In case you didn’t know, Los Angeles is cooler than ever.
California is endlessly immortalized in books, music, movies, and television as a land full of sun, stars — both literal and metaphorical — and possibility. Yet, Los Angeles has earned itself a reputation for controversy. LA devotees wax poetic about the weather and the esoterically “chill” vibe, while skeptics lament the lack of seasons and the storied “fakeness” of the residents.
But the misconception that Los Angeles is only for celebrities, influencers, and people trying to break into the industry is a false one. Even at its most romantic — La La Land, we’re looking at you — this idea is incomplete at best, and problematic at worst.
There’s so much more to LA than celebrity-spotting and industry wannabes dying to “make it”. LA is a city full of diversity and teeming with reminders of its rich history. From vibrant neighborhoods with completely distinct personalities to incomparable natural marvels and cultural sites, the city of angels has it all.
However, all this comes with a hefty price tag — even just to visit. The high price of real estate in general means that even purportedly affordable accommodation options like Airbnbs are way more expensive than in other cities.
For many travelers, it might make sense to get a hotel — not just financially, but hotels can provide enhanced aesthetics and experiences that will improve your trip all around.
Forget everything you think you know about hotels. While LA has its share of traditional, sleek, personality-devoid establishments, a city as cool as this also has a ton of newer hotels with eclectic aesthetics and vibes that match their respective neighborhoods.
No more risking it on Airbnb, hoping what you find actually looks like the pictures. Why take the chance when you can enjoy a more curated stay, and let someone else make the bed?
Here are the cool, new kids on the block shaking up the LA hotel scene:
The newest, buzziest hotel on our list is this just-opened boutique in Silver Lake — one of LA’s most trendy neighborhoods. Silver Lake is home to many Instagram-famous restaurants — think Sqirl and their infamous ricotta toast — and a vibrant, if not intimidating, young demographic. It’s LA’s answer to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, and you won’t be hard-pressed to find a lowkey celeb hanging out at the Erewhon — conveniently located right next to the Silver Lake Pool & Inn. For the quintessential A-experience, grab an Erewhon smoothie, then head out to the titular pool for good views and even better vibes.
Gold Diggers Hotel
Hollywood’s a constantly shifting ecosystem that’s on its way back to being a city hotspot. Move over Venice, those sunset over the beach pics are sooooo tired. Hollywood offers a vintage, nostalgic edge, especially with the opening of new restaurants, bars, and hotels in the area. Gold Diggers is the neighborhood at its best. The boutique concept space is a bar, concert venue, hotel, and recording studio — it doesn’t get more Hollywood than that. Check into one of the cozy rooms, then head down to the bar to watch one of the nightly shows for a guaranteed good time. This is also the place that Leon Bridges recorded his 2021 Grammy-nominated album, Gold Diggers Sound, so any music fan can soak in the history of Hollywood while basking in the very current legacy of the LA music scene.
Want to stay close to LAX without staying in a depressing airport hotel? Hotel June is the palace for you. The terrazzo tiling, and cotton candy color scheme balanced by wood tones feel like the perfect mix of LA cool and Palm Springs eclectics. Mix the good design, good food, and pool together and you have one a new LA favorite just miles from the airport.
The new Hyatt venture, an offshoot of their Thompson brand, is appealing to younger crowds with the tommie, a dark and sexy new spot in Hollywood. Although it’s right around the corner from the Thompson LA, the vibes are night and day. With a renowned restaurant bar that’s quickly become a go-to hang out spot for young Angelinos, and meticulously designed rooms that aren’t intimidatingly sleek, tommie is an LA powerhouse chain hotel that doesn’t feel like a chain.
If you’re looking for some pampering, or want to luxuriate in romantic Los Angeles, head to the coast. While Malibu’s an all-around expensive neighborhood that caters to celebrities and the like. So, if you’re seeking the star treatment without the pretension, this beachy oasis is for you. Somehow The Surfrider is as laidback as a classic California surf lodge, while being as luxe as its surroundings. This high-quality hotel has the quintessential California aesthetic, with blonde woods and jute rugs galore. Their guests-only rooftop restaurant is so intimate you’ll feel like you’re having dinner at the house of someone cooler, richer, and more tasteful than you — while loving every single minute.
Whatever adventure awaits you in LA, enhance your experience by spending a night or two at the hotels that are making hotels cool again. You won’t regret it.