Changes have been coming to the Hollywood scene, with new hotels and event spaces springing up in the heart of Tinseltown. It’s an area that had found it difficult to compete with its neighbor West Hollywood’s posh hotel offerings (think the Mondrian Hotel, the Andaz, the Sunset Marquis) as well as Beverly Hills (the Beverly Hilton, the Montage Hotel, the new Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills), but that’s changing in no small part thanks to the plans of Relevant Group, a hospitality development group that’s headquartered in Hollywood.
“We’re the developer, the equity investor, the general contractor of the entire Dream Hotel Hollywood complex,” says Grant King, Relevant Group’s managing partner of the group, explaining the hot new venue on Selma Avenue, between Wilcox and Cahuenga. “We brought in the Dream Hotel Group to manage the hotel and we brought the TAO Group in to bring several of their brands and to operate all the F&B, including their brands, which are Tao, Beauty & Essex, Avenue, Luchini Pizzeria and the Highlight Room.”
Those various venues are drawing crowds nightly, proof that Relevant Group succeeded in creating an of-the-moment vibe.
“We really wanted to make a splash with a destination location here in Hollywood,” King says. “It’s definitely a Vegas mentality, an environment where people can have a great dinner experience and then stay on property to continue their night with the Highlight Room rooftop and the Avenue nightclub. We created a place where you can have an all-night experience without leaving.” And, of course, for those who want to spend the night, Dream Hollywood has 178 guest rooms, with furnishings inspired by midcentury modernism and views of the Hollywood Hills and downtown.
The vision is getting bigger and more ambitious. Scheduled to open in 2018 is a 1,400-square-foot ballroom on the second floor of the hotel (capacity 200 standing, 100 seated). Other flex spaces includes Tao Restaurant (a full buyout accommodates 500); Beauty & Essex, a bi-level indooroutdoor restaurant and lounge with an operational pawnshop entrance, a 20-footskylight, striking chandeliers and two fullservice bars; the Highlight Room, which boasts 11,000 square feet with a pool deck, lounge and grill; and Avenue, the nightclub space that holds up to 300 people.
“It’s really one-stop shopping for meeting and event planners, as far as booking hotel rooms for their group and having different spaces for meetings, lunches, dinners, cocktail parties, nightlife offerings. Anything they could possibly want, we can accomplish for them on our campus,” says Nicki Molino, director of events for TAO Group Los Angeles.
In 2019, there will be even more ways to gather in the immediate neighborhood, according to King. “We bought a building called the Citizen News Building and we’re transforming it into an event center with a 14,400-square-foot ballroom,” he says. “We’re constructing the Thompson Hotel next door and the Tommie Hotel in back. So, the event center will be in the middle of all these great hotels, and we’ll have significant flexible function space for parties of up to 800 people.”
Meanwhile, just a few blocks away on Argyle Avenue, Kimpton Hotels opened The Everly Hollywood in August 2017, a key element in Hollywood’s ongoing transformation. With 216 guest rooms and 13,000 square feet of pre-function and event space, including the 2,200 square-foot Beachwood Ballroom, it’s an appealing and stylish boutique hotel just a block from the famed Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
Another hip player in the burgeoning hotel scene is Mama Shelter, which opened in the summer of 2015. The boutique hotel has a very modern vibe, with 70 rooms and event space for up to 230 guests, including a beautiful rooftop that can hold 90 people and has 360-degree views of the surrounding areas. The lobby area can be bought out fully or partially and includes a massive eight-person foosball table, which is certainly a unique offering to help get any party started.
And, speaking of partying, a second Mama came on the Hollywood map, with the debut in August 2017 of Mama Lion Supperclub. That already popular restaurant and nightclub space is equipped with cutting-edge technology and evokes an old-school club, with a large central bar, plush velvet booths and a DJ stand at the ready to get a meeting going. The club is available for full buyouts.
With so many new venues around Hollywood, Relevant Group has ever more ambitious plans for the neighborhood. “We’re trying to rebrand the area into being its own destination village,” King says.
“We’re trying to create a little microsection of town with its own branding and name,” he says. “Think ‘Soho Hollywood’ or something along those lines. We haven’t picked the name yet, but we’re working with the city to create these archways and art pieces, tree-lined streets, maybe redo the sidewalks, to actively develop a wholly new destination within Hollywood.”