PHOTO: The ornate exterior of ACE Hotel in Los Angeles. (photo via Flickr/David Wilson)
Despite stereotypes, Los Angeles has a very unique personality that goes beyond Rodeo Drive, Hollywood and gorgeous model types rollerblading along the Venice Boardwalk.
LA is a melting pot of cultures, subcultures and countercultures that heavily influence its landscape, cuisine and character.
An L.A. visit therefore demands an immersion in these, and it all starts with the hotel you decide on as your base of operation. Skip the homogeneous Hiltons, Marriotts or Holiday Inns during your next visit, and slumber instead at one of these stunning boutique hotels that offer offbeat stays. Los Angeles, after all, is nothing if not distinctive.
Art and culture are common themes at the ACE Hotel in historic Downtown LA. So much so that it’s not the rooms themselves but the events, live music and impressively ornate theater that are the centerpieces here.
Music and art are recurring characters, even in the rooms—some come with an acoustic Martin Guitar or a turntable with vinyl selection, for example. Of course, amenities like free WiFi, in-room bathrobes, Pearl+ and Rudy’s toiletries and hypoallergenic mattresses can’t hurt either.
Mr. C Beverly Hills
Amalgamating Old Hollywood glamor with posh, European comfort and airy aesthetic is Mr. C Beverly Hills’ special blend of accommodation. It’s just the ticket if you’re into Mid-Century Modern fixtures but dislike the lackluster of having too many wood colors.
The thing that really puts this hotel above others? Its lavish perks package for the mini humans, which include a Mr. C Teddy Bear, homemade cookies with Nutella spread and milk, The Honest Company toiletries and the Little C coloring book.
Palihouse West Hollywood
This WeHo hotel-cum-residences shoo-in is known for its old-fashioned lounges and their signature cocktails. But you’ll love its minimalist vintage, artist studio-type interiors as well.
Each suite comes with exposed brick walls, propped up art—because where’s the fun in hanging them?—and custom-designed leather furniture. If you’re planning on a longer stay, worry not. It also comes with a kitchenette AND washer dryer. What more could you ask for?
Outdoor, European-style dining? Done!
Hollywood’s The Redbury exudes old-fashioned European charm with touches of 18th-century Persian design. Pretty paisley prints, solid vibrant reds and mustard yellows dominate the spacious rooms and make them more bohemian, while communal spaces flaunt a more classic sophistication. The overall result? Pretty irresistible.
If that isn’t enough, every suite comes with some vinyl records and a record player, a sure sign that you are truly in Los Angeles.
Farmer’s Daughter in La Brea may not be as popular as its counterparts, but it still ranks as one of the best boutique hotels in the city. Not only is it very LA with its hip, modern vibe blended with country chic charm, the hotel also offers on-site yoga, membership to Easton Gym, and bike rentals.
The rooms and suites are just as charming (so charming you won’t want to leave) and boast denim duvets, plaid curtains, rain showers and Lather toiletries.
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The LINE Hotel
Floor-to-ceiling windows, bare concrete walls and lots of vertical and horizontal lines are The LINE Hotel’s signature look, making for ultra-modern, airy rooms with a loft vibe.
Said rooms are then flourished with muted colors and lots of curves for a more homey feel. It’s this stunning combination that makes this Koreatown spot one of the coveted and most Instagrammed hotels in the city.
The freestanding bathtubs and comfy, window-facing beds are just the cherry on top.
Hotel Covell (in Los Feliz), on the other hand, boasts rooms with an apartment-style look and feel.
Inspired by the very industry that fuels Los Angeles, this boutique hotel welcomes long-term guests as well as short stayers. It also flaunts an appealingly vintage flair while still offering the modern luxuries guests are used to.
Marble, velvet and wood intermingle in the suites, which are designed like movie sets and named like chapters of a book. It’s all so very quirky!
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Mama Shelter LA
Yellow plays the main character in Mama Shelter LA’s rooms, which are named Medium Mama, Large Mama and XXL Mama, based on their respective categories. (Blues and reds make guest appearances as well.)
The rooms themselves are minimalist, but they are furnished with working iMacs, a room amenity you’ll rarely find in other hotels.
For beautiful Los Angeles sunsets and a view of the Hollywood sign, head to the rooftop where you can dine at colorful café-style tables.
The Rose Hotel
With Abbott Kinney Boulevard as its backyard and designed by the man himself in 1908, The Rose Hotel is the obvious winner if Venice is your muse of choice. Its rooms and suites are minimalist and modestly decorated, but they do boast trimmings that are truly Venician.
Guest favorite flourishes include the clawfooted tubs, plus guest rooms with shared baths for the more transient guests.
The Hollywood Roosevelt
With 300 rooms, The Hollywood Roosevelt may not be technically considered a boutique hotel. But it certainly has the look and feel of one.
If you adore earthy tones and the modern Hollywood atmosphere, it’s the place to stay. Following a major renovation, the legendary hotel now flaunts an updated look with Spanish-inspired fabrics, leather seating and sliding wooden barn doors. Secure a Studio King if you have an affinity for canopy beds.