In a way, L.A.’s tourism industry is its oldest.
First it was prospectors, westward bound in search of sunny climes and untold riches. Then it was Mission tours, and new-age wellness retreats, and finally, Oh look, there’s a Kardashian!
But the big draw these days is the simplest: from the food to the art to the great outdoors, L.A. is a singular, diverse and history-rich city. And it only stands to reason that it offers some of the best accommodations, too.
So today, we’ve compiled 16 we love, then adorned each with its own superlative to help you identify the best use case. Whether you’re looking for the perfect staycation or a place to stash the in-laws this holiday season, the perfect spot awaits.
Economy Hotel You Are Most Likely to Forget Is an Economy Hotel: The Hotel Indigo Downtown L.A.
At $205, you can’t beat the Indigo, which has marble and brass fixtures in its rooms. The swanky contemporary design and central location also make it an ideal spot for going on a foodie-fueled romp or taking in a Lakers game.
Room You Are Least Likely to Leave: Kimpton’s Lapeer Hotel Hollywood
You’ve had a crazy week. You want to escape from work, kids, neighbors. Book at the Kimpton and ask for the Bath Amenity. A spa specialist will come to your room and sprinkle delightful salts in your soaking tub and place a tray with teas over the lip. Post-bath, order the Speakeasy service and a mixologist will come up to your room and make you a tipple you’ll never forget.
Most Impressive Entrance/Lobby: NoMad
Few things elicit an Angeleno eye-roll like a New York establishment taking up residence here — most come with their B-game at best and act like we should be grateful. Not NoMad. The famed NYC hotelier landed this year with a historic renovation of a n eoclassical building downtown that is one of the best designs in the country, let alone L.A. The lobby has all of the art-deco romance of a bygone era, the nooks and crannies perfect for intimate encounters and a modish splendor that will stand the test of time.
Suite Most Likely to Have Its Own Zip Code: Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
The Presidential Suite at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills is 3,215 square feet, with a 1,459 square feet terrace — substantially more than the average two-bedroom condo. It’s secured by Crestron, which is reassuring if you’re a sheik or someone worth killing.
Glampiest Glampsite: Under Canvas
Under Canvas launched earlier this year with glamping in Zion Canyon, and now has them throughout the southwest. They’ll get you closer to nature than a hotel, and you’ll still be on a lush bed with use of Jeep tours through lesser-known areas of the National Park you’re staying in.
Best In-House Dining: Hotel Figueroa
The renovation of Hotel Figueroa was a long time coming, and worth the wait. The Mission-style redo paid off not only with swanky rooms, a Cali-clean pool patio and use of house Teslas, but also with Breva, a Basque-inspired brasserie fused with a dash of Mediterranean cuisine. It’s helmed by Chef Casey Lane of Tasting Kitchen fame.
Best Room Service: Freehand Hotel
The Freehand is the mid-market flag for the folks behind NoMad, and it delivers a mid-century-modern-meets-beachy vibe. The Exchange is one of its restaurants, an Israeli-styled spot listed among our favorites last year, and you can order that creamy hummus up to your room, along with a crispy spitzel and a burger.
Spa Experience You’re Most Likely to Make a Habit Of: Hotel Bel-Air
When you smell the fresh air and eucalpytus at the newly renovated spa the Hotel Bel-Air, it won’t be manufactured — it’ll be breezing in from the open door to your private spa villa. There’s a marble tub full of warm, skin-soothing salts and oils. This is the best retreat within city limits.
Best Place to Up Your Surfing Game: Surfrider Hotel, Malibu
Practice makes perfect, and perfect practice makes it even better. Best to get a jump on those morning sets at the Surfrider in Malibu, a beachy hotel where they have a dedicated storage space for your surfboard and wetsuit so it won't junk up your room. Catch some post-wave cocktails on their roof deck overlooking the Pacific.
Best Place to Stick Your In-laws This Holiday Season: The Ambrose Hotel
The Ambrose has some of the most comfortable rooms in town, and it’s ideal for the parents because it’s quiet, easy to get to and has a lovely patio where they can enjoy coffee and tea while waiting for you to come scoop them up. It’s also two blocks from a new restaurant, The Rooster, a great spot with B/L/D service.
Best Indoor-Outdoor Bathroom Situation: Nobu Malibu
The Ryokan-style soaking tubs in your room at Nobu are made of teak and feel so minimalistically Japanese that you’ll slip into a Zen state no sooner than your toes hit the warm water. And when you look up, you’ll see the stars through an expansive skylight.
Ritziest Roadside Motel: The Native Hotel
When the Native Hotel first opened in Malibu, Ludo Lefevre was running a little waffle stand on Saturdays. That’s no más, but you’re close to the action, not to mention the surf. The modestly appointed rooms come with a gravel patio and a hammock.
Room-With-a-Viewiest: InterContinental Downtown
There are many elevated hotels in town, but only the InterContinental takes this literally. That’s because you check in on the 70th floor, with a view of pretty much everything LA has to offer. The rooms are elegant. The dining is too. And you’re staying atop the tallest building in town.
Best Place to Take the Kids for a Beach Weekend: Lido House Newport Beach
Lido House is a beachy hotel in Newport with a Cape Cod feel, and they have cottages that are ideal for a couples retreat or family getaway. There’s a spa, boating excursions and fine dining. No need to leave unless it’s on a boat.
Best Place to Sleep Off a Wine-and-Cheese Coma: Hotel California
The Hotel California is another Mission-style historic hotel located in Santa Barbara that opened last summer with royal rooms, a rooftop pool overlooking the ocean, a spa and Blackbird, a Morrocan-esque restaurant. The big benefit is it’s steps from the Funk Zone, where all of the vineyards have their tasting rooms.
Best Place to Keep a Year-Round Tan : Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs
The rooftop pool at the new Kimpton Rowan has great views of the surrounding mountains while getting you closer to those rays. The decor downstairs is mid-century with some flashy technology, and it's also a few blocks from the Palm Springs Art Museum, which if you haven’t visited, you should — it’s impressive. All six dining options are destinations unto themselves.
Images via their respective sites; main image via Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group.