Life, Netscape, Recommendations

Mosaic? More like No-way-ic. My review of the Mosaic Hotel in Beverly Hills.

I stayed at the Mosaic Hotel in Beverly Hills last week I was in southern California for a quasi-quarterly Netscape codejam. It is a boutique hotel, meaning that it supposedly offers a higher, more personal level of service than a big chain like Mariott or the Four Seasons. By my so subtly-placed “supposedly,” you can infer that this was not the case.

The room that was reserved for me by the great people at AOL’s travel agency specified one king-sized bed, as my wife would be flying down midway through the week to join me. Apparently, “reservation” doesn’t have the same meaning at the Mosaic as it does in the rest of the hotel world, as I was given a room with two double beds “due to availability.” At least my reservation got me a room, unlike C.K..

I called the front desk and asked to be moved to a room with a king-sized bed if one opened up, and the day after my wife arrived, they had one for us. However, 10 minutes after settling in there, it became apparent that the air conditioning did not work. Now, November is not the hottest time of year in LA, but I’m from Minnesota and not used to 80 degrees after August. It turned out that the motor was dying, causing the compressor to stop generating cold air after about 2 minutes of operation, but it took five separate calls to the front desk, and five variations of this conversations to get the hotel staff to agree with us that the AC wasn’t working:

Me: The air conditioner in our room is not working.
Hotel Staff: (Checks the vent.) But cold air comes out when I turn it off and then on again.
Me: But it shuts off after about 2 minutes.
HS: But there’s cold air coming out.
Me: But it’s going to shut off.
HS: But there’s cold air coming out.
Me: Sure, but that will stop in about a minute.
HS: But it’s working now. If it shuts off, call the front desk and let them know.

Long story short, the air conditioning couldn’t be fixed before we would be checking out, so the hotel graciously offered to move us to a room with working AC, but we’d be back to two double beds. We had thought we might be upgraded in some way, maybe to a suite, or at least offered a window AC unit. At the very least, we expected something like, “Since your room is hot and gross, feel free to have one of the eight-dollar bottles of water from the mini-bar, on the house.” No such luck.

Some other impressions of the hotel: there’s free parking (with complementary valet, if you want), the rooms are nice and clean (but not nice enough to justify the price), and the hotel itself is located near the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard, two major transportation arteries of Beverly Hills. The food at the in-hotel restaurant is alright; think Applebee’s, but at twice the price. (Eleven dollars for an omelet? Come on, guys, eggs cost like 85 cents per dozen.)

One other thing: the hot water out of the tap (and shower) is scalding. If you’re not cooking pasta in the sink, have the cold water on full blast and turn the hot water handle about one-tenth of the way around. It’s very easy to forget to do this, and I nearly burned myself several times throughout the week.

The Mosaic Hotel should be a nice place to stay. It has nice enough rooms and grounds, but its major fault is its staff. The apathy shown by the employees towards our problems was almost infuriating. It seemed like once they got us in the door, they couldn’t have cared less how our stay was going.

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