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A Serene Sanctuary

by Nora Zelevansky

The 1 Hotel in West Hollywood juxtaposes opulence and reclaimed nature

Sunset Strip just got earthy.

Historically, LA’s infamous stretch of flashy restaurants and high-rise hotels has been known more for its pleather and party vibe than its zen energy. Now, that’s changing, with the new 1 Hotel West Hollywood, where the name of the game is sustainability and conscious luxury reigns.

In some ways, nothing is more LA than a hotel that juxtaposes opulence and reclaimed nature. After all, the city’s inhabitants are as passionate about banning plastic bags as plastic surgery. Case in point, the new property sits across the street from iconic multi-designer shop, Fred Segal—which attracts celebrities like flies to paper—but against the backdrop of the scraggy Hollywood Hills with views all the way west to Santa Monica and east to Downtown.

An awareness of the natural surroundings, from palm trees to desert brush, is evident throughout. “The hotel is a serene sanctuary,” says Arash Azarbarzin, president of SH Hotels & Resorts, “and takes its cues from the raw natural beauty of the landscape.” The property’s exterior features native Southern California plants, while the interior public spaces and 285 guest rooms and suites integrate tropical vegetation that thrives with more shade, including artistic “living walls” and mossy still lifes that appear as if growing from rocks.

All 1 Hotels operate with an ethos around “inspiring conscious consumption and being a host for environmental change.” So, the greenery—and airy, earth-toned palette in the rooms—is not just for show. Both the design and mission hinge on the use of raw materials: reclaimed wood and steel, recycled fiber carpeting, stonework and brushed concrete. 

Local vendors were employed whenever possible. The lobby furniture is by J. Alexander, based five minutes away on Robertson Boulevard. The reception desk, crafted from naturally sourced fallen trees thanks to a partnership with Angel City Lumber, is another example. The hotel sourced over 75 tons of wood, rescued from landfills, from the conscious company. 

And 1 Hotel is designed to be the most energy-efficient hotel in the city, with an Energy Star score of 95. They’re also currently pursuing LEED certification and are using smart zoning for air distribution, extra efficient plumbing fixtures and mercury-free LED lighting. The house cars are electric and the smart irrigation system only waters when the soil (particularly the organic vegetable garden) requires it.

The culinary offerings, of course, also reflect this conservationist mission: In addition to classic eggs and oatmeal, the in-room breakfast menu, for example, includes items like cold-pressed juices, vegan coconut yogurt, chia pudding, acai bowls and a vegan bowl with soyrizo, polenta, root vegetables, avocado, spinach and sprouts. Executive Chef Chris Crary at 1 Kitchen is creating a selection of zero-waste California-Italian dishes, as well.

Of course, luxury consciousness is also about self-care, so the hotel partners with members-only studio The Field House by Performix to offer fitness classes. Each guest room has a yoga mat too and may incorporate other thoughtful wellness elements like complimentary slipper socks, packaged with tips from resident meditation expert, Biet Simkin.

Ultimately, the 1 Hotel experience is about luxuriating in nature’s bounty, despite its urban setting. “It was important…that nature was felt at every turn,” says Azarbarzin, “as a reminder to do our part in taking care of the Earth.” 1hotels.com

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