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Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles 

506 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 213 624 1011
view web site ›'s insider take:

Set in a neighborhood of striking architectural landmarks (including MOCA and the Walt Disney Concert Hall), the 1923 Biltmore is a sprawling hodgepodge of Mediterranean, Spanish, and Italianate influences—designed to elicit awe rather than to represent any one style. What's truly awesome, though, are the hotel's dramatic interior common spaces. The lobby has golden travertine walls, soaring ceilings of gold leaf and coffered wood, ornate rococo bas-reliefs, and an enormous fountain (surrounded by tables where high tea is served in the afternoons). The Gallery Bar and Cognac Room, with their wood-and-brown-leather decor and faintly erotic murals, resemble an exclusive gentlemen's club; and the basement health club manages to evoke both a majolica-tiled Egyptian temple and a cruise ship. Unfortunately, the 635 guest rooms and 48 suites are relatively uninspired. Though generous in size, with seating areas and large closets, they're furnished a bit frumpily, with overly ornate antique reproductions and heavy swagged drapes. Bathrooms are on the small side, and the art on the walls is hopelessly cheesy. Still, if old-school grandeur is what moves you, you'll get a lot of bang for your buck here.

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