Maude N. Bouldin, the first female hotel manager in America, still presides over the lobby of the Hotel Figueroa, a modest high-rise that stands in elegant contrast to the Staples Center nearby. Her portrait, by artist Alison Van Pelt, renders Bouldin engaged in one of her favorite activities: riding a motorcycle. (She also liked to fly planes and smoke cigars.)
The new Figueroa, the result of a sensitive two-year renovation, would have made its former manager proud. Local design team Studio Collective brought the original Spanish-colonial style back to the sweeping public spaces with arched entryways, dark wood accents, and romantic lighting.
The 268 guest rooms have a fizzy eclecticism—look for blue-fig-leaf wallpaper, a witty nod to the hotel’s name, in some of the bathrooms. Pieces by contemporary women artists hang throughout, and Writer Series suites are thoughtfully stocked with books by L.A.–based authors like recently rediscovered memoirist Eve Babitz. At Breva, chef Casey Lane prepares Basque-inspired dishes, while all-day café Veranda overlooks the pool. But the hotel’s best asset might be its warm staff. Rooms from $339.
Nomad Los Angeles
Everything you love about New York City’s NoMad Hotel can be found at its newly opened downtown Los Angeles outpost. Cinematic public spaces? Check: In the soaring lobby and intimate dining areas, designer Jacques Garcia has added rich hues and plush fabrics, and preserved the circa-1923 building’s Corinthian columns and blue-and-gold ceiling, which call to mind a Renaissance villa. Art-filled rooms? Present: Eclectic photographs and vintage ephemera dot the 241 spare but luxe spaces.
And what about the restaurant’s celebrated roast chicken? Stuffed with black truffle, brioche, and foie gras, the signature dish appears on the L.A. menu courtesy of chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara, who handle the food service at both hotels. But this is sunny California, and the L.A. NoMad has something the original doesn’t: a saltwater rooftop pool. Rooms from $315.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Since opening in 1991, the Peninsula Beverly Hills has consistently won marks for its secluded setting and such hard-to-resist touches as pillowcases monogrammed with guests’ initials (yes, you get to keep them). A four-month refresh has brought the beloved hotel squarely into the present. The lines of the furnishings in its 195 rooms are simple and unfussy, and the palette of soft yellows, blues, and peaches provides a restful backdrop. Subtly intricate florals by storied French fabric houses Brunschwig & Fils and Manuel Canovas, used for bed canopies and window coverings, echo the lush gardens outdoors. Rooms from $595.