What are the best historic hotels in Los Angeles?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Martine Bury

As the legendary playground of the rich and famous, Los Angeles is home to many storied hotels. My favorite among them is the Chateau Marmont Hotel & Bungalows. Modeled after a royal residence in France's Loire Valley, the building was originally opened as an apartment house in 1929. If the walls could talk, they would spill every detail of celebrity revelry and scandal that has taken place in this landmark building, high above Sunset Boulevard. It was purchased and restored by hotelier and restaurateur André Balazs in 1990. The hotel has played host to a long list of notable names, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clark Gable and Greta Garbo to Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, Leonardo DiCaprio and Lindsay Lohan. Comedian John Belushi, most famously, overdosed here. Still, the gothic lobby, fabled bungalows, and well-worn hallways make this monument to Hollywood glamour a still super-chic destination.

The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, also known as the “Pink Palace”, may be one of the most iconic properties in Los Angeles. The rich and famous and have been staying there (and in its bungalows) since it opened in 1912, and shows no signs of slowing down after a hundred years. This hideaway that served as inspiration for the Eagles classic song “Hotel California” is located on Sunset Blvd. Keeping with tradition, the classic hotel's beautiful guests still lounge by the Olympic-size swimming pool to enjoy Los Angeles’s hospitable sunrays and grab drinks at the intimate Polo Lounge.

The Hollywood Roosevelt is a Spanish-style stunner that was opened in 1927, with 300 rooms and was the first venue to host the Academy Awards. It is right in the heart of Hollywood’s entertainment district, providing walkable access to some of Hollywood’s main attractions, including the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Guests with a penchant for nightlife may attempt to make their way to its downstairs nightclub Teddy’s, notoriously celeb-infested and difficult to get into. Nonetheless, the Roosevelt is packed with alluring details. British painter David Hockney painted the hotel’s pool bottom in 1998. Mixology buffs can enjoy the city's best cocktails in LA at the onsite Library Bar.

For those who can do without the scene, the Millenium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, built in 1923, is a luxurious focal point of the revitalized cultural district in Downtown Los Angeles. Featured in over 100 motion pictures, this Italian-Spanish Renaissance-style hotel is known equally for its grandeur and lavish interiors as it is for hosting parties and conventions for celebrities and international businesses and dignitaries.

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