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

Everyone who comes to Los Angeles wants to see a star. What many visitors don’t realize is that the hotels they check into are stars 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.

NOTE: Hours and opening dates change frequently. Check individual websites for updated information.

Riding one of Westin Bonaventure's famous elevators
The Westin Bonaventure's elevators are 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 Biltmore
Scene from "Ghostbusters" (1984) at The Biltmore  |  Photo: @filmtourismus

The Biltmore Los Angeles

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, Slimer. And Molly Ringwald attends a prom in the Biltmore’s famous Crystal Ballroom, in the 1986 John Hughes classic Pretty in Pink.

The Biltmore has also appeared in numerous TV series, including Bosch and Mad Men.

Tropicana Pool and Cabanas at the Hollywood Roosevelt
Tropicana Pool and Cabanas at the Hollywood Roosevelt  |  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. Other movie appearances include Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Internal Affairs (1990) and The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989). 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.

Exterior of Las Palmas Hotel in Hollywood
Las Palmas Hotel | Photo: @francoisschawlb, Instagram

Las Palmas Hotel

The Las Palmas Hotel is a value property located within walking distance of many Tinseltown hot spots, including Ovation Hollywood (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 and continues to attract fans more than 30 years after its release. The Las Palmas is also where 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.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in a scene from "Pretty Woman" at the Beverly Wilshire
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in a scene from "Pretty Woman" at the Beverly Wilshire | Photo: YouTube

Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel

Built in 1928, the Beverly Wilshire is known to millions of movie fans as the hotel where Julia Roberts stays in Pretty Woman. Inspired by the 1990 blockbuster, Pretty Woman for a Day invites you to star in your own love story with a luxurious stay in a Specialty Suite.

Located just steps from world-famous Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Wilshire has welcomed dignitaries such as President Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and the Emperor of Japan. Dashiell Hammett reportedly wrote The Thin Man at the luxury hotel, and Warren Beatty lived in the penthouse for years. In the late 1950s, Elvis Presley stayed at the hotel while filming at nearby Paramount Studios. During his separation from wife Yoko Ono, John Lennon is said to have stayed at the Beverly Wilshire because he knew Elvis had lived there.

Maggie Smith and Michael Caine in the Polo Lounge from "California Suite"
Maggie Smith and Michael Caine at the Polo Lounge in a scene from "California Suite" | Photo: Columbia Pictures

The Beverly Hills Hotel And Bungalows

Affectionately known as the “Pink Palace,” the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows opened in 1912, before there was even a city called Beverly Hills. Generations of celebrities have stayed at the hotel, and the famed Polo Lounge continues to be a favorite power lunch spot and watering hole for Hollywood movers and shakers. Acclaimed architect Paul Revere Williams designed the Polo Lounge, the Crescent Wing, the hotel's loopy signage, and also chose the signature pink and green colors.

The hotel has a starring role in Neil Simon's California Suite (1978), along with decades of appearances that include The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), The Harder They Fall (1956), The Way We Were (1973), Shampoo (1975), American Gigolo (1980), The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) and Saving Mr. Banks (2013).

Hotel Angeleno

The Hotel Angeleno is a cylindrical-shaped structure that towers over the I-405 off 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 200-plus rooms features a private balcony. Hotel guests and visitors alike can enjoy upscale cuisine and panoramic views at the WEST Restaurant & Lounge.

Most filming at the Angeleno occurred during its Holiday Inn days. Al Pacino and his on-screen daughter Natalie Portman check into the property in Michael Mann's 1995 thriller Heat. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church drive by the hotel on their way to Santa Barbara in the 2004 indie hit Sideways. Detectives Starsky and Hutch pick up a witness at the hotel in “Death Ride," a Season 1 episode of the eponymous 70s series.

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. While the property has since completed multi-million dollar renovations, the shell-shaped pool is (aka the WET Deck) is 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  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Hotel Erwin

Located just steps from the sands of Venice Beach, Hotel Erwin 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.