Culver Hotel Thrives with Makeover
Special to the Observer
Founded by Harry Culver in 1924, the iconic triangle-shape property located in the heart of downtown, the historic Culver Hotel recently went through a massive multi-million dollar makeover, which was completed at the end of 2011.
New kid on the block of just six months, General Manager Seth Horowitz, formerly of Luxe Worldwide Hotels, who, for five years was vice president of operations and prior to that, was vice president of the Oceana Hotel Group, the Johannesburg native said it was the new owners who are responsible for the badly needed makeover.
“The new owners have taken a run-down hotel, and after three years of rejuvenation, have turned the hotel into a true gem,” Horowitz said.
In a phone interview, Horowitz, a seasoned hotelier since age 18 where he began his career at the Carlton Hotel as an information manager, said the Culver Hotel is a boutique hotel competing with the long-established upscale Westside hotels, but without the high prices.
“We aren’t pretentious, but are a down to earth hotel,” Horowitz said.
Owner, designer and interior decorator of the Culver Hotel, Maya Mallick bought the hotel five years ago and knew they had their work cut out for them.
Originally called the Hotel Hunt, the six-story hotel fell into disrepair between the 1950s and early 1990s due to real estate speculation and change of ownership.
It wasn’t until the 1990s, when a major renovation took place under general partner of Historic Hollywood Properties Lou Catlett, restoring the hotel to its original luster, during the successful revitalization program in downtown Culver City.
Since then, the hotel has had several other owners.
The newly renovated 46-room landmark hotel is a Member of the National Register of Historic Places and is furnished with 19th century French antiques and appointed with modern amenities.
With its storied guest history that quickly became the social center of Culver City during the 1930s because of its close proximity to three movie studios that included the MGM, Hal Roach Studios and DeMille’s Culver City Studio that was later acquired by RKO, many famous people stayed at the hotel, including some cast members from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ during filming in 1938.
“After years of neglect, the hotel is the ‘flagship of Culver City’ providing an upscale hotel experience,” Horowitz said. “The most important news is that we are a four-star hotel on the Internet and first on the travel website Expedia.”
With the grandeur of the 22-foot ceilings and towering windows providing a warm and sophisticated atmosphere, Horowitz added that there is live music every night in the Grand Lobby.
“It’s in a grand setting,” Horowitz said.
Horowitz said Easter brunch will be served this Sunday in the Grand Lobby.
Doing business with the highest standards, Horowitz said they take great pride in their hotel philosophy.
“We take care of our community and the community will give back,” Horowitz said.