Thursday, Oct. 09, 2008

Sunset Tower Hotel

Gorgeously revived in 2006 by hotelier Jeff Klein, this 1929 Art Deco landmark was once an apartment building to the stars (John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra all had crash pads here). Though it's been a hotel since the 1980's, the building's glamorous new incarnation finally does justice to its extraordinary "bone structure"—which includes dramatic cast-concrete exterior friezes and curved floor-to-ceiling windows. The décor in the 74 rooms pays tribute to the Deco era, but subtly: dark walnut furnishings are trimmed in glass and polished brass, and the bold-patterned fabrics and wallpaper are softened by deep tones of chocolate, gold, and rust. The iPod docking stations, plasma-screen TV's, and glass shower stalls stocked with Kiehl's products don't seem out of place—but somehow the rooms, as well as the common areas, hark back to a distinctly more elegant time.

Insider Tip: A tipple in the wood-paneled Tower Bar (in what used to be Bugsy Siegel's apartment) is a must. But be prepared to turn your cell phone off—annoying ringtones and picture-snapping are forbidden here.

Room to Book: Choose one of the hotel's two 1,000-square-foot Penthouse Suites, which boast an additional 1,000 square feet of wraparound balcony space—and 180-degree unobstructed views of Los Angeles.