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Usually, a hotel review starts with something about the view or check-in, but my experience at the Fairmont Century Plaza begins in the late 1960s.

Like many parts of Los Angeles, the Fairmont has history squeezing out of its lift shafts and lobby doors, and it was upon learning of this back story that my interest in the premises shot up.

In the 50 years that preceded my checking in, the Fairmont Century Plaza hosted some of the most famous names in the world.

It’s located on what was the backlot of 20th Century Fox Studios and has hosted events such as the Emmys, the Grammys and presidential state dinners.

Following the box-office disaster that was Cleopatra, the film studio was looking for some cash and sold off 72 hectares of land to developers.

Labelled “The World’s Most Beautiful Hotel”, the Century Plaza was designed by Minoru Yamasaki.

As a political geek, I was fascinated to learn about the hotel’s strong political history.

In 1969, President Nixon presided over the inaugural presidential state dinner to be held outside the White House. This historic event, dubbed ‘the Dinner of the Century’, took place at the Century Plaza and was organised to celebrate the safe homecoming of the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Attended by nearly 1,500 guests, including more than 50 members of Congress, delegates from 83 foreign countries, the astronauts’ families as well as luminaries from Hollywood, such as Walt Disney, the evening sparkled with prestige and significance.

Ronald Regan hosted his presidential victory party at the hotel in 1980. His staff also maintained an office based at the hotel. In 2008, Barack Obama’s victory party hosted by the California Democratic Party took place at the hotel with an estimated 100,000 people on site to celebrate.

It was also here that The Beatles celebrated their Grammy for ‘Best Album’ in 1968 for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Fast-forward to 2024 and the hotel as it stands now. It has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and the area surrounding the hotel is now following.

One of the highlights of my stay was dinner at the Fairmont’s restaurant, Lumière. But not for the food.

That’s not to say the food was bad. It was far from it. It was amazing. It was the friendly service that made this experience stand out from other hotel dining experiences.

That’s where Douy comes in. She was the most entertaining host I’ve ever had.

She let me know upon arrival that she had led her colleagues to believe she and I had met a few years back in New York and joked I should play along if I so wished.

Of course, I did and it was a lot of fun creating this weave of random scripted backstories about our crossing of paths.

But what eventuated was that by the end of the evening I felt like I had known Douy for years. She felt like an old friend.

And I’m sure that’s how she makes every guest feel every night at the restaurant and why so many big names visit the venue on a regular basis.

I’d not stayed in this part of Los Angeles before, so wasn’t too familiar with the area.

It’s about a five minute walk from Westfield Century City and its food court, which has plenty of affordable dining options. There’s also all the major brands including Macy’s and Bloomingdales.

It’s halfway between Hollywood and Santa Monica, so an ideal location if you’re planning on visiting two of the most popular tourist spots in Los Angeles.

It’s also just up the road from Beverly Hills if that’s where you wanna be. (Five points if you get the reference).

The rooms are very modern but maintain the class and classic style of the Fairmont brand. There’s an extensive on site spa that offers everything from a Himalayan salt room, aromatherapy steam room and a fascinating experiential rainfall-style shower.

It also offers something that had me jumping for Google as soon as I heard the term. ‘Biohacking’, which combines infrared and neuroscience technology and lymphatic drainage. I didn’t get a chance to experience it, but I’ve got to say I am curious.

If the Fairmont Century Plaza is within your price range, then it’s well worth the experience.

Take just an hour to walk around and learn a bit about its history, or even ask staff if you want to find out a bit more about what’s taken place within its walls.