Culture / Travel

Exploring the Ultra-Chic Pendry West Hollywood, an Impressive Destination on the Sunset Strip

The LA Spot Has Everything You Need — and Plenty More

BY // 06.27.22
photography Christian Horan

Sleek cars and an even sleeker crowd greeted me when turning into the glamorous driveway to check into the Pendry West Hollywood. The new hotel had just celebrated its one-year anniversary and gave me an instant feeling of deja vu  — the building, which takes up an entire block of the infamous Sunset Strip, was the former site of the House of Blues (where I spent many a rock and roll night in the late 1990s).

For those not terribly familiar with their La-La Land geography, West Hollywood is centrally located and has everything you would want in a neighborhood. It’s also home to a large LGBTQ+ community that annually hosts some of the biggest Pride events in the country.

 

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Martin Brudnizki’s choice of bold blue walls for the lobby. (Photo by Christian Horan)

Pendry West Hollywood At a Glance

All-in-all, it’s an impressive complex — Pendry West Hollywood offers 149 luxury guestrooms and 40 Pendry Residences West Hollywood which has units ranging from 2,900 to 6,000 square feet (some terraces are upwards of 3,400 square feet) and could be yours for something in the mid seven figures.

The complex also features a multi-purpose live entertainment venue (paying homage to its former resident the House of Blues); screening room; bowling alley; Spa Pendry; an everything you need fitness center, and a curated art collection featuring works from some of Los Angeles’ most exciting emerging artists and acclaimed international names.

Two works from the collection scream to be shot and posted on your Insta stories. First, preen away in the lobby in front of Anthony James’ 70′ Icosahedron. The artist is known for his monumental and performative sculptures and installations — this one which seems like a cross between an alien spaceship and a child’s science fair project.

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Also, you might have to do a double-take when arriving and spying Andy Can and Xavier Perrot’s Sunset Jewel at the hotel’s entrance. Resembling a tree in the daylight, but when nightfalls the expansive branches that hold a canopy of thousands of shimmering mother of pearl leaves each adorned with a single sparkling crystal from Swarovski elements come alive. Definitely get your smartphone ready to snap a myriad of pictures.

 

A chic room with a view (Photo by Christian Horan)
A chic room with a view (Photo by Christian Horan)

A Stylish Suite

The interiors are beyond divine. They seemed vaguely familiar with their bold details and then it dawned on me — Bullion, one of my favorite restaurants in Dallas (which we are told might re-open by year-end) was also designed by Martin Brudnizki.

I absolutely adored the suite with a view of West Hollywood. In fact, in my grand bathroom was a large window above the decadent soaking tub with a view of the entrance to the iconic Comedy Store. All of the amenities you would expect, but I was surprised with the size of the bedroom closet (perhaps quite a few guests are there for an extended stay) and the sizable balcony which was easily large enough for me and three friends to have a sunset cocktail.

 

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All seats have a view from Merois. (Photo by Christian Horan)

Dining at the Pendry 

I had two meals at Merois, located on the rooftop with stunning views of Los Angeles from high above Sunset. The Wolfgang Puck restaurant’s menu incorporates influences of Japanese, Southeast Asian and French/California cuisine. During both visits, my friends and I decided to order a few items and share. The definite star of the show (that made an appearance at both meals) was the Crispy Rice Crab Salad. It was heavenly and epitomizes L.A. to me — slightly exotic with a few foreign flavors and incredibly light (meaning I felt like I could still slip on my swimsuit after indulging in a full portion). Two other standouts were the Vegan Sushi and Squid Noodles, made from thinly sliced calamari with Thai basil in a ginger-garlic clam broth.

A few other Pendry moments of note: the coffee and fresh-baked pastries were a great way to herald the dawn of each day at Ospero (another Wolfgang Puck concept), the little European Cafe that looks directly out onto the Sunset Strip. I enjoyed an afternoon cocktail with a friend at the intimate jewel box adjacent to the check-in area, Bar Pendry.

 

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Pendry Pool is normally filled with starlets or influencers on the rise. (Photo by Christian Horan)

Exploring West Hollywood, California

Where to eat and/or cocktail while staying at Pendry West Hollywood beyond the in-house offerings:

Sunset Tower: The nearby hotel (barely a block away so no worries if you are wearing your higher pair of Manolos for the night) is old-school glamour. On my recent visit, I was pleased to see the art created by Dallas’ newest transplant, Donald Robertson (he and his interior designer wife Kim Gieske moved from Santa Monica) throughout the property — I even paused to take a moment in the bathroom with my backdrop the glamorous wallpaper he created featuring vignettes of the famed hotel.

The Ivy: You’ll want to catch an Alto to this perfect lunch spot (lively scene during the day and given that they close at 10 pm they know that). It’s actually only 1.7 miles away, but keep in mind that no one walks in L.A. But also keep in mind, that this relatively short distance might still mean a $35 ride over 20-30 minutes depending on the time of day and traffic.

The Abbey: I spent many a night here in my late 20s when living in L.A. This gay bar with an expansive patio (and indoor dance floor) offers food and cocktails during the day, but when nightfall it becomes a beacon for all looking for a fabulous evening.

Where to throw down your AmEx Black Card on some great new additions to your wardrobe:

Maxfield: After my recent lunch at the Ivy I walked over to Maxfield with Brian Bolke (he was on the official L.A. Louvre trip as well). It was fascinating hearing the retail gurus take on the various retail windows we passed.

Vivienne Westwood: I’m Anglophile and have long been a fan of the punk rock British designer. Alas, to my knowledge, it’s rare to find a brick-and-mortar store in the US that features this brand. So whenever I’m in L.A., I make a trip to Melrose.

I’m already thinking of a return visit. I’ll definitely spend more time at the pool and might even indulge in a visit to the Spa Pendry which I understand has some fabulous IV therapies — in case I have a dreaded hangover one morning.

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