HotelCrush: a vehement, furious, downright pathological appreciation for hotel design and culture


We love hotels. We love room service. We love poolside cocktails. There is nothing more decadent than a trip to a hotel, the epicenter of our social circles and respite from our daily life. They are destinations in themselves, with the acumen of the location converged in the design and the sensibilities of its inhabitants. Hotels are daydreams made real, with amenities at your fingertips and a dip in the water just steps away. More than temporary homes, today's hotels aspire to be just like home - whatever home it is that you are looking for.

Hemingway's in Hollywood

9/19/11: hollywood, speakeasy swank, campaign champagne

photo of hemingways lounge in hollywood

We love the Hemingway known to Gerald and Sara Murphy – brooding, ambitious, and calculatingly absorbed in a sort of post-war carelessness. It's this Hemingway, untainted, that's arrived in a storefront lounge on Hollywood Blvd. dimly lit (to discourage reading, no doubt) and crushed wall-to-wall in books. The drink menu is as spare as Hemingway's prose, and our Death In the Afternoon cocktail featured absinthe, sour mix, blackberry juice, and a float of champagne. As undrinkable as the Old Man and the Sea, we gamely downed the glass in three gulps over fast conversation with a party of Munich natives. Our curiosity sated, we cut out before the weekend crowd, borrowing a move from the pages of Hemingway himself.


A Night At the Races

9/12/11: speakeasy swank, hollywood, yummy

photo of the french 75 champagne drink at sayers club hollywoodBy Hollywood standards it was a slow drip. A Tuesday or Thursday at the height of summer, a night here or there for the rest of July and August. But with our devotion to Sayers Club deep in full pitch, we're verging on a level of attendance seen only in educational settings or the workplace. It's rare that a nightclub is this good, and like the thrill of your first concert or trip backstage, we're happy to report that it's downright exhilarating.

Ambience: A black box theater with tufted leather couches, 1920s light fixtures, a gripping sound system, and rigorous sense of lighting nuance. We've compared Sayers to a scaled version of the Edison during its moment (Lucent Dossier, 1920s film projected on the walls). Drinks are classic speakeasy, like our favorite, the French 75 (pictured left). A mixed drink made with gin and tart with lemon juice, the slightly sweet concoction is finished with champagne and a strawberry.

DJ: We're known for DJing three or four genres a night, moving in and out of each at full blast. The same mentality goes here, where the DJ will spin the Ronettes, the Presets, and Biggie in the same half hour. Seamless, and perfectly on point. The late '90s/early '00s concept of Eighties night or hip-hop night is completely irrelevant here, and the single-genre boredom is absent as well.

Live Music: The reason everyone is here. Thursday night Sessions and Tuesday night funk are infamously good, with knock-out cover performances that have the entire crowd on their feet, breathless and stunning guest performances (like Prince last Tuesday) that leave everyone feeling smarter, taller, better-looking, and on a bender of good fortune.

Crowd: 100% music. The best parties revolve around a superordinate purpose beyond straight pick-up dynamics. It might be a great DJ or a weekly residency, but everybody is united by something more ephemeral than their next drink.


Sayers Club

7/15/11: hollywood, speakeasy swank

We remember sleepy weekday evenings in the Cahuenga corridor when you could still find street parking and grab a martini for less than $10. Those days are as over as Spider Club, but what's lost has been gained in swinging pendant lights and the refreshingly good sound system of the new spot called Sayers. References to the Edison and PDT are liberal, and It's rare to find DJing or cocktailing this solid in Hollywood (anymore). We love the blitz on our tongue of the French75, a champagne flute drizzled with lemon juice and perfectly in beat with our Tuesday night.


First Hush – Library Bar at the Redbury

4/25/11: hollywood, speakeasy

We were sated by the third floor walk up, reminiscent of our college library that seemed to tower for monologues.  It’s here that Cleo has found the proper reverse to dish cracking, or where SBE has found a quiet corner to install a library of romances, treaties, or tell-all memoirs – the white paper book jackets won’t let on.  The couches are pulled from your favorite formal dining room and the outdoor patio is the right amount of air between a dusty volume of Balzac and a heated conversation in English-clipped French.

Library Bar Living Room and Dining Room:

library bar dining room library bar dining room

Library Bar Patio:

library bar patio


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