Kati and I do not typically go in for Luxury travel and that is not what this blog is about. What we do like to do is “rough” it for a week or two and then one or two nights before we head home, stay in a Luxury hotel. Get a hot shower and be pampered. We have done this in Alaska, Las Vegas, Peru, London, and Los Angeles.
Los Angeles has some really top notch upscale locations and there is always a chance to see someone famous. Located in a broad basin in Southern California and surrounded by mountains, the desert, valleys, and the pacific ocean the city of Los Angeles is world-renowned. The city is absolutely massive both in size and population with over 15 million people from all around the world calling Los Angeles home. The city remains one of the most important centers in the country for commerce, energy, aerospace engineering, agriculture, and so much more.
Los Angeles has almost been in a constant state of “boomtown” since the 19th-century. When the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1876 suddenly people could travel cross country safely and expediently but even before then the area was inhabited by native peoples, then the Spanish, and finally as a part of Mexico.
Since at least the late 19th-century people have been coming to Los Angeles for one reason or another, whether that’s to try and strike oil in the 1800s or to make it famous in the movies of the modern era. Whether you’re here to stay for a while or just passing through for business, you’ll want to stay somewhere with a little bit of that L.A style the city is known for. So why not check out some of these coolest hotels in Los Angeles.
If you’re going to stay in the city of the rich and the famous then why not live like one for a day or two. The Sunset Marquis is deeply rooted in the music industry and even has a bit of a legendary backstory to go with it.
In the summer of 1960, hotel owner and real estate developer George Rosenthal was sitting in the lounge of Chicago’s Playboy club chatting with Hugh Hefner about opening a Playboy Club and hotel on the illustrious Sunset Strip in Los Angelas. The catch, however, was that to secure the funding the only person offering them the cash upfront was Jimmy Hoffa, and not being able to pay Hoffa often was detrimental to one’s health. After mustering up the courage to turn down Hoffa’s offer, Rosenthal was able to get funding elsewhere and in 1963 the Sunset Marquis opened.
The hotel is home to several interesting places of note such as the Morrison Hotel Gallery which features fine art photography from rock legends and is named after The Doors album of the same name. Nightbird Studios – a recording studio is located in the hotel’s basement where people from Katy Perry to Drake, to Miley Cyrus, have recorded albums. The newest addition to the hotel is Bar 1200. Built in 2005 the bar seats only 60 and is often a hang-out spot for musicians and celebrities from John Mayer to the Rolling Stones.
Located right on the Los Angelas’ Sunset Strip the Sunset Marquis offers 100 suites and 52 villas with prices ranging from 350$ to 10,000$ per night.
Sunset Tower Hotel
Previously known as the St. James Club and The Argyle, Sunset Tower Hotel is an icon of the Sunset Strip. Built in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant the building is a model in the art-deco style that was popular in the Los Angeles area of the 1930s and 40s.
During its early years, the building was marketed to Hollywood’s elite as both a hotel and apartment which included residents like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and gangster Bugsy Siegel. While the penthouse residence has been home to people like Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes, and John Wayne who allegedly kept a cow on his balcony for an evening in order to have “fresh milk straight from the source” for his morning coffee.
By the 1980s the building was in decline but a movement to get it renovated and back to its former glory started to take place. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places and now not only are modern stars choosing to stay here again but the new and legendary Tower Bar is practically always filled with celebrities.
There are 81 rooms and suites available which try to stick to the classic art-deco vibe of the building’s past while still remaining modern and new with its amenities and features. Large floor to ceiling windows are a staple and the limestone bathrooms with deep soaking tubs make for a relaxing experience. Guests can also hop in the pool for a swim or try their luck at getting a table at Tower Bar in Los Angelas.
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills (see our main photo)
At the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard is the stately and gorgeous Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. The name Waldorf Astoria is synonymous with luxury hotels and before being bought by the hotel brand, it was known as the Beverly Hilton. The hotel was opened in 1955 by Hilton Hotels owner Conrad Hilton and since 1961 the hotel’s luxurious ballroom has been the site of the Golden Globes Award ceremony in Los Angelas.
The rooms here are beautiful with many of them offering luxurious views and designed with class in mind. Italian marble countertops and flooring can be found alongside elegant furnishings and modern amenities. Head to the rooftop cocktail lounge for some of the best views in the city or book an afternoon at the Waldorf Astoria Spa.
Shutters on the Beach
While many iconic Los Angeles area hotels are full of history and glamour of old Hollywood, there are certainly a few modern ones that take the cake for some of the best spots to stay in the L.A area. One such luxurious hotspot is the beautiful Shutters on the Beach. Located in Santa Monica, Shutters on the Beach is directly on the beach and was actually the first hotel in the area to have direct beach access. The area was first used as a beach club area as early as the mid-1920s but it was only in 1993 that the luxury beachfront hotel, Shutters on the Beach was built.
What sets Shutters on the Beach apart from many other hotels in Los Angeles, is not only is it directly on the beach but the entire aesthetic of the hotel is designed to feel like a craftsman-style cottage resort while still maintaining a high quality stay. Essentially Shutters on the Beach is the west coast’s coasts idea of an east coast beach house. In fact, it nails that premise so well, that in 2003s Something’s Gotta Give the hotel was a stand-in for the Hamptons in New York.
Despite its luxury beach vibe, the atmosphere here is relatively casual with a mix of people on holiday, business execs traveling for work, and of course, the odd celebrity here and there. The rooms feature a clean palette design of neutral colors like sand, wood, and stone while also offering private ocean view balconies and large spacious bathrooms with TVs in them. Live jazz and seasonal cocktails are offered on the regular and if you’re not into swimming in the ocean you can lounge in the pool or jacuzzi and marvel at it from your deck chair.
Owned by Hyatt Hotels, The Andaz is chic, modern, romantic, and of course, rooted in the history of Los Angelas. The hotel opened in 1963 and for a long time was the center of plenty of music mayhem. Located in the West Hollywood area of Los Angelas, the hotel is literally just a few blocks away from many prominent L.A landmarks like the Laugh Factory, The Whiskey a Go-Go, and The Viper Room. Its proximity to notable clubs and live-music venues is like the reason why so many bands have had notable antics here since the 1960s. Some of these include; Jim Morrison being evicted for dangling outside his window, Led Zeppelin renting 6 floors and drummer John Bonham driving a motorcycle through the hallways, and The Who’s Keith Moon dropping a TV outside the window.
The Andaz of the modern era is a little less rambunctious but still pays homage to its boisterous rock ‘n’ roll roots with art installations decorating the hotel. During the summer there are often live DJ performances, a rooftop bar, and pool, and for such an iconic L.A hotel, it’s relatively affordable with prices starting at 200$ a night.
The Kinney Hotel
The Kinney Hotel offers everything cool and fun about staying in Los Angeles in one of the city’s hippest and most-laid back areas. Located in Venice Beach you’ll be a short distance away from the waterfront and the beach as well as other cool landmarks around the area.
The rooms here at The Kinney Hotel are colorfully designed with eclectic modern decor and a more “communal” sense of living. Guest rooms and suites are designed around an area known as “the quad” which is an interior courtyard space complete with a fire pit, sun loungers, a hot tub, and even ping pong tables. Hang out in the quad and meet fellow guests or take advantage of the hotel’s bike rental policy and hit the streets of Venice Beach. Prices start at 120$ a night and with amenities like a heated pool, free WiFi, and delicious made-to-order breakfasts, you won’t want to leave.
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
Located on the intersection of Wilshire and Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel is the closest thing in Los Angeles to the grand old European hotel. The hotel itself is both a luxury and historic hotel and is built out of Tuscan stone and Carrara Marble in a classic Italian Renaissance style that is as remarkably ornate as it sounds. The hotel was completed in 1928 and has an Olympic sized swimming pool modeled after Sophia Loren’s pool in Tuscany, tennis courts, and a ballroom. Notable guests included celebrities from Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Elton John, Drake, and Al Pacino as well as political leaders like Barack Obama, Emperor Hirohito, and the British Royal Family.
Regulars of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel either tend to prefer the original 1928 Wilshire wing with views of Rodeo Drive or the Beverly Wing overlooking the hills. Rooms come with cream palettes and light motifs as well as traditional dark wood furniture. The bathrooms are large and marble with both deep soaking bathtubs, spacious showers, Ferragamo toiletries. If you’re looking to grab a bite, Wolfgang Puck’s Michelin-starred CUT is located within the hotel and is a modern steakhouse with an adjacent lounge.
Feeling you’re hanging out at Jay Gatsby’s French Riviera mansion at the Palihouse Hotel in Los Angelas. The hotel has been in continuous operation since the 1920s and the hotel still retains its jazz-age charm with its European-vintage decor and motifs. The hotel maintains its ornamental facade and lush green courtyard. The halls and rooms are colorfully decorated and coupled with its clubhouse feel, you’ll feel like you’re staying somewhere super exclusive and with its 160$ starting price, it’s not too expensive for a 4-star hotel off Santa Monica Boulevard.
Los Angeles is full of amazing places to see and people from all over the world come here to get a taste of the life. The city is absolutely full of luxurious and beautiful hotels that are both old and renowned as well as modern and chic. Whether you’re looking to splurge on an accommodation in one of L.A’s fanciest or you’re looking for something more affordable, you can’t go wrong at any of these great spots. And you might just bump into someone famous on your trip.
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