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California and the West

Brentwood Hotel to Be Upgraded

November 01, 2005|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

San Francisco hotelier Joie de Vivre Hospitality will announce today that it will enter the Los Angeles market with the conversion of the round, 16-story Holiday Inn at Sunset Boulevard and the San Diego Freeway.

The last guests of the 35-year-old Holiday Inn checked out Monday, said Chip Conley, chief executive of Joie de Vivre. The 209-room Brentwood hotel will remain closed during the renovation and reopen in February as the boutique Hotel Angeleno.

The $12-million upgrade of the tower reflects a trend among Westside hotel owners that are renovating their properties to take advantage of the improving travel industry by raising room rates.

The hotel was purchased a few years ago by GH Capital, a Sherman Oaks-based real estate investment company. Joie de Vivre, which will operate the property for GH Capital, runs 27 boutique-style hotels and other hospitality businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area with projected sales this year of $120 million.

The Angeleno will be operated at a 3.5-star ranking, Conley said, and daily room rates will start around $140 -- about $35 more than Holiday Inn charged.

Improvements will include a new sound baffle to reduce freeway noise, makeovers of the guest rooms and lobby and upgrades of the pool and fitness center. A new restaurant and lounge will open on the top floor.

"When you look at the neighborhood and prosperity of the people who live in the area, it makes sense to move the property from a Holiday Inn to an upscale boutique hotel," Conley said.

In 1969, many Brentwood neighbors were unhappy with the planned height of the tower and begged the City Council to repeal the zoning that allowed it after construction was already underway. Fearing a lawsuit from the developers, the council declined to halt the project.

The hotel is one of several on the Westside that are being renovated as an improving travel market pushes up room rates, said hotel consultant Alan Reay of Atlas Hospitality Group. Other nearby hotels that plan improvements, or have made them, include the Sofitel Los Angeles, Beverly Hilton, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza and Hotel Bel Air.

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