From Riot to Quiet: Andaz West Hollywood

The former "Riot House" is now a modern boutique hotel

(ANDAZ)RED Suite designed by Jonathan Adler | Photo courtesy of Andaz West Hollywood
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You’re no stranger to the throb of a nightclub, and you know the words to all the 70s and 80s hair band jams that once ruled the famed Sunset Strip, which leads you to check into the glam Andaz West Hollywood for the next few nights.

Doors song lyrics at the Andaz West Hollywood
Doors song lyrics at the Andaz West Hollywood | Photo courtesy of fggmccarthy, Flickr

Located stumbling distance from famous music venues like the Whisky a Go Go and The Roxy, the hotel was nicknamed the "Riot House" in the 1960s and 70s when it was a favorite of touring bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who and the Rolling Stones. According to legend, Zeppelin rented six floors of the hotel, Keith Richards dropped a TV out of Room 1015, and Jim Morrison was kicked out for hanging out of a window.

Since reopening as the Andaz West Hollywood in 2009, the hotel is much tamer these days. But its rock 'n roll history and vibe still reign - there are revolving music-themed art installations and regular record release celebrations here.

(ANDAZ)RED Suite at the Andaz West Hollywood
(ANDAZ)RED Suite designed by Jonathan Adler | Photo courtesy of Andaz West Hollywood

You check into your stylish room and discover a record player, luxe king-size bed, groupie-worthy modern couches, and enough space to host your own after party.

Rooftop pool at Andaz West Hollywood
Photo courtesy of Andaz West Hollywood

It’s the golden hour, so as the sun sets you head to the rooftop pool - you're told it's the highest one in the city. You relax with a mojito—or two—from The Sundeck bar while a DJ spins and you take in the panoramic city views. It might be the sun in your eye or maybe the mojitos, but you’re pretty sure that Slash (a Hyatt regular back in the day) is kicking back in the corner. You’re too excited to say anything so you plunge into the pool.

Riot House Restaurant at Andaz West Hollywood
Riot House Restaurant | Photo courtesy of Andaz West Hollywood

Refreshed—and hungry—you get dinner at the hotel’s Riot House Bar. You order Prime New York Steak Frites and strike up a conversation with a fellow solo diner. A Sunset Strip regular, he tells you that scenes from Almost Famous and This Is Spinal Tap were filmed at the hotel, and that KISS frontman Paul Stanley wrote the chorus of “Rock and Roll All Nite” in a hotel room during the Riot House era.

You’re having so much fun shooting the breeze that you both decide to catch a show at The Roxy. Arcade Fire plays a set so good you're actually dancing for the first time in years. It’s not difficult to picture Joan Jett, Van Morrison, Frank Zappa, Nirvana and so many other legends rocking audiences to the core here.

Lemmy statue at Rainbow Bar & Grill
Lemmy statue at Rainbow Bar & Grill | Instagram by @grindhead_records

You and your new buddy grab a nightcap next door at Lemmy's favorite watering hole, the classic Rainbow Bar & Grill. A wild-eyed barfly sends over a couple of shots of whiskey. Paul Stanley’s lyrics are ringing in your ears: "You keep on shoutin', you keep on shoutin', I wanna rock and roll all night and party every day."

The night is suddenly so young.

Andaz West Hollywood
8401 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood 90069
(323) 656-1234