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Updating LA's Historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Discussing the hotspot's $25 million renovation with VP of Brand Experience, Sal Imposimato

by David Graver
on 29 March 2016

On the roster of storied LA hotels, The Hollywood Roosevelt ranks high on the list, with its blend of Old Hollywood lore and allure. From The Tower to The Cabanas beside their David Hockney-painted pool, the entire property has played host to private parties and even more private conversations that would ultimately impact the surrounding city. As it aged, the property's reputation shifted some and it was in dire need of a guest-focused renovation. Late last year, this happened. New ownership spent $25 million for room renovations in The Tower, spearheaded by design firm Yabu Pushelberg. This was just the beginning and, this spring, the hotel has a few new surprises—including a forthcoming cultural platform and a brand new food and beverage outlet at their pool.

How then do you take an iconic destination and move it forward without damaging or erasing the old-world charm and luster? Sal Imposimato, the VP of Brand Experience for the hotel, offers insight: "We didn’t want to come here as a new hotel group and say it's our turn to put our stamp on this location. We wanted to take what happened here and celebrate it. This is a revival, not a resuscitation. We refer to is as a modern hollywood revival, and this implies it's a celebration," he says before noting the many phases of the structure. "The Roosevelt has 90 years of history extending from glamour to riots and punks in the '70s to the modern day Thompson version of young Hollywood. We are looking to take it to the next level."

This is a revival, not a resuscitation

That said, he makes clear, "We are living in that fine line between appealing to modern travelers, but allowing for the intrigue of the past. We aren’t leading with that, however." That isn't the renovation's story. "There’s not a lot we can do with the building itself to modernize it, so the modernization comes from the mentality and the services. The hotel's Spanish Colonial architecture plays its part. What we did in the rooms, we kept a lot of the color palettes and aesthetic of that time period but we modernized them. The rooms have some modern sex appeal but we kept them timeless." In essence, this isn't a memorabilia-laden homage. It's better customer service, advanced amenities and delightful small details—like Maison Martin Margiela blankets and towels.

As for what can be expected, Imposimato says that they're turning their eyes toward the pool and Cabanas next. One step includes "building a permanent fixture restaurant in the back, done in collaboration with a famous restaurateur." (This is a development from the success of last year's Tropicana Café addition.) Also near the pool, they're "converting 62 cabanas into bungalows, creating separation from The Tower and building a micro-cosmic mini hotel on the same property," Imposimato concludes. Rounding out the proposed features, the hotel will be launching a Bungalow Swim Club with a view in mind to attract young professionals to working beside their magnificent pool.

Explore room options at The Hollywood Roosevelt online, with rates starting around $271 per night.

Images courtesy of the Hollywood Roosevelt

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