The Health-Conscious Los Angeles Guide
It can be easy to scoff at LA’s devotion to sweat lodges, juice cleanses, and cryotherapy, but there’s something about living in a sunny metropolis that makes us want to look and feel our best—all the time. Luckily, the metropolis makes it easy. Not only are there miles of hiking trails and countless waves to surf, virtually every zip code in the city has an incredible farmer’s market (or two), restaurants that cater to every quirky dietary restriction, and more yoga and Pilates studios than you could possibly try in a year. Welcome to the world capital of wellness.
Hotel Bel-Air701 Stone Canyon Rd., Beverly Hills | 310.472.1211
With a guest list that has included Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Prince Charles, and Richard Nixon (he wrote his memoirs here), it's not that surprising that after a comprehensive remodel in 2011, people were upset that Hotel Bel-Air wasn't exactly the same. But we still love it: We just don't go there expecting to see the original. The lobby, in particular, is so chic, and the Wolfgang Puck restaurant is a great pick for an event.
Montage Beverly Hills225 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills | 310.860.7800
Plush Spanish colonial décor blends well with high-tech features (electronically controlled lights and drapes, huge LCD televisions, and iPod docking stations) to make this a slick but overwhelmingly comfortable stay. The elegant Scarpetta restaurant, an offshoot of Scott Conant's Italian of the same name in New York, is a really special place to dine after a day of treatments in the two-story spa. For this much luxury, expect a luxury room rate.
Shutters on the Beach1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica | 310.458.0030
Shutters may look like it was lifted straight out of Cape Cod, but a quick survey of the endless sand out front suggests otherwise. Excessively comfortable, elevated beds may make it harder to get up in the morning, but should you manage to get your running shoes on, an oceanside path stretches for miles in either direction. Bike-rental kiosks dot the beach and there’s obviously welcoming surf just a few steps away—it really don’t get much better. The view, the location, the vibe: It's all great, even if some décor elements, like the bamboo bedposts and the heavy mirrors, don't feel very modern.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills | 310.551.2888
From the branded Mini Coopers to the impeccably attentive service, the Peninsula's Beverly Hills outpost is every bit as grand and luxurious as you'd expect. You'll find marble bathrooms; soft, cozy beds; and patios in each room. Only a few blocks from Rodeo Drive and easy walking distance from Century City, it's within striking distance of all the major agencies and many of the big studios, making it an easy pick for a business hotel. If you're in town for leisure, plan to spend some time dining poolside on the rooftop (which, since this is LA, is open year-round).
The Surfrider23033 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu
Who better to take on the tall order of preserving the iconic 1950s Surfrider Hotel than local son Matthew Goodwin, an architect who grew up surfing at First Point across the street? Together with his wife, Emma Crowther Goodwin, as creative director, and New York–based business partner Alessandro Zampedri, they’re hoping to infuse a bit of polished California nostalgia back into a space they’re treating as an extended living room for both locals in need of a staycation and visitors alike. The twenty-room hotel is luxurious, airy, and light-filled—you get the sense it’s the kind of place their friends will be hanging out. The rooms are thoughtfully laid out and beautifully appointed, each with its own ocean-facing balcony and hammocks, plus Grown Alchemist toiletries in the bathroom and Parachute waffle robes. (For a real treat, book the Surfrider Suite, which at 500 square feet feels like a serious home away from home thanks to a generously sized balcony, separate sitting area, and kitchenette.) They teamed up with LA-based Croft House and Malibu Market & Design for custom furniture, and each room features reclaimed teak floors, imported tiles, woven overhead lights, and Italian linens; a few have their own kitchenette stocked with locally made ceramics. There’s a guests-only roof deck bar and restaurant, which has uninterrupted views of Surfrider Beach across the street and a killer fire pit.