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Los angeles hotels By Lena Katz

Recession whah-huh? That isn’t aword that crosses the lips of restaurateurs, nightlife impresarios and hoteliers in SoCal. No matter what else might happen, people expect the newest, best and the most out of a Southern California vacation — and that’s what they’re getting.

The current “biggest, best-est thing” in Los Angeles shop-dine-tainment news is L.A. Live, a downtown development that brings together big-name restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels and residences.

If anything could truly be the heart of the sprawled-out, mysterious downtown district, this would be it.  STAPLES Center pre-dates LA Live, but it also justifies its existence: it was built to provide food, drink and fun for stadium crowdspre- and post-event. Key venues include the reinvented Conga Room, the GRAMMY Museum, Nokia Theater and Lucky Strike Lanes. Restaurants range from Fleming’s to Rock ‘n Fish to Trader Vic’s (coming soon).

Doors open at new Los Angeles Hotels

The setting couldn’t be more different than the Laguna original, but the new Montage Beverly Hills is nonetheless a fitting follow-up to its sister hotel. From the grandiose marble-outfitted lobby to the elegant hush-hushed bar to the distinctive dining venues, this hotel impresses without ever crossing into ostentatious.

If you like to be in the center of the biggest splash, opt to stay at SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, a new luxury Los Angeles hotel located on one of Beverly Hills’ most trafficked thoroughfares. It’s owned by nightlife impresario Sam Nazarian. Famed for his tough velvet ropes and celeb-packed night spots, Nazarian seems to be going for a similar vibe at his first-ever hotel.

Over on Sunset, a former ‘80s rocker hangout has turned into the artsy-chic Andaz. Don’t ask what the name means — just know it’s under the Hyatt umbrella, and still a Hyatt hotel underneath the glass walls and art installations.

There are new players on the L.A. restaurant and bar scene, too. Check back next week for that story.

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LenaKatz lives on the Left Coast and writes about tropical islands, beach clubs and food, but her heart belongs to NYC.

Tagged: California

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