Top 10 cool and unusual hotels in Los Angeles

A place where vibrant neighbourhoods lead up to world-famous golden beaches, lingering sunsets can be viewed from spectacular mountain vistas and a place where if you head out to your local corner coffee shop you can find yourself sitting beside your favourite A-list celebrity. Los Angeles is a place I’ve visited many times now and aside from all the obvious scenic and Hollywood based attractions, I fell in love with the city’s unique and creative outlook on life – from the independent boutique stores of the hip ocean enclaves to the rockstar themed supermarkets in West Hollywood, this is a city that will always go that extra inch to ensure every experience you have is quirky and cool. So, of course, it would be no surprise to learn that their hotels are known for being very hip and trendy too! From super plush hotels where presidents always reside to surf-shack inspired accommodation on Venice Beach and from our team’s many stays over the years, here is our collective choice for the best unusual, quirky and cool hotels in Los Angeles to suit all budgets (in no particular order)…

Custom Hotel – modern, playful and stylish

The only boutique hotel located within a mile of the Los Angeles International Airport, the fabulous Custom Hotel is great option for anyone staying in the city on a short trip or even a little bit longer. Modern and contemporary but with enough whimsical features to keep things very interesting, here you’ll find cute sheep hanging around in the lobby and dog face duvets adorning the beds in the guest rooms. Cute animal decor aside, the bright contemporary bedrooms also features customized details and all the modern amenities such flat-screen TV’s free Wi-Fi and an iPod docking station plus customizable coloured lighting systems and mini fridges. Essentially they also feature noise-cancelling windows and either ocean or city views (depending which side your room is)! Head downstairs to grab a cocktail in the wood-panelled lobby bar or DJ lounge. Outside make the most of the outdoor pool surrounded by stadium seating, cabanas, and a funky fire pit. Affordable, accessible and unique boutique accommodation in Los Angeles!

  • Prices from $130 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for Custom Hotel

Standard Hotel Downtown – funky retro modern on Sunset Strip

With a fabulous location on Sunset strip, this LA institution of a place is housed in a mid-century metropolitan building which was once the headquarters of the Superior Oil company. Now its news owners are waay cooler and offers fabulously funky pop-culture inspired accommodation instead. There’s 207 spacious rooms in total at The Standard Hotel Downtown and the prices handily range from the reasonable to the top end featuring oversized bath tubs, mood lighting and platform beds in every room. The decor is both fun and interesting – think Fifites and Sixties era prints, a floor-to-ceiling shagged lobby, kitsch but stylish furniture and pod-esque rooftop pool cabanas complete with vibrating waterbeds! A place where the curious and unexpected will meet you at every turn and a place which always seems to live up to its hype!

The Andaz – one of the sexiest hotels in LA

Stylish and smart and towering above fashionable Sunset Strip, this chic hotel is ideally located to explore this fabulous city. Originally opened in the 1960s where it was the preferred hotel du residence of the rock ‘n’ roll set throughout the 60s and 70s. Led Zepplin once stayed at The Andaz and it has been the setting for numerous films, so begin your own Hollywood story by spending some time in this award-winning hotel. The hotel hasn’t forgotten its rock ‘n’ roll past, with art installations honouring its famous history. The rooftop pool is also a must for both a swim and panoramic views (as well as fabulous sunsets of course). During the summer, talented DJ’s will help you rock that LA vibe and lucky guests can enjoy evening wine tastings, eclectic dining, and fusion fare while also finding themselves within walking distance of iconic clubs like The Viper Room, Whiskey A Go-Go and Rainbow Room. Alternativley just enjoy a signature cocktail at the aptly named hotel bar – The Riot Room! An LA institution and a seriously cool place to stay in the city!

  • Prices from $320 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for The Andaz 

Hotel Erwin – quirky cool

Part of the creative Joie de Vivre hotel chain, the unique Hotel Erwin is one of the trendiest accommodation offerings along LA’s famous Venice Beach Boardwalk. Perfectly reflecting the cool and laid back Venice beach vibe, the Erwin is both reasonably priced (well for a central beach location anyway) and boasts a decor that’s not afraid to be different. With its tongue firmly in its cheek here you’ll find a restaurant called ‘Hash’ and the highest rooftop lounge on the boardwalk named ‘High’ – clever indeed! Guest rooms have colourful and bright designer schemes adorned with contemporary art and a typical Californian retro chic style as well as Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, iPod sound systems and spend a little more, you could find yourself waking up to ocean view or even in their incredible ‘surf suite’ which features DJ turntables and an enormous two-person tub. A very hip LA hotel perfect for free spirits aching for a bit of ocean action!

  • Prices from $220 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for Hotel Erwin

Mr C Hotel – one of Beverley Hill’s finest places to stay

The Mr. C hotel is steeped in history emanating from the establishment of the iconic Harry’s Bar in Venice by Guiseppe Cipriani in the 30s which, four generations later, has grown into a world-renowned hospitality brand. Positioning itself around the ethos that an exceptional visitor experience is based on what is sensed and felt as opposed to seen and touched, the Mr. C in Beverly Hills is no different. The LA hotel itself embraces the light and vibrancy of LA with the understated Italian glamour from which it has its roots to great effect. Old school cocktails, traditional, home-cooked inspired meals and a rooftop pool all come together to embody that ethos of engaging the senses. The minimalist chic décor made up of bright white furnishings (designer of course darling!) leather and oak panelling will instantly transport you back to a golden age of true Hollywood glamour.

  • Prices from $390 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for Mr.C Hotel

Mama Shelter – the LA base for the popular funky hotel brand

Designed by acclaimed Parisian designer Theirry Gaugin, the wonderfully off-the-wall Mama Shelter Hotel sells itself as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and as something totally different to anything you’ve experienced before in LA. Considering the competition, that’s a very high bar to set! However, the trendy hotel will not disappoint, as well as outrageously funky decor it boasts 360 views from the rooftop terrace, including a spectacular view of the iconic Hollywood sign, proximity to the Chinese Theatre and bustling Hollywood Boulevard. Just like any good mama’s house, the hotel will shelter you from the urban street madness, offering great food and plenty of facilities to recharge your batteries – literal and metaphorical. The hotel sits comfortably in the ever changing landscape of LA and is unshackled by it – a true arty icon in the American City of Lights!

  • Prices from $190 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for Mama Shelter 

Palihouse Hotel – elegant all-suite boutique hotel

In continuous operation since the 1920s, the elegant Revival-style Palihouse Santa Monica brings a little of the sumptuous French Riviera to the American West Coast. Palihouse operates on the philosophy that in order to live a life well-travelled it must be made up of unique experiences, therefore they aim to place their property at the centre of that ethos. In 2001, the European vintage chic all-suite hotel was designated a Santa Monica Historic Landmark owing to its meticulously maintained lush courtyard and ornamental façade. These coupled with a club-house feel and uniquely decorated rooms, ensures it provides an inspiring and sophisticated experience in keeping with its mantra. Colourful, spacious and with enough quirkiness to keep things interesting, it’s a real Los Angeles gem of a hotel!

The Ace Hotel – the LA version of the famously cool brand

The Ace Hotel  is where all the hipsters hang out whenever they’re in town. A place that’s always effortlessly trendy (without trying too hard either – which is quite an accomplishment!) it opened its doors early 2014 and is housed in the historic United Artists building in Downtown LA. An ornate, storied and vibrant Los Angeles gem, Downtown is undergoing a renaissance. Built in 1927 for the maverick film studio, the UA theater and tower stand as monuments to a group of seminal American artists pushing out on their own. A fabulous hipster-meets-LA Noir party palace, the ornate building oozes vibrant history and stands alone as a true diamond within the LA story. The hotel offers a variety of room options from fabulous adjoining terraces (to keep an eye on LA life) to large suites and loft spaces. Every inch of the hotel is carefully designed and curated with art pieces representing its history-making it a true temple of the arts. A stay here will inspire, fill you with awe and offer a Los Angeles cultural experience like no other!

  • Prices from $190 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for The Ace Hotel

Farmer’s Daughter Hotel – hoedown chic

Cooler than a hoe-down but quirky enough to still boast bags of character, the critically acclaimed yet unpretentious Farmer’s Daughter Hotel is an eternally popular choice in the city. Based right opposite the original Farmers Market (yep, hence the name) and The Grove shopping mall, this recently renovated boutique hotel is where country kitsch meets LA modern chic – think eclectic colour palettes, rooster-print wall paper, rocking chairs and lashings of cosy gingham and even denim duvets, mixed with all the latest mod cons of course! Make sure you make the most of the daily wine hour, their rubber duck lined outdoor pool (yes seriously), their locally famous TART Restaurant where you can watch live music and be served up more helpings of US comfort food than your stomach can probably manage!  

The Mondrian – serious eye candy on Sunset Strip

The Mondrian brings its own take on glamour and elegance to Hollywood, offering a sumptuously luxurious experience for visitors including a stunning rooftop terrace and pool. Ultra contemporary and ultra glamorous, the rooms are a modern form of elegance with gilded mirrors but tall, wide windows to capture as much of the LA light and sun as possible. Brightly coloured drinking and dining spaces give the impression of light and space while LA is busy hustling below you. The hotel succeeds in juxtaposing the modern and the classic in a clever amalgamation of taste and style and perfectly captures everything the Strip stands for – excitement, invincibility, and pure glamour….definitely worth a visit if your pockets are deep enough!

  • Prices from $310 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for Mondrian Hotel

Chateau Marmont – famous LA institution

Located in the historic West Hollywood soaked in Old Hollywood vibes, the Chateau Marmont (or Castle on the Hill as it’s otherwise known) is as much a feature of Hollywood as handprints and clapboards. An invitation to Bar Marmont is the ultimate party invite, the atmosphere is oozing glamour, sit in a wicker chair and watch love blossom between couples over champagne or Hollywood executives thrash out a deal over Martinis, everyone comes to Bar Marmont after dusk. Accommodation ranges from suites, penthouses to private bungalows- you can only imagine whose feet tread across that carpet before you. Facilities include large flat-screen TVs in the bedrooms, cashmere throws on the terrace, heated outdoor pool and sun terrace as well as chauffeur-driven limos and exclusive fine dining. So what’s left to say? Oh yeah: “Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams”- and when you start sipping a cocktail on the sun-soaked terrace of Chateau Marmont, you would definitely have found yourself in your own Hollywood dream!

The Line Hotel – hip industrial-chic

Effortlessly cool and boasting stunning views of LA, The Line Hotel embodies everything LA has become synonymous with- chic and vibrant. The 1960s building has been given a wonderfully hip industrial-chic revamp by designer Sean Knibb to slot seamlessly into the downtown Koreatown vibe. The Line offers something for every traveller’s needs; sumptuous dishes created by Roy Choi, a shop curated by design duo Poketo which offers workshops ranging from sushi making to meditation and because of Koreatown’s 24-hour renowned culture – the nightlife offers a stellar nightlife experience. If you opt for a stay at The Line Hotel, be prepared for a multi-layered, truly urban LA experience!

  • Prices from $190 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for The Line Hotel

Figueroa Hotel – spectacular exotic design

Built in 1925, this former YWCA (would you believe!) has been turned into fantastically unique and exotically stylish boutique hotel. With its hostelling days now just a distant memory, the Figueroa Hotel is now a creative and distinctive Los Angeles accommodation option which mixes an early California Mission style with plenty of Moroccan/Mexican exoticism. In the lobby you’ll find East African chandeliers elegantly dangling from the ceiling, gigantic cacti and multi-coloured woven rugs which wouldn’t look out of place in a Souk bazaar. Head outside to find an atmospheric floodlit swimming pool surrounded by ornately tiled pool side bar and towering palm trees making it the perfect place to soak up some of those glorious Californian rays. Its artsy vibe also make it a haven for LA creatives types.

  • Prices from $210 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for Figueroa Hotel

Villa Delle Stelle – intimate and stylish boutique

Villa Delle Stelle translates from Italian into “house of the stars” and at this small boutique hotel they will aim to treat you like one. The luxurious historic mansion was converted into a unique 6-suite boutique hotel by acclaimed Hollywood designer (and former wife of Dudley Moore) Brogan Lane. Each of the original suites has a Hollywood celebrity-theme and are decorated with their own unique style – English, Art Deco, Parisian. More suites were later added due to popular demand and all offer apartment-style lodging complete with a full kitchen, separate living room, flat-screen cable TVs and DVD player. They also offer some fabulous services including in-room massages, private chefs or your very own personal trainer ensuring you too can live like a celebrity, even if it is only for a few days…

The W Hotel – where the presidents stay…

The W Hotel is located a little outside the centre of LA, offering a quiet respite from the intensity of Hollywood but shuttle services can be arranged at the hotel, if you fancy dipping a toe into the madness before retreating back into the sumptuousness of the W. Offering oodles of Cali-glam and famous for its luxurious decor and party atmosphere, the hip hotel offers a fabulous range of fine dining, a stunning heated pool, classically decorated bedrooms as well as a renowned 7,000-square-foot spa and wellness centre and that’s not forgetting the lobby DJ bar where you could definitely spot a celeb or two. A great option for a traveller looking to really embrace the LA experience.

  • Prices from $280 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for The W Hotel

Cadillac Hotel – art deco cool

Once a beach hostel and then the former summer residence of film legend Charlie Chaplin, the Cadillac Hotel has now been lovingly transformed into a whimsical and reasonably priced boutique hotel. The historic art deco building, first built in 1905, is located right on Venice beach boardwalk and is a good choice for design lovers on a budget. Perfectly fitting in with the relaxed and creative ‘Venice vibe,’ the Cadillac displays work from local artists and has an art deco theme throughout. The bright and airy rooms are tastefully decorated with funky pastel shades, some offer ocean views and all come with eco bath products, plasma TVs and Wi-Fi.

  • Prices from $160 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Cadillac Hotel

The Ambrose Hotel – eco-chic Santa Monica hotel

The Ambrose offers a more boutique and personal experience – a Zen-like alternative to Santa Monica’s enormous beachfront hotels. Located in a more residential area a ten-minute drive away from the downtown area and you can make use of their complimentary house car if you fancy dipping into the frenzy before retreating back to the more authentic atmosphere of hotel. The Ambrose has a strong eco ethos as well as a 24-hour fitness facility equipped with everything from cardio machines to yoga mats and the complimentary bikes will enable you to cycle to along the world-famous promenade Knowledgeable staff will help curate a vibrant experience to suit your tastes to ensure a total immersion in the Californian vibe. All the while knowing a bright, airy, tastefully decorated room awaits you after a busy day sightseeing or LA boutique shopping, alternatively opt for an organic meal at the in-house aptly named restaurant, The Living Room.

  • Prices from $290pn
  • To check prices or availability for The Ambrose

The Rose Hotel – laid back hipster chic

Laid back and low-key yet still with an ultra hip vibe, the wonderful Venice Beach based Rose Hotel offers the perfect antidote to the glossy, A-lister obsessed hotels dotted around the city. The look is a surfer’s lodge meets boho pad and the trendy but casual accommodation offers a distinctive Shaker-style. Think stripy rugs, whitewashed walls and funky wooden furniture and the unique ambiance attracts all the city’s arty types (and beach goers of course)! A place to kick back, relax and take in all the weird and wonderful sights of Venice Beach.

The Viceroy – upscale Santa Monica beauty

The Viceroy in Santa Monica sells itself on the premise that it provides sun-kissed sophistication and they do not disappoint. The allure of lounging by the Californian coast is undeniable and the Viceroy offers an escape, a retreat, with outdoor plunge pools, sun loungers, and charming cabanas. The fabulous Cast restaurant and lounge offers a wide selection of fine dining and cocktail options to suit every preference. Guests can enjoy bright and airy rooms with views of sky blue waters (the hotel is located only a 3-minute walk from Santa Monica) and the gentle rustle of palm trees can be heard. A trendy beachside LA hotel experience not to be missed.

  • Prices from $350
  • To check prices or availability for The Viceroy

Sky Hotel – trendy modern boutique

Sky Hotel Cool Hotels Los Angeles on GlobalGrasshopper.com

A fashionable mid-range boutique hotel located in trendy Westside of Los Angeles. The style at the fabulous Sky Hotel is chic and serene, aiming to create an urban oasis to escape all the city hassles. All the contemporary rooms at the hip hotel feature custom-made furnishings and all the modern essentials you’d expect such as free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. A large shopping centre, fine dining options, nightlife and Westwood Village are just minutes away. A great choice for reasonably priced designer accommodation in a funkily fabulous LA location.

  • Prices from $160
  • To check prices or availability for Sky Hotel

More cool and unique hotels in Los Angeles

El Matador Beach - Southern California on GlobalGrasshopper.com

  • O Hotel -Stylish boutique hotel housed in a building dating from 1925 and located in downtown LA from $200pn
  • Venice Beach Suites & Hotel Retro cool hotel located right on Venice Beach from $200pn
  • Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Hip, upscale hotel dating located along the Hollywood Walk of Fame from $250pn
  • Chamberlain Hotel West Hollywood – Stylish and glam design hotel located very near Sunset strip from $280pn
  • Petit Ermitage – A beautiful Moroccan-inspired all-suite West Hollywood hotel from $350
  • Hotel Angeleno – A striking high rise circular design hotel near UCLA, Century City $170
  • Shade Hotel – Ultra stylish Manhattan Beach hotel with a definite wow factor from $430pn

If you enjoyed our cool and unusual hotels in Los Angeles we also have posts on cool hotels in San Francisco, cool hotels in Portland and cool hotels in New York

Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.

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