With its primo location and Instagrammable vibe, Short Stories Hotel is treating guests differently in the City of Angels.
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Short Stories Hotel in West Hollywood
Credit: Stefan Merriweather

Los Angeles' latest hotel opening is quite a storied one, and not only because of its moniker. Dubbed Short Stories Hotel in part for its neighborhood's strong legacy of writers, it's a brand-new boutique-sized bolthole, softly open as of Mar. 1 with the grand opening slated for Apr. 15, in one of the city's most attractive and popular locations. Formerly Farmer's Daughter hotel, this 66-room property with a pretty-in-pink restaurant and bar is across the street from The Original Farmer's Market and The Grove, catty-corner from CBS Television City, and a pleasant walk to Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

But location — crucial as it is in Los Angeles — isn't all this 1960s-built hotel has going for it. Still, owner Leo Grifka says, "it is rare you can find an oasis in such a well-located and dense area." The leafy sanctuary with its living wall-accented pool and large sun deck certainly doesn't feel smack in the middle of Los Angeles life. Walk past the ivy and you're transported, to a place that doesn't exist elsewhere.

Plant Wall at Short Stories Hotel pool in West Hollywood
Credit: Stefan Merriweather

"I wanted guests to feel like they were on vacation the moment they stepped through the doors and I think we achieved that with the design," says Grifka. "Marble floors, large trees with lanterns, a fireplace, a fountain with live fish, sculptures and potted plants all add to a green aesthetic we believe people will appreciate for its beauty and uniqueness."

Short Stories Hotel in West Hollywood
Credit: Stefan Merriweather
Short Stories Hotel in West Hollywood
Credit: Stefan Merriweather

The rooms — and entire property for that matter — are conceived by Kevin Klein Design using curvy lights and furniture, some of which Klein and Grifka designed. (An array of loveseats in a velvety grey print of leopards is particularly chic.) Framed matchbooks from LA's most iconic old-school restaurants hang in terrazzo bathrooms; minibar trays contain full-size bottles of artisanal liquors and bubbly rosé. Each room or suite, split between North Stories and South Stories buildings, contain an impressive mini library of Taschen and Phaidon titles, each one chosen specifically to enhance the relaxed Cali-cool vibe.

Short Stories Hotel in West Hollywood
Credit: Stefan Merriweather
Short Stories Hotel in West Hollywood
Credit: Stefan Merriweather

But more than aesthetics, Short Stories aims to seduce its guests with service. "The boutique hotel standard for service has changed over the last several years, and frankly I did not like the direction it was going," says Grifka, who's admittedly old school about liking human interaction and paper menus. (At the on-site, chef Ricardo Zarate-helmed restaurant, especially, the menu in question highlights a flavorful Peruvian-accented lineup of dishes.) Cost-cutting and COVID-19 have done real damage to the very concept of hospitality, Grifka observes. And he refuses to give in.

Though rates start at $300 per night, the genuine interactions signature to Short Stories are in line with a luxury hotel. Here, guests are not only greeted with a drink upon arrival, but walked through the .75-acre property and to their door. Staff will know their names, check on them, offer personalized concierge services (also available, along with work space and pool access, to those who become members for $250/month) and even leave a gold-wrapped Andes mint chocolate on their pillow during turndown service. At the end of the day, says Grifka, "We want [guests] to feel taken care of and confident we are looking after their every need, all while staying in a vibey, design-forward hotel in an incredible LA location."

If that's not the LA dream, what is?