We spent three days at the fabulous Mondrian LA hotel as part of our trip to America in September 2015. We chose the hotel for a number of reasons, the location for one, the jaw dropping Instagram account for another, and a recommendation I’d seen by Kaitlynn Carter. The chain of hotels are located in incredible places, Miami, LA, London, each one themed to suit the style and tone of the city it represents. Despite being a chain as such, the Mondrian hotels are very much boutique. Located on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood or ‘We-ho’ as the locals call it (cringe), the Mondrian is close by to LA attractions, yet still at arms length from the tourist trap of the walk of fame. The glamour of the Hollywood Hills provides a beautiful backdrop, and the rest of the city sprawls out in front of it. For four girls that saved up and paid for this trip for nearly a year, we weren’t going to go cheap, so I’ll be up front now and say – it wasn’t cheap but it was worth it.
Welcome to Mondrian LA
On arrival at the hotel after an 11 hour flight and an eye opening taxi journey through LA traffic, the driver swung up to the grand entrance of the hotel. It was a Saturday afternoon and the place was crawling with pool party goers. The hotel’s Skybar was hosting one of the go to events of the weekend in LA for Labor Day, the Rhondesia pool party. It was pretty busy, as obviously being the American equivalent of a bank holiday over there, there were a lot of out of towners about. The lobby was spacious and airy, all white walls and dripping chandeliers, with luxurious looking feature chairs and loungers. There’s also a feature indoor swing, white with plush black velvet.
We were given free bottled water, and the wifi password at check in. We got the wifi for free as we booked through a friend of a friend, but this was chargeable as standard. The staff were friendly and welcoming, as is the case everywhere in America, and they advised us of our room upgrade to a suite, as well as providing us with tickets for the pool party now clearly in full swing.
Our Mondrian LA suite
The only complaint I have about our suite upgrade (yes I realise how bad that sounds), is that we were upgraded but this left us with one bed short. The suite was a two bedroom, one bathroom suite, with a giant white leather sofa that turned into a bed, but it was more of a three quarter sized bed than a double, so we had to request an additional bed which they were going to charge us for.
We managed to talk them out of the charge however, as I’m not sure what they expected us to do when we were left with one bed short. They were very nice about it and brought another bed up. We took it in turns on the extra bed as a trade off for all the extra space the suite room actually did provide us.
It was beautiful, again large, airy and white, with feature sofas, copper mirrors that swivelled on a full floor to ceiling length pivot that actually turned out to be a TV within the mirror too. Very cool. The white furniture, black and chrome details throughout the room, and the wooden floors all matched the overall theme of the hotel. We had a giant walk in space, with a wall length shelf stocked with water, and plenty of plugs. It was an ideal space for four girls to get ready and charge multiple hair appliances and chargers!
The Mondrian LA Pool
The Mondrian pool and Skybar is world famous. They have movie nights in the winter, and flamboyant yet glamorous pool parties in the summer. The one we went to was Rhondesia, and it was packed! In terms of pool parties the behaviour was very different to many I’ve been to, but that might be just my friends…anyway…it was very posy.
There were a lot of the LGBT community, and they were not shy! They would just come on over and chat to you, they would wear literally anything, and get really drunk. It made the whole experience a lot of fun! I would say it was too packed for what is actually quite a small area, but we got served no problem at the bars and nobody was sunbathing or anything anyway. Not many were even in the pool!
The pool party was only on for the one day, and the rest of our three days spent lying out in the sun overlooking LA out of the big glass windows were very relaxing. They’re very strict on the sun loungers, to make sure they are kept for guests only, but we didn’t have any trouble getting a spot. There’s waitress service, and it’s about a ten metre stroll to the outside terrace restaurant when you get peckish.
Again the whole theme of the place was very fresh and ‘healthy’. Being in LA for some reason makes you seriously consider a side salad instead of fries – not for long though. But I was a big fan of the smoothies, and healthy drink options. I actually really like coconut water, and it’s good for you so I was pretty pleased when I saw the hotel stocked Vo|Co – vodka and coconut water mixed. Coconut water is an acquired taste, and truthfully tastes rank to start off with. But as with plain old non alcoholic coconut water it grows on you so I forced a couple down and then drank them for the rest of the holiday.
Mondrian LA Skybar & Restaurant
One of the most iconic features of the hotel and one you will hear mentioned in most literature, and by past visitors. While on entry to the hotel you feel you are at ground level, when you step out onto the terrace of Skybar you understand the name. Set on a hillside you literally feel like you’re in the sky, facing over the whole of LA.
While there was indoor space for eating, and the decor was seriously fabulous, the outside terrace was I think my favourite spot of the hotel. It was perfect for breakfast, to sit outside in the sun before it got too hot, with fresh orange juice and watching the sun rise over the Hollywood Hills, but in an evening it became a cosy bar with fire pits, cute outdoor lighting and a relaxed atmosphere. You could be as dressed up or as casual as you wanted – as was the case with most of LA to be honest.
We sat in that bar dressed in everything from gym gear (pre Runyon Canyon hike), fully glammed up for a day on Rodeo Drive, and casual after a day at the beach. The food was delicious, I even had a pizza with kale on it!! Double exclamations for that statement. The prawns with sweet chilli dip were an absolute dream as well.
Overall I would say if I went back to LA I would definitely stay here again, it was worth the cost and you do get a true LA experience. It is worth mentioning that taxis picking you up from the hotel to take you out somewhere would always charge more – so keep an eye on prices to make sure you don’t get ripped off. Coming back to the hotel is your best judgement of true taxi prices.
The hotel does charge for most extras, but some gentle persuasion and an email ahead should save you some costs, even if it is just the wifi, or a room with more space!