LOS ANGELES As an uncertain 2009 gives way to an optimistic 2010, here's a look at some significant new venues and renovation projects slated to debut in the coming days and months.
1. The first U.S. Rolling Stone venue is slated to open at the Hollywood & Highland Center this summer, the venue’s founders—Lucky Rug Group principals Niall Donnelly and Joe Altounian and Rolling Stone editor and publisher Jann Wenner—announced last month. The multilevel space will encompass more than 10,000 square feet with restaurant, bar, lounge, and private event space components. Brodin Design is designing the venue, which will have exposed black brick, tufted leather, vaulted ceilings, and an antique iron staircase.
“We’ve been looking for the ideal opportunity to expand the Rolling Stone brand for some time... Southern California and the city of Los Angeles are deeply entrenched in the history of both Rolling Stone and rock music, and we’re excited to bring to life Rolling Stone magazine in Hollywood through what will be a very special place,” said Wenner in a statement announcing the project.
2. Also planned for the Hollywood & Highland complex is a new Hard Rock Cafe. In May, Hard Rock International announced the new project is slated to open this summer at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard. The 500-seat Hard Rock Cafe Los Angeles will take over more than 20,000 square feet of space, including seating, a live concert area, and a Rock Shop offering limited-edition merchandise and rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia from Hard Rock’s collection. The Rock Shop opened in November and displays artist renderings of the whole venue.
3-5. Years in the making, the L.A. Live complex downtown will reach completion with the opening of the 878-room JW Marriott Hotel on February 15, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Los Angeles in March, and the Ritz-Carlton Residences beginning in April. The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles has 123 guest rooms, a signature restaurant, a club lounge, and a Ritz-Carlton spa. The 3,400-square-foot club lounge also serves as the 23rd floor check-in area. A small boardroom is adjacent. There is also an outdoor rooftop swimming pool and terrace. The Marriott has a 3,000-square-foot fitness center, a 7,000-square-foot spa, and an outdoor pool on the fourth floor. The Ritz and Marriott have a combined 75,000 square feet of meeting space.
6. After a delay, the W Hollywood, once planned for December, is now slated to open on January 28. The property offers 10,000 square feet of meeting space and 25,000 square feet of overall event space. For fitness and relaxation, there's the Sweat fitness center and the Bliss spa. The 305 guest rooms and suites offer high-speed Internet and high-end entertainment systems. The W also offers a pool with day beds, cabanas, and a bar, and a variety of restaurant and nightlife offerings, including Drai's Hollywood from Las Vegas nightlife impresario Victor Drai.
7. The historic 40,000-square-foot Belasco theater downtown—first inaugurated on November 11, 1926—is currently being restored, and will reopen with capacity for events such as theatrical productions, live performances and concerts, or receptions. The opening date is planned for later this year.
8. The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is nearing the completion of a $33 million renovation. The guest rooms, ballroom, Windows Lounge, Cabana Restaurant, and pool with new luxury cabanas have already been finished. Culina, Modern Italian, the new signature restaurant, is slated to debut in early March.
The renovated 4,000 square-foot ballroom has expansive arched windows and neutral decor. The updated Windows Lounge is decorated in greens and rich browns, and features new pieces like a backlit photographic glass bar top that shows an image of foliage, a green onyx fireplace in the center of the lounge, and wooden wine cabinets. The adjacent patio has been expanded with additional seating for 25 and two more wrought iron cabanas. At the fourth-floor Cabana Restaurant and upper pool terrace, a new awning with built-in heaters covers the seating, and there is new lighting and an outdoor sound system. Guest rooms have mirrored wall paneling and white-gold chinoiserie headboards, and teal or coral accents. Updated bathrooms have glass enclosures for the shower and bath tub, new flat-screen TVs, and new fixtures and vanity.
9. Also undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation is the Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa in Dana Point. Slated to be fully complete on April 1, the property has already completed meeting and convention upgrades, and remains open during construction. The project includes upgrades to the interior design, exterior structure, and amenities at the resort. In all, Laguna Cliffs will unveil refurbished guest rooms, 20,000 square feet of expanded indoor meeting and banquet facilities, a new entrance and marble lobby with waterfall, a new pool and activity area for families, and eco-friendly landscaping.
The resort's 377 rooms will get new ocean-inspired furnishings, flooring, and beach house decor with amenities like LCD TVs. In addition, the Vue restaurant will be redesigned. Fire pits and accent lighting will highlight a new outdoor lounge offering views of Dana Point.