With the Oscars on the horizon Tinseltown finds itself in the spotlight once again, in particular the iconic LA hotels, which host the glitziest after-parties in town. Los Angeles has no shortage of iconic hotels to choose from, whether you’re after the old Hollywood glamour of the Beverly Hills Hotel or the effortless cool of the Chateau Marmont. Here, we’ve rounded up the finest Los Angeles hotels, where you’re more than likely to bump into a Hollywood starlet or two.
The Most Iconic LA Hotels
When it comes to LA hotels, anyone who’s anyone has stayed at the Pink Palace, as it’s affectionately known – over the years it’s hosted the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Clark Gable in its hallowed, palm tree-wallpapered halls or underneath the green-and-white candy-striped ceiling of its Polo Lounge, where countless Hollywood deals have been made.
It was by The Beverely Hills hotel’s swimming pool that Terry O’Neill famously captured Faye Dunaway the night after her Oscar win for Network, and last year Chanel chose it to host its glittering annual pre-Oscar dinner, where Joan Collins was spotted rubbing shoulders with Sienna Miller, Jessie Buckley and Rita Ora. You’re also likely to bump into a few famous faces in the plush spa, which recently underwent an extensive renovation by Alexandra Champalimaud to make it the most glamorous beauty spot in 90210.
If the walls at the Chateau could talk, we can only imagine the stories they’d have to tell… The André Balazs-owned property just off the Sunset Strip has been the LA hotel of choice for mischievous rockers and hell-raising starlets for decades – Bette Davis almost burned the hotel down after falling asleep with a lit cigarette in the Fifties and Jim Morrison used to swing between the balconies on drainpipes when he stayed.
It’s also provided the backdrop for numerous Hollywood films, including Sophia Coppola’s Somewhere. The Chateau Marmont remains the favoured spot for LA’s most raucous parties and is the venue of choice for Jay Z and Beyoncé’s post-Oscars bash, the Gold Party, which Zoe Kravitz, Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya attended last year. Book into one of their luxe bungalows and keep your eyes peeled in the Gothic-glam lobby – you never know who you’re going to bump into here.
One of the most iconic LA hotels, this Art Deco gem on Sunset Boulevard has been a firm favourite with the Hollywood elite ever since its first iteration as a luxe apartment building in 1929, with Truman Capote, Marilyn Monroe and Mae West all taking apartments here. It’s rumoured that John Wayne kept his pet cow on the balcony so that guests could have fresh milk with their coffee, and Iggy Pop would routinely dive from his apartment window into the pool below – with varying levels of success.
The Sunset Tower became a hotel in the mid-80s but it wasn’t until legendary hotelier Jeff Klein revamped the property in 2005 that it re-emerged as the Hollywood hot spot it is today. The hotel hosted the prestigious Vanity Fair Oscar party for five years from 2009, and ever since it’s become the go-to place for big names looking for a discrete night out: George and Amal Clooney, Tom Ford and Orlando Bloom are all regulars at the Tower Bar, while Jennifer Aniston chose the hotel for her star-studded 50th birthday party in 2019.
Few hotels can claim Oscar pedigree like the Hollywood Roosevelt, which hosted the first-ever Academy Awards in its Blossom Room in 1929. Opened by four of the biggest names in the film industry just two years earlier – Louis B Mayer, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Sid Grauman – the hotel went on to become a favoured haunt for the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, with the former even living here for two years of her life.
These days it still draws a starry crowd, particularly for Oscar viewing parties (they’ve been known to order in 600 extra bottles of champagne to accommodate their famous guests during awards season) and its popular Felix Art Fair, held every February during Frieze, where Brad Pitt is a regular. Book a room in the hotel’s original 1927 tower and make a beeline for the famous pool, which features a mural painted by David Hockney at its bottom and is worth $1 million.
While LA has plenty of grande dame hotels to choose from, the coolest new(ish) kid on the block has to be The West Hollywood Edition, Ian Schrager’s latest West Coast offering. Its starry launch party at the end of 2019 was attended by Leonardo DiCaprio and Janelle Monáe, who performed in their packed-out nightclub, Sunset, under a ceiling covered with 250 glittering disco balls.
Since then, the hotel has cemented itself as something of a music and art world darling, hosting all the hottest soirées for both the Grammys and Frieze LA. As well as boasting the chicest rooftop pool in West Hollywood, its restaurant, Ardor, is also popular with stars thanks to its vegetable-forward cuisine, with the great and the good lining up to try celebrated chef John Fraser’s much-hyped cauliflower tandoor.