HISTORIC HOTELS IN LOS ANGELES

If only walls could talk. We can only imagine what they’d say about the guests who have stayed at the historic hotels in Los Angeles. These are the hotels where Marilyn Monroe and Jim Morrison spent their nights and where authors like Hemingway and Fitzgerald churned out literary masterpieces. It doesn’t take a leap of imagination to jump back to the 1920s when LA’s hotel boom ushered in an era of celebrity, fashion and luxury. Today, these historic hotels still retain their distinctive features while boasting modern amenities — perfect for a quintessential LA visit.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel

Most well-known for its richly appointed lobby, complete with frescoes and gold columns, the Millennium Biltmore is by far one of LA’s greatest testaments to how history and luxury can blend in seamless fashion. The hotel’s Italian-Spanish Renaissance style has caught the eyes of presidents and movie stars, and with a long stint hosting the Academy Awards during the 1930s and 1940s, it’s no surprise why the Biltmore is one of the most visited hotels in LA.

The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows

Greta Garbo. Hunter S. Thompson. Ozzy Osbourne. The list of celebrities who have visited the Beverly Hills Hotel — better known as the iconic “Pink Palace” — is a long one, and its star-studded heritage is no coincidence. Opened in 1912, the hotel has long catered to the rich, powerful and famous who were looking for a secluded haven from the world, most likely why it inspired The Eagle’s hit song, “Hotel California.” Today, the wonderfully restored hotel features the same Olympic-sized pool and Polo Lounge, along with picturesque and luxurious touches to suites. For extra seclusion, the hotel’s bungalows offer tropical scenery in a garden setting, and the Spa by La Prairie’s treatments have been acknowledged to be some of the best in the city.

The Georgian Hotel

Built in 1933, The Georgian is a hard hotel to miss, and even better, 100 percent of its rooms have a view of the ocean. Its Art Deco (and bright aqua) façade is as distinctive as the celebrities it has hosted, which include Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. But its history is ultimately more intriguing than the celebrity stars who have visited: the hotel was actually one of LA’s first speakeasies during the prohibition, drawing infamous characters like Bugsy Siegel and Fatty Arbuckle. It was also one of the first to feature modern facilities like a beauty parlor and barber shop.

Casa del Mar

This 1926 historic landmark hotel in Santa Monica has built a fabled reputation in the last 75 years. The Casa del Marboasts Art Deco architecture and incredible views of the ocean (it is, after all, the sister property to the famously luxurious Shutters on the Beach). Its location has drawn high-profile visitors since its debut when it opened as a members-only resort. After a $60 million renovation in 1999, Casa del Mar is poised to continue attracting the rich and famous.

Figueroa Hotel

Yet another LA hotel built in the 1920s, the Figueroa Hotel was first a YWCA. After the Great Depression, it was turned into a hotel and has now become a popular choice for visitors staying in Downtown. Its proximity to STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE make it an attractive option, but the Figueroa’s Moroccan theme is the hotel’s main draw. Starting with a spacious Spanish Colonial lobby, the hotel plays with Persian décor throughout all its rooms: Moroccan-inspired rugs, billowing drapes, grain sacks, deep bursts of color and detailed tile work.

Sunset Tower Hotel

This 1929 Art Deco hotel was revamped in 2006 and is now an icon in West Hollywood. When the Sunset Tower Hoteloriginally opened, the building was an apartment complex for industry stars such as Frank Sinatra and John Wayne. The hotel hasn’t forgotten its roots, with numerous sepia-toned photographs lining the walls of the hotel bar and restaurant — all pertaining to the golden age of Hollywood. While such touches hark back to the 1920s and 30s, modern hotel amenities take a big leap forward with iPod docking stations and flat-screens.

Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel

Who hasn’t heard of the Beverly Wilshire? Built in 1928 in Italian Renaissance style, this hotel has catered to the jet set who come to Rodeo Drive for diamonds and luxury shopping. With an elegant clientele, the chandeliers and marble are no surprise, nor are the shiny cars lined up out front. Today, it’s the home of CUT, Wolfgang Puck’s LA-based steakhouse, and well-appointed rooms featuring top-notch amenities.

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