Sportsmen's Lodge Casts a Line Into Tomorrow

The '60s-era Studio City landmark gets an update.

If you're like us -- a little overly obsessed with pop culture connections -- you might be prone to thinking what we think whenever we see a show with a vaguely '60s, swingin' lodge vibe (hi, "Mad Men," you're included in this). You think "I just bet that the set designer very recently went to a wedding or event at the Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel."

It's sort of the quintessential 1960s-flavored place of the Valley, isn't it? There've been the occasional re-dos over the years, but if you saw someone like Louis Prima or Keely Smith singing in the hotel conference room, and people suddenly wearing Kennedy-era shifts and suits all around you, you would not be shocked.

Now the Ventura Boulevard hotel and conference center is undergoing one of its most major refreshes to date, with a wrap-up planned in the fall of 2013. What's new at the Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel? A make-over for all 190 rooms in colors of white, gray, and a prominent orange. (We like the orange-y callback to the Valley's citrus-grove roots.)

The lobby is getting a bump into the now, too, including something that sounds cool and a little '60s-style sci-fi to our ears: A screen that plays a "helicopter view" of Studio City, the better to acclimate visitors.

The pool, which is the largest in the Valley, is also getting a pair of swanky cabanas. Oh, yeah, West Hollywood. Hotels on the other side of the hill are and have been cabana-ing up.

And wait, now that we think about it, that pool is pretty huge. It is, in fact, Olympic-sized. Dang it. Don't you hate when you've been going somewhere for years, and there is a great factoid to know about it, that you can impress your friends with, and you're only just learning it now?

It happens in big, big Southern California, though. And we're glad we don't fully know you, Sportsmen's Lodge, even though you've been around, in one form or another, since the 1800s (when it did indeed serve as a lodge to local sportsmen looking to do a bit of fishing in nearby streams).

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Early '60s meets 19th-century Valley meets Ventura Boulevard landmark meets a refreshed 2013 update. We do love that rare hotel that can rock several eras at once.

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