Los Angeles Hotels
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
416 W. 8th St., Downtown
The Freehand is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the hostel-meets-hotel concept in DTLA.
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.