Sheraton Universal Hotel offers more than a glimpse of Hollywood.
LOS ANGELES – Descending from the busy metallic caverns of (LAX) Los Angeles International Airport, you can’t help feeling a little overwhelmed. Thick, congested arms of traffic sweep by. Taxis, families, and buses wait for their turn to move away from LAX and to their destinations. The blaring of an occasional horn punctuates the moment. You climb in your shuttle and ride the dark highway to what you hope, after a long flight, is a little rest and relaxation…
Once at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, you feel completely welcome. The walls are adorned with such stars as James Earl Jones, Dean Martin, Richard Gear, and others. A wax figure greets you just inside the vestibule. Bright, clean, and atmospheric, the lounge (the aptly named In the Mix) is already alive with video game enthusiasts here for the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo); even the elevators are revamped for the occasion (a “Hitman: Absolution” promo rides up with you to your room).
You open the door, step inside, pull the curtains aside and witness the Hollywood hills lights; the life of the city reverberates down there, even though you can’t feel it through the plush carpeting.
You’ll enjoy an incredible omelet in the morning, a complimentary copy of the Wall Street Journal spread upon the table, soft smooth jazz providing an elixir to the mellow setting. A view of the pool, a couple of blonds (and a brunette) sunbathing, skin enhanced by suntan lotion. You read about the feud between Apple visionary Steve Jobs and Google founder Larry Page, and peruse a commentary about the late science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, who lived in Los Angeles.
“Have you been looked after?” a tall dark haired gentleman in suit and tie asks, his English accent providing the moment with unintended counterpoint, as you sweep the crumbs of toast away, and reach for the empty glass of water, barely condensed in the air conditioned room.
You nod, and the Englishman, along with his staff, make preparation for the lunch service.
The $30 million renovation has lent the place a 1940s veneer. It’s the sort of spot Raymond Chandler’s private detective Philip Marlowe might have dined with a client in pursuit of a murderer, because, indeed, Hollywood is noir.
Stepping out into the bright Los Angeles sunlight, in the heart of Universal City, the pavement seems to offer all of Hollywood in an unfurling row of choices: Melrose Avenue, Beverly Hills, or downtown Los Angeles. There’s even an opportunity to visit Universal Studios Hollywood (for a close-up view of Dr. Emmett Brown’s Flux Capacitor) and the Universal Citywalk.
Either way, the city of angels awaits…
The Sheraton Universal Hotel is located at 333 Universal Hollywood Dr. For more information, call (818) 980-1212 or visit www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton.