Let’s get one thing out of the way right now: Rooms in this hotel atop the old-school athletic club are dark. Walls are dark, drapes are dark, and lighting is minimal. Think of it as stepping into a work of film noir, and you’ll be right at home. Which is not to say it’s old-fashioned—elegant guest rooms offer custom-built furniture, pillow-top mattresses, flat-screen TVs, and refrigerators. The hotel’s graceful stone and woodwork are legacies of its 1912 architecture, and the building oozes history. Charlie Chaplin lived here when he was getting started (ask for the Social Club Suite), and hallways are festooned with photos of athletes from throughout the decades. Your hotel stay confers all the perks of club membership. The dining room’s excellent food is also healthy—they have a way with quinoa—and the eighth-floor snack bar is downright cheap (also healthy). In 2013, the club transformed its no-name, third-floor watering hole into Invention, a carefully researched shrine to pre-Prohibition cocktails. But the best perk is free rein in L.A.’s most extensive athletic facility, including its classes and personal trainers. Tip: The club has a dress code, which varies by location, and cell phones are not allowed in certain areas.
- Frommer's Staff