LA is truly massive, a sprawl of separate cities connected by the winding tentacles of ridiculously wide freeways. The downside of this is that travel times between areas can be long but the payoff is a colourful variety of neighbourhoods, from blissful beaches to the glamour of Beverly Hills. Unsurprisingly, LA’s hotels are equally diverse, catering for every kind of trip imaginable. And with the 2019 Oscars taking place on 25 February, it’s a great excuse to hunker down for a stay. Whether you’re looking to party on the rooftops or just chill out by the beach, these are my go-to LA hotels.
Once a fairly boring centre for finance and conferences, Downtown LA is now happening again, with great restaurants, boutique stores and a vibrant arts district all within a few blocks so you can actually walk everywhere. In the heart of the action is The Freehand, a smart hostel/hotel mashup offering spacious suites as well as shared bunk rooms – perfect if you’re with a group of mates. A bunk also allows access to a shared kitchen, although with an excellent Israeli restaurant in-house, as well as the poolside cocktail bar Broken Shaker on the roof, cooking may be the last thing on your mind. There’s also a programme of regular events and DJs as well as the Flowerboy pop-up shop selling fresh flowers and vintage knick-knacks.
Despite its reputation for ubiquitous car use, LA actually has a fairly decent subway – the best part is that no one really uses it so it’s usually nice and quiet. The LINE in Koreatown is one of my favourite hotels in LA, partly because it’s right opposite a subway station, and partly because it’s near loads of incredible Korean restaurants. The hotel itself is a designer’s dream with exposed concrete walls, modern furniture, original artworks, and floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the Hollywood Hills. There are also some supremely spacious apartment suites if you’re planning a longer stay. The hotel has recently revamped its restaurants too, bringing Michelin-starred chef Josiah Citrin on board to offer a menu of sun-kissed California classics, best enjoyed at the poolside Openaire restaurant, a gorgeous foliage-filled greenhouse. Most fun of all though is the hotel’s Break Room 86, a retro-themed space featuring karaoke rooms, live bands, a dancefloor and boozy push pops.