The Garland’s cozy lobby fireplace // © 2017 The Garland
Feature image (above): The resort pool is a great place to relax after a trip to nearby Universal Studios, Hollywood. // © 2017 The Garland
In her heyday, Hollywood’s beloved actress, Beverly Garland, played parts in hit television shows such as “My Three Sons” and “Gunsmoke.” But Garland had interests beyond the camera. When her husband, developer Fillmore Crank, broke ground on a resort-style hotel in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley, Garland became not only the property’s namesake, but also its sole interior decorator.
The Garland officially opened in 1972, and Hollywood types were frequent guests in the years that followed, from John Wayne and Dolly Parton to Kurt Cobain and members of The Eagles. The 7-acre property, nestled just north of the Hollywood Hills and Tinseltown itself, made for an ideal respite for A-listers and beyond.
Today, The Garland is still a colorful and busy destination. The kid-friendly grounds result in many theme-park-going groups and families — not to mention dogs — on property. There are 257 guestrooms to choose from, all of which shine with retro-orange accents and midcentury modern design elements thanks to the hotel’s recent multiphase renovation. And if we’re sticking with Hollywood analogies, the rooms are a little “Jetsons,” a little “Mad Men” and a whole lot of comfort.
Those traveling with children should be sure to book one of The Garland’s family suites. Here, you’ll find a spacious living area with a bed for the parents, plus an adjoining doorless room with a bunkbed and television. This is surely where the kids will settle after a day at the nearby Universal Studios, Hollywood. For an extra-glamorous stay, there’s the James Suite, a 1,000-square-foot suite with three balconies, a kitchenette and divine decor.
Other spaces throughout the property evoke a cool California vibe. I was especially partial to the lobby, where a roaring fire heats up patrons lounging in Eames-like leather easy chairs. The adjacent Lobby Bar is a comfortable spot for waiting — for your room to be ready or for the complimentary trolley that takes riders to Universal Studios and the eponymous metro station — but you can also take your drink to the pool that’s just outside the bar. On select nights, kid-friendly dive-in movies are projected on a screen above the waves. Other dates bring film screenings to the on-site Beverly Garland Theater — complete with popcorn and snacks that are available for purchase, of course.
If you want a full sit-down meal without any travel, there’s The Front Yard, a lively restaurant off the property’s driveway. Killer cocktails and even better bites make this spot worthy of multiple visits. At lunchtime, tuna tartare tacos are a fan favorite — they’re piled high with fresh fish and are an incredible value for $10 — and the flatbreads and green garbanzo hummus get lots of applause as well.
After I had my fill of food and drink, I moseyed over to the gift shop, where artsy Golden State keepsakes and hip barware line the shelves. This is not your average gift shop; expect to pick up a few things for yourself and not just your loved ones back at home.
For your convenience, tickets to nearby attractions can also be purchased at The Garland’s gift shop. Then, it’s just like the inscription on the trolley says: “Let the good times roll.”