Since March 2020, visitors from the UK and most of the European Union have been banned from travelling to the USA, but with America having finally lifted restrictions on November 8, it’s time to start planning that long-awaited trip across The Pond. With short days and long dark nights to look forward to in England until the clocks spring forward next March, Southern California’s famously nearly always 70 degrees and sunny year-round weather should appeal to anyone seeking brighter and warmer climes this winter. And where better to soak up a little sunshine and indulge in a spot of poolside star-spotting than the iconic West Coast city of Los Angeles?
Whether LA is your final destination or merely a jumping-off point for parts as yet unknown across the state, the City of Angels has seen a wave of new hotel openings in 2021, leaving travellers somewhat spoiled for choice. Depending on which neighbourhood or part of town you have a soft spot for, there’s everything from the reimagined Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City and mid-century modern Thompson Hollywood to a rather darling historic motel up the coast in Malibu to consider. Here are five of the brightest new hotels to check in for incomparable room service and relaxation across Los Angeles.
Downtown L.A. Proper
Proper Hospitality opened the doors to its fourth namesake property with the Downtown L.A. Proper last month. Located within walking distance of the DTLA Arts District, renowned interior designer Kelly Wearstler has meticulously reimagined the Californian Renaissance Revival landmark building in her signature glam meets artful style juxtaposing chic vintage finds with custom furnishings.
The 148-room hotel features several suites, including a £7,500 per night one-of-a-kind pool suite that comes with a private bar, lounge area, and, yes, an indoor swimming pool in a nod to the building’s former iteration as a WYCA in the 1960s.
DTLA might be dotted with great restaurants, but the Downtown L.A. Proper has got you covered when it comes to drinking and dining. Head to bar-restaurant Cara Cara for all-day modern Californian-inspired fare and spectacular skyline views from the adjacent rooftop pool and deck. Make dinner plans at signature restaurant Caldo Verde whose focus is Portuguese and Spanish-influenced dishes, then belly up at the soon to be opened speakeasy lounge, Dalia, for cocktails.
Rooms from £273 per night.
Address: 1100 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Fairmont Century Plaza
From architect Minoru Yamasaki’s iconic mid-century-modern structure to its glittering guest list of movies stars, music legends, and U.S. Presidents, one of Tinseltown’s most iconic properties just reopened after a $2.5 billion redevelopment and is readying for its second act as the Los Angeles hotel to be at.
The Century Plaza reigned as a Hollywood mecca for years – Bob Hope emceed the 1966 opening gala, its ballroom hosted the Apollo 11 astronauts’ state dinner with Nixon in 1969, and Sonny and Cher held a residency there in the 1970s.
Today, as the Fairmont Century Plaza, its 16 floors now house 400 guest rooms, including 49 suites, plus a hotel-within-a-hotel experience, Fairmont Gold, which features perks like private check-in and checkout and dedicated personal assistants from a 24/7 concierge service. In addition, the 1920s French-inspired brassiere Lumiére is open for all-day service and pre-dinner cocktails, while a visit to the hammam and Himalayan salt room inside the Fairmont Spa Century Spa should help shake off any lingering jet-lag.
Rooms can be booked from £500 per night.
Address: 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067
This handsome addition to Los Angeles’ luxury hotel line-up debuted in August and quickly became the new see-and-be-seen spot for Angelenos and travellers alike, thanks in part to its postcard-perfect rooftop pool deck and French Riviera-inspired cocktail den, Bar Lis. It’s located one block north of Sunset Boulevard and a stone’s throw from L.A. cultural landmarks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Capitol Records Building, and Hollywood’s oldest restaurant, The Musso and Frank Grill.
Across each of the hotel’s 11 floors, London-based designer Tara Bernard and Partners has created a luxe residential feel celebrating all-things la la Land, from music to movies. Saturated with Mad Men-esque mid-century details and décor, the Lobby Bar is a total standout while a much-anticipated signature restaurant Mes Amis, helmed by acclaimed local chef Lincoln Carson is coming soon. Guest rooms and suites, many of which enjoy views of the Hollywood Sign, feature original artwork and bathrooms stocked with coveted D.S. and Durga products.
Rooms can be booked from £200 per night.
Address: 1541 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The West Hollywood EDITION
Sleek, sophisticated, and, according to Vogue, delivering plenty of “high octane glamour,” Ian Schrager’s boutique EDITION hotel brand is synonymous with gorgeous spaces and minimalist luxury, and The West Hollywood EDITION is no exception.
Designed by UK architect John Pawson, the high-end design hotel wows at almost every turn – from its grand cedar doors and Italian travertine marble flooring to the floor-to-ceiling greenery. You’ll find a steady crowd of sartorial travellers and local movers and shakers coming through here thanks to a destination-worthy restaurant (Ardor) helmed by Michelin-starred chef John Fraser, a lovely full-service spa, and Instagram gold rooftop pool with sweeping city views.
Located in the heart of ‘WeHo’ (1 OAK Los Angeles is across the street although the hotel has its disco-ball bedecked nightclub of its own, Sunset at EDITION), the West Hollywood Edition is a splurge-worthy getaway best suited to couples, friend groups or business travellers. Dressed in whitewashed teak and neutral tones, rooms and suites feel low-key yet ultra-luxe.
Rooms can be booked from £305 per night.
Address: 9040 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Hotel June Malibu
Opened in 1949 as the Malibu Riviera Motel, famous former guests at this historic fixture off California’s Pacific Coast Highway include James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, while Bob Dylan holed up there to pen his 1975 album, “Blood on the Tracks.” Reopened in 2017 after a major renovation and rebrand by Native Hotels, the property just completed another significant remodel by Proper Hospitality’s sister company, Hotel June, spearheaded by Native Hotel’s ownership team.
Steps from Zuma Beach- one of the loveliest stretches of golden sand in Southern California – each of the 11 reimagined Mid-century bungalows come decked out with original local artwork, 1950s-inspired Tivoli radios, and Aesop bath products and make for a welcome retro retreat. Still in its soft opening phase soon, you will be able to order food to go from Cal-Mex café Scenic Route to enjoy poolside or on your private patio. Alternatively, pop down into Malibu village proper to dine and people watch at Nobu Malibu or the Malibu Farm Restaurant on the pier.
Rooms can be booked from £330 per night.
Address: 28920 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265