The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel — a Modern Hollywood revival nestled along the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the heart of Los Angeles.
The Hollywood Roosevelt is a high-end, luxury hotel and tourist destination that has been at the heart of the Hollywood scene for almost a century, and remains so today. Promising to offer a “genuine ‘L.A.’ experience,” the hotel finds itself in a unique position, acting as both a welcoming party to the “Hollywood life” and a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the Boulevard.
General Manager Akshay Bahl details their approach to high-touch guest service, explaining “We take a lateral approach to guest services, in that everyone in the hotel has the opportunity to engage with each guest and play their part in creating a memorable experience.”
The Hollywood Roosevelt: Where guests experience the “Genuine L.A. Experience,” and celebrities escape the hustle and bustle of the boulevard.
The Hollywood Roosevelt opened in 1927, during the ‘Golden Era’ of Los Angeles architecture. Shortly after opening, Hotel Roosevelt hosted the first-ever Academy Awards in 1929, and boasts a historical guest-list of Hollywood legends such as Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Prince, and Brad Pitt. In fact, Gable and Carole Lombard used to live in what is now the Roosevelt’s three-level Penthouse Suite. The Roosevelt has also been featured in numerous big-budget films and television shows, including I Love Lucy, Beverly Hills Cop II, Catch Me If You Can, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Monroe loved the Roosevelt so much, that it’s rumored that her ghost still resides there, sometimes appearing in a full-length mirror to unwitting staff and guests.
Although the Roosevelt’s staff “had their fingers crossed” for a Marilyn conjuring during the guest’s stay, the celebrity spirit unfortunately did not make an appearance.
Marilyn Monroe was perhaps the Hollywood Roosevelt’s most famous guest. She lived at the Roosevelt for over two years early in her modeling career, and posed for her first commercial photoshoot by the now iconic Tropicana Pool. It’s also said that Monroe met famed playwright (and future husband) Arthur Miller at the hotel’s Cinegrill nightclub.
Of course, the Roosevelt’s vibrant history gives staff ample opportunities to provide guests with experiences that are truly one of a kind. Akshay elaborates: “Recently, we had a guest arriving into our Marylyn Suite who is an avid Marilyn Monroe fan. With this in mind, our Guest Relations team decked out the room with fresh flowers, personalized Hollywood memorabilia and a 3-foot-tall Marilyn inspired birthday card.”
Experience the epitome of Hollywood glamour at the “Time Square of California”.
The Hollywood Roosevelt is known in many circles as the “Time Square of California” — and for good reason. Created with the ‘Old Hollywood’ experience in mind, the Roosevelt is the epitome of Hollywood glamour: from its classic aesthetic, to its views, to it’s extravagant dining experiences.
The Roosevelt is the epitome of Hollywood glamour. The property includes a variety of themed suites.
Radisson Hotels purchased the property in 1985 and launched a $35 million renovation project to restore the property to its original glory and classic Colonial architecture. These updates included the installation of a million-dollar mural at the bottom of the hotel’s Tropicana Pool, painted by renowned artist David Hockney in 1987. A few years later, the building was declared a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument and has since undergone two additional major renovations to arrive at its current design.
The 12-story hotel currently offers 300 guest rooms and 63 suites. A quick glance at the hotel’s Instagram page takes a user on an aesthetic highlight reel of vintage-chic rooms and amenities, towering palm trees, famous sights and crystal blue water. The property includes a variety of themed suites, including the famed Marilyn Monroe Suite and the vintage Cabana Suites, designed by Joyce Wang and Hun Aw of Waaw Design. The Roosevelt also boasts a number of fine dining options, from a 24-hour luxury diner with a “glam twist” that offers one of the best burgers in L.A., to the speakeasy-style Spare Room bar, to the Spanish-inspired marble geometric design of the Tower bathrooms.
Each Cabana Suite treats its guest to a mid-century aesthetic with natural oak, ebony floors, and bronze accessories with easy access to the Tropicana pool. The hotel also pays homage to Clark Gable and Carole Lombard with the Gable-Lombard penthouse, a 3,200 square-foot duplex with an outdoor deck with views of the Hollywood Hills and the Hollywood sign. The Tower Rooms saw a $25 million renovation by well-known design firm Yabu Pushelberg in 2015, featuring hardwood floors, four-poster beds, boho-chic patterns, a palette of greys and rich blue and persimmon accents and sliding barn doors that separate sleeping areas (in Deluxe rooms).
The hotel also pays homage to Clark Gable and Carole Lombard with the Gable-Lombard penthouse.
High-touch, celebrity service that aims to make every stay “one for the ages”.
Of course, we couldn’t speak to the implementation of a high-touch service model without delving into the property’s highly responsive attitude to guest needs. The Roosevelt takes a lateral approach to high-touch service, in that every hotelier — from the front desk agents, to the security officers, to the pool hosts — is directly responsible for creating a memorable guest interaction. When asked to describe the Hollywood Roosevelt’s process to responding to guest issues, Akshay enthusiastically detailed their approach:
“Whenever a guest issue is reported, the first thing we do is make direct (and ideally face to face) contact with that guest. This allows us to gauge the situation first hand, and then work to resolve and diffuse the issue immediately and effectively. Once that has been addressed, we focus on the guest to ensure they are happy with the hotel, how their complaint was handled, and are well equipped to move forward and enjoy the rest of their stay. Typically, we also follow up with a note and a small treat from the manager, as an extra touch.”
The staff at the Hotel Roosevelt will go above and beyond to create a lasting impression with guests. One of their most memorable moments was when the wife of one of the Roosevelt’s regular guests asked the hotel to set up a birthday dinner for her husband. The restaurant manager knew the guest personally — and his lifelong dream of staying in the Roosevelt’s Gable & Lombard Penthouse Suite. This enterprising and service-oriented manager coordinated with the front office to host a surprise dinner on the rooftop for their guest, and arrange for them to spend the night in the Penthouse Suite, free of charge.
Of course, the Roosevelt’s commitment to exceptional service is not limited to long-standing, VIP guests. One traveler wanted to test to see if the hotel’s staff ever read his room requests. So he decided to request, “a photocopy of Rambo on the nightstand upon arrival.” When he arrived at the Roosevelt, he soon received a knock on his door with a delivery of a bottle of Jack Daniels wrapped in a color photo of Rambo from First Blood — and he had the video to prove it! The guest ultimately remarked that the staff’s commitment to service — and their sense of humor! — made his Hollywood stay “one for the ages.”
Mobile Technology lets guests choose their own Hollywood adventure.
The Roosevelt’s exceptional level of high-touch service is only enhanced with their utilization of mobile technology. Mobile technology enhances the guest experience at the Roosevelt, because it provides for more immediate and effective guest-facing communications, and more efficient back-of-the-house operations. For example, the Hollywood Roosevelt’s use of a comprehensive CRM and marketing platform , allows them to monitor and manage service scores and their online reputation. The Roosevelt also leverages a back of house operations and staff communication platform to effectively communicate, relay and resolve all guest issues and requests, leading to huge increases in staff responsiveness and efficiency.
Similarly, the Roosevelt’s implementation of a mobile PMS enables their guests to seamlessly check-in and out directly from their smartphone and has dramatically increased the level of satisfaction and engagement of their guests on property. The introduction of mobile allows guests to customize the type of experience they want. Ashkay explains:
“We have seen great feedback from guests with pre-arrival and departure emails. Our desire was to allow each guest the opportunity to control their initial and final interactions with our hotel — essentially, they can “choose their own adventure” in terms of how much high-touch, traditional interaction they crave.”
In addition to offering guests amenities such as direct-to-room check-in, early check-in/ late check-out, and mobile-enabled room upgrades, the mobile PMS allows Hollywood Roosevelt’s staff to focus on optimizing guest interactions, rather than an administrative check-in process.
What’s next for the Hollywood Roosevelt?
In the coming year, the Hollywood Roosevelt will augment its “celebrity high-touch” model of guest engagement by implementing more “smart” technology. Throughout 2019, the Hollywood Roosevelt is looking to install numerous in-room “smart” devices that will handle guest requests and inquiries, while also integrating the room phone, speaker, and digital display. The Roosevelt’s embrace of emerging self-service technology will continue to increase guests’ convenience and personalization, allowing staff to focus on providing exceptional high-touch service. Although sometimes seen as dichotomous, this embrace of self-service, emerging technology is proving to be essential — especially in the world of high-end, luxury hospitality.
This article was originally written by the GX Spotlight team. It has been moved here as part of the Shiji Group family of hospitality technology brands.