Sunset Tower’s multi-million dollar transformation includes spa housed in John Wayne’s former apartment

by Jane Kitchen | 06 Jul 2018

The iconic Sunset Tower hotel – considered the one of the best examples of Art Deco design in Los Angeles – will emerge from a multi-million-dollar renovation this August that will include a new 7,000sq ft fitness centre and spa.

Led by owner Jeff Klein, who has owned the property since 2004, the hotel is located on Sunset Boulevard and first opened its doors in 1931.

Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, Sunset Tower has long been a favourite with Hollywood clientele; its former residents include the likes of Truman Capote, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

Along with the Hollywood clientele come stories that add to the rich history. John Wayne, whose former apartment is now the hotel’s spa and gym, kept his pet cow on the balcony so that guests could have fresh milk with their coffee.

Notorious gangster Bugsy Siegel’s apartment is now The Tower Bar and Restaurant. Howard Hughes kept several apartments at Sunset Tower for his various mistresses – some at the same time – while Frank Sinatra, who owned a bachelor pad at the hotel, would often propose to Ava Gardner from the edge of his terrace. Iggy Pop would dive from his balcony into the pool and Diana Ross couldn’t work the lift as her nails were too long so made actor Tim Curry play elevator operator.

In 2004, the hotel embarked on a new journey when hotelier and restaurateur Jeff Klein became owner. Klein’s vision for the Sunset Tower’s refurbishment was to let the hotel design itself. He wanted to restore its heart and soul without losing its character or having a named designer take over such a landmark building.

Klein has worked to ensure the hotel’s classical cachet remains intact, staying true to the Art Deco influences and offering classic interiors in a palette of muted pinks, creams, and salmon.

A spa by acclaimed New York aesthetician Joanna Vargas offers a wide variety of treatments in a glamorous setting. It is home to cutting-edge technologies such as LED light bed, radio frequency and microcurrent machines, but will also offer facials, massages and anti-ageing treatments.

The new Mansion Fitness centre, which includes 3,000sq ft of outdoor space, will be home to Cybex equipment, free weights, a stretching area, state-of-the-art treadmills and elliptical cross-trainers. Personal training and fitness classes will also be available, including yoga, meditation and boot-camps.

Sunset Tower’s 81 bedrooms and suites have been decorated in a style described as ‘chic and elegant’. While Klein has respected the original palette and direction that interior designer Paul Fortune created when he first acquired and restored the hotel in 2004, each of the rooms has been enriched with dusty pinks, soft creams and brown accents.

Overhead spotlights have been replaced with warm cove lighting and bold pieces of art can be seen throughout. Vintage-inspired lamps have been reproduced from originals Klein found in a Paris flea market, while leather benches inspired by a Hermès version and individually designed ottomans can be found in each of the rooms.

The bathroom walls are papered in custom-created drawings by the fashion and beauty illustrator Donald Robertson in a playful design featuring metallic gold background with black and gold scenes inspired by the hotel.

Sunset Tower  John Wayne  Los Angeles  Jeff Klein  spa  Art Deco 
The iconic Sunset Tower hotel – considered the one of the best examples of Art Deco design in Los Angeles – will emerge from a multi-million-dollar renovation this August that will include a new 7,000sq ft fitness centre and spa. Led by owner Jeff Klein, who has owned the property since 2004, the hotel is located on Sunset Boulevard and first opened its doors in 1931. Designed in 1929 by
CLD,SAB,HHR,HOT,PRO,ARC,DES
Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, Sunset Tower has long been a favourite with Hollywood clientele
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6730     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6730     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: SPARCSTUDIO
Sparcstudio offers a bespoke and comprehensive design service with real attention to detail. Logical and inspiring space planning forms the bedrock of all Sparcstudio projects.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The design of the new HQ for the International Olympic Committee was inspired by the movement of athletes
Kim Herforth Nielsen founded 3XN in 1986 with Lars Frank Nielsen and Hans Peter Svendler Nielsen
"I always wanted to do more than just designing buildings"

How Danish firm 3XN is harnessing the power of architecture to shape human behaviour

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
NeueHouse combines ‘office and social’ in a co-working space
"Millennials are pushing us architects to design hotels with distinct personalities"

Sameness is out, authenticity is in when it comes to designing for millennials says Greg Keffer

After the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, the Rockaway Boardwalk was rebuilt and designed to be a space that brings the community together
Claire Weisz
"I prefer to be labelled a feminist architect than a female architect. I’d love to work with more women"

The WXY co-founder and urbanist with a passion for improving our public spaces

features
Mary Bowman studied at the University of Virginia and the Architectural Association
"Marina One was quite special in the degree of integration between the landscaping and architecture "

The Gustafson Porter + Bowman partner on the landscape projects changing the face of our cities

Marriott’s Moxy Times Square opened in late 2017
"Millennials are investing more in experiences versus physical things"

How millennial travellers are transforming hotel design

Water Street will feature a 45-ft wide landscaped promenade, with trees to offer shade and improve air quality
"Now we’re talking about pedestrians as the most important members of the street community"

The new US neighbourhood designed to improve the health of its residents

featured supplier
Featured Supplier: EXF supports Third Space to create London’s largest functional training space at The Yard
Bespoke fitness manufacturer EXF has extended its relationship with Third Space, by supplying the luxury fitness group with London’s largest functional training rig at its Canary Wharf club.
cladkit product news
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
cladkit product news
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
John Pawson reimagines oil lantern for Wästberg
The Holocene No. 4 reflects Pawson's pared-back style and neutral palette
Lauren Heath-Jones
Swedish lighting company Wästberg has expanded its Holocene collection, with a new addition, Holocene No. 4, designed by acclaimed architect ...
cladkit product news
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates