Viceroy Santa Monica 4.0

Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California
The sexy Cameo Bar at this hip boutique is reputed to be a movie star hangout.

High Design Hotels in Los Angeles(2 of 35)

 The sexy Cameo Bar at this hip boutique is reputed to be a movie star hangout.
Renowned interior designer (and former Playboy Playmate) Kelly Wearstler handled the hotel's decor, and incorporated several of her favorite motifs -- notably animals, such as the horse busts in front of the cabanas at the Viceroy's "sceney" pool. The sexy Cameo Bar at this hip boutique is reputed to be a movie star hangout. Yellow benches, synthetic green armchairs, and porcelain-dog lamps might not be to everyone's taste, but the Viceroy's rooms are sleek, stylish, and spacious. The Standard's interiors mix vintage decor from the '50s, '60s, and '70s -- shag carpet, Warhol-print drapes in the rooms, arched Achille Castiglioni lamps in the lobby. Details like hanging bubble chairs in the lobby and silver beanbag chairs in guest rooms add to the hotel's retro-future look. Guests entering this Philippe-Stark-designed hotel pass through a covered open-air lounge space with white leather armchairs and decorative deer antlers. The open-air entryway has hunting lodge-inspired touches like antler lamp bases, chairs made of tree branches, and this tusk sofa. Everywhere you turn at the SLS, there's something to grab your attention: this mirrored elevator bank, a pool table on every floor, a lamp with a base shaped like an AK-47 in the lobby. At first glance, this 173-room hotel, part of a small family-owned California chain, is just another cheerless stopover on the way to the airport. Inside, though, a grand staircase announces a kind of majestic European elegance. The building was constructed just five years ago, but the design is surprisingly convincing. The Ayres family, multigenerational local real estate developers since the early 1900s, invested significantly in creating what they've dubbed a "European boutique hotel." The Ayres family draped a 17th-century Belgian tapestry behind the front desk and installed this 400-year-old stone fireplace from France in the lobby. Opulent crystal chandeliers hang from hand-stenciled ceilings. The Mondrian opened in 1996 with an over-the-top design courtesy of Philippe Starck; in 2008 the hotel unveiled a refresh from designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz. While keeping many Starck elements, the lobby was refitted with banquettes inspired by Parc G├╝ell, one of Barcelona's best people-watching promenades. The lobby's bold color choices extend to the attached ADCB bar, with its crushed velour sofas and neon lighting. The clean lines of the hotel's Asia de Cuba restaurant reflect the modern aesthetic of the rest of the hotel without distracting from the food. Thanks to its distinctive 17-story cylindrical building, the Hotel Angeleno has been familiar site to anyone passing through Bel-Air and Brentwood on the 405 freeway since 1970. While the Hotel Angeleno is a unique-looking landmark on the outside, its cylindrical shape unfortunately translates to relatively small 300-square-foot, pie-shaped rooms. A 2008 overhaul left this Welton Becket building, which has been home to several hotels since its construction in the 1960s, with kitschy, colorful interiors. Meeting rooms at the Custom Hotel aren't designed for your typical business meeting. With an unapologetically slick, hypermodern design by Dodd Mitchell Design, this 110-room hotel is the sharp stylistic counterpoint to the old-world grandeur of regal Beverly Hills hotels like the Beverly Wilshire, just down the street. Asian-inspired lamps create a mesmerizing pattern of shadows and light in the elevator bank. This Art Deco boutique hotel overlooking the sea in Santa Monica is a fully restored classic with charm and history. After serving as a retirement home for many years, the 1933 landmark reopened as a hotel in 1993; its veranda is a guest favorite for taking in the ocean views. The interiors at Maison 140, designed by Kelly Wearstler, are a little like a 1920s Parisian inn mated with a lush Shanghai opium den. The lipstick-red elevator makes a bold contrast against the black hallways. Almost everything in the 43-room Maison 140 adheres to a strict red, black, and white color scheme. Playful vignettes like this one are common in the hallways of Maison 140. Maison 140 occupies the 1939 home of the glamorous former silent film star Lillian Gish. The interiors have been completely renovated, but the building retains the intimacy of someone's (highly eccentric) house. The red, white, and black color scheme extends to the hotel's lobby. Bar Noir can be seen off to the left. As part of a lavish four-year renovation that ended in 2009, the designer Thomas Schoos dressed up this 1962 apartment building with luxe touches like leather couches and benches, shaggy white rugs and pillows, and alabaster candles. Comfortable seating areas are often occupied by Hollywood insiders; the Huntley -- and especially its Penthouse restaurant and bar -- has become a popular night spot. This iconic 1939 Art Deco building juts out onto a corner of Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica like an elegant ocean liner. Because the building enjoys strict landmark status, its recent two-year, $30 million makeover didn't allow for any significant structural changes. L.A. designer Marc Smith subtly brought in a maritime motif. Hotelier Jeff Klein rescued the Sunset Tower in 2005, transforming the decrepit 15-story landmark back into the sparkling Art Deco hotel it once was. At the turn of the century, downtown Los Angeles was filled with impressive hotels. But as the neighborhood declined, most of these classic buildings were turned into "single-room occupancy" properties for the homeless. The 188-room Hilton Checkers survived downtown's leanest years and has been fully renovated. The ornate Hilton Checkers, originally known as the Mayflower Hotel, was built in 1927 by Charles F. Whittlesey.