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Lights! Camera! Action! Ever since Los Angeles established itself as the epicenter of the movie biz more than a century ago, the city has been synonymous with “the industry.” There’s a thrill in speculating whether the person standing in front of you in line at Sqirl (best brunch ever) might be a string-pulling producer, a brilliant screenwriter or tomorrow’s next “it” girl and tourists know it. The City of Angels has broken visitor records for the last six years running and a citywide revitalization shows no signs of slowing. 2017 marks the year the hotel scene finally caught up with the rest of the city, including a crop of newcomers so ready for their close up that we can no longer keep them secret. Placing ourselves in the role of casting agent (naturally), we present LA’s best new hotels and what “role” they’d play if all of life were a Hollywood blockbuster.

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Photo courtesy of the Dream Hotel

Dream Hotel: The Movie Star
We love our celebrities because, let’s face it, they’re pretty to look at and if there’s one new hotel we could stare at for hours it’s this new addition that recently landed smack in the middle of Hollywood (how fitting). Everything about the Dream is Instagrammable—even  the alleyway, a pretty brick courtyard that separates the hotel from its gorgeous and skylight lit restaurant Beauty and Essex (enter through the pawn shop) and next door nightclub Avenue. There’s also the lobby, open air and seamlessly integrated into the neighborhood, plus Asian-tinged Tao, the largest eatery in the city and with a dining room that’s tiered like an elegant wedding cake. The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, rain showers and a touch of mid-century efficiency, but it’s the Highlight Room—a rooftop eatery, nightclub and retractable swimming pool with jaw-dropping Hollywood (and beyond) views that is the Dream’s real star turn.

Photo courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills: The Producer
Tasked with raising funds and schmoozing the right people necessary to make a movie happen, the producer might be a film’s most important player and if you’re looking for a hotel full of important people, turn to the Waldorf. Everything about it is tailored to meet the needs of bigwigs starting with guest service, which is impeccable throughout. There’s the La Prairie Spa, where pampering is at a premium; over-sized guest rooms designed by Pierre Yves-Rochon that include floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies; and a rooftop pool and lounge carefully shielded from the general public while offering unbelievable Beverly Hills views. And speaking of dipping one’s toes into the water, NYC super chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten officially enters the Los Angeles dining scene with the elegant Jean-Georges Beverly Hills.

Photo courtesy of the Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo: The Set Designer
After decades in which Angelenos harbored circumspect feelings for their inner city (aka DTLA), the ‘hood has come roaring back with a vengeance (think schmancy lofts and artisanal doughnut joints). But as ubiquitous cranes portend a new city skyline, the Hotel Indigo stepped in like an ace set designer to help the ‘hood celebrate its razzle dazzle heyday. Imagine guestrooms with studio-style floor lamps and vintage backdrops, hallways with floor-to-ceiling pics of preening paparazzi, lobby lighting crafted to resemble 19th-century bicycle spokes, a Jazz Age bar and lobby and even banquette seating offering a hat tip to DTLA’s mysterious underground tunnels. Without sacrificing modern amenities, the Indigo seamlessly swirls together past and present like you’re inside a Baz Luhrmann film.

Photo courtesy of the Inter Continental

The InterContinental: The Director
A good director is a woman (and in some cases, man) willing to call the shots, take big risks and be a visionary: This new downtown behemoth does all that and then some. Part of the 73-story Wilshire Grand Building—the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi as of this writing—the InterCon looms large over all of Tinsel Town and makes an instant impression. For starters, there are the guestrooms and suites (889 in total) that occupy floors 31 through 66 and offer thrilling city views while capturing SoCal’s casual ethos. Then there’s the dining: elegant French at La Boucherie on 71; live cooking, carving stations, chocolate fountains and more at Dekkadance; and Spire 73, the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere. The pièce de résistance to this directorial vision has to be the building’s sail-shaped crown, impressive by day but even more so at night when it’s illuminated in rainbow colors via LED lighting.

Photo courtesy of the Freehand

Freehand Los Angeles: The Screenwriter
Hunched over a laptop and thirsting for inspiration, the aspiring screenwriter demands a creative space in which to craft a cinematic masterpiece while not busting any bank accounts. The Freehand Los Angeles, a hotel-hostel hybrid whose Miami Beach counterpart is the coolest budget-chic option the island has going for it, is such a place. Reviving a sun-drenched ’70s California (the decade where screenwriting truly flourished; think Chinatown, The Godfather, Five Easy Pieces, etc.), the Freehand is a downtown hub for Hollywood’s creative upstarts. Bang out a script while sipping on a tea infusion at Cafe Integral and schmooze with the young and restless poolside at the rooftop Broken Shaker. Bed down on a bunk or in a room of your own and let a magnum opus spill from your fingertips.

ALSO: Before checking in to your next hotel, check out Orbitz Rewards!

Photo courtesy of the Jeremy WeHo

The Jeremy West Hollywood: The Showrunner
In Tinsel Town parlance, a showrunner is a combination producer, writer, script editor, manager, casting agent and so much more. Basically, he’s a Jack (or Jill) of all trades and the Jeremy is the kind of hotel that similarly checks a lot of boxes. Perfect Sunset Strip location? Check. Spacious guestrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows? Check. A rooftop pool with eye-popping skyline views and lounging poolside beauties? Yes, again. The Jeremy also boasts great public art, outdoor green spaces, a sprawling lobby with elbow room for all, spitting distance to the Hollywood Hills, accessibility to the best restaurants and nightlife in WeHo and more. As for the actual Jeremy? Picture a casually stylish young upstart adroitly maneuvering Hollywood. Sound like anyone you know?

Photo courtesy of the Everly Hotel

Kimpton Everly Hotel: The Cinematographer
Let their be light. So says the cinematographer and so says the Kimpton Everly Hotel, a lovely piece of  new construction perched hillside in Hollywood and whose on-site restaurant, lobby and common areas are drenched from floor to (very) high ceiling in generous Southern California sunlight. The cinematographer has much to feast his eyes on at this 216-room boutique property including front row views of the Hollywood Hills on one side and a pano view of downtown and much of the Los Angeles Basin on the other. Visual cues flourish including a cluster of vibrant lobby artwork set against white brick, bedside tomes that pay tribute to Cal cool artists, claw foot tubs in some guestrooms and a rooftoop pool with peek-a-boo views of city—and fellow guests, of course. Between hotel and ‘hood, the Everly is a shutterbug’s best friend.

Photo courtesy of the Hotel Figueroa

Hotel Figueroa: The Legend
Retirement just doesn’t suit some people (like Cher, for example) and we’re thrilled this Los Angeles icon has been reborn. Opened in 1926 as a hotel owned by women and for women (men were initially allowed only on the second and third floors), the Hotel Figueroa was a downtown mecca that throughout time underwent multiple facelifts and transformations to remain relevant (again, just like Cher). A recent renovation has restored many of its original Spanish Colonial flourishes, including plaster walls, brushed brass and decorative tiles in the guestrooms and Basque cooking in the kitchen. The beverage program is a knockout so feel free to imbibe at Bar Figueroa, Bar Alta, on the Veranda, or at our favorite space in the entire hotel, poolside (of course) at Rick’s.

Photo courtesy of Jason Heidemann

The Nomad Hotel: The Coming Attraction
Sometimes a sneak peek is all it takes to reel us in. Having been to the Nomad in New York, we’re pumped for the LA sibling coming at year’s end (just in time for awards season). What we know is that it will be located at 7th and Olive—in the pulsing epicenter of DTLA—at historic Giannini Place, a 1922 neoclassical gem and formerly the Bank of Italy. If it’s anything like its NYC counterpart, expect timeless guestrooms featuring hand-selected furnishings, original artwork, clawfoot tubs (in some rooms) and irresistible public spaces. We can’t say what’s in store for dining just yet, but the Nomad Food Truck is currently roaming city streets serving up all kinds of tasty victuals courtesy of celebrity chefs like Roy Choi of Kogi and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal. Talk about a teaser.

Tagged: California, Los Angeles

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Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason is a Lead Content Specialist for Expedia Group, and manages content initiatives across numerous Expedia-owned brands. His work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Time Out, the Huffington Post, Chicago Magazine, Passport and many others.

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