Hyatt’s Riot House legacy Andaz West Hollywood

A couple of weeks ago I stood outside on room balconies at the Hyatt Century Plaza, InterContinental Los Angeles and Beverly Hilton. Then I found myself at the Andaz West Hollywood, the hotel probably most famous for its Hyatt Riot House balconies, and I learn that the Andaz West Hollywood rooms over Sunset Boulevard are a little bit larger than the rooms on the hillside view of the hotel since the remodeled hotel enclosed the former balconies for its opening in 2009.

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“I am a Golden God” – Robert Plant 1975 looking down from the Continental Hyatt balcony to a large billboard on Sunset Boulevard advertising the album Physical Graffiti. This wall hanging on the second floor of Andaz West Hollywood is a limited edition of 5 at 44” x 57” selling for $7,000. Starting price is $300 for a smaller 13” x 19” copy.

Photographer Peter Simon captured this photo of Robert Plant in 1975 on the balcony of the Hyatt Sunset Boulevard, affectionately nicknamed “Riot House” in honor of the hotel’s reputation for rock band parties.

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left to right: Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend – The Who, Janis Joplin, George Harrison – The Beatles.

The Rolling Stones Keith Richards dropped a TV out of room 1015. John Bonham of Led Zeppelin is reported to have driven his birthday present motorcycle through the hallways when Led Zeppelin had rented out multiple floors of the hotel for their entourage. Here is a great first-hand account from a photographer who was at the Riot House in 1973 with Led Zeppelin.

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Duffy – David Bowie Aladdin Sane Album Cover (1975)

A 40” x 40” signed copy will set you back $5,250. Or as low as $570 for an unsigned 15” x 15”.

David Bowie is one of my great influences. My FlyerTalk handle “satori” originated from the David Bowie song “Memory of a Free Festival” (1969). The stereo sound effect is pretty cool in the original version.

Oh, to capture just one drop of all the ecstasy that swept that afternoon
To paint that love
upon a white balloon
And fly it from
the toppest top of all the tops
That man has pushed beyond his brain
Satori must be something
just the same

– David Bowie “Memory of a Free Festival”

It took several years after I bought the Space Oddity album in 1972 before I was able to find the word “satori” in a dictionary.

Riot Hyatt coffeeshop was a hotel hangout for rock dj and “Mayor of Sunset Strip” Rodney Bingenheimer of KROQ Los Angeles. There is a documentary movie about Rodney Bingenheimer which illustrates the “impermanence of life and the bittersweet transience of things.” It is somewhat of a sad movie to watch Rodney, an L.A. legendary figure from the 1970s rock scene, as a caricature of a faded Hollywood rock star.

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The balconies of the historic Continental Hyatt were replaced with picture windows and word art in the Andaz West Hollywood.

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Los Angeles view from Andaz West Hollywood.

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Tease me with albums and there is no record player in the room? Can I borrow an i-pod?

The front album cover is the hotel guide and room service menus. The back two albums are actually Robert Plant and Duran Duran album covers.

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You don’t have to be an Ambassador here to enjoy Andaz free mini-bar.

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Everything but the alcohol is complimentary as a hotel guest.

RH Bar

No worries if you drink alcohol and it isn’t free in the room since the Andaz RH bar is the place to be for Hollywood nightlife. But you got to pay for drinks. So here is my tip.

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Caro plays music Sunday nights 8-10pm at the Andaz bar. There are happy hour drinks and appetizers and discount parking.

I don’t have pictures of the RH bar since it was filled with guests. I try hard not to photograph people in hotels. I like my privacy too.

The cool thing is Caro was the bartender when I was at the RH bar. I thought about asking Caro for a photograph of her at the bar, but I didn’t. Hopefully, I’ll go back on a Sunday and hear Caro sing. She received high praise for her singing from the hotel staff.

My worn out rock ‘n roll ears prefer the acoustic sounds now.

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RH restaurant lets you see the food you will be eating. One of the restaurant’s features is glass door refrigerators revealing all the fruits, vegetables and stuffings to guests.

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The entry lobby on the ground floor has the bar and restaurant and some seating. The second floor is a place to chill where most of the rock art is located.

There are many artistic creations adorning the hotel.

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Dog art.

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Light ornament art.

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Word art.

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Guitar art.

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Wall art.

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Live art.

Did I mention the rooftop pool?

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Andaz West Hollywood is a place of legend.

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I should mention that I was told the Andaz West Hollywood hotel is not really a party hotel these days.

Not that partying has left Sunset Boulevard. I spent some time at the Mondrian Hotel across the street and the staff there told me they regularly have parties happening at their hotel. I guess you can still party like it’s 1975 at the Mondrian and come back to the Andaz for a little sleep.

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Andaz full suite room.

Andaz West Hollywood is a Hyatt Gold Passport Category 4 hotel for 15,000 points per night.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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  1. I enjoyed my stay there last year, even though I do find the rates a little more than my normal taste. However, I agree that the hotel is definitely an experience, and I was glad that my room there was on the 11th floor, the LA home of Led Zepplin.

  2. Ah when Led Zeppelin ruled the world. Robert Plant was the best publicity this great storied hotel ever got. When he made his proclamation from the balcony Led Zeppelin’s sixth album Physical Graffiti was reigning atop the Billboard charts while on its way to going 16 times platinum & pulling every single one of Zep’s previous albums onto the billboard charts. A feat never equaled by any artist before or since.

  3. @Bobby – My friends and I waited in anticipation for the Physical Graffiti album to hit the stores when I lived in Germany in 1975. What a steal!

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