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Putting on the Ritz, at downtown Los Angeles’ superb luxury hotel

Evening skyline of downtown Los Angeles

Evening skyline of downtown Los Angeles

There are so many reasons for choosing a hotel, but ‘location, location, location’ remains one of the driving factors. For any event at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, the luxury hotel of choice is The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles. It is owned by AEG, which also owns and runs L.A. Live, and the two work very closely together. The gal looked out over highway 101, early evening as the sun set, and thought how beautiful this part of town, sorry city, is. She looked straight across at the Hollywood hills – how kind of someone to put the letters HOLLYWOOD there, as if you need to be reminded where you are.

Swimming pool set-up

Swimming pool set-up

Floor 23 of this 123-room hotel is the place to be as the club lounge is there. You also take a dedicated elevator from this floor up to the 26th floor terrace, to the pool, an oasis in a city that grows more concrete every day (to date, about 45,000 people live in the immediate vicinity of downtown).

At weekends, people drive here, to special events in L.A. Live, and stay over in the hotel and simply enjoy lazing around the pool. There are also 224 Residences above the hotel – the entire modern building, a blue-glass maxi sculpture, soars to 54 floors.

Day-time skyline looking over development areas

Day-time skyline looking over development areas

Apparently some of the owners of these residences have bought them so their little-darling kids can live there while they study at nearby USC, University of Southern California, where medical studies are one of the main disciplines.

As I said, floor 23 is ideal.  The breakfast there starts at 0700 and as well as the usual American things – sweet muffins and bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese – they even have real Greek yoghurt, albeit low-fat. When will American switch to real food, like eggs with yolks, and yoghurt with fat (for which read taste)?  But the brown wholewheat bread here is strong flour and the coffee is good and strong and I can help myself to mineral water, which is probably just what I need after dining Puck last night.
Breakfast set-up in the club lounge

Breakfast set-up in the club lounge

Wolfgang Puck is more and more king of Los Angeles cuisine  In hotels alone you can find him at the Bel-Air, the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons  – and here.  He runs WP24 (‘Wolfgang Puck on the 24th floor of the building’). The design, by iCrave, morphs from one area with sports bar televisions to another with wicker walls to another with an open kitchen to, finally, a more traditional dining room.  But there is nothing traditional here.

 

 

Dessert in WP24

Dessert in WP24

You can eat steamed baby bao buns, or lettuce cups holding sweet Maine shrimp tempura, served with ginger-serrano chilli vinaigrette.  You can go on to twice-cooked pork belly with shiitake mushrooms and peanuts, and have more shiitake with a side order of stir-fried mushrooms. You choose your beers or wines by swishing an iPad, programmed so simply that it takes only a few seconds.

 

Klaus Puck, left, and hotel GM Javier Cano

Klaus Puck, left, and hotel GM Javier Cano

 

And, what fun, the wine is brought by Klaus Puck, younger brother of the king of Los Angeles cuisine…. yes, Klaus Puck works the tables in this luxury hotel, every night.  This is another reason to head downtown in Los Angeles ….