The Best Historic Hotels in Los Angeles, California

Get some fascinating insight into the city's glamorous past – and present – at one of the the best historic hotels in Los Angeles
Get some fascinating insight into the city's glamorous past – and present – at one of the the best historic hotels in Los Angeles | © Robert Landau / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mark Nayler
25 November 2020

Hotels with history might not be what you readily associate with glitzy Los Angeles. But the world’s celebrity capital is home to dozens of establishments that have been open for the best part of a century, offering guests a fascinating insight into the city’s racy past. Read on for our pick of the the best historic hotels in LA, from a Beverly Hills landmark known as the Pink Palace to a world-famous haven for visiting celebrities.

Hotel Normandie

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Hotel Normandie / Expedia

Hotel Normandie’s rooftop neon sign has been a feature of the Koreatown skyline ever since it opened in 1926. It was designed by Albert Walker and Percy Eisen, celebrated architects who also completed the city’s ornate Fine Arts Building a year later. Modern renovations have fused Normandie’s Hollywood Golden Age classicism with LA chic, but plenty of original features remain, including grand mahogany doors, a reconstruction of the mansard roofing and Cassell’s, an on-site diner that opened in 1948 – the cheeseburger and fried chicken sando are must-tries.


The Figueroa

Map View
Courtesy of Hotel Figueroa / Expedia

Spanish Colonial-style Figueroa opened as a safe haven for female travelers in 1926, making it one of Downtown LA’s oldest hotels. Historic touches – such as exposed-brick showers and stone fireplaces – abound, but the 268-room Fig’s 21st-century credentials are impeccable: guests can relax around Downtown’s only ground-floor pool, take private yoga classes at the 24/7 fitness center, or sample the creations of celebrated chef Adrian Garcia at in-house restaurants Breva and Veranda. Head to one of the hotel’s two classy bars, Figueroa and Alta, for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail.

The Beverly Hills Hotel

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of the Beverly Hills Hotel – Dorchester Collection / Expedia
The Beverly Hills Hotel was founded in 1912, before the now-iconic neighborhood of the same name existed. Known as the Pink Palace, named after a 1948 renovation, the hotel is also home to the Polo Lounge and the Sand and Pool Club, both of which teemed with Hollywood royalty after opening in the mid-1930s. Historic hotel buffs will also love the famous 1940s Martinique wallpaper that has appeared in several films. Accommodations are split across rooms and suites in the main building and separate bungalows.

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire

Resort, Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Beverly Wilshire – Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel / Expedia

The five-star Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire sits at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, in the heart of this exclusive city. Opened in 1928, it’s still synonymous with decadence and luxury, offering guests the opportunity to tour the boutiques of Rodeo Drive with a private shopper, treat themselves to a massage in the spa or take a helicopter tour. There are also two top-notch eateries on site: Wolfgang Puck’s Michelin-star steakhouse CUT and Californian cuisine specialist THE Blvd, which has a sought-after terrace overlooking Rodeo Drive.


Chateau Marmont

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Chateau Marmont hotel on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California
© Robert Landau / Alamy Stock Photo

Sunset Boulevard’s iconic Chateau Marmont has been a temporary base for dozens of legendary artists throughout the decades, from F Scott Fitzgerald to Courtney Love. Commissioned in 1927 by a leading LA lawyer, it was inspired by the Château d’Amboise – a royal residence in France’s Loire Valley, where Catherine de’ Medici and Henry II raised their children in the 16th century. Now, it offers 63 rooms, suites, cottages and bungalows, laid-back staff with stories to tell, its own line of memorabilia and ample opportunities for celebrity-spotting.

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  • Sunset Tower

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Sunset Tower Hotel / Expedia

    As well as being an Art Deco masterpiece, the Sunset Tower Hotel is almost as much of a Hollywood icon as the hilltop sign itself. Opened in 1931, it was for many decades (and arguably still is) the coolest hangout in West Hollywood, attracting stars such as Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe. Hotelier Jeff Klein purchased the property in 2004, adding what has become one of LA’s sleekest after-dark hangouts, the Tower Bar (another great place for celebrity-spotting). There’s also a pool with city views, a spa and gym, and luxury pet facilities (of course).


    Palihouse Santa Monica

    Boutique Hotel
    Map View
    Palihouse Santa Monica
    Courtesy of Palihouse Santa Monica /

    The beachfront Palihouse Santa Monica was opened by Paligroup owner and designer Avi Brosh in 2013, but its history stretches back far beyond. Its elegant Mediterranean Revival buildings have served as accommodations since they were built in 1927 (formerly as the Embassy Hotel Apartments) and were named a Santa Monica Historic Landmark 70 years later. Brosh now offers beach-chic accommodations for short and medium-term stays, kitted out with his own custom furnishings and characterized by what he’s described as a “bohemian, European, urban vibe.”


    Miyako Hotel

    Map View
    Courtesy of Miyako Hotel Los Angeles /

    LA’s branch of the renowned Japanese franchise is found in Little Tokyo, just a few minutes’ walk from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Japanese American National Museum. Accommodations consist of 173 smart, sober-hued bedrooms, ranging in size from Standards to Double-Double Executives, some of which feature Japanese-style baths, Before heading out to explore Little Tokyo, try the hotel’s Ohjah Bar for a cocktail (or for karaoke when you get back), or grab a bite at on-site restaurant Tamon, one of the neighborhood’s finest sushi joints.

    These recommendations were updated on November 25, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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