In Los Angeles, a new generation of intimate hotels with discreet and characterful designs is offering a unique alternative to the established luxury hotel groups. Let’s take a tour around L.A. and explore these hidden gems where you can sleep in complete privacy.
Here is the list of best 10 unique and charming hotels in California for design lovers:
1. Venice V Hotel
Located in the Venice neighborhood, the historic Waldorf Hotel proudly showcases the portraits of Charlie Chaplin and Clara Bow on its façade, both of whom were regular patrons of the establishment. This building, dating back to 1915 and featuring its original staircase and elevator, underwent an extensive renovation in 2021. The restoration was done masterfully by local associates and artists, resulting in the unveiling of 27 rooms and 7 suites, all offering breathtaking ocean views. Each room is thoughtfully adorned with emblematic themes of Venice, showcasing inspirations ranging from skate culture to vibrant graffiti. The 7 penthouses at the top of the hotel proudly embody a bohemian ambiance, paying homage to the legacies of Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle, and even Jim Morrison, complete with a provided acoustic guitar.
One of the standout features of this hotel is its partnership with the nearby restaurant, Great White, offering guests the convenience of exceptional room service.
Address : Venice V Hotel, 5 Westminster Avenue, Venice, Los Angeles, CA 90291
2. Petit Ermitage, West Hollywood
Nestled in the heart of West Hollywood, away from the bustling Santa Monica Boulevard, the Petit Ermitage is a hidden gem. Its entire facade is adorned with lush ivy, creating a serene retreat. The hotel is the brainchild of brothers Stefan and Adrian Ashkenazy, whose family has a rich history in the Beverly Hills hotel industry. Stefan, also known as the founder of the Bombay Beach Biennale, an annual art and music festival, brings his creative touch to this exquisite establishment.
The Petit Ermitage has recently unveiled its newly transformed rooms. Gone are the Venetian Rococo influences, replaced by a captivating maximalist style. Each room is a floral paradise, adorned with vibrant colors, marbled accents, and carefully chosen artwork. Persian rugs add a touch of elegance, while a well-appointed mini-bar ensures guests can enjoy the perfect Old Fashioned cocktail.
One of the hotel’s highlights is the fourth-floor patio terrace, a marvel to behold during breakfast. Rumor has it that esteemed chef Neal Fraser will soon take the reins of the restaurant, promising an exceptional dining experience. With its enchanting ambiance and exciting updates, the Petit Ermitage is there to captivate guests seeking a truly unique and memorable stay.
Address: Petit Ermitage, 8822 Cynthia St, West Hollywood, CA 90069
3. Palihouse West Hollywood
In December 2022, Avi Brosh, the hotelier who opened his first establishment in West Hollywood 15 years ago (recently sold to the Soho House group), proudly inaugurated his sixth hotel in Los Angeles. Located on West 3rd Street, just next to the renowned Magnolia Bakery, this newly transformed property, formerly known as Orlando, has undergone a complete revitalization.
Upon entering, guests are greeted by a charmingly retro lobby, adorned with a black and white checkered floor, whimsical floral tapestries on the ceiling, and a delightful ceramic German dog, eager to welcome visitors. Every detail has been carefully selected to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
The Mediterranean-inspired rooms, most of which feature balconies, offer a vibrant blend of Portuguese and Moroccan influences. Rich velvet-corduroy headboards and sofas in shades of rust, green, or orange exude a sense of comfort, while vintage-inspired and intricately designed furniture adds a touch of timeless elegance. Some rooms even boast a well-equipped kitchenette with a stylish Smeg refrigerator. The bathrooms, with their panelled walls, exude a cruise-like aesthetic and feature embroidered robes for that extra touch of luxury.
To satisfy culinary cravings, the hotel houses a café-restaurant that serves delectable lobster tacos and club sandwiches throughout the day. And for those seeking a unique dining experience, an enchanting staircase reminiscent of a ship leads guests to the Mezzanine Sushi, a sake bar offering a captivating selection of flavors.
With its impeccable redesign and enticing amenities, this newly reborn hotel stands as a testament to Avi Brosh’s commitment to providing exceptional hospitality in the heart of Los Angeles.
Address: Palihouse West Hollywood, 8384 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
4. The Prospect Hollywood
In 2020, this hotel from the 1940s regained its opulence and glamour, perfectly situated in Hollywood, away from the bustling Walk of Fame and tourist crowds. Behind its striking red door, renowned decorator Martyn Lawrence Bullard drew inspiration from Hollywood’s golden age, specifically the years spanning from the 1930s to the 1950s. He transformed the lobby into a lavish private salon, adorned with marbled surfaces, sumptuous velvet furnishings, and striking golden palm trees in each corner.
Opening up to a charming patio adorned with fire pits and elevated sun loungers, the Prospect’s 24 rooms unveil whimsical décors. Floral tapestries, ceilings painted with delicate gold leaf, and zebra or leopard motifs create an atmosphere that is both captivating and unique.
One of the highlights is the breathtaking Premier category Garden Suite. Transporting guests into the grandeur of the Roaring Twenties, it embodies the essence of the Great Gatsby era or the film Babylon, with its lavish decor reminiscent of the fabulous Art Deco period.
Address: The Prospect Hollywood, 1850 N Cherokee Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
5. Hotel 850 SVB, West Hollywood
A cluster of bungalows, dating back to 1918 and situated on San Vincente Boulevard, bears the initials SVB. Originally intended for the railway workers involved in constructing a railway line between Hollywood and Santa Monica, these bungalows hold a rich history. In 2013, hotelier and businessman Jeff Klein, renowned for his iconic Sunset Tower Hotel, took over the property. He entrusted the interior design to British decorator Rita Konig.
Under their combined vision, the bungalows have been transformed into a coastal-inspired retreat, radiating elegance and comfort. The ambiance is that of a beautifully adorned beach house, boasting a serene almond-green lounge adorned with vintage paintings and posters, and a vibrant yellow kitchen where biscuits and tea are served throughout the day. With tasteful mix and match elements, the 23 rooms, most of which offer balconies and terraces, provide a delightful sanctuary. Furthermore, two carriage rooms in soft California pastel blue welcome solo travelers in search of tranquility.
Hotel 850 SVB, 850 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
6. Palihotel Culver City
In the vibrant district of Culver City, home to tech giants such as Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and HBO, stands a former family boarding house that underwent a stunning transformation in 2019. Now a charming boutique hotel with 49 rooms, its exterior facade is adorned with vibrant graffiti and blooming flowers.
Passing through the corridor, adorned with turquoise ceramic tiles, you’ll find the delightful Simonette bistro. This friendly establishment pays homage to Paris, serving coffee and croissants each morning, while offering a delectable menu of moules, ratatouille, and Dijon mustard burgers for lunch and dinner. The bar caters to its regular patrons with chilled rosé on demand.
The rooms, though compact, exude a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Adorned with panelled headboards, tartan blankets, floral armchairs, and vintage clocks, they offer a touch of nostalgic charm. The best rooms open up to a charming outdoor courtyard, while all rooms are equipped with generously stocked minibars.
Address: Palihotel Culver City, 3927 Van Buren Pl, Culver City, CA 90232
7. Gold-Diggers Hotel, East Hollywood
Located in a secluded corner of East Hollywood, adjacent to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, is a hidden gem of a hotel. This establishment holds a captivating history, as it was once the residence of Ed Wood, the renowned filmmaker considered “the worst of all time,” who later became a Hollywood legend, immortalized in the fantastic biopic directed by Tim Burton. Over the years, this building has seen various transformations. It served as a rehearsal studio for rock icons like The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, and even had a stint as a strip club. Throughout its evolution, the hotel retained its original name, Gold Diggers.
In 2018, Gold Diggers unveiled a remarkable renovation, introducing ten hotel rooms that exude a cozy ambiance. These inviting lodgings feature plush velvet sofas, black and white décor, and are adorned with captivating rock-inspired paintings by Andrew Savage (of Parquet Courts). Each room is thoughtfully equipped with a turntable and is connected to a recording studio and concert venue located on the ground floor. Embracing its rich musical heritage, Gold Diggers offers a unique experience that seamlessly blends comfort, artistic expression, and a touch of rock ‘n’ roll allure.
Address: Gold Diggers Hotel, 5630 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038
8. Short Stories Hotel, West Hollywood
Transformed from a 1960s motel, this unassuming hotel, situated near the Original Farmers Market and managed by the young hotelier Leo Grifka, underwent a complete renovation in 2021. Stepping inside, guests are greeted by a lobby that was once a parking lot, now featuring a striking black and white checkered marble floor. A pastel blue serpentining sofa adds a touch of charm, complemented by ceramic totems created by artist Jude Pauli. Facing the lobby, a delightful restaurant nestled among olive trees awaits, offering a taste of Mediterranean cuisine with must-try dishes like chicken tagine and succulent lamb ribs.
As guests ascend to the upper floors, they discover 66 rooms and suites that strike a gentle retro chord. Hardwood floors and a mix of rustic and graphic furnishings create a nostalgic ambiance. The beds beckon with their tenderly plush layers, while the larger accommodations boast a separate seating area. Adorning the walls are captivating works by local artist Kenton Nelson, alongside replicas of David Hockney’s iconic pieces. Quirky collections of pop matchboxes add a whimsical touch to the surroundings, reflecting the hotel’s unique character.
Address: Short Stories Hotel, 115 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
9. The Charlie, West Hollywood
Tucked away in the heart of West Hollywood, just a stone’s throw from Melrose Avenue, The Charlie hotel was once owned by the legendary Charlie Chaplin in the mid-1920s. As you pass through the wrought iron gate, you’ll discover a collection of charming “English cottages,” each adorned with gardens, fountains, and ponds. These cottages have been transformed into nine suites, each named after icons from Hollywood’s golden age – Marilyn, Dylan, Valentino, and others. Each suite offers a bedroom, living room, bathroom, and fully equipped kitchen.
Among the suites, the most sought-after is the “Charlie” suite, which spans two floors and boasts a private garden. Its classic and elegantly furnished living room captures the timeless essence, complete with a vintage typewriter and Chaplin-inspired canes as decorative accents. Behind the green door awaits the Marilyn Suite, the very place where the actress herself resided during the 1940s. With its exposed beam ceilings and retro ’50s dining area, this suite exudes a charming vintage allure.
At The Charlie, you’ll experience a captivating blend of history and luxury, surrounded by the enchantment of old Hollywood.
Address: The Charlie, 819 N Sweetzer Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
10. Hotel June Malibu
Situated just minutes away from Point Dume and Zuma Beach, along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll find an enchanting hideaway that was once an iconic 1950s motel. This place served as a beloved retreat for writers and artists for many years, including the renowned Bob Dylan, who composed his album “Blood on the Tracks” within its walls. Recently, this hidden gem has been revitalized, thanks to the collaboration of three private investors and the esteemed Proper Hospitality hotel group.
Step inside, and you’ll be transported to a world of Mid-century charm and minimalist design. The original sequoia beams have been lovingly preserved, and a stylish Scandinavian-inspired counter welcomes you. Venture outside, and you’ll discover a sun-drenched terrace and a secluded pool, offering the perfect sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Amidst the swaying palm trees, the property boasts 13 delightful bungalows, each basking in the natural light that pours in. Adorned with captivating photographs, lithographs, and paintings by talented local artists, as well as carefully curated vintage decor, these bungalows exude a distinctive character and sense of place. Step onto your private patio, complete with a hammock, and immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings, perfect for indulging in a leisurely siesta.
This remarkable destination seamlessly combines nostalgia with modern comforts, offering a unique and unforgettable experience for those seeking a respite from the ordinary.
Address: Hotel June Malibu, 28920 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265