The theme park was exhilarating and the tour was amazing. But there’s a lot more to Universal City and Universal Studios Hollywood (To start from Part 1 click here).
Perched high atop a hill overlooking awe-inspiring expanses of the San Fernando Valley, Universal City has two hotel properties—the Hilton Universal City and the Sheraton Universal Hotel. I chose the Sheraton, by default, as it was the location of my 30-year high school reunion the weekend I visited.
But while my choice of accommodation was simply a matter of convenience, the experience far exceeded my expectations.
The Sheraton Universal
If first impressions are worth a dime, the hotel lobby and registration areas of this Los Angeles landmark known as the “Hotel of the Stars”—just beyond the expansive glass entryway, hit the jackpot. From the elegant black and white décor exuding the timeless air of the now bygone 1920s-1940s movie-making era, coupled with the upscale ambiance of a contemporary ultra-lounge, the setting is instantly captivating.
Think rich chocolate, midnight and ivory fabrics and leather furnishings accented with sea foam green, lemon and taupe hues, sexy white sheer curtained sitting areas, an azul-backlit bar and sprawling floor-to-ceiling windows offering picturesque views of the valley. “In the Mix” is an appropriate name for this warm, intimate and relaxing area offering a full complement of libations including delightful signature cocktails, specialty martinis and light noshes from late afternoon to the wee hours of the morning.
The 450-plus newly renovated guest rooms in this historical icon of the Universal City skyline are equally as charming. Amenities encompass fluffy Sheraton Sweet Sleeperbeds, chic comfortable fabric reading chairs and ottomans, coffee-colored designer furniture pieces, 32” LCD televisions, and iHome iPod docking station/clock radios, set against a backdrop of cream colored walls, slate grey patterned carpeting and entertainment-themed artwork. The bathrooms are sumptuous as well with deluxe amenities and signature bath products.
On the lower level you’ll find California restaurant, offering contemporary cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that looks out onto the Baja Beach Club Poolside Lounge. Flanked by towering palms, a cabana bar (in season) and plenty of inviting lounge chairs and tables, this al fresco environment offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area.
Ensconced off of an outdoor breezeway is a sizeable fitness center with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a flat screen TV, mats, workout balls and other fitness accoutrement.
Next, we’re going back up the hill to explore Universal CityWalk (to start from Part 1 click here).