Los Angeles is draped in centuries-old glitz and glamor, immortalized in its famed music venues, designer-dominated shopping streets and story-weaving film studios. It is only fitting that the city’s boutique hotels are equally mesmerizing. With storied pasts and whimsical decor, they promise an unforgettable stay close to the bright lights, bars and landmarks of sunny LA.
Sunset Tower Hotel has found fame with its striking Art Deco structure, sitting in the heart of West Hollywood. Oozing class with its frill-like detailing, and surrounded by a buzzing nightlife, the 1920s building became a hotspot for stars such as Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor. The hotel honors its roots with retro touches such as pinstripe loungers by the outdoor pool and black-and-white celebrity photos on the walls of the rose-colored rooms. Make time for a cocktail at Tower Bar, housed in the former apartment of notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel.
Paying homage to the colorful eccentricities of LA, Mama Shelter is a whimsical establishment perched above Hollywood Boulevard. With locations across the globe, this hotel brand offers a fun and unique experience for travelers looking for something a little different. This location is at the center of LA’s energetic nightlife and entertainment district – with arguably some of the best venues, bars and restaurants on the West Coast. Guests are treated to views of the Hollywood Sign and Downtown from the buzzy rooftop bar. The rooms reflect the youthful ambience, with bright colors and bold patterns mixing and cozy king-size beds.
Steps away from the Sunset Strip, Petit Ermitage is a slice of French Riviera in West Hollywood. Striped pool chairs and tasseled umbrellas line the saltwater pool, candelabras cast a warm glow across the Master’s Lounge, and the suite’s sultry furnishings create romantic appeal. This location offers easy access to LA’s buzzy nightlife, from swanky cocktail bars to raucous drag shows. Looking for a more relaxing stay? You can swing by a morning yoga class, dine amid the enchanting flutter of wings in the Hummingbird Garden or catch a film under the stars at the weekly al fresco movie night.
The Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills embraces its mid-century bones with a uniquely shaped pool, checkerboard coffee tables and abstract murals. Counting Marilyn Monroe among its previous residents (she called the place home for a few years in the late 1940s), this bolthole provides escapism with wellness sessions, loanable bikes and a poolside patio set with private cabanas. Tuck into grilled wild-caught fish from restaurant Viviane on the sun-dappled terrace, or pull up a plaid seat by the indoor bar to sip on summery peach collins cocktails.
The Tuck Hotel hides behind an unassuming facade in Downtown, a foil to its intriguing interior. Drenched in charcoal grays and blacks like something out of film noir, a collection of monochromatic furniture and swirling art awaits guests in the moody-lit rooms – brightened only by golden bedside lamps. Each room also has a retro Marshall speaker and old-school telephone. You can head downstairs to Uncle Paulie’s Deli to devour authentic Italian-American sandwiches or soak up the vibes in cocktail bar Night Night.
The Surfrider Malibu encapsulates the California surfer spirit with its ocean-facing location, locally curated art and raw natural decor. Sitting a stone’s throw from Malibu Pier, this boutique hotel is eco-conscious, complete with organic skincare toiletries and a restaurant serving only sustainable and locally sourced dishes, such as its vegetable-packed earth bowls. Rooms range from the subterranean crash pad Surfer’s Hideout (tucked under the bustling kitchen, so not the best if you’re sensitive to noise) to sprawling suites with stylish coffee-table books, creeping potted plants and views of the Pacific Ocean.
Built in 1918, Hotel 850 SVB’s inn-like facade is matched by an equally homey interior. The living room features a cozy clash of floral armchairs, moss-green velvet sofas and animal-print cushions. Vintage photos unearthed in antique stores and one-off pieces such as giraffe-shaped lamps are found in the rooms – most with fireplaces and some with plant-filled balconies. Don’t leave without taking advantage of the complimentary wine (served from 5pm to 7pm every day) while admiring sunset-tinted views of West Hollywood from the roof deck.
Injecting a dose of countryside charm into glitzy LA, Farmer’s Daughter is done up with quaint vintage furnishings and plenty of gingham. Its various rooms echo the country-girl theme, with farm-animal paintings, plaid cushions and pantry-style shelves stacked with drinks and snacks. Splash out on the Farmer’s Suite for a kitchenette and views of the courtyard. Wandering through its electric interior, you’ll find a custom-art dispenser made from a former cigarette machine, the birdhouse-reminiscent lending library and an outdoor pool, overlooked by a family of yellow rubber ducks.
Once owned by its silent-film-star namesake Charlie Chaplin, this storybook hotel comprises a cluster of ivy-tangled cottages and blooming gardens inspired by English villages. Tucked in the woodland-like labyrinth are the apartment-style suites, each modeled after A-listers. The Marilyn includes a powder room and wraparound patio, while in the Steve, the sun shines through stained-glass windows. You can request board games for rainy day entertainment, and when the sun’s out, treat yourself to some shopping (real or window) along nearby Melrose Avenue.
Silver Lake Pool and Inn seems torn from the pages of a vintage Vogue – a honey-colored palette elevated by Breton-striped umbrellas, gilded bar stools and retro leather furniture. The pool deck is an Instagram-worthy spot to sip on an Aperol spritz while admiring the shimmering golden mosaic and views of the Hollywood Sign. Soaked in California sun, rooms include minibars stocked with gourmet snacks and a handful of potted cacti. In the mornings, swing by restaurant Marco Polo for lemon ricotta pancakes (with whipped butter and fresh berries).
The Renaissance Revival structure of Hotel Normandie in Koreatown is stamped with a vintage neon sign – a familiar sight on the neighborhood’s skyline. The interior is also peppered with elements of its past. A lustrous lobby welcomes you in with glistening chandeliers, chocolate-leather sofas and restored terrazzo floors, while upstairs, tucked behind mahogany doors, you’ll find elegant rooms with pillowtop beds. Soothe your soul with a yoga session on the rooftop before heading down to staple restaurant Cassell’s Hamburgers to tear into its popular patty melt.
Palihotel Melrose Avenue exudes the same cozy charm as a classic English countryside pub. The wooden reception is backed by a gallery wall of distinguished portraits and sketches. Aged leather-bound books line the shelves, and floral sofas are laden with tartan cushions. The vintage style extends through rooms with forest-green carpets and velvet headboards. Queen rooms look out over the Hollywood Hills, while you can splash out on terrace rooms for a private balcony. Be sure to try the melt-in-mouth warm butter biscuits at the in-house restaurant, the Hart and the Hunter.
Sitting on the slopes above Sunset Boulevard, this inn-style hotel lets you live like a Los Angeleno. As well as having the option to rent only a room or a whole floor, you can also opt to hire Noon on Sunset Hill in its entirety. The nine rooms pair a sleek monochromatic palette with macrame wall hangings, rattan chairs and a Keurig coffee machine for morning pick-me-ups. Cook up breakfast in the coal-black communal living space, or catch some rays on the outdoor patio. Sports fans will appreciate being a short stroll from the Dodgers Stadium, while punk-rock headbangers should check out the nearby music venue, the Echo.