Los Angeles attracts all kinds of visitors—and these four hotels ensure that every one of them has a unique, stylish place to sleep.
For the Beachcomber
Venice Beach has long captured the American imagination with its surfers, skaters, and musclemen (not to mention its sometimes motley collection of boardwalk denizens). Seeking to embody that vibe is the Venice V Hotel, which opened last June in a 1915 brick building that hosted old Hollywood guests such as Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle. Among the design elements that accentuate the local feel are skate decks and surfboards on the walls, graffiti-inspired art pieces, and gym-style lockers in the rooms. The property also boasts rooftop bungalows and an underground theater event space, but the signature feature is, of course, the view of sand, surf, and palm trees out your window.
For the Design Devotee
The Downtown L.A. Proper continued DTLA’s renaissance when it opened last April in a California Revival building that once housed a social club and later a YWCA. The 147-room hotel is the fourth location of the hospitality brand spearheaded by star interior designer Kelly Wearstler, and it displays her free-spirited take on luxury with murals from local artists, Mediterranean-style terracotta plasterwork, and vintage furniture. (Those seeking an athletically inspiring stay can book one of two suites that commandeered the former Y’s basketball court and swimming pool.) Since no hip DTLA spot is complete without a rooftop scene, the Proper is home to Cara Cara, which serves freshly executed Cal-Med cuisine along with an expertly curated wine list.
For the Urban Explorer
West Adams doesn’t always appear in guidebooks, but the traditionally African American district just south of the 10 freeway is rich in history: Joe Louis and Little Richard are among the luminaries who lived here. Last October, the area got the stylish boutique hotel it deserves, the Alsace LA. The 48-room property, designed by Brooklyn’s acclaimed Home Studios, mixes a muted color palette with touches like mosaic-tiled showers to evince a Southern California feeling. The outdoor pool and the 2,000-square-foot landscaped courtyard are great places to soak up the sunshine, but a guided tour on a loaner bike offers the chance to learn more about the underappreciated surrounding neighborhood.
For the Culture Vulture
Not many hotels in the world can match the history of the Fairmont Century Plaza. Since it first opened in 1966, the massive Century City institution has hosted presidential galas (Richard Nixon celebrated the moon landing here) and Grammy Award ceremonies (Crosby, Stills & Nash won Best New Artist here in 1970). Last September, the landmark building reopened after a 5-year, $2.5 billion renovation that updated its 400 rooms. The public spaces got major upgrades as well: An eye-catching Jaume Plensa sculpture adorns the driveway; a 14,000-square-foot, Yabu Pushelberg–designed spa offers everything from a biohacking program to a Dr. Rita Rakus clinic; and the restaurant, Lumière, serves classic French brasserie fare in a space chock-full of antique furnishings sourced from throughout France.
Next Up: These Hotels Turn Guest Room Headboards into Works of Art