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Los Angeles’s Top Design Conscious Hotels

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L.A. Consequential Montage Beverly Hills is one of the latest design-conscious hotels to have opened in Los Angeles, but it’s hardly the only recent arrival. The past 18 months have seen more than a dozen, with entertainment- and music-industry staples like the Sunset Marquis and Mondrian having undergone major redos, too. The new hotels all have their own distinct personalities, clientele, amenities, and, in some cases, even zip codes—but, naturally, several stand out.

London West Hollywood

This California cousin to the New York flagship opened last April, reinventing the once tacky Bel Age Hotel with an influx of talent—and expat guests—from, aptly enough, the UK. The California-Euro-Asian restaurant is by Gordon Ramsay, and David Collins designed the whimsical, glamorous high-Brit décor (mock-croc-embossed leather banquettes and sofas, and gold light fixtures based on Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton perfume bottles). All the sophisticated suites are decorated with large marble-topped ergonomic desks, pewter-toned striped velvet or beige suede sectional sofas, and deep soaking bathtubs. For entertaining, suite 211 offers an especially large terrace as well as a downtown skyline view. Private yoga and personal training sessions are available en suite, and the concierge desk is run by Quintessentially. From $199 to $599. At 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-854-1111;

Hotel Shangri-La

This 70-year-old Santa Monica oceanfront property has undergone a complete renovation, but the building has maintained its thirties bones and Art Deco details throughout its 71 rooms and suites. The hotel is owned by real estate and music entrepreneur Tehmina Adaya, who bought it in the eighties and reopened it in December, drawing particular interest from her business associates. Design inspiration came from Deco-era vehicles—the bathroom faucets resemble the nose of a vintage plane, for example, and the knobs look like propellers. The jewel-tone wallpaper by local artist Delia Cabral, meanwhile, emulates curling vines. Many ocean-facing rooms have kitchenettes and, perhaps less practically—or more, depending on the traveler—a velvet fainting couch in the lounge area. Suite 700, the guest-only rooftop bar, has views from Catalina island in the west to the Hollywood Hills in the east. From $395 to $5,000. At 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; 310-394-2791;

SLS Hotel

Sam Nazarian, who owns L.A. restaurants and boîtes including Hyde, Katsuya, and Foxtail, joined with Philippe Starck to convert the old Le Méridien space on La Cienega into this 297-room hotel, which opened in November to the delight of local entertainment-industry types as well as the designer’s more global following. The interiors are a rampage of matador photos, wacky figurines, and fortune-tellers seated behind thick velvet drapes; the restaurant lobby doubles as a shop, with a maze of vitrines filled with quality kitsch curated by the New York design store Moss; and at the Bazaar, chef José Andrés, a Ferran Adrià acolyte, serves traditional and modern tapas. The sensory overload can be a bit discombobulating, but refuge can be found in the intimate restaurant Saam, or in a cozy corner of the Bazaar’s Bar Centro, where the secret ingredient in the slushylike Tableside Nitro caipirinha is liquid nitrogen. From $440 to $5,000. At 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles; 310-247-0400;

Palihouse Holloway

The Indie-film crowd has been loving this long-stay boutique hotel since it opened in West Hollywood a little over a year ago. Its 36 rooms are loft style, with exposed brick, leather sofas, a mix of small Polaroid and larger-format photos on the walls, and kitchenettes with Miele and Gaggenau appliances. (Black vintage bikes are available for trips to the farmers’ market.) In room 204, a second-floor corner loft, arched windows provide beautiful light and views across the city. The eclectic lobby, designed by owner Avi Brosh, is a mix of deep custom-made high-back sofas and velvet wing chairs, while old books, the odd wooden rocking horse, and stuffed birds are mostly flea market finds. Guests go for rosé and oysters—from Japanese Kumamoto to East Coast Bluepoint, depending on the season—in the Parisian courtyard patio, and at night the cozy French brasserie does a lovely duck pâté. From $350 to $900, seven-night minimum. At 8465 Holloway Dr., West Hollywood; 323-656-4100;

Thompson Beverly Hills

For this sister property of New York’s 60 Thompson and L.A.’s Hollywood Roosevelt hotels, designer Dodd Mitchell merged a certain gritty urban modernism with SoCal’s laid-back lifestyle. Which explains why the hotel attracts fashionable young Hollywood types and hip Europeans who’ve been frequenting the place since it opened in June. Haunting life-size fashion photographs by Steven Klein are displayed in light boxes at the end of each hallway, and the artist’s boudoir-theme prints are hung in all the guest rooms. Mitchell evokes the swinging decadence of seventies New York throughout, but nowhere more so than in the Thompson Signature Suite—the best of the hotel’s 107 rooms. The lobby bar and BondSt restaurant here can be sceney at night, but room service includes comforting ume soba noodles, and the relative quiet of the bi-level roof deck ABH lounge is for guests only. From $339 to $5,000. At 9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310-273-1400;

Sunset Tower Hotel

The newly renovated two-level townhouse suites at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood, with their floor-to-ceiling windows and oversize terraces, are the perfect place to entertain, or, better yet, hide out. Suites from $1,500 per night; 323-654-7100;


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