Clocking in at 14,000 square feet, Fairmont Spa Century Plaza offers a mix of traditional and tech-driven treatments. PHOTO COURTESY OF FAIRMONT CENTURY PLAZA
After a stunning $2.5 billion renovation, Fairmont Century Plaza has debuted, bringing an iconic L.A. landmark back into the fold.
Century City holds a special place in my heart. After moving from New York to L.A., I started my first job at Angeleno magazine nearly nine years ago. I’ll never forget turning left from Santa Monica Boulevard onto Avenue of the Stars on my first day, making my way into Century City—a sea of tall office buildings that made me feel like I was back in New York (kind of). On the way to the office, I noticed an unusual building: the Century Plaza Hotel. It would become a place I visited with colleagues almost daily, whether it be for a Starbucks iced coffee, a smoothie from Earth Bar or even a moment of sunshine by the pool.
Now, many years and a $2.5 billion renovation later, the Century Plaza Hotel has carefully transformed famed architect Minoru Yamasaki’s midcentury icon into Fairmont Century Plaza, a mixed-use, 6.14-acre development consisting of 400 guest rooms, two 44-story towers with nearly 100,000 square feet of shops and 268 private residences, and much more. My husband and I drove from our home in West Adams to experience the revamped property for a weekend and were absolutely blown away.
Renowned Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s sculpture “Laura” greets guests as they arrive to Fairmont Century Plaza PHOTO COURTESY OF FAIRMONT CENTURY PLAZA
The first thing I spy as we pull up to valet is the enormous sculpture of a woman’s head by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Named “Laura,” it’s one of several striking art pieces scattered throughout the hotel. We enter the airy lobby and are struck by the warm minimalist design by Yabu Pushelberg. Large retractable floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the Scandi-Japanese-style space in light, bringing the outdoors in, in the best possible way.
The lobby houses a sleek bar serving a mix of classic and creative cocktails PHOTO COURTESY OF FAIRMONT CENTURY PLAZA
Our room—one of 400, half as many as were there before—is supremely comfortable, equipped with a balcony overlooking the city and plenty of cushy spots to sit. While we love it, we waste no time dallying and soon leave for a tour of the property, where I learn about the hotel’s illustrious history. Major Hollywood events like the Emmy and Grammy Awards have taken place here, as have presidential celebrations. (Being a contained part of the city with an extensive network of underground tunnels, Century City has attracted many dignitaries over the years.) The hotel contains nearly 24,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, including the enormous Los Angeles Ballroom—at 13,078 square feet, it’s one of the city’s largest. We check out the rooftop pool and take in views of the ocean, DTLA and The Getty.
French brasserie Lumière offers dishes with a West Coast twist. PHOTO COURTESY OF FAIRMONT CENTURY PLAZA
The next day is spent at the state-of-the-art spa, where I indulge in a massage and biohacking session, then take my time enjoying the gorgeous facilities—there are aromatherapy steam rooms, a hammam, a Himalayan salt room and more. At 14,000 square feet, the dark, moody spa is enormous, and offers a wide range of services focused on holistic wellness: think results-driven facials; relief and recovery massages, and mood-enhancing body treatments. Experts like Dr. Oz Garcia and London-based Dr. Rita Rakus are both lending their expertise to the programming.
Fully relaxed and refreshed, I enjoy a decadent meal with my husband at Lumière, the hotel’s French bistro. The restaurant is gorgeous—thoughtfully designed with antiques from France—and the food and service are superb. A movie in bed and the best sleep I’ve had in forever (thank you, biohacking session) round out our experience.
Whether you visit for a meal, a spa treatment, a drink and some live music at the lobby bar, an event or a full-on staycation, Fairmont Century Plaza is here to serve. I, for one, am grateful that this iconic piece of L.A. history is back—and better than ever. fairmontcenturyplaza.com