The Roosevelt and the 2014 TCMFF
This was my fourth year at the TCMFF. Each year previous I had visited the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel daily for various reasons either to pick up my media pass, to sit in on round table discussions, to check out the boutique for shirts and hats and ephemera, to garner water and/or a beer at the bar in Club TCM, to check out the displays, and even to watch the filming of interviews in the lobby area. This year I went one better and checked into a room for the run of the festival and it was like seeing it for the first time all over again.
The Roosevelt has the glamorous feel of old Hollywood; all the dark woodwork, marble, tile, and painted decorations have been carefully restored and maintained to preserve the atmosphere that greeted all one’s favorite stars from decades past. It does not appear as if they have made, and I hope will never make, attempts to “up date” any of the public rooms. Even the bathrooms (okay, I can only speak for the ladies rooms as I have not seen the men’s facilities) are delightfully out of the past with large booths, beautiful sinks and fixtures, and the expectation that you should keep an eye on the mirror while you wash your hands as Mary Pickford or Carole Lombard might emerge from behind you at any minute.
And as far as the individual rooms it was also reminiscent of years gone by in the best possible way. When I checked in I asked for a quiet room, not one overlooking the pool or on the street side. After all, I came to watch movies not tan or party and the room was to be used to sleep. And a lovely, gracious room it was. I loved the big shower, the thick toweling robe, the comfy bed, and the flat screen TV, which was already tuned to TCM when I arrived! My home for four days, five nights was instantly mine, and very welcoming every time I slipped the key card in the lock. As an older woman, staying alone the locked corridor was an added layer of security I welcomed. It was definitely a room I will ask for again. Admittedly, it was pricy for a festival stay perhaps, but most assuredly in the category of you get what you pay for. Initially, it was chosen for the ease of a shortened walk to all my favorite venues for films and was central to all the activities of the festival but delivered so much more. I especially liked the very short walk down the corridor, descending one flight of steps and veering right to the pool area to watch THE MUSIC MAN poolside the second night of the festival.
My daughter Carrie was able to visit the room between movies to get a little social media time in. I could tell she had been there by the presence of her computer. It was much easier for her than the five-block walk to the apartment and far more convenient than lugging the apparatus around with her from film to film. And it made for a pretty swanky “office” during the fest I might add, providing privacy, comfort and TCM while working on her media posts.
In addition to the room the accommodations surrounding the hotel are equally nice. I enjoyed three meals at 25 Degrees, the twenty-four hour burger bar/diner, two great burgers done to order, some very nice sweet potato fries, and a berries and yogurt breakfast that was delicious and so generous I should have invited two people to join me. One evening, with a bit of time to spare between my selected movies, I dined at the Public Kitchen and Bar. My selection of pork loin was succulent, well presented, and so much I couldn’t eat it all. Although, the service was quick and pleasant, the price of a mixed drink, alas, sure made it easy to stay reasonably sober. There are also several very pleasant little bars scattered discreetly about the hotel, some of which I have visited in prior years, but one, Teddy’s I did not know existed until my time at the Roosevelt had run out. As one of my book series are the Teddy Books I feel compelled to give them a visit next year. Of course, the Tropicana at the pool is everything you would expect of a poolside bar drenched in Hollywood lore.
All in all, did I enjoy staying at the Roosevelt Hotel? You bet. My stay doubled down on the pleasure of the TCMFF ’14. Eloise may have preferred it at the Plaza, but as for me, this same time next year, I will be at the Roosevelt basking in the glories of another TCMFF in a nostalgic way befitting a festival dedicated to the Hollywood of yesteryear that only the Roosevelt can provide.