News for the Hospitality Executive
City, January 10 , 2010 –Ushering in a new era of design, guest service
and intimate comfort and convenience in the Valley, PNK Group has
announced it will open BLVD Hotel + Spa on Febr. 4, 2011 at 10730
Ventura Bl. in Studio City, California. The hotel’s 58 rooms
feature 30 suites—many of them with garden patios and balconies—in an
intimate setting featuring a luxurious day spa.
PNK Group, which already owns other hotel properties, took another direction entirely with BLVD. “We had thought of doing building a limited-service property,” recalls Sagar Kumar, Managing Director of BLVD. “However, we decided to take style, service and quality to a new level in the area. The name BLVD came from Los Angeles’ fabled boulevards, and Ventura Blvd. is the gateway to Hollywood’s most famous tourist spots, luxurious shopping, and the hottest nightlife in the world. BLVD will well serve visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood, Cahuenga Pass attractions like the Hollywood Bowl and John Anson Ford Theatre, as well as the numerous studios and production facilities nearby. We’re part of the cultural renaissance going on this side of the hill and we bring the comfortable past into the future.”
As soon as his company decided to go with the new stand-alone brand vision, Kumar was committed to building something out of the ordinary. “For this location, I wanted to up the ante and create something very different and colorful.” He sheathed BLVD’s facade in warm earth tones. In the daylight, they evoke a minimalist, subdued Southwestern style that helps the building blend in with both the color palette of the Cahuenga Pass business and residential corridor and surrounding hillsides. At night, blue lighting bathes the building with a very modern, contemporary glow.
After seeing a project he was designing for a site in Beverly Hills, Kumar began working with Sat Garg of Akar Studios on BLVD’s interior design. Akar Studios’ numerous design projects range from The Hollywood Bowl Store, Vidal Sassoon Academy and Healthy Spot to IX TAPA, Fresh Cutt and SNO:LA. While originally hired to design the BLVD’s lobby and lounge, Akar Studios subsequently helped design much of the hotel’s aesthetic and branding as they became more involved in the project. “In contrast to the nature of the building, which was already under construction when I joined in, Kumar wanted the interiors to present a modern stylish look with eclectic references to the local environs,” says Garg.
“In keeping with this direction, we designed the interior to leave more space for guests and visitors to mingle and experience the hotel’s unique style of a lounge hospitality,” Garg continues. “The ground floor acts as both a lobby and a lounge, becoming a destination in its own right. At reception, with its white stone veneered desk, orange is the color of choice and is an immediate introduction to this venue. This offers views to the BLVD Bar and Lounge and to the elevator lobby. One of the main attractions is the graphic presence in the form of colorful wall murals depicting a stylized version of the Los Angeles skyline presented within the reception area and above the main bar. We used contemporary furnishings, bold colors and textured materials.” A small coffee bar, deli and upscale boutique complete the feel of the lounge.
The attention to its guests—and its interpretation through color, texture and pleasing sight line—continue as watchwords of design and appointment throughout the hotel. “I don’t think you can have a boutique hotel with 200 rooms,” Kumar says. The indoor pool, gym, and state of the art spa provide guests with everything needed to pay themselves some personal attention. The rooms—some of which feature rain showers, in-room lounges, patios and balconies; all feature complimentary WiFi—create a sense of character by using warm colors on the walls and integrating the colors with dark walnut screens and soft luxurious furniture, with exceptional attention to guest comfort. The result is elegant but unfussy, eye-catching but not eye-popping, serene but energizing. Like the bar’s signature cocktails, a number of the suites bear the names of Los Angeles’ legendary boulevards including Sunset, Wilshire, Robertson, Santa Monica, and of course, Ventura.
The intimate setting and boutique size enables BLVD to become a part of its community. It is as at home with the low-rise, low density homes and restaurants in the neighborhood as with the sprawling studios and attractions across the freeway. The BLVD Bar and Lounge promises to be a neighborhood as well as guest attraction, offering the occasional live DJ as well as a bar featuring [drink names]. At the same time, BLVD’s warm, genuine, and relaxed hotel experience will provide its guests with a cultural springboard from which to immerse themselves in the colorful lifestyle of the Studio City and North Hollywood neighborhoods. BLVD will partner with local businesses and attractions to offer special packages to guests, as well as partnering with local studios to provide packages that include watching Hollywood from an insiders’ perspective. In addition, BLVD’s VIP car will offer complimentary transportation to guests for any destination within a two mile radius.
Kumar’s staff promises to complement BLVD’s environment. “They’ll be comfortable, familiar, at home within the building as well as with the neighborhood at large,” he says. Garg adds, “Guests’ expectations have changed as the hotel scene has matured. They want a more intimate feel in boutique hotels, as opposed to grand statements of bigger venues. Staff contribute to that as well as the structure.”
As the opening date approaches, Kumar concludes, “Our staff is hard at work around the clock honing the skills they’ll need to work intimately within the BLVD space. We want to ensure our guests the maximum comfort and service we can offer them. The building is nearly complete; we’ll soon be ready to welcome guests to their home away from home.”
Henry Eshelman/Marilynne Mungovan