More about The London Hotel West Hollywood
You must know who Chef Gordon Ramsay is, especially if you're a fan of Hell's Kitchen. I've always wanted to try his food ever since he opened this restaurant in Los Angeles in mid of 2008. This relatively new venture of his received a Michelin star in just short amount of time. I, for one, was surely excited to try his cuisine after all the hype.
So we finally decided to go there during DineLA. The restaurant is located inside of The London hotel. It's not very obvious if you're looking for it when you try to get there. Easily missed when driving, you should be looking for The London hotel. Valet parking here is $10 with validation from the restaurant.
The ambiance and decor are very chic, just like the hotel. Huge glass windows offer a view of Los Angeles skyline and West Hollywood. Beautiful view and very romantic. The wait staff is very friendly. The water glass never runs empty. They are very attentive and accommodating. We even got a kitchen tour after asking about Christina from 2008 season of Hell's Kitchen. The kitchen is HUGE!
Ok so let's move on to discuss about the food. The bacon bits bread with seaweed butter was genius! I love every single bits of it. We couldn't get enough!
We got a starter of Steamed bamboo shoot and shiitake mushroom chawanmushi. It was delightful.
I had the Rabbit and Smoked Bacon Ballottine - with vegetable piccalili and foie gras for first course. I wasn't impressed with the dish at first because the rabbit was bland and tasted like chicken. But after combining all the ingredients in one bite with the foie gras, I started to taste the different pieces together. My wife had the Wild Mushroom Veloute - with sauteed mushrooms and chive cream (soup), which was way better than my rabbit. It was creamy and very tasty!
I had the Braised Ox Cheek - with port wine, horseradish creamed potatoes, glazed turnips and braising jus for main course. The meat was very tender and the outside was crispy. My wife had the Crispy Pave of Sea Trout - with white cabbage and pickled ginger, kohlrabi and celeriac cream sauce. The trout was very good, tasted like salmon, with a crispy skin.
Then we had a pre-desert of Cara cara orange three ways, cinnamon ice cream and rose water sabayon. The first taste was surprising because of the bitterness and sourness of the blood orange, but after the cinnamon ice cream kicks in my taste buds started going crazy! YUMMM!!!
I had the Valrhona Chocolate Fondant - with brown butter caramel center and vanilla bean ice cream for desert. Absolutely wonderful! The warm chocolate fondant with the tasty caramel center and the ice cold vanilla bean ice cream taste great together! I wanted more. My wife had the Chilled Coconut Tapioca - with passion fruit, candied ginger, milk chocolate and star anise gelato. Not a lot of people ordered this particular desert, but it was very very good!
You can bet I'm coming back here for more! Good job Chef Ramsay! I love the Wild Mushroom Veloute for the appetizer. And who can forget about all of the deserts? Very very good! The cara cara orange three ways, cinnamon ice cream and rose water sabayon pre-desert was also delightful! Oh and of course the bacon bits bread with seaweed butter!
Stayed at The London, West Hollywood in June 08, staff were friendly and helpful, location was brilliant, room and bathroom were really spacious and very nicely decorated. Not to mention excellent bath products. Gordon Ramsay's restaurant was lovely too. Only complaints were that we had to request that the water temperature be fixed on 2 occasions and we were provided with paper cups instead of china in the kitchen! Staff were quick to attend to this though. We put this is down to teething problems of a new hotel and new staff. Would definitely stay there again and recommend this hotel, was a really great experience overall.
Loved It...Looking Forward to a Return Stay!
I stayed at the London West Hollywood recently for just a brief night and absolutely loved it. The really low introductory rate was too good to pass up, and I'm thrilled that I didn't. Our upgraded corner room was extremely spacious, the bathroom was beyond gorgeous with all of the mosaic tile and Waterworks fixtures, and the beds/linens top-notch.
Others have mentioned service issues, but I couldn't have had a better experience from the valets to the bellmen to the front desk. I've stayed at the best L.A. hotels (Peninsula, Four Seasons, Beverly Wilshire, L'Ermitage, etc.) and the London was on par with all of them on my visit.
Although we chose to eat elsewhere, Gordon Ramsay looked amazing from just a peek inside. I look forward to seeing how the bar/lounge area turns out, and we were very happy that the fun rooftop pool had opened just before we stayed.
Overall, this was a 5+ experience for what we paid, and would have still received a 5 rating from me had the introductory rate not been available. Based on my experience, I wish this new hotel great success and loyal guests.
Fantastic New Hotel - Service and Rooms Top Notch!
What an incredible surprise to see the remarkable renovation of the old Belage! Staff top notch, courteous, friendly, and helpful in every way. Even though the hotel is not "fully" open, the remaining missing items (spa, fully functional rooftop area, bar/ounge no quite up to par) are certainly ones that can be excused given the location, room quality, and overall staff attitude. I actually cancelled an upcoming reservation at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills in favor of the London! And it take a lot to beat the Peninsula! I love this hotel and will be back as frequently as possible. Oh, the huge showers in the rooms within the huge bathroom are just amazing. I can't rave about this place enough and I am a very picky travelor.
This hotel was a pure pleasure. Flawless service from the moment I got out of the cab until the moment I left. Very lovely room (the rooms are a bit over-the-top trendy, but manage to be quite elegant at the same time and are very well done) and wonderful bathrooms. Wouldn't be surprised if the prices here went up very quickly -- every bit as good as hotels twice the price. The Gordon Ramsay restaurant in the hotel is also just opened - a beautiful space - restaurant service is still getting the hang of things but very well intentioned and food is quite good.
Pomp and no Circumstance
Oh joy, yet another hotel with stylish facades that hopes to swath the bitter truth in bandages of soft illusion. Sure, the rooms are large and well designed. The bathrooms are expansive and marble clad wonders. But really, we have seen all of that in LA and are getting more of these every week. Where is the specialness of the property? Where is the substance? It is the little things that make a hotel memorable and The London misses the mark as it goes. It is as if the manager and developers only remembered the word pomp and forgot the circumstance. Room service is made up of leftover Bel Age trays and baskets....making the experience a surplus one at best. No newspapers on the door...they are simply left at the elevators. The Mini-bar was never replenished. No water at turndown. A nod to the eighties with a mini ironing board that must be placed on a tabletop. Staff using cell phones to text while on duty and in the elevators. All small things....but at nearly $500.00 a night one expects "special." And in an industry that is as much about expectations as it is about service the rate is too high for the expectations they promise. Either take the rates down to $280 a night or fix the little things. Not to say that they do not have potential...they do. I like certain things. The lighting in the rooms is innovative. The dry cleaning is expensive but have very unique signature valet bags that make it seem as if you have new clothes being delivered from your favorite haberdashery. And while the restaurant is a bit pricey, or overpriced as most Gorden Ramsey restaurants are, it delivers a nice quality selection of food for every palette. All in all I give it a Scorpion rating of 3 out of 5. With the potential for a 4 if the manager finds the time to include the "circumstance."
We were only there for one night and wished we could stay longer. Everyone was so nice and helpful the rooms were amazing. We had a south view room which over looked someof the hills downtown LA and some. We also ate at Gordon Ramsay which was also great. We felt taken care of and would def. go back.
Average and Gloomy
We stayed in the crown suite which was supposed to be 900 - 100 Sq ft. It looked more like 650 Sq ft. The balcony was as big as a large surfboard. The atmoshpere in the hotel room was gloom and doom. Only one small TV. The crown suite was like any average room in Vegas, nothing special at all. We left with ants...This hotel may be great for L.A standards but horrible in comparision to Vegas suites.
Still Working Out the Kinks
Let me say at the start that the new London in West Hollywood is a very good hotel. We had an enjoyable stay over the July 4 weekend, and it was a good value at the introductory rate. That said, those expecting truly exceptional service may be disappointed.
We chose a veranda suite at $279 per night. The room was large (about 750 square feet) and the bathroom (lined in marble and fitted with Waterworks taps) was spectacular. The large terrace offered a great view of LA and Century City. Lunch in the Gordon Ramsay restaurant was as nice as we've had in quite awhile. With all of that, there are still some growing pains:
Service -- Within the first two hours of our stay we were interrupted three (count them!) times by staff who apparently knocked on the door and then let themselves in when we didn't answer. Use your do not disturb sign at the London if you are on the terrace or taking a bath!
Decor -- The rooms are hip at the London, and as I hinted above the bathrooms are first class. Outside of the bathroom we found some of the materials a bit shoddy (for example, fake wood, "pleather" upholstery, lumpy carpet and a 1960s sliding door that shouls have been replaced.) The overall impression is fine, but not on par with the best hotels in this class. Although we aren't very big on TVs, I suspect that many will find the LCD flat panel disappointing when many similar hotels sport big plasma jobs.
Privacy -- Out huge veranda was great, but the latice-like dividers don't screen the adjoining patios very well. We could see and hear neighbors on both sides. Also, our furnishings were sparse -- we had a table with two chairs, but could see that other rooms had umbrellas and lounges.
Details -- This hotel is called "The London" presumably because it is supposed to remind you of an English hotel, and an upscale one at that. So why the generic bath products and not Moulton Brown? Why great bathrooms without heated towel racks? Why Bombay in the mini bar and not Boodles? Why the crummy hotel tea and not PG Tips? Why the non-functional mini ironing board and not a full size one (or an English trouser press which is also non-functional but at least on brand)? These are certainly nits, but details matter and they matter more in markets where there are lots of fine alternatives.
Overall -- Despite the preceding items we'd stay at the London again, especially at the current rates. It's fun, generally attractive, has a great restaurant and the staff are very nice. If you can live with a few issues, we'd definitely recommend this place.