The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: The Story of an L.A. Icon

Hollywood Roosevelt lobby | Photo courtesy of demxx, Flickr

The landmark Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel opened on May 15, 1927, financed by a group that included Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Sid Grauman. Named for President Theodore Roosevelt, the hotel has welcomed generations of VIPs, from legends of Hollywood’s Golden Age to today’s hottest stars. At the time, it cost $2.5 million to complete the 12-story building, which holds 300 rooms and suites and is now managed by Thompson Hotels. In 1991, the Hollywood Roosevelt was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 545.

Hollywood History

The first Academy Awards ceremony, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (1929) | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

From the moment you step into the hotel’s Spanish Colonial style lobby, you’re surrounded by Hollywood history. The first Academy Awards were presented at a private dinner in the hotel’s Blossom Ballroom - winners were announced three months before the ceremony, which took just 15 minutes. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard carried on their infamous affair in the penthouse, which cost $5 a night. Marilyn Monroe lived at the hotel for two years as her modeling career began to take off - she was staying in one of the vintage 1950s Cabanas at the time of her first professional magazine shoot, which took place at the Hollywood Roosevelt pool.

Luxury Accommodations

Cabana Poolside | Photo courtesy of Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Facebook

Throughout the property, Hollywood’s Golden Age meets contemporary design in warm tones and rich textures. Accommodations range from King Superior rooms to Cabanas and the Marilyn Monroe Suite. The Gable-Lombard Penthouse is a 3,200 square-foot duplex with an outdoor deck that’s tucked beneath the Roosevelt’s iconic sign and boasts spectacular views of the Hollywood Hills and the iconic Hollywood Sign.

25 Degrees

Number One burger at 25 Degrees | Photo courtesy of 25 Degrees, Facebook

Day or night, if you’re hungry for one of L.A.'s best burgers, 25 Degrees has you covered. Located just off the hotel lobby, Tim Goodell’s 24-hour burger joint has a stylish interior with tufted leather booths, crystal chandeliers, and walls clad in classic diner-style quilted stainless steel. You can build your own burger from a variety of ingredients, or choose from signatures like the ever-popular Number One Burger: caramelized onion, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula and Thousand Island dressing. A hearty burger needs something strong to pair with it, like the Bananas Foster, a spiked shake made with Kraken Black Spiced Rum, banana, butterscotch, vanilla ice cream and Myers’s Rum float.

Public Kitchen & Bar

Photo courtesy of Public Kitchen & Bar, Facebook

At Public Kitchen & Bar, executive chef Tim Goodell features eclectic American fare in a grand, Old Hollywood style dining room. Leather banquettes and gilt chandeliers create a warm vibe throughout the bustling space, highlighted by a living wall of succulents and a historic mural that was uncovered during renovation. Start with an assortment of charcuterie, artisanal cheeses and house-made preserves, then tuck into hearty meats and inventive seafood dishes. The Chef’s Table offers an intimate gathering for 6-8 people, featuring custom, market-driven creations designed especially for you. Treat your guests to an extraordinary multi-course affair, a comfortable family-style meal, or an adventurous omakase dinner.

Library Bar

Cocktails at the Library Bar | Instagram by @chiumelo - courtesy of Hollywood Roosevelt, Facebook

Discreetly located off the Roosevelt’s historic lobby, the Library Bar offers bespoke market-fresh mixology in a dark and alluring setting. Cocktails are enjoyed omakase-style, with bartenders creatively mixing drinks using an ever-changing seasonal arsenal of homemade bitters, foams and garnishes.

The Spare Room

The Spare Room | Photo courtesy of Thirsty in LA

Located on the Roosevelt’s Mezzanine level, The Spare Room is a handsome cocktail lounge and gaming parlor, featuring custom-made wooden board games like chess and Jenga. Sip a craft cocktail, or share a punch bowl with friends, then lace up a pair of George Esquivel shoes and bowl a few frames on the vintage bowling lanes. Be sure to snap a few pics in the hidden photo booth.

Tropicana Bar

Tropicana Pool | Photo courtesy of Hollywood Roosevelt, Facebook

A true oasis in the heart of Hollywood, the Tropicana Bar overlooks the celebrated David Hockney pool, surrounded by lush foliage and the hotel’s exclusive Cabana rooms. This seductive retreat plays host to Hollywood’s in-crowd both day and night with DJ parties, and intimate gatherings around glowing fire rings.

Teddy's

Teddy’s at Hollywood Roosevelt | Photo courtesy of City Constructors, Facebook

Teddy’s is an unmarked celebrity haunt, hidden away between the Roosevelt’s lobby and bustling Hollywood Boulevard. Vaulted ceilings, warm, seductive lighting highlighted by a cascading crystal chandelier, and sophisticated leather accoutrements make Teddy’s a Hollywood hotspot to remember.

Beacher's Madhouse

Photo courtesy of Beacher’s Madhouse, Facebook

The subterranean recesses of the Hollywood Roosevelt are the perfect setting for Beacher’s Madhouse. The infamous Vaudeville-inspired theatre features over a dozen variety acts that push the boundaries of propriety, passions, sexual mores, and fantasy. Guests are entertained by world-renowned burlesque dancers and midget impersonators, animals and acrobats, contortionists and fire-breathers. Check your political correctness at the door and order drinks from the flying little people who mix cocktails at the fully operational Midget Bar.