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Los Angeles Hotel

A presidential suite that truly merits the name

The St. Regis L.A., latest sibling of the esteemed New York original and member of Starwood's Luxury Collection, has a presidential suite that truly merits the name. In 1984, when the Century City high-rise opened as the Century Plaza Tower, the suite's inaugural guest was Ronald Reagan, who returned again and again. He was followed by presidents Bush and Clinton—the latter during last August's Democratic convention, just after the renamed hotel's $40 million makeover.

Occupying the entire top floor of the 31-story tower, this presidential penthouse boasts restricted access (your chopper can land on the rooftop helipad) and commanding views of L.A. With wall-to-wall windows and huge terraces facing east and west, it's no place for those who fear heights, but there's no chance of claustrophobia. Taken as a whole, the high-ceilinged, 6,000-square-foot space is grand enough for any chief-executive ego. It contains three bedrooms, five bathrooms, two living rooms, and a dining room—all scaled for global strategizing and furnished with tasteful opulence—and a tucked-away kitchen that the hotel will stock with whatever guests (or their personal chefs) require, supplementing 24-hour butler and room service. Like everything else, the bath towels are luxuriant and oversized—which I was grateful for when a clogged drain caused a six-head shower to overflow. All the hotel's rooms are supposed to feature high-speed Internet access, a battery-charging laptop safe, and control of various functions from a bedside touchscreen phone; in this high-profile suite the first two were not installed and the touchscreen malfunctioned. (The St. Regis says it has corrected these problems.) But none of this seriously dampened the regal appeal of this sprawling, sumptuous roost. $10,000. 2055 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067; 800-325-3589.