Go On Location: Los Angeles Hotels Featured in Film and Television

Everyone who comes to Hollywood wants to see a star. What many visitors don’t realize is that the hotels they check into are stars in and of themselves. In fact, many LA hotels boast a resume that would be the envy of most actors. Read on for a guide to Los Angeles hotels that have been immortalized on screen, along with the productions that made them famous.

Riding one of Westin Bonaventure's famous elevators
Riding one of Westin Bonaventure's famous elevators, as seen in True Lies and In the Line of Fire.

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites

Easily L.A.’s most unique looking hotel, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites was designed by John Portman in 1974. At 367 feet tall and boasting 1,474 rooms, the five-towered structure has the distinction of being L.A.’s largest hotel. The site’s futuristic cement and glass architecture has location scouts returning again and again to film on the premises. The property’s circular glass elevators boast the most screen time. Arnold Schwarzenegger famously rides a horse into one of the cars in 1994’s "True Lies." Clint Eastwood pursues a presidential assassin in another car in 1993’s "In the Line of Fire." And a third car appears in the 1995 romcom "Forget Paris." The hotel displays plaques next to each elevator to denote its silver screen appearance.

Johnny Depp spends the vast majority of 1995’s "Nick of Time" searching for his daughter at the Bonaventure. The hotel’s revolving BonaVista Lounge, located on the 34th floor, stars as Above the Top, the watering hole where Ann Jillian and the girls work in the 80s sitcom "It’s a Living."

Scene from "Ghostbusters" (1984) at the Millennium Biltmore
Scene from Ghostbusters (1984) at the Millennium Biltmore  |  Photo: @filmtourismus

Millennium Biltmore Hotel

Located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles and overlooking Pershing Square, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel is one of Southern California’s most fabled properties. Built in 1923 by the Schultze & Weaver architecture firm, the 11-story property is a marvel of architecture and interior design. The grandly opulent hotel not only played host to eight Academy Awards ceremonies, but has also been featured in over 300 productions - many of them iconic - throughout its history. Eddie Murphy stays at the Beverly Palm Hotel, played by the Millennium Biltmore, in 1984’s "Beverly Hills Cop." That same year, the Biltmore also appeared in "Ghostbusters" as the Sedgewick Hotel, where the guys catch their first ghost. And Molly Ringwald attends a prom in the Biltmore’s famous Crystal Ballroom, in the 1986 John Hughes classic "Pretty in Pink."

 The Standard Downtown LA Rooftop Pool
The Standard Downtown LA Rooftop Pool

The Standard Downtown LA

The Standard Downtown LA is an ultra-modern hotel located in a 12-story building that originally served as the Southern California headquarters of Superior Oil. After more than a decade of vacancy, the property was taken over in 2000 by hotelier André Balazs, who transformed it into a whimsical, avant-garde boutique hotel, while keeping most of its original architectural details intact. The site’s 1,220 square-foot Rooftop Bar is its most stunning feature, boasting incredible 360-degree views of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline. The lounge has long been a favorite go-to for location scouts. Elizabeth Banks works at the Rooftop Bar in the 2012 drama "People Like Us"; Ryan Gosling and Rosamund Pike go on a date there in the 2007 thriller "Fracture"; and Eric meets the best friend of his longtime girlfriend, Sloane at the bar in the "Entourage" Season 3 episode, “Strange Days.” The hotel itself has also appeared on screen. Jamie Foxx snags a stranger’s cellphone at The Standard in 2004’s "Collateral," and Robert Downey Jr. stays there in 2005’s "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." The property’s yellow-hued 24-7 Restaurant was the site of a 2010 Glamour magazine photo shoot featuring the girls from "Glee."

The Mayfair Hotel Los Angeles

The Historic Mayfair Hotel was designed in 1927 by Alexander E. Curlett and Claud W. Beelman. At the time, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. After a four-year, multimillion-dollar renovation, the 15-story property reopened in July 2018 with a stunning new design and an art collection curated by legendary LA street artist RISK. The hotel has been immortalized in numerous productions throughout its history. In 1999, it played the Chicago hotel from which Michelle Pfeiffer’s son is kidnapped in "The Deep End of the Ocean." Arnold Schwarzenegger rides his horse through the Mayfair’s lobby (before heading to the Bonaventure) in "True Lies." And more recently, Michael Scott and Holly Flax finally declare their love for each other on The Mayfair's rooftop in the "The Office" Season 7 episode, “The Search.”

Hollywood Roosevelt Tropicana Pool and Cabanas
Tropicana Pool and Cabanas at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

The Hollywood Roosevelt

The landmark Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was originally constructed in 1927 and was the site of the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. Countless luminaries have stayed at the property throughout its history, including Marilyn Monroe, who lived in a room above the Roosevelt’s pool for two years. The hotel’s stunning architecture and Moorish-style lobby have appeared in a myriad of big and small screen productions. The locale masquerades as the Tropicana Motel, where Tom Hanks came *thisclose* to catching up with Leonardo DiCaprio in "Catch Me If You Can." Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning and Dan Aykroyd check into the hotel at the end of "Crossroads." The Roosevelt is the site of the Senior Prom in the 1989 teen favorite "She’s Out of Control." And the property’s famous pool was featured regularly as a hangout of both Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari on the MTV reality series "The Hills."

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Las Palmas Hotel | Photo by Lindsay Blake

Las Palmas Hotel

The Las Palmas Hotel is a value property located within walking distance of many Tinseltown hot spots, including Hollywood & Highland (site of the Academy Awards ceremonies), the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the TCL Chinese Theatre. Its most notable distinction is its role as the home of Vivian Ward (played by Julia Roberts) in the 1990 romantic comedy "Pretty Woman." The fire escape where Vivian is rescued by millionaire Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) has been left virtually untouched from its onscreen appearance. The small hotel is also where Cosmo Kramer stays while visiting Los Angeles in the two-part "Seinfeld" Season 4 episode, “The Trip.”

Best Western Sunset West Hotel in Hollywood
Best Western Sunset West Hotel | Photo: Best Western

Sunset West Hotel

Formerly known as the Saharan Motor Hotel, the SureStay Collection by Best Western Sunset West Hotel continues to maintain its retro charm. Thanks to that nostalgic aesthetic, the hotel has long been popular with location scouts. In 1995’s "Species," Natasha Henstridge stays at the Saharan when she first arrives in Hollywood. The value motel is also a crime scene in both the 1989 made-for-television movie "L.A. Takedown" and the 1988 drama "Cop." In the 2009 comedy "Spread," a down-on-his-luck Ashton Kutcher checks into the Saharan for a couple of days. More recently, a young witness is put up in the motel in the "Southland" Season 1 episode, “Mozambique.” The property also boasts a real-life claim to fame: a then-unknown Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi lived at the Saharan for about a week when they first moved to L.A. in 1978. In his 2009 autobiography "Time of My Life," Swayze calls the Saharan his first Los Angeles home.

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Hollywood legends at the Patio Cafe | Photo courtesy of Sportsmen’s Lodge, Facebook

Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel

The Sportsmen’s Lodge, which was originally dubbed Hollywood Trout Farms, has been in existence since the 1880s. The property was an early favorite of the show biz set - Clark Gable, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis are all said to have hung out there. A new, larger hotel was built on the eight-acre property in 1962. That structure has been immortalized on screen countless times, including in "Desperate Housewives" (Lynette Scavo checks into the Lodge after leaving her husband in Season 2), the 2002 Britney Spears flick "Crossroads" (Sportsmen’s Lodge is the site of the graduation dance), and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" (the property’s large pond and garden area appears as Duncan and Kevin’s wedding reception venue). In its most famous appearance, the Sportsmen's Lodge plays the Niagara Falls hotel where guests of Jim and Pam’s wedding stay in "The Office" Season 6 episode, “Niagara.”

Hotel Angeleno

The Hotel Angeleno is a cylindrically-shaped structure that towers over the I-405 near Sunset Boulevard, and is one of L.A.’s best-known movie and TV sites. The 17-story building was originally a Holiday Inn, which was revamped as the sleek and modern Hotel Angeleno in 2006. Each of the property’s 208 rooms features a private balcony, complimentary valet parking (a rare perk in LA) and free Wi-Fi. Most filming at the Angeleno occurred during its Holiday Inn days. In 1975, Detectives Starsky and Hutch pick up a witness at the hotel in “Death Ride," a Season 1 episode of the eponymous series. Al Pacino and his on-screen daughter Natalie Portman check into the property in the 1995 thriller "Heat." And Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church drive by the hotel on their way to Santa Barbara in the 2004 indie hit "Sideways."

W Los Angeles - West Beverly Hills
W Los Angeles - West Beverly Hills

W Los Angeles–West Beverly Hills

The W Los Angeles - West Beverly Hills was originally known as the Westwood Marquis Hotel and Gardens. At the Marquis’ picturesque pool, Julia Roberts gets some NSFW advice from Laura San Giacomo in "Pretty Woman." An extensive remodel was done to the hotel in 1999, during which time it was renamed the W Los Angeles - Westwood. Thankfully, while the property was highly modernized during the renovation, the shell-shaped pool was left intact. Vince and Eric hang out by that same pool in a Season 4 episode of "Entourage." The W was also featured as the LA hotel where Kate Bosworth stays in "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton"; where Naomi Clark lives and Liam Court works on "90210"; where Natalie Portman attends a Christmas party in "No Strings Attached"; and where Schmidt tries to teach Jess how to pick up guys in the "New Girl" Season 1 episode, “Valentine’s Day.”

High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach
High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Hotel Erwin

Hotel Erwin, located just steps from the sands of Venice Beach, was originally built in 1967 as the Best Western Marina Pacific Hotel. The property was taken over by Erwin Sokol in 2008 and given an extensive remodel, which included the addition of an entire floor of suites and a new roof. The site was re-named the Hotel Erwin, in honor of the new owner. In the "Cougar Town" Season 4 episode “Have Love Will Travel,” Courteney Cox and the rest of the Cul-de-Sac Crew check into the upscale Erwin while visiting Los Angeles. The production made significant use of the property’s rooftop bar, High Rooftop Lounge, which boasts stunning, unobstructed views of the world-famous Venice Beach Boardwalk.