A Sense of Place: The Best Hotels in Los Angeles
The movie center’s finest hotels capture both its star-studded past and the latest trends coming out of California.
Long synonymous with Hollywood magic, Los Angeles is a city where dreams come true, filled with palm tree-lined streets paved with glittering stars and golden beaches with sapphire waves.
From the laid-back shores of Santa Monica to the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles is a kaleidoscope of alcoves to uncover. Soak up the city’s storied past and trendsetting present in ideally located digs that epitomize the City of Angels’ free spirit and undeniable beauty.
Revitalized vibes at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Renowned for injecting fresh energy into stale high-rises, the Ace Hotel group has waved its magic wand over downtown Los Angeles, transforming a historic 1927 Spanish Gothic-style tower into one of the city’s hippest locations. The 13-story hotel packs a punch, letting guests live out their LA dreams, whether it’s hobnobbing at the star-studded rooftop bar or watching their musical heroes at the hotel’s 1,600-seat art deco theater.
LOAM, the hotel’s recently opened all-day restaurant, embodies the city’s penchant for healthy eating through an enticing vegetarian-friendly menu. And after touring the sprawling metropolis’s key sights, there’s no better respite than a dip in the rooftop pool, where cinematic cityscapes and signature cocktails abound.
Insider tip: An excursion to the Broad, a contemporary art museum featuring pieces by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Roy Lichtenstein, is well worth the one-mile walk from the hotel’s front door – plus, general admission is free.
929 S Broadway; acehotel.com/los-angeles/
Stylish, sexy stays at the SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills
Step inside the surreal world of Philippe Starck’s masterful designs, where quirky, mismatched chandeliers illuminate cozy, leather-clad seating areas and walls lined with larger-than-life mirrors. The whimsical touches continue at the rooftop pool, where a gallery of empty, oversized picture frames reveal sun-kissed LA views, and a black porcine statue majestically wades in the shallow water.
Perfectly planted between La Cienega’s famed restaurant row and the Beverly Center’s fashion-filled shops, the SLS Hotel offers a true Southern California sojourn, complete with top-notch service and amenities. Break away from the hustle and bustle with a visit to Ciel Spa, where expert technicians perform an array of soul-nourishing treatments, including the celebrity-vetted Red Carpet Le Grande facial, which uses LED light therapy and Biologique Recherche serums to flawlessly tighten and brighten your complexion.
Insider tip: If you crave an extra dose of vitamin D during your travels, consider booking one of the Terrace Rooms, which come with their own patch of outdoor space, adorned with a shaded seating area and native vegetation.
465 S La Cienega Boulevard; sbe.com/hotels/sls-hotels/beverly-hills
Ivy League prep meets West Coast cool at Palihotel Melrose Avenue
Once the birthplace of Southern California’s punk scene, Melrose Avenue still celebrates the unconventional through many boutique shops selling everything from vintage goods to healing crystals. As the two-mile-long shopping district continues west, upscale designers take over, featuring fashion powerhouses such as The Row, Chloé, and Bottega Veneta. Between the offbeat and ultra-elite storefronts is where you’ll find Palihotel Melrose Avenue, an intimate 33-room hotel.
The ambience exudes a private residence, with front desk associates ensuring guest are made to feel right at home. The guest rooms feature comforting tartan textiles and an understated color scheme—ideal for winding down. Otherwise, the homey lobby lounge and outdoor patio, offering a variety of private and communal seating areas, is where guests are urged to relax and recharge during their stay.
Insider tip: Pets are treated like royalty through the hotel’s Pawlisociety program, which delights four-legged friends with a bevy of custom luxuries: organic treats and toys, custom food and water bowls, a plush bed, and a guidebook packed with dog-friendly activities.
7950 Melrose Avenue; palisociety.com/hotels/melrose
A well-positioned pad at Kimpton Hotel Wilshire
In the 1920s, a central strip of Wilshire Boulevard was built with cutting-edge development plans. The traffic lights and dedicated left-turn lanes were ahead of their time, recognizing that automobiles were the way of the future. Since then, this swath of road has continued growing to include Museum Row, where the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and La Brea Tar Pits and Museum all stand in a row, mere steps from the Kimpton Hotel Wilshire.
While LA is notorious for its dependency on cars, the Kimpton is within walking distance of a remarkable lineup of attractions, and its complimentary hotel bicycles allow guests to travel even further afield, while remaining car-free. After the day’s adventures, the crystalline rooftop pool and al fresco bar await with inspirational views and tropical elixirs.
Insider tip: With LACMA’s eye-catching streetlamp display as the backdrop, catch the city’s top jazz musicians perform as part of the museum’s complimentary concert series, taking place every Friday evening, April through November.
6317 Wilshire Boulevard; hotelwilshire.com
An urban wellness retreat at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Wellness is a way of life in LA, as seen in the athleisure-donning, green juice-toting locals, ready to catch the next wave of health-forward rituals. Weaving well-being throughout its five-star resort, the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills takes a holistic approach to wellness, providing guests with state-of-the-art amenities aimed at enhancing their physical and mental health.
Boasting a guided meditation by New Age guru Deepak Chopra, a selection of Alo yoga equipment, and specialized eco-friendly bath amenities by LATHER, these ultra-refined accommodations were designed by certified wellness specialists. Select rooms additionally feature The Restorative Bed™ by Bryte, a smart bed with numerous tricks up its sleeve to whisk guests into a sound slumber, and a Peloton bike—ideal for quick in-room workouts.
Insider tip: With overhead string lights, lush vegetation, and a sleek firepit anchoring the cozy nook, the hotel’s Culina Ristorante’s outdoor patio is a sublime spot to savor a pleasant California evening.
300 Doheny Drive; fourseasons.com/losangeles/