by Telegraph Travel experts, The Telegraph, December 18, 2017
The city of West Hollywood – colloquially known as 'WeHo' to locals – encompasses the legendary clubs of LA's Sunset Strip, Melrose Avenue's fashion boutiques, a high-end art gallery and design district and an out-and-proud LGBT community centred on Santa Monica Boulevard. It's also, historically, where Old Hollywood lived, slept and played, and where the centre of rock 'n' roll-era America took off. As such, some of LA's hippest, most storied and unique boutique hotels are found here (and you might even spy a celebrity or two in their natural habitat).
1. Andaz West Hollywood
Built in 1963, the Andaz was the first high-rise hotel on the Sunset Strip, and as the Continental Hyatt House in the 1960s and 1970s, developed a louche, rock 'n' roll reputation: Little Richard and Jim Morrison both lived here (the latter until he was ejected for hanging off a balcony by his fingernails); Led Zeppelin would hire entire floors and ride their motorbikes down the hallways; and Keith Richards dropped a television out of the window. Though better behaviour is expected of its guests today, the hotel channels its wild history through the décor – huge murals of musicians in the double-height lobby, and music-flavoured art in all the bedrooms – and a youthful, playful, informal spirit.
Read the full review: Andaz West Hollywood
2. Sunset Marquis
The Sunset Marquis boasts an almost unparalleled A-list clientele and the party spirit to go with it. Built in 1963, it was home to stand-up comedians performing on the Strip; Bette Midler lived here for free when she was starting out, in exchange for playing gigs on-site. Musicians then began to gravitate from the Riot House Hotel across the Strip, and the hotel soon became synonymous with rock stars as well as Hollywood celebrities - portraits of famous guests hang in every public space. The Red Hot Chili Peppers once cannonballed off the roof into the pool, and Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan was once driven crazy by Whitney Houston rehearsing in the room next door. And if inspiration strikes, the hotel’s basement now contains Nightbird Studios, where artists including Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have all recorded hits. For all that, though, the atmosphere is one of tranquility.
Read the full review: Sunset Marquis
3. The London West Hollywood
Next to Sunset Strip, LA's best-known playground for rock 'n' roll stars and wild-child celebrity VIPs, this high-rise hotel in West Hollywood is a sophisticated retreat. Spacious suites come with private balconies for unwinding, or head to the rooftop pool where you can laze in a cabana all day long. Tastefully rich interiors with soft muted colours and lighting are the work of the late London-based interior designer David Collins, who created the look some of London's most glamorous restaurants and bars. As befits LA, the hotel also has a 110-seat cinema for private events. Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani and Kim Kardashian are all fans.
Read the full review: The London West Hollywood
4. Chateau Marmont
Ever since Hollywood’s glamorous early days, Chateau Marmont has been the go-to hotel for film stars, who pop in and out largely unseen. Inspired by a historical French chateau, this luxurious hideaway has a warren of secret entrances and exits, along with romantic bungalows and garden cottages. It is the superstar of André Balazs’s stable of hotels (he also owns London’s equally star-studded Chiltern Firehouse). The hotel has been home to many of Hollywood’s golden era stars; Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart and James Dean (who allegedly jumped through a window to audition for Rebel Without a Cause) among others. It was updated in the early 1990s by Shawn Hausman, an ex-Hollywood movie set designer, and the hotel has kept its historical veneer.
Read the full review: Chateau Marmont
5. Mondrian Los Angeles
The Mondrian LA has transformed a 1950s West Hollywood apartment building into a whimsical, modernist escape for lithe guests who flaunt everything from bikinis to cowboy boots. Every Los Angeles cliché is on parade through the lobby, which offers fantastic people watching from overstuffed chairs and couches or the indoor swing made of acrylic glass. It feels like walking into a Robert Altman film set. The social scene revolves around an outdoor pool with underwater music, which, at night, turns into Skybar, with DJs spinning, flickering candles and flirting on a rooftop with panoramic views across the urban mosaic. If you’re lucky, you might spot Kendall Jenner, Leonardo DiCaprio or Beyoncé up here.
Read the full review: Mondrian Los Angeles
6. Petit Ermitage
Petit Ermitage is a cross between a bohemian hangout and a boutique hotel. A trellised front entrance opens into an intimate lobby space, where a mish mash of antiques, art and shabby-chic furnishings mix. Cosy hallways with colourful carpeting and painted murals and artwork on the walls lead toward the guest suites, or you can step out into the charming, grassy rooftop garden for fresh air and flowers – which is where you'll also find the saltwater swimming pool. This is also where Victoria Beckham hosted a baby shower when she was pregnant with Harper.
Read the full review: Petit Ermitage
7. Sunset Tower
This pink-hued, 15-storey landmark Art Deco building, designed by Leland Bryant in 1929, lords it up over Sunset Boulevard. It’s served at one point or another as a home for Marilyn Monroe, Howard Hughes, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor, among others, while today, it’s popular with Jennifer Aniston and Johnny Depp, and is where George and Amal Clooney spent their first anniversary in the Tower Bar. Rooms are Old Hollywood through and through, with Egyptian linens and Kiehl’s toiletries, but a cabana on the rooftop pool with views out to the Hollywood Hills is where you want to be.
8. The Charlie
As the name suggests, this boutique hotel – made up of a collection of standalone houses – is the former home of Charlie Chaplin. Marilyn Monroe and Gloria Swanson are believed to have stayed here at various points in history – and now serve as the the inspiration behind the 13 bungalows, which are available to book individually. Most original features have been preserved (though all have modern facilties) and each feels like a private home, with full kitchens and pretty garden courtyards. It's the perfect base for an actor on business.
9. Ramada Plaza Hotel West Hollywood
The pink-and-blue-coloured Ramada West Hollywood is on the site of what was once the Tropicana Hotel, colloquially known by its patrons as ‘The Trop’ – these included Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Blondie, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello, the Beach Boys and Guns N’ Roses, among others. It’s located on Santa Monica Boulevard – near the end of Route 66 – which is where an abundance of record companies started to open, making it the centre of rock ‘n’ roll America for a time.