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terranea, terranea resort, palos verdes
Photograph: Courtesy Terranea Resort

Staycation guide: Vacation at the best hotels in Los Angeles

Browse our staycation guide with the best hotels in Los Angeles to unwind and leave the daily grind.

By Katherine Kims

We love LA, and we know that you love LA, but we also know that sometimes you just need a break from living in LA...without actually leaving. Use this staycation guide to the best hotels in LA when you need to get away from it all. Whether you want to retreat to the rooftop of a famed hotel near Hollywood or a resort with one of the best spas in LA—we've got you covered the next time you need a little R&R, but can't leave the city. When a roadtrip to Santa Barbara or even a weekend in Catalina seems too far, change the scenery at a city hotel. Treat yourself following the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas holidays at these hotels perfect for your next staycation.

Recommended: See more things to do in LA


Hotels Boutique hotels Rancho Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates

Welcome to Paradise. Situated on an oceanside bluff in posh Rancho Palos Verdes, the picturesque resort is a Mecca of relaxation and resort life. The 102-acre resort boasts a nine-hole golf course, spa, three pools (including adult-only), and eight—count 'em, eight—restaurants. And if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, there's also paddleboarding, snorkeling and horseback riding. Accommodations range from the usual rooms and suites to larger, more luxurious bungalows, casitas and villas. Rumor has it that even a few Hollywood films were filmed here, so be sure to show your good side when lounging by the pool.

Hotel Bel-Air

Hotels Bel Air

This elite and quietly decadent Mission-style '20s hotel, a deamy getaway on 12 fairytale acres of lush landscaping, reopened in 2011 after a major two-year overhaul. The additions—which include new lofts and hillside suites, a La Prairie spa and fitness center, plus upgraded room features—are impressive, but thankfully the overall vibe hasn't changed much: Guests still enjoy spending long afternoons by the pool, meandering through the gardens or subtly trying to spot which Hollywood player is sitting at the next table in the Wolfgang Puck restaurant.


Shore Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Downtown Santa Monica

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.

Shade Hotel

Hotels Boutique hotels Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is getting a makeover and the Shade Hotel is bringing the modern, boutique hotel to the beachside nabe. The 38 guest-room hotel may be small, but there are plenty of dining options nearby as well as a spa and the beach in walking distance. Traditionalists may be jarred by the modern, blue light-theme (the color-adjustable lighting is actually used a chromatherapy). Take a sunset break on the rooftop Skydeck complete with plunge pool and lounge chairs.


Sunset Tower

Hotels Boutique hotels West Hollywood

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.

Los Angeles Athletic Club

Things to do Event spaces Downtown Financial District

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. The space also offers conference rooms and a luxury hotel. 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.


Palihouse Santa Monica

Hotels Boutique hotels Santa Monica

Palihouse arrives on the Westside, inside a historic 1920s Spanish Colonial building, steps from the Third Street Promenade. Avi Brosh follows up his original Palihouse West Hollywood and Palihotel on Melrose Avenue with this 38-room hotel, formerly the Embassy Hotel, that brings Old Hollywood into the 21st century. Spanish tiles, a stone fireplace and original blown glass doors and wood-beam ceilings are showcased alongside modern, fun (and impeccably-designed) Palihouse touches. The apartment-style studios, one and two–bedroom (and soon-to-come three bedroom) suites are each outfitted with a vanity room—to prep for your close-up—and kitchen, stocked with a breakfast nook, blender, toaster and full-size fridge—to fill with farmers market produce. If a snack attack hits, raid the mini bar, filled with Mexican coke and Dean & Deluca snacks (milk chocolate malt balls, anyone?). Because we are by the beach, you'll find elements of the sea (bespoke maritime-themed wallpaper) and easy access to the sand (Linus bikes for guests). There is plenty of space to lounge and spend a lazy afternoon: Check out the Mediterranean-style outdoor patio, front lawn with bocce ball court and gurgling fountain, and lobby outfitted with velour-tufted seats, leather booths and a coffee bar. Guests can dine around the clock on fresh juices and Illy coffee to breakfast (coffee cinnamon French toast, buttery blueberry muffin) and old-school faves (Brown Derby Cobb salad, root beer float and banana split with housemade ice cream).


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