Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
Out of the past

Ten Classic Los Angeles Hotels

One of Los Angeles’ best qualities is the way it evokes the past: the ornate architecture, the creative history, its legacy as an oasis of entertainment culture. When you visit Los Angeles, you’ll want to recapture that magic by booking a stay in a hotel that hearkens back in time.

Fortunately, the past is very much present in this sprawling urban playground. We’ve rounded up some of LA’s best historic hotels where you will soak up the city’s storied past as the world center of cinema while also enjoying the modern city it is today. Needless to say, these are also some of the gayest places to stay anywhere.

millennium biltmore

1. Millennium Biltmore

Built in downtown in 1923, the Millennium’s most lovely feature is the Italian-Spanish Renaissance and Beaux Arts architecture. After hosting the Oscars in the ’30s and ’40s, it was designated a historic-cultural monument in the late ’60s. It’s a towering structure, covering half a city block and loaded with massive chandeliers, frescos, and tapestries. According to rumor, this is the place where the Oscar statue was first sketched on the back of a napkin.

figueroa hotel

2. Figueroa Hotel

It’s worth it to shell out a little extra for the deluxe rooms like the Casablanca Suite. Big beds, giant baths, and cozy Persian decor make it feel like a palace. The Figueroa started as a YMCA, but switched to a hotel after the Great Depression. It’s close to downtown attractions like LA Live, where you can see the best movies every made.

andaz hotel

3. Andaz

Built in the 1960s, the Andaz went through a couple of name changes over the years yet retains its distinct post-mid-century character. It was home to historic rockers like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, some of whom are rumored to have ridden their motorcycles through the halls. It had a little cameo in the movie Almost Famous — playing itself, redecorated back to its 1970s glory.

hotel normandie

4. Hotel Normandie

Head over to Koreatown to see the results of a $5 million renovation. It retains the 1920s Art Deco charm, but added modern amenities like high speed wireless. There’s plenty to see within walking distance, and you can find parking within a few blocks. Check out the huge fireplace in the lobby, hardwood floors, and pianos. The staff is known for being extra-friendly.

hollywood-roosevelt-tropicana-pool

5. Roosevelt Hotel

Stay in the heart of Hollywood and you’ll never be far from some action. This LA classic was named for President Theodore Roosevelt, built in the late ’20s by longtime collaborators Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Louis B. Mayer. It was home to the first Academy Awards, as well as, for a time, Marilyn Monroe. It’s said to be haunted by a little girl in a blue dress. Reserve one of the cabanas by the pool, where the beautiful people hang.

sunsettower-main-pool3

6. Sunset Tower Hotel

A short walk from the heart of West Hollywood, Sunset Tower is one of the most beautiful examples of Art Deco architecture in the city. The 15-story Hollywood landmark features bar and pool with a dazzling view of LA as well as first-rate dining. The Tower counts among its former celebrity residents Howard Hughes, John Wayne, Billie Burke, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Paulette Goddard, Zasu Pitts, and Bugsy Siegel.

cq5dam.web.1280.720

7. Beverly Wilshire

Hey big spenders. Looking to do a little luxury shopping? You’ll be surrounded by top-shelf stores if you stay at this 1928 landmark. Decked out in Tuscan marble, the Beverly Wilshire features a classy ballroom, giant swimming pool, and tennis courts. Elvis, Warren Beatty and John Lennon all called it home, and it was the backdrop of the show Entourage and the movie Pretty Woman.

georgian

8. The Georgian

There’s a colorful past to the Georgian: it was one of LA’s first speakeasies during Prohibition, a tribute to its libertine origins. These days, operations are more above-board but no less entertaining. Every room boasts ocean views, and there’s a ton of stuff within walking distance: the beach, shopping, and bike rides. If it was good enough for Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, it’s good enough for us.

casa del mar

9. Casa Del Mar

Built in 1926, this hotel underwent a big renovation in the late ’90s. You can get a charming brunch in the restaurant, splash around in the pool, or hang out in the lounge. It was a rec center for GIs during World War II, and was also home base for the Pritkin Longevity Center from the ’70s to the ’90s. From the front, you might mistake it for a brick palace, with its fancy arches and columns. Of course, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

chateau mormont

10. Chateau Marmont

There’s so much history here, it’s hard to know where to begin. Modeled after a French retreat, it was built in the ’20s after a rich lawyer returned inspired from a trip to Europe. It began life as an exclusive residence for Hollywood’s most well-heeled elite, and retains that reputation to this day. On any given day you’ll see Keanu or Leo striding through the tiled lobby. It’s tucked far enough away from the road to feel secluded, but close enough to the Sunset Strip that you can easily wander out of your room and into a nearby Pink Taco restaurant.

By:           matt baume
On:           Jul 8, 2014
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 7 Comments
    • petensfo
      petensfo

      They all look great.

      Can anyone suggest well-located, inexpensive hotel/guest houses, etc in WeHo, Silverlake, or other groovier locales?

      I usually end up at the Ramada Plaza on Santa Monica… it’s not bad, but it’s nothing special.

      Jul 8, 2014 at 9:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael
      michael

      #4 Hotel Normandie retains the 1920s Art Deco charm?
      Looks like california/western/ski lodge decor to me.

      Jul 8, 2014 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fantabhimbo
      fantabhimbo

      @petensfo: The Andaz is pretty affordable sometimes and it’s low-key about how chic it really is. A lot of freebies come with staying there, free wifi, free glass of wine when you check-in, free mini-bar (except for alcohol), free wine in the lobby every night from 5-7 PM, free coffee every morning in the lobby. And they have the most amazing pool, way at the rooftop, you can see the entire city below you. Request room 1015, Keith Richards stayed there and threw a TV out of the window.

      Jul 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sfbeast
      sfbeast

      @michael: I had the exact same reaction when I saw the photo.

      Jul 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chevelter
      Chevelter

      This is a good list, but the best hotel of them all is still The Beverly Hills Hotel. Rich Hollywood history, the best staff ever (many of them gay), an incredible 13+ acres of Heaven. Ignore the so-called boycott, created by a local union angry that the employees won’t join, and stay and enjoy. That’s what I do. It’s a fake controversy.

      Jul 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Austrian
      Austrian

      @michael I noticed that several of these are wrong. Ive stayed at The Georgian a few times and every room does NOT have an ocean view.

      Jul 8, 2014 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • petensfo
      petensfo

      @fantabhimbo: Thanks for the response. I’ll definitely check it out. xo, pete.

      Jul 9, 2014 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • QUEERTY DAILY

     


    POPULAR ON QUEERTY


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.