Maybe it happened when the conceirge graciously informed us we were upgraded to a suite. Or maybe it was when we arrived in our 14th floor suite and gaped through our floor to ceiling windows (even in the shower!) out onto the Sunset Strip. Or maybe it didn't hit us until a few minutes later, ensconced on a comfy lounge pillow by the pool, noshing a bufala mozzarella, basil and avocado sandwich, accompanied by a salad comprised of nearly a whole head of crisp butter lettuce, listening to the mindless girls next to us flip through US Weekly ("Reese? Snore. Jesse Metcalfe? Fantastic. You know, I love saying that word...it's just so...like, fantastic"). I'm not sure when exactly the realization dawned on us, but it was not long after we arrived at The Sunset Tower Hotel that we knew we were in for a, like, fantastic anniversary weekend.
To celebrate our first year of no-longer-living-in-sin, we spent one night in this recently renovated, resplendent art deco tower, steeped in Hollywood history. Built in the 1920s, and was a hangout for stars like Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and Frank Sinatra.
The hotel's current service and decor exudes quiet sophistication and was very welcoming to a decidely non-Hollywood couple like us. Everytime we turned around someone was asking us how they could help. We didn't leave the grounds during our stay, choosing to enjoy our celebratory dinner at the nook-filled Tower Bar. Tucked in a dark corner near another window overlooking the city, we started with champagne and melt-in-your-mouth beef carpaccio, drizzled with lemon, pine nuts and shaved parmesan. While listening to the 80-something, pink-bow-tied pianist play his way through the standards, we battled over bites of rosy lamb shanks (mine) and parmesan-encrusted steak (his). Both meats came perfectly medium rare, as we requested, tender and juicy. Each were accompanied by the requisite starch (marscapone polenta for me, whipped potatos for him) and vegetable (sauteed cavolo nero for me, asparagus for him).
For dessert we shared a strawberry upside down cake and the ubiquitous flourless chocolate cake. Both were tasty, but the real treat came a bit later--sitting in front of our magnificent windows, watching the Saturday night action on the Sunset Strip, sipping some scotch (J's present from me), realizing--holy shit--we're actually married.
The Sunset Tower Hotel and Bar
8358 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
We can also highly recommend the Sunrise on Sunset room service breakfast. For a mere $14, you get french-press coffee, fresh squeezed OJ, a basket of baked goods, breakfast meat of your choice, two eggs any way, and fried new potatos. I've had more expensive and much less tasty experiences at many hotels.
Photo by furcafe used under a Creative Commons license. I forgot my camera.