Rocking out on the Sunset Strip

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One of the perks of my job is that on occasion I get to experience luxury hotels. In spite of  my husband’s grumbling, we almost always schlep the kids along. While I realize I might be spoiling them of “real” travel, I also want them to come along. I like their perspectives.

Upon check in they run straight to the in room desk to see what goodies the hotel staff has left them. They’ve seen everything from rubber duckies to hand crafted surfboard cookies to bowls of sweets to their names cut out of sponges lining the tub.

So when this weekend we hit up the infamous rocker hotel on the Sunset Strip, Sunset Marquis, the kids didn’t blink when offered the royal treatment. Bags with their names on them were filled with towels and crayons and shirts. Plates laden with cookies and cupcakes. Beds made up for them. And the list goes on.

This legendary hotel has seen its share of kids, likely most of them tagging along with their famous parents. This was where Courtney Love was staying when she learned of Kurt Cobain’s death. This is where over thirty Grammy winning songs were recorded this year!

With its two pools, recording studios, gorgeous newly re-imagined restaurant, and stunning villas, my kiddos were already charmed. But once they realized that they got to go on a scavenger hunt, they raced through the gardens, counting koi, introducing themselves to the concierge (who took their passport pictures) and then rewarded them with hats, T-shirts, and treats.

The staff knew their names. Asked Kai about his basketball skills, and played with little Nikko. Suddenly it seemed as if they had lived at the hotel for years. Not a mere ten hours.

Sometimes luxury means the softest towels and sheets (which this hotel sure does deliver). But at other times the reason to love a hotel is the ways in which the staff goes beyond the call of duty to be human, and to merely be kind. Traveling with kids allows me to see the humanity of the hotel staff and balance that against the often false airs put on for us grown ups. And for this, the Sunset Marquis makes the cut as one of my favorite family hotels in LA.

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