entrance to hotel with red carpet and brown and pink striped ceiling
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Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows

This legendary “Pink Palace,” its bungalows, Polo Lounge and restaurant have been hot spots for Hollywood royalty and a beacon of glamour.

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Front driveway and entrance of the hotel. The building is large and white and a worker opens a car door of a Rolls Royce
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The Peninsula Beverly Hills

An exclusive Indagare Travel hotel review of The Peninsula Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California—a five-star urban luxury oasis.

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Bedroom at Mr. C Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

Cameo Beverly Hills

Mr. C’s (C is short for Cipriani) makes no effort to distance itself from its Italian roots, and guests will be pleasantly surprised at how seamlessly Venetian luxury fuses with West-Coast ease. The property was opened by fourth-generation members of the Cipriani family, whose patriarch founded Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1931 (and mixed up the first-ever Bellini). It welcomes guests with high quality-service. These nods to the past are countered by contemporary design, resulting in a rather whimsical atmosphere. Vintage black-and-white photographs adorn guest rooms that are accented by retro chesterfield sofas (who knew leather looked so good beachside?). But the real highlight is the views. All accommodations have private balconies with sweeping panoramas, and the ones facing Beverly Hills cannot be beat. There’s a fabulous guest-only pool; with orange and white cabanas and excellent poolside service.

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Lobby Lounge from Courtyard at Château La Chenevière, Normandy, France

Chateau Marmont

Definitely not for everyone, the Chateau Marmont has its own distinct cool, casual style. The sixty-three rooms, including four bungalows (two with two floors), each uniquely decorated, seem to have been furnished courtesy of the Rose Bowl Flea Market, right down to the vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stoves in everything from junior suites on up. Bathrooms aren’t the marble palaces you may have come to expect; most are outfitted in the building’s original tiles and have clean white cotton curtains across the showers. Nevertheless, the Loire-style Chateau is quintessential Los Angeles, a local legend that began as an apartment house in the '20s and whose inhabitants have included Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Jim Morrison, Helmut Newton and John Belushi, who spent his last night here. Most admirably, the property is a holdout against plastic surgery of any sort, if you don’t include new elevators. The place reeks of time-stopped-here Old Hollywood charm and is another feather in hotelier André Balazs’s cap.

Most guests are repeat customers: generally the young international set who read the covers of Variety and Billboard posted daily in the elevators. There’s no spa, and the seventh-floor gym is strictly dungeon-like, with one TV. For exercise, follow the lushly planted stone paths to the Ping-Pong table and the lovely pool, framed by a lemon tree. It’s hard to believe that the Sunset Strip is just outside the gate. If you don’t check in, be sure to at least dine in the garden restaurant, which is alongside a Gothic colonnade and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your view may very well include the sight of a smoking, tattoo-covered rock and roller drinking Badoit and red wine with his smoked salmon and bagel. Chef Carolynn Spence, from New York’s Spotted Pig, serves fare loaded with seasonal produce, plus oxtail bruschetta and organic eggs any style. She also cooks at the perennially hip and extremely funky Bar Marmont, next door. Dinner reservations are a must.

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The Downtown LA Proper lobby

Downtown L.A. Proper

Indagare Travel reviews the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel in Los Angeles, a boho-chic boutique design hotel by AD100 designer Kelly Wearstler.

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Living Room at Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, Los Angeles, California

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire

This landmark property is situated at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills’ shopping headquarters. The Italian Renaissance–style lobby sets a grande dame backdrop but the rooms and other common spaces are much more contemporary in look and feel. The 395 rooms and suites are located in the Wilshire Wing and the Beverly Wing. The ten-story Wilshire Wing is the original building and rooms here come with all-marble bathrooms that include flat-screen TVs and furniture that is surprisingly au courant. Accommodations across the way in the Beverly Wing are a tad less spiffy, but their larger windows bathe the rooms in sunshine.

A highlight is the stunning 8,500-square-foot spa that manages to look expensive and Zen at the same time, with walnut, etched-glass, alabaster and limestone details. Before you reach the ice fountain or the aromatherapy-crystal steam room, you pass a massive amethyst geode poised in front of a water wall of changing colors. If you book four or more hours of Personalized Time, putting yourself in the hands of a therapist who guides you through the menu of treatments and rituals, lunch is on the house. The other eye-popper is the pool area, serene and modern, with private cabanas that can be rented (complete with flat-screen TV, iPod and two fifteen-minute foot massages). A state-of-the-art gym with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks the pool area.

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Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

The hotel sits on an urban street, but once you’re inside, the creamy marble lobby and profusion of avant-garde flower arrangements make you feel you’re someplace special. Culina Restaurant and the Windows Lounge are appropriately elegant. Workouts are a pleasure in the canopied gym next to the pool on the fourth-floor roof. Spa services are really over the top and include a massage performed “rhythmically and in harmony” by two therapists at once. Maybe the margarita scrub (tequila, lime and sea salt go on you, not in you) is more your style. If you so desire, some treatments can be performed in poolside cabanas. The fourth-floor pool deck is surrounded by chic lime green loungers and the poolside Cabana restaurant serves breakfast and lunch alfresco. Standard rooms were recently renovated and are now decorated in neutral tones and boast balconies, handsome marble bathrooms and stunning views. Almost every room offers a private balcony and the rooms facing the peaceful garden in the back are particularly lovely. The design quotient really increases in the priciest suites, which have touches like inlaid-marble floors in the foyer. The owners live on the property, which probably accounts for everything always looking just right. Don’t even think about getting a room here during awards season; it’s entertainment-industry headquarters.

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Suite at Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California

Hotel Bel-Air

The Bel Air, located on posh Stone Canyon Road and just about a mile west of Beverly Hills, is a member of the exclusive Dorchester group. Its elegant Spanish Colonial–style exterior has a rich history, hosting Hollywood legends like Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in its early days. And in 2011, the interiors underwent a modern transformation while still preserving the property's serene, natural setting and glamorous ambiance. Guests still arrive via a tiny bridge suspended over a lake that is populated by snow-white swans, the hotel’s mascots that immediately welcome one into the serene, natural setting. The lobby, with its massive central fireplace, blond beech-wood floors and stuffed couches resembles a contemporary country hotel.

The 103 rooms (45 of which are suites) are tucked behind perfectly maintained meandering paths, pots bursting with flowering plants, fountains, subtropical and native California plantings (all labeled) and an herb garden. Most coveted are the twelve Canyon Suites, built into a hillside and with massive retractable walls that open onto patios with fireplaces, and the elegant Grace Kelly Suite. Another highlight is the Valmont spa, housed in a separate building that also contains the fitness center and three loft guest rooms. The most radical change to the old Bel-Air are the room interiors, which have turned from floral French into contemporary Art Deco, with a black-and-white color scheme and such touches as light wood floors, high ceilings and heated bathroom floors.

In terms of dining, The Restaurant at Hotel Bel Air offers an elegant escape. For sunny days, there is an al fresco area, along with a cozy, indoor setting on those few occasions when the California weather does not cooperate. The cuisine is modern California with a Mediterranean twist and it certainly takes center stage. While no longer a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, the culinary excellence remains unchanged and you can still expect a crowd that exudes a posh aura, often including celebrities, continuing with the Hollywood glamour that the hotel is known for. And after dinner there is “The Bar”, with plush velvet stools and a sleek lacquered bar. Live music enhances the experience, making it the perfect setting to savor expertly crafted cocktails like classic martinis or the refreshing pepino. The Bar seamlessly carries on the legacy of the Oak Bar, adorned with iconic images by Norman Seeff.

There isn’t a lovelier place to drape yourself on a chaise than next to the elegant and iconic oval swimming pool, and the spa is beautiful and worth seeking out, even if you are staying elsewhere.

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white lounge chairs on the beach

Malibu Beach Inn

David Geffen's recently refreshed Malibu property is all about the privilege of staying right on Carbon Beach. Read Indagare's review.

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exterior of grand hotel building with french-style architecture in Los Angeles

Maybourne Beverly Hills

An exclusive Indagare Travel hotel review of the Maybourne Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California (formerly the Montage).

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Nobu Ryokan

The oceanfront Nobu Ryokan elevates the traditional Japanese ryokan experience with 16 exquisite rooms and suites, Nobu in-room dining and beach access.
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hotel living area with pink carpet and a seat with stawberry print on it plus a pink poof and a gray sectional sofa in a room with white walls and timber-frame ceiling with several french-door windows

Palihouse Santa Monica

The Moorish Mediterranean revival building sits on a quiet street and overlooks a lovely courtyard garden with tables set up for an alfresco coffee and a bocce court for afternoon games. A wrought-iron gate, closed at night, further instills the image of a private residence.

Of the 38 rooms that are spread across three floors, 28 are spacious apartments that start at 550 square-feet and come with full kitchens. The design is modern and chic (think mid-century furniture, patterned wallpaper and eye-catching fabrics) without being overly trendy. It’s easy to picture making the spacious surroundings your home away from home. There are no connecting rooms but the residential apartments are big enough for families.

A romantic courtyard out back is surrounded by flowering shrubs and palms, and there’s also a beautiful lobby-lounge, with soaring ceilings, stuffed armchairs and sitting corners, a long wooden table with mismatched chairs and a fireplace. It’s a serene spot for whiling away the afternoon over a board-game or a good book. For more active types, Santa Monica’s Third Avenue Promenade, the beach and the area’s top restaurants and bars are just a short walk away.

Nice touches include complimentary bikes (you’re in Santa Monica, after all) and complimentary snacks in the lobby lounge all day. Know that this hotel doesn’t have a liquor license (and therefore no bar), nor does it come with a pool, spa or gym (though in-room massages can be organized).

A curated list of recommendations for Santa Monica and beyond awaits guests in the rooms, which can also be pre-stocked with local goodies prior to arrival (another good option is to go to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, which happens twice a week near the Santa Monica Pier).

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Pendry West Hollywood

In West Hollywood on the see-and-be-seen Sunset Strip, Pendry West Hollywood is built on the hallowed grounds of the former House of Blues (across the street from the world-famous Comedy Store). Spanning an entire city block and wrapped in 6,000 square feet of digital signage, the property commands attention. Guests will enjoy the seemingly endless array of amenities, including a rooftop pool, spa, fitness center, screening room, a live music venue and multiple restaurants and bars.

Upon entering the lobby, guests are greeted by a geometric, psychedelic light installation by artist Anthony James in an elevated environment that embraces California modernism with the allure of the Hollywood Hills. While The Pendry feels connected to the neighborhood’s identity, the hotel has a rhythm all its own, with modern design and luxurious urban living. The interiors of the 149 guest rooms and 40 residences are well-appointed with brass accents, Art Deco-inspired light fixtures and a curated art collection. Furnishings in vibrant electric blues compliment the expansive city views. 

Wolfgang Puck has two on-property restaurants that are worth a visit all on their own. The more formal dining option, Merios, offers stunning rooftop views of Los Angeles and features Puck’s sophisticated fusion of Japanese, Southeast Asian and French/California cuisine. Ospero is the hotel’s street-side European-inspired café featuring a relaxed all-day menu of favorites including classic salads, handmade pastas, vegan dishes and Wolfgang Puck pizzas (fresh from the wood-burning pizza oven). Additionally, Bar Pendry is an opulent, yet intimate space that invites guests for chic evening cocktails and excellent people-watching.

The Spa features four treatment rooms, two steam rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness center that is shared with the on-property social club, The Britely (which rivals the likes of Soho House). The rooftop pool sits high above the city where guests can relax in style. Paying homage to its former life as the House of Blues, the Pendry is also home to The Sun Rose, an intimate 100-seat music club where guests can expect to see performers like Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Nicole Scherzinger and Jeff Goldblum. 

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Sunset Tower Hotel

This 1929 Zigzag Moderne landmark on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, was reinvented in 2006 by hotelier Jeff Klein, of New York’s City Club Hotel. The quiet, retro touches of designer Paul Fortune, who decorated Marc Jacobs’s Paris apartment, conjure the ghosts of great Hollywood set decorators past. Walls in the public spaces are walnut with brass edging, pale rose Ultrasuede covers the clean-lined seating, and soft lighting emanates from streamlined brass sconces copied from originals found at Paris’s Clignancourt flea market.

The same motifs reappear in all seventy-four guest rooms, where Fortune designed every piece of sleek, brass-inlaid walnut furniture—armoires, tables, headboards—and several variations on the brass sconces. Only the brown bed bedcovers hit a flat note, though the bathrooms make up for them, offering sinks set in limestone vanities on brass legs and glass showers with rain-dome showerheads. Some suites have tubs, not all, but those that do are gigantic: ninety gallons deep. The higher you rise, the more spectacular the suites become, with flowing layouts and incomparable city views from the dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. Those on floors twelve and fifteen also have generous patios displaying pots of fiery bougainvilleas. It all makes you feel as if you’re on top of the world.

The celebrity quotient is big-time at the Sunset, from which issues a constant stream of neighborhood folk, entertainment-industry deal makers and chic out-of-towners. The eighty-seat bistro, the Tower Bar, with a pianist and a stand-up bassist playing standards, stays open until 11 p.m.; reservations are a must. The Terrace, a new poolside restaurant with contemporary wicker seating, is a lovely urban respite.

The pièce de résistance just may be the hair salon, which is steeped in old-world charm (the rooms are reported to have been John Wayne’s apartment in the ’40s), and boasts a one-room barbershop complete with a chrome-and-leather chair, whiskey bottles and a flat-screen TV. The spa steers clear of the New Age tide. The five very large treatment suites have upholstered chairs, lamps and chaises, which make them look like elegant bathrooms. This being Hollywood, Botox, collagen and laser treatments head the menu. There’s also a good-looking gym with state-of-the-art equipment.

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hotel bar with grand Art Deco decor and curvy banquette seating and pink walls

The Georgian Hotel

In its newest rendition, The Georgian has been resurrected as a Tinseltown It Girl that’s both cerebral and cool.

Aerial View : The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, Los Angeles, California

The Ranch Malibu

A butt-kicking spa as tough as the Ashram, the Ranch Malibu also features beautiful rooms of your own and gourmet vegan food. Our reporter tells all about her experience.

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hotel rooftop with wooden floor and plantings in planter boxes and palm trees in a line to the right of rooftop

Vitorrja

The first hotel developed by the Gjelina Group, Venice’s Vitorrja has 26 rooms, ranging from stamp-sized to spacious two-bedroom suites, right on Rose Avenue and one block up from the boardwalk.

Lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, the grand Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is the area's most luxurious hotel, paying homage to old Hollywood and offering top amenities like two Jean-Georges restaurants and a rooftop pool.

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