Want a break without leaving town? You’re in luck. A stellar set of design-forward hotels have opened in L.A., offering small havens of peace during what now seems like a durably turbulent time.
Here, our picks for the best new (and newish) in-town stays. Book one for the weekend, turn off your phone and settle in for a worthy break.
On a wintry day late last year, the Proper Hotel finally opened its doors. After ongoing pandemic delays pushed the opening date back several times, it seemed like their latest outpost was doomed to hang in limbo forever. But the greatest hotels are always worth the wait, and this stylish guesthouse is no different. Located in a carefully restored historical building, with intricate, calm-inducing interiors by designer Kelly Wearstler, this latest iteration expertly illustrates why Proper is one of modern hospitality’s greatest newcomers.
Hand-painted ceilings in the lobby make walking in feel like entering a dreamy hacienda, and just off the front door, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s latest collaboration, Caldo Verde, beckons guests to come embark on a tasting tour of Portuguese flavors. This dining powerhouse has outdone themselves this time, with yet another concept, Cara Cara, debuting on the Proper’s glowing rooftop. Cocktails in both locations are excellent, but the view from the roof and a touch of Old World elegance makes them taste even better upstairs.
Before getting too distracted by the excellent food and beverage, take a moment to admire the sometimes fantastical rooms; one suite includes the option of your own private pool, another is a reimagined basketball court transformed into a lofty open-floor plan. For most guests, settling into a cozy room with raked stucco walls, extra tall windows and a spacious bathroom (complete with Aesop products) will be more than enough for a quick visit to the city or a luxurious staycation.
Cool, cozy linens and sweet touches like a nightly turndown service turn a night at the Proper into more than a home away from home — it’s better than home, as it should be. Wake up early and grab a coffee down in Caldo Verde’s breezy, pristine dining room, or sleep in, order breakfast in bed and soak up your temporary bedroom’s designer aura.
A little bit more modern and relaxed than some of its L.A. counterparts, The Godfrey exudes low-key hospitality in the middle of the sometimes fussy Hollywood scene. Still, the property fits in neatly with its surroundings, with a sleek, glassed-in modern lobby that houses their signature restaurant, ALK (a clever acronym, About Last Knife), and feels at one with the high-energy crowds bustling around it. Built around a beautiful, greenery-laden middle courtyard, the bulk of the rooms have courtyard views, but there’s plenty of L.A. skyline to go around when dining, drinking and swimming on the massive rooftop. With tiny but efficient European-style rooms, The Godfrey is perfect for guests who want to soak up the Hollywood scene, and come back to their own little stylish haven during the wee hours.
While the Silver Lake Pool & Inn, which opened in late 2019, isn’t necessarily brand new at this point, the guesthouse has made the most of being open primarily during a pandemic. Since the Los Feliz/Silver Lake/Echo Park trifecta has a stranglehold on the cool, artistic populace in Los Angeles, it’s only natural that the area would need a similarly chic hotel for visiting guests. SPI delivers. They’ve got a picturesque second-floor pool and a built-in bar and restaurant that aspires to Italian coastal fare, cheerfully dubbed Marco Polo. Plus, the rooms are so fashionable that it isn’t at all surprising that a neighboring tenant might just be an Instagram darling, renting one out for a photo shoot.
Situated in the emerging, newly distinguished Hollywood Vinyl District, the Thompson Hollywood is right in the thick of nightlife action. If you’re looking for a hotel with the party built in? Look no further. Though it only opened in August 2021, The Thompson’s rooftop venue, Bar Lis, has already become a hot spot for Los Feliz locals and East Hollywood entertainment types who flock to their Tuesday night jazz sessions and stick around for drinks and bites. Staying the night is always an option if the late night goes too long, and whether it’s a quick stopover or a longer staycation, their rooftop pool with sweeping views of Hollywood will make you feel like visiting royalty. The Thompson has already become synonymous with thoughtful luxury, as Hyatt expands their boutique brand to keep up with the increased demand for unique properties that have a standalone feel.
Venice is well established as one of the coolest parts of greater Los Angeles, and now it has a hotel that captures the neighborhood’s effortless spirit. This historic 1915 brick building once housed long-term tenants like Charlie Chaplin and Clara Bow, but has been renovated and faithfully restored to give visitors a true Venice beachfront experience. From the lobby’s skateboard wheel mural to each penthouse’s signature aesthetic theme, custom graffiti art and stunning beach views, there’s no better representative of West L.A.’s enduring skate ‘n’ surf culture than this property. Steps from Venice’s beach skate park and the water itself, enjoy programming like beach yoga or bike rentals, then come home and clean up in style — yes, your shower has an ocean view, too.
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