Living Large in Los Angeles
By Laura Arden
There is such a fun range of hotel personalities in Los Angeles, from ultra-luxurious to hipster-swank to funky, fun boutique and everything in between. Which property you choose depends on what flavor you're in the mood for, which part of town you want to be in, your budget, whether you are looking for a pool to hang out at, a pet friendly doggie home away from home and so on.
Although Los Angeles is known for its beaches, there aren't tons of choices for staying beachside. Most hotels are in town, either in West LA or in the downtown area. There are some good beach options and many more to choose from in West LA (Westwood, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City) as well as downtown.
You can see our complete list of Juicy favorite Los Angeles hotels by clicking here.
Where to Stay in West LA
Hotel Bel-Air, Beverly Hills
The Hotel Bel Air is a cool combo of Hollywood star power bling and comfortably welcoming and friendly. You don't HAVE to be someone to stay here, thank goodness, because the property is absolutely lovely. Every pore of this recently renovated iconic beauty oozes history and charm. It's well worth doing some reading up on the property's illustrious past while you're there.
Although the rooms are so lovely it's hard to peel yourself out of them, peel out you must to enjoy the jewel box pool, Wolfgang Puck's outdoor terrace restaurant and in the evening, do NOT miss the bar. If you come back from your evening exhausted or are just ramping up to head out…seriously, this is a bar not to be missed. Friendly bartenders shake up wicked concoctions in unique style and will help suggest fun things to try. The people watching, it must be said, is over the top, but in an understated way.
The onsite Spa by La Prarie is gorgeous and well worth booking a signature treatment. Guest rooms are stocked with La Prarie products as well. There is a couples treatment room with private patio, a 24 hour fitness studio and steam rooms in both the women's and men's facilities.
The grounds are simply spectacular, with rooms spilling into canyons, hillsides, clustered in little enclaves some with private patios, private hot tubs and wood buring fireplaces. The recent renovations have brought this timeless beauty into the modern world without losing it's historical charm. This is a truly Juicy property and one not to be missed if you are looking for something special in Los Angeles.
The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
Even though Los Angeles is a beach city, it's remarkably hard to stay on the beach. The options are quite limited to sleep waterfront in La La Land. The Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey isn't exactly on the beach but rooms do look over the boat stocked marina and the beach is an easy walk or bike ride away. One of my favorite things about this location is it's easy bike path access for walking, running or biking. You can rent bikes in the lobby for a really reasonable rate and pop right up to Venice Beach or tool around the spread out Marina. There are also a handful of good restaurants right outside the door, as well as the on property jer-ne which is quite good with outdoor seating and an outdoor bar area with fire pits overlooking the marina.
The marina view pool with a hot tub tucked back in the greenery is peaceful and low key, with a outdoor fire pits, poolside bar and service. It's a great spot to feel the vacation vibe or take a break in work mode. The concierge lounge looks out over the harbor with absolutely five star service from a genuinely caring staff. It speaks volumes that a 20+ year employment anniversary was being celebrated by a lovely concierge lounge staff member during my stay. I would actually personally choose this property specifically for the concierge lounge access and perks. There are four services during the day, breakfast, lunch, cocktail hour and desserts plus after dinner drinks. While open throughout the day as a good spot to work from or plan your day, these four service periods offer plenty to fuel up on. It's a low key, friendly concierge lounge with great views and WiFi making it well worth the bump up in cost to purchase access if you are around the property enough to utilize it.
Be sure to ask for the "Marina Del Rey Walking Guide" from the concierge lounge. It shows you the lay of the land with walking and biking options for the area.
Hotel Angeleno, Westwood
Convenient if you need to be on the West side of town, especially UCLA, this boutique hotel offers free valet parking, free WiFi, complimentary wine hour in the lobby, a free shuttle to UCLA and comfortable rooms.
West Restaurant and Lounge on the 17th floor has great views of the ocean, LA skyline and surrounding hills with breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as solid appetizers in the cocktail lounge. Sunday brunch is popular here as well as sunset cocktails.
The quirky, boutique vibe of this just off-Sunset Blvd is fun but the real reason to stay here is the rooftop private club, accessible only to guests and members. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner it's a really sweet place to park it for a spell. WiFi makes it easy to work from here, and eavesdropping on the movie biz folks is fun. Fuzzy blankets are thoughtfully provided around the cozy deck seating areas if you aren't lucky enough to have scored a fireplace spot. Service is attentive, the menu offers something sure to please, the wine list offers plenty to love and signature cocktails invite you to hang out awhile longer in this unique only in Hollywood nest.1 of 2