The Classic Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas Undergoes $20 Million Expansion

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Designer Oliva Villaluz spearheads a 'New Era of Modern Tranquility' with the construction, built by Nadel Architects, of 40 new villas including a two-story Presidential Suite, a one-bedroom hospitality suite, a new restaurant, spa, and moreā€¦

A California landmark and haven to Hollywood and the international jet set since 1963, the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas, has entered the last phase of construction on 40 new villas, including an impressive and unprecedented two-story Presidential Villa. Slated for completion in 2008, the expansion has been unveiled in distinct stages to allow long-term clientele and newcomers an opportunity to experience the hotel and its unique transformation without disruption.

The Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas is introducing a sleek design on the new villas, as well as a complete renovation of the property's twelve existing villa suites, bringing the total to 52 villas. Also included in the expansion are a new restaurant and spa facilities and a complete modernization of the (newly christened) NightBird studio, led by acclaimed producer/composer Jed Leiber.

To maintain the classic appeal of the hotel as a coveted hideaway and international escape situated just off bustling Sunset Boulevard, the décor reflects the sense of tranquility and comfort for which the Marquis has become famous. Rich materials such as slate, marble, mohair, and Murano glass make for soothing textural surroundings, while a subdued earth palette sets an elegant and understated tone.

The accommodations in this all-suite property are designed to create sanctuaries, surrounding guests in indulgent colors and materials. Each room is outfitted with a separate, spa-like bathroom with a luxurious rain shower system and soaking tub set in marble cashmere granite and mosaic glass tile, flat screen television, wireless high-speed Internet access, private sitting area, and a state-of-the-art sound system. Couches, chairs, tables and cabinetry, such as the custom ebony and steel leg vanities, all designed by Oliva Villaluz, are impeccably proportioned and detailed, avoiding trendy quirkiness while evoking a range of historical precedents. Villaluz has selected key design motifs from the 1930's and 1970's that will be represented with a new sophistication that appeal to discriminating tastes, and which transcend flights of fashion. A variety of soft, curving lamps provide a range of light throughout each room while accenting the sturdy rectilinear features of the design.

The two-storied Presidential Villa - the star of the property - offers guests a private 3,200 square foot retreat filled with sumptuous design, amenities and seclusion. Located in the lush Villa gardens, guests enter through a private walkway, go over a wooden and stone bridge, walk past a curved waterfall with a replenishing koi fishpond and proceed through a lush courtyard of trees and a tranquil water fountain. The luscious landscape will remind guests of nature's perfect serenity made complete by the Villa entrance, which is accented by two impressive stone-pillar columns.

The Presidential Villa strikes a delicate balance of modern Zen and understated elegance. The villa features a spacious living room, gourmet California kitchen where guests can hire the Executive Chef to prepare in-villa meals, private screening room complete with a 115-inch hi-definition projection television and surround sound, as well as a dining and meeting room with a glass table that will be able to accommodate up to ten people. It also includes two luxurious bedrooms with access to the private Villa pool deck with two poolside cabanas and breathtaking views of the Villa Gardens accentuated by L.A.'s dramatic scenery and foliage, three bathrooms, three fireplaces, two huge walk-in closets, Executive Office and easy access to the private elevator. Presidential Villa guests will be able to drive themselves around town in their own Bentley, or if they prefer to be driven, a limo or SUV can be arranged for their stay.

The Hospitality Suite will sit above the new restaurant and Villa Gardens, with enough space to host up to 20-person meetings in the conference area. With one private bedroom attached, the suite is press junket perfect, catering further to the entertainment industry's elite.

Many aspects of the designs were inspired by the particular demands of the clientele. As the typical stay for Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villa guests is five days or longer, dedicated dining spaces with wet bars are standard as are separate sitting rooms with dressing areas. Clutter and over-decoration are banished in favor of spare, modern elegance. In the bedrooms, down comforters and 400-thread count cotton sheets ensure a good night's sleep. Overall, there is a distinctly urban sophistication to the rooms and attention to quality that is apropos of the hotel's location in the center of a major metropolis, as well as to its exclusive clientele.

The new restaurant (name to be announced closer to the opening date) will seat 60 people or hold 200 standing. With the outdoor lush gardens, infinity pool drop off, walk up bar, and hospitality suite with balcony, this venue will double as the perfect events space for Angelenos as well as for out-of-town guests who have come to call the Sunset Marquis and Villas their home.

The transformation also includes a new spa with exclusive Erbe amenities that will add to the Marquis' services, providing a steam room and cardiovascular equipment in addition to a new and centralized meeting space in the heart of the hotel. All hotel guests can take advantage of the 31,000 square foot Equinox gym located directly across the street from the hotel.

A highlight of the expansion is the inclusion of innovative elements unavailable on any other hotel property, such as NightBird studio, located underneath Sunset Blvd. NightBird is a joint venture between the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas and musician/composer Jed Leiber. Technologically on par with the best-equipped commercial recording facilities in the world and home to numerous feature film scores and major label releases, this is the only studio of its caliber located in a Four-Diamond hotel. Enclosed in custom mahogany-paneled walls, it features four completely isolated studio suites/two screening rooms, top-of-the-line vintage and digital mixing boards, four big screen LCD televisions and a 120 inch HD projection screen; an ideal environment for high-end screenings where an entourage can chill out and enjoy an impromptu show. Within the plans for expansion, General Manager Rod Gruendyke has gone above and beyond by adding one major rock star amenity - underground parking designed to hold (and wash) 4 full size tour buses. An elevator has also been installed to lift touring A-listers directly past the front desk straight to the Villas.

With its intimate, private setting, Bar 1200 further provides guests with an unpretentious, casual environment; the bar feels like a private room in a friend's home. On display at Bar 1200 is the private collection of photographs of celebrity guests shot on the property over the decades by renowned photographer Ross Halfin.

What won't change over the course of the multi-million dollar expansion is the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas' stellar service and attentive staff, who anticipate guests' every need, even before they do. Returning guests will find friendly staff members who know their name, and above-par concierge services available at their beck and call. The Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas, under the tenure of General Manager Rod Gruendyke, knows that you cannot improve upon these hospitality services; the core value which differentiates them from any other hotel in LA and beyond.

Kelly Cutrone
People's Revolution
Phone: (212) 274-0400


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