Guide to Historic Los Angeles Hotels

The Gold Room, Millennium Biltmore Hotel   |  Photo: Gustavo Turner
The Gold Room, Millennium Biltmore Hotel  |  Photo:  Gustavo Turner

If walls could talk, you can only imagine the stories they’d tell about the legendary guests who have stayed at the historic hotels in Los Angeles. These are the hotels where Marilyn Monroe and Jim Morrison spent their nights and where authors like Hemingway and Fitzgerald wrote their literary masterpieces. Walk through these hotels and it's easy to imagine the 1920s, when L.A.’s hotel boom ushered in an era of celebrity, fashion and luxury. Today, these historic hotels still retain their distinctive features while boasting modern amenities — perfect for a quintessential L.A. visit.

The Biltmore Los Angeles Galleria
The Biltmore Los Angeles Galleria  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

The Biltmore Los Angeles

Best known for its richly appointed lobby, complete with frescoes and gold columns, the Millennium Biltmore is one of L.A.’s greatest testaments to how history and luxury can blend in seamless fashion. The hotel’s Italian-Spanish Renaissance style has caught the eyes of presidents and movie stars, and with a long stint hosting the Academy Awards during the 1930s and 1940s, it’s easy to see why the Biltmore is one of the most visited hotels in Los Angeles.

Hotel Figueroa Bar
Hotel Figueroa  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Hotel Figueroa

Yet another L.A. hotel built in the 1920s, the Figueroa Hotel was originally a YWCA. After the Great Depression, it was turned into a hotel and has now become a popular choice for visitors staying in Downtown. Its proximity to STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE make it an attractive option, but the Figueroa’s Moroccan theme is the hotel’s main draw. Starting with a spacious Spanish Colonial lobby, the hotel plays with Persian decor throughout all its rooms - Moroccan-inspired rugs, billowing drapes, grain sacks, deep bursts of color, and detailed tile work.

Hotel Normandie Interior
Hotel Normandie | Photo: Hotel Normandie

Hotel Normandie

Located in the bustling Koreatown-Wilshire Center District, the Hotel Normandie recently completed a $5-million renovation that restores the historic property to its former glory. Designed by famed architects Walker & Eisen, the Hotel Normandie first opened in 1926. The hotel’s 94 rooms feature restored hardwood floors, Art Deco bathrooms, flat screen TVs, high speed Internet, an in-room coffee maker and distinctive art pieces.

Roosevelt Hotel
Roosevelt Hotel  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

The Hollywood Roosevelt

Named after Theodore Roosevelt and financed by a group that included Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Louis B. Mayer, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel first opened its doors on May 15, 1927. It cost $2.5 million ($33.5 million in today's dollars) to complete the Spanish-style hotel, which features 300 rooms and suites and is now managed by Thompson Hotels. The Roosevelt hosted the first Academy Awards in 1929, inside its Blossom Ballroom. Marilyn Monroe was a resident at the Roosevelt for two years when her modeling career took off. Her first magazine shoot was taken on the diving board of what is now the hotel's Tropicana Pool and Bar. The Gable Lombard Penthouse is named after Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who began their infamous affair in this duplex on the top floor of the hotel.

Paul R. Williams Suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Paul R. Williams Suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel | Photo: Dorchester Collection

The Beverly Hills Hotel And Bungalows

The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Hunter S. Thompson: the list of celebrities who have visited the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows is a long one, and its star-studded heritage is no coincidence. Opened in 1912, the hotel affectionately known as the “Pink Palace” has long catered to the rich, powerful and famous who were looking for a secluded haven from the world, most likely why it inspired The Eagles' hit song, Hotel California. Today, the wonderfully restored hotel features the same Olympic-sized pool and the famed Polo Lounge, along with picturesque and luxurious touches to its suites. For extra privacy, the hotel’s bungalows offer tropical scenery in a garden setting, and the Spa by La Prairie’s treatments have been acknowledged to be among the best in the city.

Beverly Wilshire Hotel Vintage Postcard
Beverly Wilshire Hotel | Photo: Vintage postcard

Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel

Built in 1928 in an Italian Renaissance style, the Beverly Wilshire has catered to the jet set who come to Rodeo Drive for diamonds and luxury shopping. With an elegant clientele, the chandeliers and marble are no surprise, nor are the luxury cars lined up out front. Today, it’s the home of CUT, Wolfgang Puck’s L.A.-based steakhouse, and well-appointed rooms featuring top-notch amenities.

Georgian Hotel
The Georgian | Photo: The Georgian

Georgian Hotel

Built in 1933, The Georgian is a hard hotel to miss, and even better, 100 percent of its rooms have a view of the ocean. Its Art Deco, bright aqua façade is as distinctive as the celebrities it has hosted, which include Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. But its history is even more intriguing than the celebrity stars who have visited - the hotel was actually one of L.A.’s first speakeasies during Prohibition, drawing infamous characters like Bugsy Siegel and Fatty Arbuckle. It was also one of the first to feature modern facilities like a beauty parlor and barber shop.

Hotel Casa del Mar Entrance
Entrance, Hotel Casa del Mar | Photo: Hotel Casa del Mar

Casa Del Mar

Casa del Mar boasts Art Deco touches and incredible views of the ocean - after all, it's the sister property to the famously luxurious Shutters on the Beach. This 1926 historic landmark hotel in Santa Monica has built a fabled reputation, while its location has drawn high-profile visitors since its debut as a members-only resort. Following a $60-million renovation in 1999, Casa del Mar continues to attract the rich and famous.