The Sportsmen’s Lodge used to be the A-list spot for the Hollywood elite. Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart would all hang out here in Studio City. People used to come to go trout fishing. John Wayne taught his children to fish here. Bette Davis used to sip martinis while baiting hooks with liverwurst.
Last weekend, the hotel had a Grand Reintroduction Party with food, drink, tours of the newly renovated guest rooms and two synchronized swimming shows. I was mesmerized by the eight girls dressed in golden one pieces doing water ballet in the oversized swimming pool. It reminded me of the Esther Williams movies. Williams popularized synchronized swimming during WWII and after, with her elaborately staged Hollywood films.
Williams most popular movie was “Million Dollar Mermaid” in which she portrayed Annette Kellerman, an Australian-born actor and champion distance swimmer, diver, who practiced ballet in the early 1900s.
We grabbed a cocktail and toured the guest rooms first. The rooms are newly decorated with free Wi-Fi, deluxe bath amenities and spacious work areas. I do like the color theme in the rooms and public areas, however I wished they put a jazzy shower curtain to give the bathroom some pizzaz. Instead its a cheap white vinyl curtain.
Many of the rooms facing the pool have a gate leading out to the pool area. The nearby jacuzzi area needs a little
attention. Right now its a smaller sized round hot tub completely fenced 360 degrees like a fortress. During the day there are plenty of lounge chairs and tables nearby.
The Sportsmen’s Lodge offers six acres of quiet gardens with fountains. It also has a business center and an adjacent full-service gym.
The lobby has a flat screen television playing black and white movies of the same actors and actresses that used to stay at the resort. There is a lounge/bar to grab a cocktail upon check-in, pre dinner or a night-cap and sit in one of the comfortable chairs or go outside on the patio and sit under the stars next to a blazing fire-pit.
Next we explored the Patio Café and admired the black and white head shots of all the celebrities that used to frequent the historic resort. It maintains that old-Hollywood glam. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served inside.
Currently there is a special for guests to receive a complimentary, cooked-to-order and plated American Breakfast at Patio Café Restaurant for two guests staying overnight for at least one night. It’s available until December 31, 2014.
For those planning a visit to Universal Studios to ride the new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem (Read my review – https://dineandtravel.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/despicable-me-minion-mayhem/ ) the resort provides complimentary shuttle service and Universal Studios tickets for purchase.
The address is 12825 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604 – (818) 769-4700.