Historically, our recommended hotels in Los Angeles have been clustered in Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Those neighborhoods are still fine places in which to stay, but they are at least half an hour from downtown, which is now home to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars and cultural institutions. Our editor decided to see if he could find any smaller hideaways closer to that area. He also assessed hotels along the coast. Here are his two recommendations.
Within a short walk of the center of West Hollywood’s nightlife on Santa Monica Boulevard, this 23-room property combines a century-old bungalow with a new building tucked discreetly behind it. Public spaces include a compact lobby-lounge, a sunny roof terrace (some room rates include a complimentary rooftop picnic) and the cozy Living Room, where small continental breakfast buffets are served each morning (savory items and proteins are available via room service). There is no bar or restaurant. Each room is individually decorated.
What our editor says: “The Hotel 850 is not a grand luxury hotel like our other properties in town; instead, it’s a charming and very comfortable guesthouse. I wouldn’t hesitate to return.”
Read more about Hotel 850.
A short walk from the Malibu Pier, this 47-room beach hotel has recently reinvented itself, refreshing the rooms and public spaces. Our third-floor King Premier Ocean Front room mixed beachy and Danish modern styles, with wood floors, wood paneling, a vaulted wood-beamed ceiling and a gas fireplace. A balcony with a table and chairs had unobstructed views of the beach and pier. The shower-only bath had an elaborate Japanese-style toilet but felt tight, as did the one small closet. Still, the overall comfort of our room, the beauty of our view and the thoughtfulness of the staff were compelling.
What our editor says: “I very much enjoyed relaxing on the sofa in front of our gas fireplace with the complimentary bottle of excellent wine the hotel provided.”
Read more about Malibu Beach Inn.