4-star hotels in Los Angeles
It’s easy to spot this silvery Hilton; it sits directly across from the entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood. In fact, with close to 500 rooms and a massive buffet-style restaurant built inside the soaring atrium, there’s nothing inconspicuous about this place. Rooms are tastefully done in cream and mahogany (many have stunning views), and suites add extra comforts like a parlor and a chaise lounge. The hotel's many ammenities include a gym, pool, sight-seeing tours and more—plus, it's pet-friendly, meaning you can bring Fido along on vacation. Have a couple kids in tow (of course you do, you're staying near Universal)? Family packages are offered as well, along with cribs, a children's menu and weekly children's activities.
This Art Deco beauty reopened in the late aughts after a $30-million makeover, and the results are stunning. The streamline moderne exterior has been preserved, while inside, the rooms have been upgraded with hardwood floors, windows that open (yes, it's a rarity) and modern tech amenities. All offer ocean views and many have balconies and kitchenettes. A restaurant and pool have also been added, and, on the rooftop, guests can enjoy a drink at the Suite 700 lounge or a spa treatment. If you want to bury your toes in the sand, cross the street and the PCH pedestrian bridge and you'll find yourself on the beach.
Though it opened back in 2002, the Viceroy remains one of the hippest hotels on the West side. More crucially, though, it's also its most stylish and impressive operation. Interiors diva Kelly Wearstler is behind the design: sleek and chic yet quietly playful, with modern amenities set amid an overall look that nods both to a camped-up British country-house aesthetic and the hotel's history (it was built in 1969). The bar hums with activity, though many drinkers take their cocktails to the bijou pool area out back; Whist restaurant provides sustenance. Light sleepers should note that the oceanside rooms are a tad louder than those on the other side of the building.
This 1927 landmark, a beautiful example of Spanish colonial design, welcomes the A-listers who frequented it during Hollywood's heyday. The hotel is at its most dramatic downstairs: in the Dakota steakhouse, at the discreet Library Bar and around the pool, which boasts a restored underwater mural by David Hockney and an often-buzzing bar scene at the poolside lounge. The rooms are sleek, dark and, in places, showing a few signs of wear and tear. Look out for the occasional subtly placed photographic nod to the starry location.
The Los Angeles Atheltic Club is a deluxe fitness center and private social club nestled in an early 20th century, 12-story building Downtown. The Club's facilities include a state-of-the-art gym and spa, in addition to first-rate restaurants and bars (we love the recently renovated Invention). The space also offers conference rooms and a luxury hotel, where Charlie Chaplin used to live. LAAC membership will grant you access to a myriad of events, from wine tastings to seminars. The Club also serves as a popular wedding venue.
Just off the hustle and bustle of the Sunset Strip, this West Hollywood boutique gem houses suites from Demi to rooftop Masters Quarters—boho-chic rooms with European touches and overwhelming charm with enough fireplaces and views that you'll never want to leave this city oasis. Take in the 360° vistas of Los Angeles from the rooftop club complete with outdoor pool, fireplaces, bar, patio and garden, recognized as a hummingbird and butterfly sanctuary by the National Wildlife Federation.
Built as an apartment block in the 1950s, this tower was converted into a hotel by businessman Ian Schrager and designer Philippe Starck in the mid '90s, and immediately became the hottest spot in the city. It still carries a certain amount of star quality, despite several recent changes, not least a redesign by Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz (who sensitively enhanced Starck's original design rather than do away with it entirely). Funky additions to the rooms include combined mirror/TV showpieces and sustainable bamboo flooring. Elsewhere in the hotel, Skybar still draws a starry crowd and the Agua Spa is sweet, if petite.
Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, the glitzy hotel pulls out the red carpet (literally) with its rooftop pool and lounge, grand spiral staircase, Bliss spa and famous Sunday night jazz in the Living Room lounge. For those that want to live like a star 24/7, there are permanent residences with all the hotel amenities.
Located Downtown at the sports and entertainment complex L.A. LIVE, this Marriott offers luxury accommodations steps from the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre, Grammy Museum the Conga Room and the LA Market Restaurant by Kerry Simon. One could easily spend their entire visit without venturing beyond L.A. LIVE and have an action-packed getaway. There are a whopping 878 guest rooms at the hotel, including executive king rooms and suites, most with great city views.
For years, this hotel was a dowdy property famous only as the home of the Golden Globes. Thanks to a remodel in 2007-2008, though, the rather tired decor has been replaced by a look that's both comfortable and handsome, classic but not wedged in the past. The Aqua Star Spa offers a string of upscale treatments; unusually for a hotel in this part of town, the heated pool is big enough to swim in. Dining and drinking options are provided by Circa55 and one of the sole surviving tiki lounges to carry the name Trader Vic's; up in the rooms, all mod cons are present and correct.
Home-away-from-home may be a cliche, but for this collaboration between SBE Group and esteemed photographer Matthew Rolston, it's appropriate. The bachelor pad-cum-boutique hotel features 57 generously sized rooms with paisley prints, old-fashioned English sofas and vintage record players (vinyl supplied). Modern amenities such as Blu-ray disc players, Wi-Fi and kitchenettes with microwaves and washer-dryers assures you'll want for nothing. Each room has a balcony, some overlooking the iconic Capitol Records building. Guests are given preferential access to other SBE properties, although with the Library Bar, Glade courtyard lounge and Cleo restaurant, why would they ever want to leave?
In 1998, at the height of Austin Powers mania, the Standard was converted from a '60s retirement home to a tongue-in-chic shag pad: The brightly hued bedrooms come with minibars peddling condoms, and the space-age influence extends to the groovy lobby carpeting and the furniture. The schtick is looking a little weary these days, but the poolside lounge remains popular with a see-and-be-seen scene, and the staff are more welcoming than you might expect at a property where image is so crucial.
Built in 1923, the Biltmore retains the Italian-Spanish renaissance elegance that once enticed such dignitaries as Winston Churchill and JFK. The ground level is striking, one gorgeous room after another peeling off the exquisite lobby; a number of them, such as the Crystal Ballroom and the Gold Room, are available only for private hire, but if there's no event being staged and you ask nicely at reception, someone will show you around. Next to such extravagance, the rooms can hardly compete, but they're comfortable in an old-fashioned way.
This five-tower, 35-story, 1,400-room monster is one of DTLA's most unique buildings. Certainly, it looks the part: the huge lobby features a central bar that specializes in coffee during office hours and alcohol when day turns to night. Several restaurants provide other opportunities for visitors to fill up their expense accounts. The rooms are unremarkable but comfortable; needless to say, the views are terrific the higher your room. The pool's a good size, though you'll need a map to locate it.
The Downtown version of the Sunset Strip shag pad pokes fun at jet-setting '60s bachelors, with the lobby setting the swinger-style tone. Rooms come equipped with platform beds, tubs for two and peek-a-boo showers. Complete with DJs, vibrating waterbeds and views, the rooftop pool bar can be a tough ticket on weekends for non-guests; you'd do as well to hang out in the ground-level bar.
A fresh coat of pastel-colored paint and reconfigured decor has turned this Beverly Hills boutique hotel into a mid-century gem. The property features three bow-shaped buildings arranged around the pool area, all featuring accommodations that pair sea-inspired colors with pale wood and marble. The most noteworthy addition comes in the form of Viviane, the hotel's elegant yet laid-back poolside restaurant.
One of the most memorable buildings on the Sunset Strip (it's on the National Register of Historic Places), this beautiful tower opened in 1931 as an apartment block, but it's been a hotel for years. These days, the decor is a fine-tuned balance of old Hollywood charm and contemporary chic, and service is excellent. The elevated pool and lounge afford wonderful views of the city below, although equally breathtaking vistas can be enjoyed through floor-to-ceiling windows in the nicely sized rooms and suites.
Beachside views and locations may be a dime a dozen in Santa Monica, but the Shore Hotel boasts the only gold LEED certification in the neighborhood. So, the environmentally conscious set can feel good about the reduced water consumption, locally sourced materials and landscaping and low energy use. These green features mean modern, minimalist design with plenty of light and less swank. The glassed pool looks onto Ocean Avenue that's less see-and-be-seen and more family-friendly. Feeling hungry? Drop into Blue Plate Taco for lobster tacos and cocktails. And for those looking for a food break, can book the MAKE Wellness suite for a raw vegan itinerary of Paleta juices and raw, vegan at the nearby MAKE by Mattew Kenney restaurant.
More of the city's best hotels
What exactly gives a resort the distinction of being one of the best hotels in Los Angeles? Is it being by one of L.A.’s best beaches? Or proximity, whether by foot, train or car, to the top Los Angeles attractions? Is it a room so decadently comfortable that you never want to leave? Or a top-notch hotel brunch? These accommodations manage to check those marks and more to earn a spot in our list of the very best hotels in Los Angeles.