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EDITION Heralds A Third Renaissance For Sunset Boulevard

Monday, October 28, 2019
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California dreaming is now reality. The West Hollywood EDITION arrives just in time to punctuate the Southern California landscape with an excitement and energy reminiscent of the cultural revolutions that took place there in the Sixties, Seventies and Nineties. Ian Schrager, in partnership with Marriott International, brings the first true luxury hotel experience to the Sunset Strip and also the only West Coast location in the EDITION collection, in addition to 20 one of a kind residences that sit atop of the property.

As Los Angeles continues its evolution into a world-class city for art, fashion, food and technology – in addition to its reign as the entertainment capital of the world – the spotlight is shining ever more brightly on one of its most fabled districts, West Hollywood. Nestled between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, it was home to restaurants and nightclubs favored by movie stars in the Thirties and Forties; The Rat Pack’s stomping grounds in the Fifties (the site where the hotel now sits was once occupied by the restaurant Scandia, where Frank Sinatra once had a private office and his own shower upstairs); and where, as a college student, Schrager witnessed its first renaissance in the late Sixties and early Seventies. In 1996, Schrager led Sunset Boulevard’s second rebirth with the opening of the Mondrian, a hotel that defined the boutique hospitality category. Nearly a quarter-century later, he returns to drive its third renaissance with a luxury urban resort that represents California of today and tomorrow.

“It’s been 12 years since we began working with Ian Schrager, and The West Hollywood EDITION marks our 10th hotel opening together. Our organic partnership has melded the best of what each of us brings to the table. With Ian’s expertise and vision on this particular project, The West Hollywood EDITION is an oasis of sophistication and quickly becoming a part of the fabric of the city’s culture,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International.

“We are in the Mona Lisa business…we aspire to be the best hotel in California; that’s always our approach. With architecture, design, entertainment and service, we try to offer something that people have never experienced before,” said Schrager. “I was lucky enough to be part of West Hollywood’s second cultural rebirth, and now with a whole new wave of hotels, apartments and restaurants, I’m happy to be part of its third renaissance, recapturing Sunset Boulevard’s magic and immortalizing it with that same ethos.’

Sunset Boulevard cemented its status in the pop-culture zeitgeist in the late Sixties and early Seventies, as a gathering place for youth and the counterculture. West Coast musicians such as The Mamas and the Papas, The Doors, The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield (Neil Young, Stephen Sills and Richie Furay) and Harry Nilsson flourished in venues up and down the Strip such as Whisky a Go Go, the Roxy and Pandora’s Box. In 1965, The Byrds performed their iconic hit “Mr. Tambourine Man,” written by Bob Dylan, at Ciro’s Le Disc club. The next year, a clash between youth and police trying to enforce a curfew (“The Riot on Sunset Strip”) inspired Sills to write the Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth” that became an anti-war anthem famous for the lines, “I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound?/Everybody look what’s going down.” Meanwhile West Hollywood was also home to The Troubadour, where, in 1970, Elton John made his debut and Glenn Frey and Don Henley met and decided to form The Eagles. David Geffen’s Asylum Records signed that band, as well as artists Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown and many others helping to popularize the “soft rock” genre and create the ‘California Sound’ that became known worldwide.

Although the area experienced its highs and lows, The West Hollywood EDITION pays homage to its enduring history by reviving the Golden Age energy and creating a new kind of gathering place for visitors and locals alike on Sunset Strip. “The streets were filled with music and people from all over the country were pouring into California to be a part of it. Sunset Boulevard became the voice of a generation and we are trying to recapture that same magic and energy with EDITION - not by repeating the past but by evoking it and by steering the future with that same spirit” says Schrager.

Upon entering the driveway off Sunset Boulevard behind a wall of lush foliage that includes Alepo Pine, Arbutus, Camphor, Carolina Cherry Laurel, Olive and Ficus trees where guests are transported into what feels like a private home that’s both a part of the action and an idyllic respite at the same time. It took 850 tons of soil and 56 species of indigenous plants to create, but it was important for EDITION to reflect the literal nature of Southern California.

Famed British architect John Pawson created the modern building at 9040 West Sunset Boulevard from the ground up, employing dramatic proportions and rich materials such as the Western Red Cedar for the entryway and outsize front doors, and Italian travertine for the soaring lobby area. The entire three-story space appears to be cut from one stone, with slabs so perfectly matched that Pawson’s team decided not to fill the joints. Designed to convey a sense of timelessness rather than a decade-defining aesthetic, the setting also evokes the glamour of Old Hollywood movies, creating a fine balance between old and new.

Inside, the eye is drawn to a prominent installation by Los Angeles artist Sterling Ruby. As with each EDITION, the artwork reflects its unique locale, in this case, L.A.’s art-driven cultural scene. Ruby’s mobile “The Scale” incorporates industrial objects as a reference to the grittiness of the Sunset Strip while also implying the dense ecosystem of dangling foliage that covers much of the hotel. At the far end of the lobby, an outdoor courtyard and fire feature draw guests in, while casual yet refined seating areas throughout and an inviting bar encourage social interaction.

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