L.A. is a bit of a celebrity-spotting safari. And even though plenty of celebs call the City of Angels home, the area's hotels are still teeming with famous faces (sometimes drunken, messy faces). For the glitziest, go-home-and-brag-to-your-friends celeb stalkage, we'd like you to know that there's quite a bit more to the Los Angeles star-studded hotel scene than the ol' Lindsay Lohan standby, the Chateau Marmont.
We've compiled the ultimate guide to who's been seen where -- and where you may have the best shot at an A-list sighting. Here are our picks for the best celebrity hot spot hotels in Los Angeles.
Hotels in this story
Chateau Marmont, a discreet movie star hideaway since it opened in 1929, attracts celebrities to its popular Bar Marmont, see-and-be-seen restaurant, and private guest bungalows (John Belushi overdosed in one in 1982). An Oyster reporter spotted both Stevie Wonder and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke at coveted patio tables. Jennifer Aniston, John Mayer, and Billy Crudup have been spotted together in the courtyard, Eva Longoria and Christina Applegate were seen on the patio, and Sienna Miller and Josh Hartnett cozied up in the restaurant’s living room. And Lindsay Lohan, Charlize Theron, Mary-Kate Olsen graced Chateau’s halls on a single night.
Rock stars have been flocking to the Sunset Marquis since it opened in 1963 as a cheap hotel for musicians playing at the nearby House of Blues, Roxy, and Viper Room. With a location right off the Sunset Strip, a recording studio in the basement (where Red Hot Chili Peppers and Justin Timberlake have recorded), and a destination bar, celebrities keep coming. During our two-night stay, we spotted Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Joss Stone, and former Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen. Our waitress told us we just missed Roger Daltrey of The Who. Lil Wayne and Green Day worked in the studio within days or our visit. Jessica Alba, Lauren Conrad, and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz have all stopped by recently, and members of U2 and the Rolling Stones have been guests.
Hidden away in a quiet residential section of Beverly Hills, this hotel has earned a reputation as a place where stars can recover from their plastic surgery in private — Michael Jackson and Liz Taylor among them. A private VIP entrance in the parking garage lets celebrities come and go away from the paparazzi. Angelina Jolie has conducted interviews from the hotel, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes celebrated her birthday here, and part of Jennifer Lopez’s Jenny from the Block video was filmed on site, as were scenes in the Julia Roberts movie Full Frontal.
A 2005 renovation turned the run-down Sunset Tower, a hot spot during Hollywood’s golden age and at one time the home of Howard Hughes, back into a sparkling Art Deco gem — and put it back on the A-list map. Among its many reported devotees are Jennifer Aniston, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, James Franco, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pine, Renée Zellweger, and Andy Samberg. Vanity Fair held its 2009 Oscar bash at the hotel, and Hollywood heavies can be overheard cutting deals in the Terrace Restaurant.
Most celebs come to this elegant and dignified 1912 hotel with 12 acres of gardens to hide away in one of the secluded bungalows. Famous guests of yesteryear include Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. But head to the Polo LoungeLindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, Britney Spears, Jennifer Aniston, and John Mayer have also been spotted here recently. and you might see Hollywood execs closing a deal, or spot Paris Hilton, as we did.
Sitting on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, this hotel founded in the 1920s by celebrities, Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo among them, is now best-known as a bad-boy party scene — especially at the elite club Teddy’s. Jessica Biel threw Justin Timberlake a birthday party at the hotel in early 2009, Jay-Z and Beyonce held a late-night afterparty here, and Khloe Kardashian attended a 2009 Labor Day pool party. Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Piven, Mischa Barton, Kate Bosworth, Penelope Cruz, and Orlando Bloom are reported to be fans as well.
Just across the street from Rodeo Drive shopping, the Beverly Wilshire — the Pretty Woman hotel — attracts stars with its glamour and classy service. The family reception after Michael Jackson’s memorial service was held at the hotel. Plenty of celebs come through the door for benefits and parties: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jay-Z, Katie Holmes, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger among them in 2009. On a less classy note, Chris Brown and Rihanna reportedly shacked up here during their post-arrest reconciliation. Justin Timberlake reportedly got rough with a photographer when he stayed here with Jessica Biel.
Secluded bungalows and high hedges give the Fairmont the private feel that celebrities love. We saw fashion consultant Tim Gunn (from reality show Project Runway, which filmed at the hotel) during our stay. The reality show Denise Richards: It’s ComplicatednotEntourage, the hotel stood in for a Hawaiian resort. films here too (she moved into the hotel at the beginning of season two). Through the years, the hotel has played host to JFK, Greta Garbo, Hugh Hefner, Anthony Hopkins, Paul Newman, Steven Spielberg, and Britney Spears (is there a hotel that Britney has stayed in?). In a season five episode of Entourage, the hotel stood in for a Hawaiian resort.
There are few high-end L.A. hotels directly on the beach, making the luxe Shutters a magnet for celebs who want to lie on the sand and soak up the sun. We walked right by Dave Chappelle during our stay, and we weren’t surprised, as there probably aren’t many West Coast A-Listers who haven’t stopped by. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Megan Fox were both seen here in 2009, and Ben Affleck, Julia Roberts, Britney Spears have been spotted on site. Other celebs who’ve been spotted at Shutters: Pamela Anderson, Al Pacino, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie.
Stars flock to this hotel for its chic Penthouse restaurant and bar with 360-degree ocean views, cabanas, and billowing white curtains. The hotel keeps close track of who’s stayed, and while the list includes too many to name, we can’t resist calling out Ben Affleck, Larry David, Jessica Biel, Giada De Laurentiis, Lindsay Lohan, Eli and Peyton Manning, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke and Owen Wilson, Barbara Streisand, Arianna Huffington, and the McDreamy Patrick Dempsey.
This stylish 71-room hotel overlooking the ocean has long been luring celebs with its secluded pool and poolside lounge, where DJs host shows every weekend, and the new rooftop bar Suite 700 is enhancing its A-list appeal. Madonna, Tom Cruise, and Diane Keaton have reportedly frequented this iconic 1939 property. In 2009, Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg hosted a Fourth of July party here. Hotel staff told us that Sean Penn, Bill Clinton, and Bill Murray have also been guests.
This 63-room boutique hotel provides celebs (and guests) with an intimate, B&B-like setting in the heart of Santa Monica. Private evening parties can bring in crowds of A-listers (singer couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale attended one such event during our stay, on the eve of Stefani’s 40th birthday), though the festivities are calmer and more sophisticated than the swanky Miami Beach-style gatherings at Shangri La or The Huntley. Past guests have reportedly included Ashley Olsen, Ewan MacGregor, Brendan Fraser, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.