Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza
The Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, previously known as the Hotel Inter-Continental Los Angeles at California Plaza, is located in downtown Los Angeles at Bunker Hill. This urban location may not seem at first the most propitious for family travel; however, the Omni has been included because many working parents find travel to downtown Los Angeles an inevitability for business. The hotel offers an exceptionally family-friendly and stylish setting and there are certainly activities children will enjoy in the nearby vicinity. For instance, the Omni is across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art and is a short drive from the Los Angeles Music Center, Little Tokyo, Olvera Street, Universal Studios, Griffith Park, and the Los Angeles Zoo.
This seventeen-story hotel, located in the midst of Los Angeles' highest skyscrapers, protrudes up into the sky alongside the Wells Fargo and Arco buildings. The California Plaza, of which the hotel is a part, is a $1.2 billion development in the center of Los Angeles.
The Omni offers close proximity to such prominent L.A. attractions as Olvera Street (pictured here).
A Health Club is available on the premises, which includes step machines, treadmills and free weights.
Consisting of 439 guest rooms and suites and with 4-Diamond and 5-Star rating, this hotel is designed primarily for the weekday business traveler. My family visited the hotel on the weekend and found the area to be pleasantly tranquil and quiet, which surprised us, considering the amount of activity that occurs Monday through Friday.
The "Omni Kids Program," launched in May 2000, offers kid-specific amenities to young guests such as games, books, activity guides, and evening turndown service with milk and cookies. My experience with this program at the Omni is that you must specifically request these items or they may not arrive, unlike some of the other listed hotels where the amenities are already in your room upon arrival.
Kids receive colorful bracelets and a goodie bag that contains an activity book with crayons, a soft boomerang, a postcard and a list of children's attractions. Also, children have the opportunity to check out a rolling backpack at the front desk, filled with toys, books and games to take to their room. The items must be returned at checkout. Each backpack is customized to an age group, either three to six years old or six years and older.
For babies, also upon request, parents may receive a safety/first-aid kit, night-light, outlet covers, band-aids, forehead thermometer, and disposable infant swimming diapers.
The hotel also provides kid-friendly dining. Children receive kid-sized drinking cups good for free refills throughout their stay. A kids' menu is available consisting of items such as grilled cheese sandwiches with French fries, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meat balls, and chicken tenders.
This "Omni Kids" program is just one of a series of family-oriented steps recently taken by Omni Hotels. The most recent is "Phenomenal Fridays," a promotion offering up to twenty percent discount and a late (5 p.m.) checkout on Friday night stays. "Holiday Heaven" is a two for one program providing parents traveling with children an extra adjoining room for their stay.
Crib Safety: Parents traveling with infants can feel relieved that in March 2000, Omni Hotels publicly adhered to the crib safety initiatives brought forth by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The safety initiatives were instigated after recent examinations by Safe/Kids Campaign, which found unsafe cribs and play yards in eighty percent of the hotels they visited. As part of the crib safety initiative, Omni Hotels subjected themselves to a complete crib inspection at all hotel locations. Crib inventory was also reviewed in comparison with the recall notices issued by the CPSC. Omni felt it was important to officially demonstrate how strongly they feel about crib safety. Their recent compliance with these standards publicly shows that cribs meet current safety standards, are in good repair, and have not been recalled.
In November 1999, Omni made a pro-family decision to eliminate adult movies from guest room televisions. Instead, the hotel installed Nintendo 64 in guest rooms to offer a more family-friendly touch. The anticipated loss of revenue from these lucrative adult movies demonstrates well the company's commitment to fostering a family-friendly ambiance.
The dancing fountain, which neighbors the Omni Los Angeles Hotel, pauses for a moment before commencing its leaping performance. During the Saturday night of our stay, a free classical concert was held here, which we could see and hear from our room.
While the hotel is situated in the center of one of Los Angeles' busiest business districts, on weekends, you will find an amazingly calm hush fallen on the outside streets that filters into the restaurant and lobby. I found this tranquility soothing and conducive to a romantic weekend.
The internal decoration is a mix of contemporary American and Asian influences. Our room was of a simple, uncluttered style, colored in soft beiges, with an interesting view of the surrounding high rises which extended so high that their tops were not visible to us from our window.
For dining, the Omni offers the Grand Café, which I found to have inattentive service but tasty, contemporary California cuisine, with lovely views of the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Contemporary Art and of a reflecting pond lined with magnolia trees.
As suggested, the Omni was not designed as a dreamy, rhapsodical type of hotel, but the tasteful and relaxing décor is in no way oppositional to a romantic experience, if that is what one seeks.
The reflecting pool between the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Omnis Grand Café Restaurant captures the Arco building, which in turn reflects another structure. The Museum of Contemporary Art boasts an extensive gift shop with many fine books and creative games for children and adults alike.