.
Klein’s proudest accomplishment was the opening of the Tower Bar in 2005 soon after he bought the property. Following its enormous success, the latest renovation plans were created so that the rest of the hotel could keep up with the quality and popularity of the Tower Bar. The style is subtle, chic, understated and elegant. Design highlights include a new dark and sexy bar, a reimagined restaurant and updated pool area- with its quintessential LA vista beyond. There are pink leather semi-circular booths and sofas covered in fabric that Klein designed himself.
Further additions include a dedicated bright and airy new 7,000 sq ft gym in John Wayne’s former apartment, and the Joanna Vargas Spa one level above offering expert facials and massages.
Deluxe Rooms & Suites have been redecorated in a dusty pink tone, with soft cream and brown accents; and feature bespoke wallpaper in the bathrooms created by famous fashion illustrator Donald Robertson, with louche scenes from the hotel’s life, from the Sunset Boulevard sign to a martini in the Tower Bar.
Sunset Tower is all about characters. Klein himself is more host than traditional hotelier and this is reflected in how ‘at home’ the great and good of Hollywood feel in situ at the hotel, bar and restaurant.
Gabé Doppelt serves as Tower Bar’s elegant Maitre’d. A former magazine editor, Doppelt seamlessly choreographs the room with grace. Sunset Tower probably has one of the most paparazzied doorways in LA but the irony is that in this social hub, in the world of social media, no pictures are allowed inside.
General Manager Troy Pade, a recent New York transplant, has also joined the team at Sunset Tower to run the day to day operations and elevate the experience as the hotel enters the newest chapter of her storied life.
HISTORY OF A HOLLYWOOD LANDMARK
Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, the Sunset Tower (as it was originally called) was a trendsetter from the moment it opened. Its dramatic setting on the Sunset Strip and elegant Art Deco styling, together with its proximity to famous restaurants and nightclubs of the 1930s & ’40s, contributed to its landmark status. West Hollywood has always catered to celebrities wishing to draw attention to their star power. The Sunset Tower embodied these aspirations, counting among its former residents Howard Hughes, John Wayne, Billie Burke, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Paulette Goddard, Zasu Pitts, and even gangster Bugsy Siegel. Leland Bryant specialized in luxury apartments, but the Sunset Tower was his crowning achievement. His work was predominantly in Period Revival, but with this building he proved that he was equally adept with the then contemporary Deco style. To attract a demanding clientele, the Sunset Tower incorporated the latest in both technology and design. There were modern conveniences, like outlets in every bathroom for electric shavers, and the windows were made larger to take advantage of the spectacular views.
The Sunset Tower is a Hollywood landmark. Up to the 1950s it was as much a tourist attraction as the Hollywood sign itself. It has appeared in a number of films, including The Italian Job, Get Shorty, The Player and Strange Days. Its first literary mention was in Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely (1940). The film version of that novel, Murder, My Sweet, released four years later, was its first screen reference.