Hollywood has hit that moment where it was so over… it’s now back again. Yes, the plodding hordes of mega-gulping tourists are still there marveling at names written on the floor (seriously people!), the streets are paved with black dried-up spilled mega-gulps and the homeless situation, which you thought was already out of hand, has got worse… but the green shoots of a return to glory are in evidence and we think it’s high time for a rebirth! Which is where Tommie Hollywood comes in. And how perfect it is for the Hollywood Renaissance (we’ve coined that term ourselves. Hope you like it)!
Set on Selma Avenue, literally one street down from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and one up from Sunset Boulevard which, remember, pretty much crosses LA, the location is peachy… even if there are homeless people camping just to your left (they are everywhere these days, it’s no reflection on a neighbourhood at all). Especially peachy seeing as there’s a Mama Shelter next door, a Dream just over the road and a whole little micro-neighbourhood of cool all around meaning you can definitely feel part of a scene.
And what a job they have done on Tommie Hollywood! Four stars, which we know means nothing, and cool and quirky as you like. From the lobby with its open fires (yes, in Hollywood!) and squashy furniture and people in heavy-frame glasses tap-tap-tapping at their Apple laptops past floor-to-ceiling curtains, past the cute little breakfast bar where you can grab a complimentary coffee to the reception, which just feels like a guy saying hi, it’s all as fresh and now as you could wish.
They say it’s minimalist but there’s stuff to look at, even in rooms, which can be tiny but which have one whole side made of glass filled with views of the Hollywood Hills… if you’re pointed in the right direction, of course (and don’t be afraid to ask). The style is contempo Californian – splashes of colour, retro lighting – and even if you won’t be swinging too many cats (larger rooms are available), it’s a fun room to be in and that really is the main thing.
Not that you’re going to want to be spending much time in your room, especially when there are names written on the floor just one street up to be reading! Not to mention the rooftop pool, which must surely get the award for cutest designed rooftop pool in Hollywood, with its mural made to look like a 50s postcard from Hollywood and retro fabric umbrellas and, thank god!, bar.
If you’re thinking of dining at your hotel – and we really really recommend you do – don’t worry when they send you outside to come back in to KA’TEEN when you could just go around those afore-mentioned floor-to-ceiling curtains: they’re just trying to let you have the full impact of walking through the wooden tunnel into one of the most beautiful patio spaces we can remember ever having seen in LA. Strung with lights, packed with booths (and packed with people even early, so don’t forget to book!) and full of laughter and Mexican music, it’s either the perfect date spot (for a lively date!) or the perfect party restaurant. It can juggle those two vibes. Can you?
The food was authentically Mexican – so hot! – and the Margaritas authentically delicious, so much so that we had several. The staff, as you can imagine, are all over you in a way that we certainly didn’t mind.
There was a time when if you were going to Los Angeles, Hollywood would be the last place you would want to stay. Way too skuzzy! But as is the way with skuzzy neighbourhoods, they tend to be the next hot thing. Such is the case with this little spot between West Hollywood and Downtown and things will only get better, so become an early-adopter.
Oh and look! The name ‘Diana Ross’… written on the ground.