Travel

Los Angeles Hotels

Establishment neighborhood
The NoMad Hotel Los Angeles
649 S. Olive St., Downtown
You know a hotel is doing something right when the locals are rushing to book staycations. that's exactly what happened when New York's NoMad made its way to LA. The LA outpost is in a former bank building on Olive Street (the massive vault in the basement now leads to the restrooms), and the lushly decorated ground floor is where you'll find the lobby restaurant and coffee shop. Both are excellent, but for dinner, you want to be up in the Mezzanine. The rooms, with their freestanding tubs, marble counters, and floral fainting couches, have been known to send overnight guests home with heads full of redecorating plans. And while room service is as standard a room amenity as, say, a flat-screen TV, here the experience is elevated to an art form. Everything on the menu is a slam dunk—though several goop staffers have come back from staycations waxing poetic about the breakfast sandwich.
Mama Shelter
6500 Selma Ave., Hollywood
LA abounds with rooftop bars, but even Westsiders will make the pilgrimage east for a night at Mama Shelter. There's just something about it. Maybe it's the direct view of the sun setting over the Hollywood sign, maybe it's those rainbow-striped loungers you sink into, or maybe it's the tunes spun nightly by the DJ. Arrive before dusk—especially on particularly balmy LA nights—and take over a corner with a crowd of friends. The barmen are some of the best in town (Y Tu Mama' Tambien is the spicy mezcal cocktail to order), and those panoramic views will keep you spellbound until last call.
Avalon Hotel
9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills
Originally called the Beverly Carlton when it opened its doors back in 1949, the Avalon was recently remodeled by LA designer Kelly Wearstler to become the ultimate staycation spot in Beverly Hills. (Visitors should consider staying here, too, but it’s the locals who are especially psyched for somewhere fun to escape for a night or two.) The mid-century modern décor takes you back to a time when Marilyn Monroe called this boutique hotel her home. The pool and cabanas are a great place to relax with a mimosa in hand—even the guest rooms feel light and airy. Because of the emphasis on outdoor space, it may be best to plan your stay during the warmer spring or summer season.
Dream Hotel Hollywood
6417 Selma Ave., Hollywood
Sitting at the foot of Runyon Canyon, the LA outpost of the Dream Hotel can’t be beat for convenience. Aside from the on-site restaurants and bars, which are great, the most notable takeaway is the hotel gym: not the usual handful of treadmills and sad weight station, but rather a custom Gunnar Peterson–designed workout space with every bell and whistle you could want. In true LA fashion, there’s also a rooftop pool with views of the hills. The entire place is bright and green, with natural wood furnishings throughout. The guest rooms are on the modern side, with huge beds (by hotel standards, at least), roomy seating areas, and beautiful bathrooms with glass-encased rainfall showers and the plushest bathrobes. The LA Metro is a few steps away, but for anyone in a rush (or with kids) the complimentary car service is a godsend.
La Peer Hotel
627 N. La Peer Dr., West Hollywood
Over the last decade, Los Angeles has outgrown its one-industry city image, and West Hollywood is a big reason why. At its center sits La Peer Hotel, tucked into its namesake street between Melrose and Santa Monica Boulevards. From here, you can walk to some of LA's best mid-century modern furniture shops, interior design offices, home accessory stores, and the Pacific Design Center. This focus on good design bleeds into the hotel itself, by way of custom couches, Moroccan tiling, cool grey and white finishes, and a beautiful back patio. Each room is outfitted with considered details, including embroidered wall art and a large soaking tub. Given its proximity to excellent food and entertainment (goop favorite Gracias Madre is around the corner), it's surprising how quiet a stay here can be. Be sure to book a table at Viale dei Romani, the in-house Italian-meets-Moroccan restaurant, for wood-fired seafood and some of the best pizza in town.
The Surfrider
23033 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…
Malibu Beach Inn
22878 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu
Occupying an especially picturesque stretch of Carbon Beach (directly on the shore, to be exact), the Inn was the first luxury hotel in Malibu. And while others have joined the club since, its calming minimalist interiors, ocean-facing balconies—every single room comes with one—impressive art collection, and on-site spa suite are still a big hit with both out-of-towners and staycationing locals. The Carbon Beach Club restaurant, which blessedly welcomes non-guests as well, is a good way to get in on the action without booking an overnight stay—and enjoying a top notch seafood meal in the process. Note: The hotel is in the process of revamping all 47 guestrooms, so be sure to ask for a renovated room when booking.
Calamigos Ranch
327 Latigo Canyon Rd., Malibu
If you're looking for a romantic getaway that's close to Los Angeles but feels entire worlds away, you won't find anything more fitting than the Calamigos Guest Ranch. Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, it’s also no wonder why this picturesque property has become a coveted wedding venue. The private bungalows and cottages, set within 200 oak-filled acres, offer guests a place to decompress and reconnect with nature. Built in 1947 and family operated ever since, this rustic gem features a vineyard and organic garden that grows strawberries and herbs. Beyond exploring their three pools and five restaurants, you can make a quick trip (twelve-minute shuttle to be exact) to their five-acre beach club for all manner of beach activities.
Nobu Ryokan
22752 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu
While Malibu has long had a shortage of places to stay, that’s all changing now and a prime stretch of PCH is getting a modern update with the arrival of the Nobu Ryokan (a new hotel concept for the brand), just a few yards up the street from its namesake restaurant on Carbon Beach. Here, the intimate 16-room hotel is done up in a minimalist Ryokan-style. This translates to wraparound terraces, floor-to-ceiling windows meant to maximize ocean views, and teak, bronze and limestone detailing. The generously-sized rooms are a nod to both California and Japanese design with clean lines, tatami mats, and outdoor teak soaking tub. Guests naturally have priority booking at the restaurant next door, but there’s also a special in-room dining menu for those who don’t want to leave the comfort of their kimono robe, either. Photos: Interior, Barbara Kraft; Exterior, Patrick Janelle (@aguynamedpatrick)
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