Los Angeles Hotels

Establishment neighborhood
Beverly Wilshire
9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
The colonnaded entryway of the Beverly Wilshire sits at the bottom—or the top, depending how you look at it—of Los Angeles’s most storied street, Rodeo Drive. It’s fair to say that this imposing, old-Hollywood hotel is the grande dame of Beverly Hills, and deservedly so. Informality is not the vibe here. The glamorous BLVD Lounge with its impeccable service and martini-sipping crowd has a way of making you sit a little straighter. After a sound night’s sleep on the cloud-soft beds that we’ve come to expect at Four Seasons properties and maybe a few laps in the Tuscan-inspired pool, we head to the spa. The menu is the length of a book and, because this is LA, packed with esoteric treatments, like cryotherapy and targeted postsurgery massages. The room service is excellent, and again because we’re in LA, there are plenty of healthy options that cater to every diet (we’re partial to a celery juice and the savory tofu porridge). Downstairs, Wolfgang Puck’s CUT is the steakhouse to end all steakhouses. For those venturing to Los Angeles for the first time—especially with kids in tow—the concierge at the Wilshire…
Proper Hotel
700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
We heard rumors of designer Kelly Wearstler’s lofty goals for the interiors of the Santa Monica Proper, the new hotel from her and Proper Hospitality, the hotel brand led by Wearstler's developer husband Brad Korzen and his founding partners. But nothing hinted at how stunning it would be. Wearstler has designed a breezy, maritime-inspired space that transports you to a seaside villa the moment you walk in. She outfitted the lobby with elements that speak to the coast (a carved front desk that echoes the shape of a seashell, art backed with sand, flooring that gives a bird’s-eye view of a beach umbrella) and married those with bold, eclectic accents (giant archways in Douglas fir and marble and gorgeous ’70s art) that only Wearstler could pull off. The greatest feat here is the synergy between the hotel's two buildings: One is brand-new and sculptural; the other dates back to the 1920s and boasts a vintage patina with gorgeous original iron-clad windows. The aesthetic of the guest rooms varies depending on the building but are all anchored by gorgeous elements—glossy tiles, giant tufted headboards that look like the sunset, bespoke…
Firehouse Hotel
710 S Santa Fe Ave., Arts District
It’s as improbable as it is genius: Take an Arts District firehouse that was built in 1927 and served for half a century as a firehouse and transform it into a hipster paradise. That’s the general story behind the Firehouse Hotel. From the outside, it’s still a 1927 firehouse, but inside, it’s everything but. Rooms are unique and lofty and named for colors. The Black Room is especially intriguing. The restaurant plays all the greatest hits (classic burger and fries, whole branzino, etc.), and every detail—from the firepit to the bistro lights to the industrial bar—is a study in design as atmosphere.
Villa Carlotta
5959 Franklin Ave., Franklin Village
We have long bemoaned the fact the LA’s Eastside is surprisingly short on hotels and extended stay residences, Villa Carlotta slides stylishly and seamlessly into that much-needed space. The concept is clever and contemporary. For the multitudes looking to do a stint in the city that’s longer than a holiday but not long enough to merit a committment, Villa Carlotta delivers the local experience of rooming in the heart of Franklin Village (it’s one of the few zip codes in town that feels neighborhood-y, with restaurants, ice-cream, and an actual magazine kiosk, all on one street), supplemented with the conveniences of a luxury hotel. There’s a concierge to pin down elusive reservations, a rooftop for kibitzing with friends, a laundry service, a pool (a pool!), and adorably, a spot to park your bike: The tree-lined streets of Franklin are made for cycling to the bakery for your daily sourdough.
Palihotel Culver City
3927 Van Buren Pl., Culver City
It feels like every time we loop through Culver City, the cityscape has changed. Literally. New towers and rooftops and parking lots are quickly swallowing up desirable chunks of real estate surrounding Platform. We craned our necks, parked the car, and rushed into the lobby when we saw that one of these new structures was a Palihotel. Tucked behind the ArcLight, the Art Deco forty-nine-roomer is a stunner. Guest rooms are dressed up in cozy tartans, warm woods, and clean white subway tiles with the kind of contemporary art and photography you wish were shoppable. Restaurant Simonette echoes a swish French brasserie, and the bar and lounge areas are retro and so cool. The mid-century modern sofas demand a faceplant, or at least some postwork wine with a colleague, and the inner courtyard—shaded by a lone, towering tree—is one of the most serene in the city.
Hotel Covell
4626 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz
Imagine a hotel that’s more like nine hipster apartments—SMEG refrigerators, Chemex coffee makers, vintage record players, hardwood floors, and if that’s not enough, McClure’s Spicy Potato Chips in the minibars. Where would you imagine such a hotel? Brooklyn maybe? Close. This one is where Los Feliz bumps up into Silver Lake—basically the Brooklyn of Los Angeles. Hotel Covell is named for author George Covell. And the whole places oozes coolness, but not in an annoying way. More like in the way that the coffee is fantastic and the crowd appreciates ironic eyewear. All the rooms are comfortable and inviting, but we have it on good authority that the Parisian Atelier, with its views of the Griffith Observatory, will not disappoint.
888 S Olive St., Downtown
Level is advertised as a luxury furnished apartment complex, which it is. But we've discovered it's also one of downtown LA's best secrets for a hotel stay. First off, it's immaculate. The design is modern, and the amenities are pristine—there's giant gym and a gorgeous rooftop pool with an area for screening movies. And second, we might actually be more inclined to stay here than at a traditional hotel. Each room has a full working kitchen, a washer and dryer, and a view that looks like the entire southern half of California. And it's located in walking distance of LA Live and some of downtown's best restaurants and bars.
Hotel Casa del Mar
1910 Ocean Wy., Santa Monica
If your kids are on the older side and can entertain themselves, the cocoon-like spa at Casa del Mar is tough to beat (the Soothing Waves at Sea treatment uses lavender from Malibu and warm rose stones), and the candlelit terrace is especially mesmerizing for evening drinks. Guest rooms have a similar vibe to Shutters in that they’re light-soaked and stay-forever comfortable with massive beds and bathrooms the size of bungalows. The hotel started as a palatial beach club back in the roaring ’20s, and there’s an old-world LA charm to the place that makes you want to drink champagne, dress for dinner, and pretend it’s 1929 again.
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