Los Angeles hotels cater to some high-end clientele, with the rich and famous who flock to LA taking residence everywhere from Venice Beach to Laurel Canyon. Over time, many of LA’s namesake hotels have revamped or rebooted to avoid being edged out by newer, fresher takes, meaning there’s a wide range of innovative accommodation to choose from, whether you’re visiting LA for work, to hang by the beach or experience the best of Hollywood. Here are ten of the City of Angel’s best hotels.
Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
The Ace Hotel has its own 1920s theater | Courtesy of Ace Hotel / Hotels.com
Rooms at the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles are admittedly a bit minimalist, but this doesn’t stop it from being rated among the best LA hotels. Set in the 1920s United Artists Theatre, the Spanish-gothic details of the hotel’s exterior have been fully refurbished, while an artfully eclectic interior blends industrial elements with chic furniture. This is all too apparent in the fuzzy lobby walls and stained-glass windows. Perhaps the best aspect of this property is its pool area and Upstairs Bar, a spot that attracts trendy downtown locals and guests alike for day parties with DJs or a nighttime cocktail hour on the patio with an exquisite view of downtown LA. While not the most luxurious of LA properties, Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles encompasses how the city’s hotel scene is modernizing to appeal to millennial travelers.
The Chateau Marmont could use a facelift, but that doesn’t prevent this celebrity hot spot from ranking highly when it comes to LA hotels. Built in 1929, it has a great location above Sunset Boulevard and has welcomed everyone from Robert De Niro to Lindsay Lohan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Led Zeppelin and Greta Garbo. Chateau Marmont was loosely modeled after a French chateau which is reflected in the elegant interiors. Most rooms, cottages and bungalows at this boutique property have full kitchens and living rooms and some even offer balconies or private terraces, amenities not often found in LA properties. Better yet—they’re all soundproof, to allow for the utmost sense of privacy and exclusivity. The pool is reserved for guests, and while it’s petite at best, it’s private and offers a chance for guests to see which celebrity is haunting the Marmont that weekend. Locals and guests are often seen mingling with celebrities in the intimate Marmont Bar (though keep in mind it’s currently under renovation). The restaurant inside is pretty popular too, thanks to an outdoor patio and martini specialties.
InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is exactly what you think of when you imagine the “best” hotels in LA. Named as one of the world’s best hotels by Travel + Leisure, the InterContinental’s stylish and high-end design, both in the rooms and public spaces, elevates the experience for travelers. It begins with the sleek white decor offset by blue and gray furniture in the 70th-floor Sky Lobby. Here, guests get their first taste of the phenomenal views from this LA high-rise. Travelers would be remiss to not catch a sunset on the Intercontinental’s 73rd floor, home to the tallest bar in the Western Hemisphere, or soak up the rays on the hotel’s open-air pool deck amid the private cabanas.
Set in a 12-acre oasis, Hotel Bel-Air offers the true luxury associated with Beverly Hills. Beyond the fact that it has welcomed famous A-listers like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, Hotel Bel-Air provides a VIP experience no matter where you are in the property. The rooms are sophisticated and decorated with a mix of Spanish Colonial and French Deco accents. While the year-round heated pool treats guests to a charming spot to lay out and the occasional treat from the staff (like ice-cream sundaes), the award-winning spa is reserved as a pampering hideaway for locals, celebrities and guests. Guests can enjoy gourmet SoCal cuisine at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant on-site, then move the party to the chic lounge which occasionally also offers live music. Even the pooches are pampered at Hotel Bel-Air, with treats provided throughout the day, showcasing just how detailed the intimate service can be.
LA evokes images of hotels on the sand, and there’s none more beloved than Shutters on the Beach. The elegant rooms, ONE Spa and 1 Pico restaurant were all designed by Michael Smith, who designed the Obama White House, which is probably why certain areas of the hotel have been featured in shows like Entourage. While the pool is somewhat modest in style, it does afford guests the opportunity to have a cocktail close to the beach. Perhaps, the most outstanding aspect of the hotel is that, while it has an upscale beach vibe, Shutters on the Beach has really pushed the envelope when it comes to attention to detail. Its perks include everything from ocean views to exquisite art pieces by famous artists like Liechtenstein, as well as employing a master sommeliers on staff – of which there are only 96 in the world.
As a Four Seasons property, it’s no surprise that the Beverly Wilshire makes this list, though it probably doesn’t hurt that it has a significant celebrity and dignitary guest list that includes Elvis, the Dalai Lama, and the British royal family. The luxurious vibe and high prices of Rodeo Drive bleed into the Beverly Wilshire’s opulent public spaces and Italian marble bathrooms. The Mediterranean-style pool which has cabanas outfitted with flat-screen TVs offers a tranquil experience, as does the spa’s “experience showers,” which mimic the feel and sound of different types of rainstorms. At the hotel’s restaurant, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, guests should expect a fashionable crowd and high-quality steak.
Located on the beach in Santa Monica and offering trendy bathrooms with Italian-marble, multi-jet tubs, you’d be hard pressed to not have a fabulous experience at the boutique Casa Del Mar. Designer Michael Smith also had a hand in the hotel’s decor, though some aspects of this early 20th-century property long predated him – like the entrance, which features a sweeping staircase under an iron chandelier and stained-glass window. The Terazza lounge is a hot spot for cocktails and beach views, as is the guest-only pool, particularly appreciated for its privacy. Exotic treatments at the Sea Wellness Spa that include gemstone and diamond dust, as well as the hotel’s renowned seafood restaurant, are just some of the draws which keep Del Mar’s high-end clientele coming back time and again.
Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown has a modern take on Hollywood glamor, epitomized by the black-and-white cityscape prints which grace the walls and glamorous spa-style bathrooms. Luxurious details include bath products by Jonathan Adler and a private limo service, but the property still manages to be fun and approachable with decor that features floral accents, pops of bright colors and uniquely shaped furniture. The pool attracts guests during the day, while the penthouse cocktail lounge, 18 Social, offers unforgettable downtown-LA views, Prohibition-era cocktails and a contemporary style that begs for an Insta-post.
The Beverly Hills Hotel, also known as the “pink palace” for its pink-hued exterior, has been pampering celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon since 1912. A favorite for guests who don’t want to be seen, the extensive security measures create an all-pervading sense of discretion throughout the property. The hotel’s iconic Polo Lounge is popular among Hollywood folks, while the pool – hidden from prying eyes by high walls and outfitted with cabanas (each of which has a flat-screen TV) – allows the high-end clientele to lay out and swim peacefully without fear of paparazzi. While the hotel underwent renovations in 2014, it still maintains that sense of Old Hollywood glamor, making for an exquisite stay.
Nobu Ryokan is located in Malibu | Courtesy of Nobu Ryokan
Nobu Ryokan may have once been a motel, but since being bought and renovated by Iron Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, it has become one of LA’s best properties. Each of the 16 rooms offers a Japanese minimalist style and zen-like atmosphere with garden views, skylights and fireplaces or patios. A long hot bath in the Ryokan-style teak soaking tubs is especially beloved by guests. For an elevated experience, travelers can upgrade to rooms with ocean views. As the name indicates, the hotel is adjacent to the Nobu restaurant from which guests can order room service at any time. While the hotel doesn’t have a swimming pool, it’s just steps away from the pristine sands of Malibu Beach.