L.A.'s New Under-the-Radar Escapes
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L.A.'s New Under-the-Radar Escapes

Dave Lauridsen

The Chateau. The Pink Palace. The Riot Hyatt. L.A.’s big and buzzy glamour-puss hotels have served as sceney backdrops for the indiscretions of nearly a century’s worth of A-listers. But now that paparazzi lenses and cell-phone cameras rule the roost, privacy has become the real luxury. “No one likes coming down to breakfast only to have to take a selfie with a clueless fan,” hotelier Jeff Klein says. Klein should know: his Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood is a beloved hangout for regulars like Jennifer Aniston and Tom Ford. But his newest project, a renovation of the historic San Vicente Bungalows, is a decidedly under-the-radar affair, with just 29 rooms, no bar, and a small, shaded pool area. And it points to a growing trend in Los Angeles of discreet, personalized bolt-holes, often in historic buildings, where celebs and civilians alike can cocoon in privacy. “Any city is isolating—L.A. even more so because of the car factor,” Klein says. “Now people are craving these intimate hotels.” Here are four new favorites.

Rose Hotel: This 1908 building a block from Venice Beach has served as a party palace and sometime drug den for everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Jim Morrison. Thanks to a boho makeunder by co-owner and fashion photographer Glen Luchford (contemporary art, beachtowel- inspired kilims, mismatched furniture), the Rose now attracts a stylish mix of off-duty models and creative types. $

Lombardi House: L.A.’s new “it” interior designer Amber Lewis redid a 1904 Victorian-style farmhouse hidden behind a gate in the middle of Hollywood. It now houses four multi-bedroom pieds-à-terre with full kitchens and a breezy look of tropical prints and Côte d’Azur stripes. Guests take cues from the resident iguana, sunning themselves on rambling lawns amid flowering fruit trees. $$$

San Vicente Bungalows: Jeff Klein transformed a seedy hotel in West Hollywood into a St. Bart’s– inspired clubhouse. Bright, no-fuss rooms—white-on-white with platform beds—occupy bungalows around the pool, where the young and beautiful schmooze over BYO beers. With free perks like breakfast from local favorite Alessandro Caffe, it’s one of the best deals in L.A. A restaurant and yoga studio are in the works. $

Hotel Covell: Los Feliz’s vintage boutiques, throwback bars, and old theater feel worlds away from the velvet ropes of Hollywood. The new five-room hotel above the popular Bar Covell channels the neighborhood vibe with eclectic, macramémeets- Midcentury interiors, luxe Parachute linens, and retro Smeg fridges. Not that you need to cook: the bar’s killer mac and cheese is right downstairs. $$

Hotel Pricing Key
$ Less than $200
$$ $200 to $350
$$$ $350 to $500
$$$$ $500 to $1,000
$$$$$ More than $1,000

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