Just when you think you know Los Angeles, another little nook pops up that begs to be explored.
LA is actually made up of 88 cities – many of which you’d not want to visit, but many of them you will!
If you’re not familiar with the goings on of West Hollywood, then this is a nook you will certainly want to explore.
I’ve stayed five times now, each time in a different hotel and each has its unique point of difference that I really love. So this post is rounding up those five beautiful, stylish, classic and dreamy hotels to stay in West Hollywood, or WeHo if you’re one of the cool kids!
Elegant and stylish, this big white hotel is “West Hollywood meets Beverly Hills”. Sweeping through the marble-floor lobby I wanted to buy everything in it for my own place – except the ceramic bulldog. But I have a friend who would love that! On the ground floor is Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin star restaurant which we splashed out and indulged ourselves at with a five-course degustation (which I of course photographed here!).
The rooms are all huge and the bathrooms are even huger. I felt like a superstar! Location-wise the Hop On Hop Off bus actually stops right outside, but you will need to have your tickets already (purchased either online or from the Starline Tours desk at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood). However once you have them, it’s so easy to go on a loop around West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Sunset and Hollywood and be back in time for a wine on the top floor pool deck.
The pool deck is where the beautiful people meet. I gatecrashed. It’s easy to act like one though: adopt a nonchalant look, killer heels, sunglasses perched on your nose and look relaxed as you browse the wine list. Don’t rock up in your trainers and trackies from your day on the Hop On Hop Off bus. But you’ll be pleased to know that bowls of fries are sold here.
This rooftop would be great for posh birthday drinks or dinner.
This hotel has a cool story. The “Riot Hyatt” is smack in the middle of Sunset Boulevard with views all the way down the neon-signed street in both directions. It was a Hyatt (and is still owned by Hyatt) and back in the 70s was known as the Riot House (and the bar and restaurant still is) where the likes of Keith Richards and the Who’s Keith Moon trashed rooms and dropped TVs out of the windows for fun. Jim Morrison once dangled out of the 10th floor, Roberts’ Page and Plant would rent six floors at a time for huge parties where all sorts of shenanigans went on.
Today it’s ultra modern and high tech. They describe it on their website as a hip boutique hotel, but I beg to differ. To me ’boutique’ means small and each room with a bespoke design. Note: I am no dictionary, but the Andaz is big (about 10 floors), very cool and very trendy. You check in with tablet-bearing staff that look like hotel guests standing at internet kiosks in the lobby. The bar and restaurant are on the ground floor and the rooftop pool is only available to guests and doesn’t have a bar.
I love people watching and my room kept me mesmerised at the window for days (almost!). In fact I plonked myself there with a glass of wine and watched the sun go down over LA as the lights came up. You’ll also see a nod to its past with arty pictures of musicians on the mezzanine and random sculptures dotted throughout.
A great spot if you want to be in the heart of the WeHo action.
I’ve stayed here once, then a couple of years later had dinner here – and a spa treatment in the afternoon too! While the Riot Hyatt above WAS a rock and roll hotel, this one still is. It has a recording studio built by Rande Gerber which is booked by artists and DJs and when I stayed American Idol winner Chris Daughtry was using it.
This is the kind of hotel celebrities love because it’s discretely positioned on a leafy cul-de-sac just a stone’s throw from the Strip, yet surrounded in gardens and a high paparazzi-deterring wall. Walk under the canopy off the street into the lobby and on your left is a small, but perfectly formed, whisky bar (Bar 1200) where many a singer has been known to hold court (including U2, Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Aerosmith and on it goes). It can only hold 45 people, so you can imagine the intimate entertainment here – whether impromptu or booked for a private function. (Oh to be fly on these walls!)
To the right is the Morrison Gallery with a changing collection of rocking art. Then walk through, past the pool on the right and the hotel rooms, under a walkway with rocking paraphernalia, over a small footbridge which separates the restaurant Cavatina with a little moat. I once interviewed Dominic Bowden here (yes even the Kiwis get their celebrity on in here).
We had an amazing dinner (review and pics here!) and I was looking out for Matthew McConaughey. Why? Because I had to wait for his wife to have her nails done at the spa earlier in the day and thought surely they’d be eating with the riff raff. No.
Perfect for a quiet stay, incognito, glamorous with a dash of celebrity spotting.
If your taxi driver didn’t know this was a hotel you’d drive straight on by. The Chamberlain is in a former apartment block on a quiet residential street. The rooms are therefore huge! Think one bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom, all now open planned with your own gas fireplace. The decor is simply stunning. Elegant not gauche, but you couldn’t really describe it as understated. I just know I’d like to nick everything and ship it off home.
The staff are so helpful and they have a hotel car which will take you anywhere you like within three miles of the hotel for free (which gets you a long way in this neighbourhood). Subject to availability of course. And then I always err on the side of generosity with the tip when stuff is complimentary so an Uber ride would probably be cheaper as tips are included!
The lobby is marble with mirrors and sumptuous furniture and just down a small flight of steps is the restaurant and a long bar. I poked my head in, but did not partake. I also took a nosey at the rooftop pool area which is small, but if you had a couple of hours to kill and the thought of a lounger a book is a bit of you, join the other scantily-clad guests and bask here.
You’re not in the thick of the West Hollywood throng, but for some, that’s the best thing at The Chamberlain. And actually a ten-minute walk will lead you to all the highlights of WeHo, so you’re also not miles away.
Perfect for a quiet, romantic stay far from the madding crowds.
This apartment hotel is a sister of The Chamberlain with a similar room layout and the same chic interior designer. So if apartment hotels are your thing, this one has it all – including a tiny kitchen. Big, cosy armchairs with colourful cushions facing the TV and fireplace and under a huge round wall mirror that, you guessed it, I wanted to pilfer. Each room has a little balcony so you can fling your door open and allow the trees and breeze to get a look in.
It’s a good walk to Sunset (about 2km), but one block from Melrose Ave and close to the Pacific Design Centre. There are also several eateries nearby, depending on which direction you set off. Oh and just like The Chamberlain, they also offer free drop offs in their hotel car within a three mile radius.
The rooftop Sky Deck has a small outdoor heated pool for those who fancy a dip, or just repose on a sun lounger with your styly shades on in one of the cabanas. Tennis? Surprisingly there is a lighted court here too for a bit of activity. There’s also alfresco dining up here with sweeping views across the LA and a restaurant indoors.
Perfect for those who want to walk to the main drag, and a great business hotel as they have conference facilities.
Now your decision is which one to choose… 😉
My visits to West Hollywood are made possible by the fab team at VisitWestHollywood – and I suggest you visit their site for a whole lot more info on what to do, where to eat, drink and what to see!