Be original: Try staying at one of Los Angeles’ hidden gems

by Jennifer on October 19, 2010

Entrance to Petit Ermitage

Entrance to Petit Ermitage

Los Angeles has plenty of famous, historic hotels that everyone knows by name: Beverly Hills Hotel, Chateau Marmont, and the Beverly Wilshire, to name a few. And sure, if you want to drop a lot of money and hob nob with celebrities, these are some of the best haunts around. But as we visited hotels all around the city, we found that some of the most charming hotels to be ones that fly under the radar. So if you’re looking for something a little more unique or off the beaten path, consider one of these six hidden gems.

Petit Ermitage

  • Location: Hollywood & West Hollywood, Los Angeles
  • Pearls: 4 of 5

It’s true that the bohemianism and purposely-distressed furniture won’t appeal to everyone, but we dig it. For half the price of some of its competitors, you get a newly renovated, truly unique boutique with large suites (many with kitchens) and a lovely rooftop pool. If you’re not up for a dip, you can have breakfast in a rooftop garden or read by the fireplace in Masters’ Lounge,  Read the full Petit Ermitage hotel review.

Maison 140

The lobby at Maison 140 Beverly Hills

The lobby at Maison 140 Beverly Hills

  • Location: Beverly Hills & Bel Air, Los Angeles
  • Pearls: 3.5 of 5

This tiny, 43-room boutique makes up in style what it lacks in size and amenities. Granted there’s no pool or even a restaurant, but the unique Chinoiserie- and Parisian-inspired rooms, cozy lobby bar with nightly absinthe happy hours, and central Beverly Hills location lure in a loyal crowd. We love that each guest room is decorated differently, each with bright colors and bold patterns. Read the full Maison 140 hotel review.

Magic Castle

  • Location: Hollywood & West Hollywood, Los Angeles
  • Pearls: 3 of 5

Located steps from Hollywood Boulevard, the Magic Castle is a quirky, unpretentious 40-room hotel with simple, spacious rooms, an exhaustive list of free perks (Wi-Fi, breakfast, minibar treats), access to the exclusive Magic Castle club next door, and exceptional service. Plus, it all comes at reasonable rates. Read the full Magic Castle hotel review.

The Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills

The Mosaic Beverly Hills

The Mosaic Beverly Hills

  • Location: Beverly Hills/Bel Air, Los Angeles
  • Pearls: 3.5 of 5

Housed in a charming, yellow four-story building just off Wilshire, this cozy 49-room boutique offers a lot in a little space, including a heated pool, restaurant, bar, and free fitness room. Even though standard rooms can feel cramped, they come luxuriously outfitted with Frette robes and towels, Bulgari toiletries, 37-inch flat-screens, and Bose stereos. This hotel bridges the gap between boutiques and Beverly Hills’ mega-hotels, offering quaintness and intimacy but also plenty of amenities. Read the full Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills hotel review.

The Ambrose

  • Location: Santa Monica, Los Angeles
  • Pearls: 3.5 of 5

This 77-room, midrange boutique hotel is one of the most environmentally focused hotels in Southern California. While it mostly caters to business travelers, if you’re an Earth-loving tourist who doesn’t mind staying inland, it’s a fantastic, Zen-like alternative to Santa Monica’s enormous beachfront hotels, like Loews, Le Merigot, or the Miramar. You’ll love the homey landscape and the use of dark wood throughout the hotel. Read the full Ambrose hotel review.

Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach

The Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach

The Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach

  • Location: Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles
  • Pearls: 3.5 of 5

Although we don’t advocate staying on a major freeway near strip malls, this hotel — less than five miles from LAX airport — surprised us with its sumptuous, ornate interiors. From the outside, the hotel looks like any other airport hotel with a large parking lot, but inside we found a grand staircase under a crystal chandelier, a stone fireplace from France, and a courtyard terrace. All this combined with a heated pool and lots of freebies (Wi-Fi, breakfast, parking) make it a great option for those who want to be near the airport. Read the full Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach hotel review.

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