The Garland Hotel – A Hidden Gem in Hollywood

We had been watching so many other cities launch productions of the musical Hamilton, and finally it was time for Los Angeles. I had been preparing our family for months, and I wanted to make it a special evening. I was pleased to discover The Garland, an ideal hotel for me, my wife and two teenage daughters. We wanted to make the weekend special, so I planned dinner at Katsuya and arranged a stay at The Garland.

It was a triple play home run: the dinner was lovely, the musical was everything you have already heard and The Garland was magnificent.

The Garland is located just north of Hollywood’s epicenter, a mere 9 minute drive away. We parked once and leveraged Uber to and from the hotel.

Originally built and named for the actress Beverly Garland by her husband Fillmore Crank, The Garland is today overseen by their youngest son, James Crank. In 2015 The Garland completed a $20 million multi-phase renovation to restyle all 257 guest rooms & suites, lobby and lobby bar “in sunny warm tones and a vintage-inspired design reminiscent of the architectural interiors of California in the late 1970s.” With only one of our four family members a California native, we have come to relish this design aesthetic.

I expect that before the renovation, the property was in serious need of gentrification. It is a subtle and gratifying feeling, knowing that not too long ago the hotel was likely stumbling toward irrelevance.

Before setting off for our evening on Hollywood, we had a drink at the hotel’s delightful Front Yard restaurant. We had brunch there the following morning, and enjoyed unexpected culinary treats like egg sandwich (Gruyère, arugula, prosciutto), Nutella stuffed French toast and a market skillet. The wonderfully eclectic decor at the Front Yard included subtly effective rock and roll portraits, my favorite was the previously unseen shot of Sonny, Cher and Bob Dylan…three names I never expected to write in the same sentence.

Our room was indeed cheerful, bright and spacious. The beds were luxurious. The modern bathroom was crisply designed, with efficient fixtures. We particularly enjoyed the framed line drawing of local landmarks, by Hampton Holt. Overall, the rooms were well-appointed.

Management of the hotel has implemented an impressive variety of green initiatives. As with most things in California, we can expect the trend to roll across other territories. The myriad ‘think global, act local’ steps undertaken by The Garland include:

  • Certified TripAdvisor GreenLeaders – Silver Level.
  • Every Earth Day, the hotel hosts a clothing drive where all proceeds are donated to the nearby San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission.
  • Landscaping features drought resistant and native region flora.
  • The hotel lighting is 90% LED, thereby conserving up to 20% more energy than traditional florescent lighting.
  • Housekeeping uses nontoxic cleaning supplies.
  • The in-room toiletries, LATHER, are locally produced, use sustainable practices and are 100% biodegradable.
  • Utilize organic and fair trade food and beverage whenever possible.
  • An on-site vegetable and herb garden, where the staff harvests cilantro, radishes, lettuce and other greens with any surplus donated to local charities.

The hotel’s renovation two years ago also brought the addition of Beverly Park, a gorgeous, hidden gem of an outdoor event space that is ideal for a picturesque, “secret garden” ceremony or cocktail reception surrounded by tall trees, overhead tree canopy and vibrant landscaping.

Before making our departure after brunch, we strolled around the grounds until we felt at home. Or at least an ideal vision of classic California hospitality.

The Garland offers an array of weekly events, like lawn games, complementary wine tastings and kids’ face painting. It is located very close to Universal Studios and City Walk. Next time we want to experience another cultural phenomenon (not quite as erudite as Hamilton, but Harry Potter’s influence can’t be denied and the attraction at Universal Studios is apparently remarkable), we will want to stay at The Garland.

 

The Garland

4222 Vineland Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91602
(800) 238-3759

https://www.thegarland.com

 

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Brad Auerbach has been covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.

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