Spirited, fun-loving guests adore this redesigned 1946 hotel. In its early years, it was a 25-acre resort with multiple restaurants, clubs, and shops, and attracted a Hollywood set. It fell into disrepair over subsequent decades and was a favorite of ladies of the night and their companions. After a $6 million remodel of the historic building, the Lafayette has become the place to spend the night after cruising restaurants and bars in South and North Park. Whimsical two-story bungalows with multiple bedrooms are perfect for girl and/or guy getaways, encouraging a fun time with their retro meets edgy design. Striped and floral wallpaper sets one mood in the bedrooms; vibrant aqua walls up the energy in kitchens. Poolside suites are bright white and airy with wood rocking chairs by the beds and striped awnings over terraces. A more formal mood prevails in the manor rooms and suites, some with art deco wallpaper, others in classy cream and burgundy. Johnny Weissmuller (the original Tarzan and gold medal winner) designed the nearly Olympic sized swimming pool, where Sunday Rockabilly Pool Parties draw crowds of locals, some dressed 50s style to bop along with pop songs. Pool memberships are available for locals.
As for dining, the name—Red Fox Steakhouse and Piano Bar—clearly defines the ambience of the hotel's historic lounge, while Hope 46 (named for Bob Hope) is more modern and serves classic American cuisine. There's always live music somewhere, from Rolling Stones cover bands in the lounge to jazz groups by the pool. (The Red Fox Lounge rose and fell in popularity depending on the musical guests--when more jazz and rock performers took stage in the early 2000s it became a hot nightspot.) Don't be intimidated by the average age—oldsters with hip attitudes are always welcome.
Tip: Check the app Hotel Tonight for lower rates.
- Frommer's Staff