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Top Hotels in Los Angeles

Casa Del Mar
This Santa Monica hotel, which opened in 1926 as the exclusive Club Casa Del Mar, sits near enough to the beach to allow guests to hear the waves and sniff the sea on the breeze. It received a lavish $60-million renovation in the late '90s and, in addition to the usual luxuries, now features white marble bathrooms and excellent sound systems in every room. Casa Del Mar's restaurant and bar, Catch, has become a hot local scene.

Conceived by the legendary hotelier Ian Schraeger, designed by Philippe Starck and recently renovated by Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, Mondrian is a West Hollywood hotel that epitomizes Los Angeles hip. Each of the 237 guest rooms, most of which are suites and studios, feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows with panoramic city views. The Mondrian is well-equipped for business travelers, with multiple data ports, wireless Internet and multiline phones. The Mondrian's Skybar offers some of the best views in Los Angeles.

Beverly Wilshire
If one must stay in Beverly Hills, then one might as well stay in the classic Beverly Hills hotel. Completed in 1928 and built of stone and marble in the Italian Renaissance style, the Beverly Wilshire is opulent, elegant, and historic—and conveniently located right on Rodeo Drive. Managed by Four Seasons, it also boasts impeccable service.

The Cadillac Hotel
On the surface, this turn-of-the-century Art Deco gem, which sits directly on the boardwalk near the border that separates Venice and Santa Monica, appears to have funky look-and-feel that a Venice Beach hotel ought to have. But inside, it's been given a hip, contemporary makeover. The Cadillac Hotel also features all the high-tech amenities that travelers now require—but its best feature is still the rooftop sunsets visitors have enjoyed since 1905.

Sunset Tower Hotel
Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable and Elizabeth Taylor all lived in this legendary West Hollywood edifice, which was built in 1921 as a luxury apartment complex. Lovingly renovated in 2005 with attention to period detail, the Sunset Tower is all wood and brass—and glass: most rooms feature wall-to-ceiling windows. Fittingly, the Tower Bar is a frequent hangout for today's stars.

Saharan Motor Hotel
The term "boutique" is usually reserved for hotels, and not generally applied to motels, but with the Saharan it is entirely appropriate. Recently remodeled, the Saharan looks like it was sent over from central casting to play the role of an old-fashioned California resort motel. Located on Sunset Boulevard, Saharan Motor Hotel is convenient to Universal Studios and Mann’s Chinese Theater, and appropriately affordable.

W Hotel Westwood
The W Hotels created a new hospitality-industry category with its growing chain of luxurious-yet-cool properties, all of which are unmistakably W, and each of which offers something unique. W Hotel Westwood, situated near Rodeo Drive and UCLA, is pure LA, from its cabana-flanked pool to its chic bar.

Hotel Angeleno
The retro-futuristic Hotel Angeleno, a former Holiday Inn, has acquired a significant coolness factor since being taken over by the trendy Joie de Vivre group. Echoing the circular landmark that is the Capitol Records building in Hollywood, the Angelino is situated in Brentwood/Bel Air, just off the 405 and not far from the spectacular Getty Center and Museum. The rooms feature all the contemporary amenities, including ergonomic desk chairs.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel
In a city famous for its big, beautiful luxury hotels, the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel stands out. Each of the 683 rooms and suites is decked out with polished mahogany, rich fabrics, antique furniture and marble bathrooms. There is a spectacular Romanesque indoor pool and several excellent onsite restaurants and lounges, including the Gallery Bar, noted for its beloved hand-carved wooden angels.

The Standard
The Standard is an artistic vision, a cultural happening, a hotel-as-event. From its upside-down logo to its modish furnishings to its shamelessly indulgent mini-bar (Good 'n' Plenty, saké, Mr. Bubbles, a disposable camera, condoms and aspirin), The Standard is designed to inspire fun. Its rooftop bar is as legendary as its unique design—brain-child of hospitality genius Andre Balazs. It would seem gimmicky if it didn't work—but it works.