Shutters on the Beach
Shutters on The Beach is simply the ultimate incarnation of the Californian experience. The hotel evokes a sense of comfortable elegance that one might find in a grand, yet unpretentious, beach home, all with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and California coastline.
The 198 rooms all have private balconies or patios and most with fantastic sea views. The rooms are beautifully decorated, with a range of luxuries (flat screen, iPod docs and rain showers) yet still feel incredible homely. Michael S. Smith, the Obama White House interior designer, has made it an oasis of beach chic: guest rooms have hardwood floors, cashmere throws, built-in entertainment centres and shelves stocked with thoughtfully chosen books.
The signature restaurant One Pico looks out over the ocean and specialises in locally sourced fish and roasted meats accompanied by wines chosen by the top notch sommelier. Coast is more relaxed, serving fresh California dishes on the outdoor patio complete with heated floors for the rare occasion when it's chilly. They have a great Happy Hour, savoury weekend brunches and Wednesday Farmer's Market dinners. The Lobby Lounge also offers light snacks and cocktails.
Facilities include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, pool deck with sun loungers, cabanas and impressive sea views. As well as a Health Club, there are massage, steam and wet rooms with tropical rain showers and dry sauna. The Beach Centre also offers bicycle rentals, volleyball, yoga on the beach, surfing lessons, and children's beach toys.
Why We Love It
Los Angeles is every shopper's paradise, there are plenty of opportunities to shop on nearby Montana Avenue or for a real splurge, head to Beverley Hills' Rodeo Drive. The Farmers Market in Santa Monica is a great little excursion, as too is the obligatory visit to Hollywood.
SLS Hotel Beverly Hills
SLS Beverly Hills is a totally sleek boutique hotel in the enviable location of Rodeo drive and Beverly Hills' celebrity hotspots.
The hotel is made up of 297 modern guest rooms and suites, including seven lifestyle rooms with personal gyms and two hypo allergic rooms. Each of the spacious rooms and suites are designed in a classically- elegant style with modern amenities and comfortable custom crafted furnishings.
There are three excellent restaurants by popular Chef José Andrés for fine dining experiences. The elegant Bazaar restaurant is situated in an indoor piazza, serving European- inspired gourmet dishes as well as delicious cocktails at the poolside lounge - oh and it boasts its very own patisserie. The cosy Trés restaurant serves creative cuisine and offers daily afternoon tea and a particularly yummy weekend brunch. Enjoy one of the many world-class wines with a multi- course menu at Saam, combining traditional and modern flavours.
Guests can indulge in a variety of spa treatments and massages are offered at the hotel's Ciel Spa. For further relaxation the rooftop pool deck provides a fabulous view across downtown Los Angeles, the ocean and the Hollywood sign. Concierge service and private cabanas with mini-bar, TV and DVD player invite to fully unwind at the hotels poolside.
Should guests feel tempted to leave the poolside, popular beaches such as Venice beach are easily reachable from the hotel. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, famous Rodeo Drive and Beverly Centre Mall are also located close by.
Why We Love It
During the summer months live music and events such as summer fashion shows take place along the glamorous poolside of the hotel.
The Mediterranean-Moorish architecture of PaliHouse dates back to 1927, when sleepy Santa Monica sat at the end of the Los Angeles rail road. Today, it houses a trendy boutique hotel two blocks back from the beach, amid swaying Californian palms.
PaliHouse sits at the heart of residential Santa Monica, just a short amble from the shopping mecca of the 3rd Street Promenade, and the Farmers Market. With its collection of oil paintings, mix-matched fabrics, and antique furnishings, it's almost as if the home of your favourite eclectic uncle has been transported to the west coast and injected with a little Californian cool.
The hotel offers a collection of guest suites and residences, which feel part private residence, part hip boutique hotel. The residences also include fully equipped kitchens - perfect for self-catering with the freshest produce from the local farmers market. Guest accommodation is spacious, light and colourful, with patterned feature walls, cool white linens, and all the modern touches of a boutique hotel, and some suites also offer step out balconies. The Penthouses and some residences also offer two bedrooms, for a spacious family retreat.
The PaliHouse restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, serving a menu of healthy dishes created from fresh, seasonal produce, as well as a coffee bar in the lobby lounge. PaliHouse also offers bicycle hire, and access to exclusive dining and special events at sister hotels PaliHouse West Hollywood, and PaliHotel Melrose, for guests looking to head into the heart of LA.
Why We Love It
The hotel is located within a residential part of town, but only a stones throw from the main shopping and dining streets and the beach, offering the chance to enjoy Santa Monica like a local, but still catch the 'tourist' highlights.
Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire
In the heart of Beverly Hills, just a few expensively shod footsteps from renowned Rodeo Drive shops, the recently renovated Beverly Wilshire blends tradition with trend.
The Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire has 395 rooms and suites, including guest rooms, suites and speciality suites located in two wings: the original 10-storey Wilshire Wing building at the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo, and the 14-storey Beverly Wing, a more contemporary building looking across the city. The interior design of both is contemporary, with soft cream tones, king size beds and full marble en suite bathrooms.
The hotel has a number of great restaurants to try out, including US uber-chef Wolfgang Puck's CUT for a contemporary take on the classic steakhouse and The Blvd restaurant for all-day dining. Discover a modern take on the traditional pool bar menu in this sunny poolside patio.
Facilities include a Mediterranean-style pool (complete with pool bar), a luxurious fitness centre and a relaxing spa with refreshing treatments.
Why We Love It
Beverly Hills is the favoured haunt of Hollywood's elite. The outdoor patio at The Blvd restaurant is the perfect place to play celeb bingo.