While Airbnb and other short-term rental companies are buckling hotel business in some major U.S. cities, it is definitely not crushing Los Angeles’ hotel footprint. Hotels are popping up like daisies in every corner of the city and nearby — from Santa Monica to West Hollywood to Long Beach. And downtown L.A. is outpacing all neighborhoods with more than a dozen new openings this year.
Recently, Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal to open 8,000 new hotel rooms in downtown within walking distance of the L.A. Convention Center by 2020. The city was not seen as a viable convention destination and Garcetti sought to keep up with other Southern California cities for convention business — and that 8,000 room number is set to be hit.
An influx of new hotels means new opportunities for local businesses, more revenue for the city and most importantly — a bevy of new hospitality outlets for adventurous eating and drinking Angelenos. In 2019, many hotel lu- minaries have left an impression on the L.A. hotel scene and created noteworthy watering holes in many restored iconic structures. We rounded up six stellar hotel bars perfect for an elegant New Year’s Eve food and beverage crawl throughout Los Angeles.
Navy Proof Food & Spirits at The Westin Hotel Long Beach
Kick off New Year’s Eve morning with hearty breakfast fit for a sailor at Navy Proof Food & Spirits at The Westin Hotel in Long Beach. The hotel recently underwent a $23 million renovation and unveiled a new eatery inspired by all things nautical.
The dining space and exquisite bar area, de- signed by Houston Tyner and Vanrooy Cre- ative Group features a three-story chandelier, an enormous living green wall and slick white marble throughout. The space truly pays hom-
age to the property’s California coastal setting. A Howe & Brown Hospitality concept, Navy Proof brings a maritime-inspired menu and craft cocktails to the bustling harbor of Long Beach. Chef Chris Garasic, the culinary mas- termind behind Malibu Farm Lido in Newport Beach created a diverse menu inspired by Long Beach’s coastal surroundings.
Garasic’s menu features locally sourced meat, seafood and produce to provide a more upscale surf and turf-flared menu. Breakfast includes dishes like the Longshoreman served with sliced tomatoes, herb potatoes, breakfast meat and toast — perfect to pair with a spicy Bloody Mary. The bar program is run by award winning mixologist Steve Nydell and show- cases craft libations and large format, table- side-served cocktails. Ahoy, 2020! Navy Proof at The Westin Long Beach, 333 E Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; (562) 436-3000.
Palma at The Santa Monica Proper Hotel
Next, head to Santa Monica for a pre-lunch beach stroll and stop at Palma, the slick lobby bar inside The Proper, a 1920’s Spanish Colonial Revival building transformed by designer Kelly Wearstler. Nestled a few blocks away from the sandy shore, Palma is the perfect spot for a pre-lunch libation crafted with local ingredients sourced from the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market.
The highly anticipated The Proper Hotel recently opened its doors and brought a re- discovered sense of California chic to Santa Monica. Palma’s decor blends California cool with a classic Casablanca feel. The Kelly Wears- tler-designed space boasts a palette of neutral California tones and showcases some eclectic art, including a mural by Ben Medansky behind the bar. White and orange furniture, combined with eclectic coffee tables, fill the space to create a lobby-bar-meets-living-room vibe — perfect for dining or setting up shop as work space.
In addition to sourcing local cocktail ingredients, chef Kaleo Adams and the culinary team utilizes the farmers market just steps away to find California produce for the lobby bar’s food options. The drinks menu highlights a variety of small batch mezcals and boutique wines, great for any elegant imbiber. A mezcal Negroni is the perfect sipper to commemorate the end of 2019 and to celebrate 2020. Palma at The Proper Hotel, 700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 620-9990.
The Rooftop Pool at Soho Warehouse
For a poolside lunch with a gorgeous view and a nice L.A. staycation, check in to the new Soho Warehouse. Following the success of Soho House West Hollywood and Little Beach House Malibu, Soho Warehouse recently launched in a revamped 1916, seven-story warehouse in the Arts District of downtown L.A.
The design aesthetic blends a downtown L.A. artsy vibe with lush California cool greenery. Upon entering the building, members and their guests are greeted with a street mural on the former loading dock of the warehouse created by Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the famous Obama “Hope” poster. In fact, the entire build- ing is adorned with art curated by local galleries — furthering the thematic, quintessential DTLA vibe of the new space.
The new outpost boasts two major assets the first two L.A. locations lack: bedrooms and a rooftop pool. Tourists and locals will enjoy the chic “bedrooms,” 48 in total, that include use of the locations state of the art gym. Here is an insider’s tip: You don’t need to be a member to book a hotel room. Bedroom bookings receive temporary membership to the club, including access to member events, programming and all club spaces — in addition to their beautiful room, of course.
The rooftop is a stunning location for lunch and poolside cocktails with a 50-foot pool and sun deck, ample day beds and chaise lounges and expansive views of downtown. The Rooftop Terrace and Bar features ‘60s- and ‘70s- in- spired decor and is the ideal spot for business meetings, dates or even a New Year’s Eve stay- cation. The globally driven menu features fare including crunchy ponzu vegetables and butter chicken with garlic naan. The Rooftop Bar, Soho Warehouse, 1000 S Santa Fe Ave., downtown, (213) 205-1000.
Pilot at The Hoxton Hotel
Pilot at The Hoxton Hotel, located in a historic building downtown, is the ideal spot to watch as the sun sets on New Year’s Eve and take advantage of some wonderful Happy Hour deals. The Hoxton Hotel opened in October and brings a British flare and hip vibe to the corner of Broadway and 11th Street
The hotel brand cleverly converted the Los Angeles Railway building into an urban sanc- tuary featuring relatively affordable rooms in four sizes: snug, cozy, roomy and biggy. Pilot, the rooftop open air bar and restaurant at the Hoxton boasts a three-tiered dining and drink- ing experience perfect for day to night dining and drinking. The outside bar offers expansive views of Los Angeles and is the perfect setting for sunset sipping.
Furthering the theme of being a budget friendly hot spot, Pilot features a daily Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m. which includes $1 oysters and $6 Honey Bear cocktails. Guests can enjoy a live-fire cooking experience with Mediterra- nean dishes created with locally sourced sea- food and vegetables inside the dining room.
The dining space features a pull-back roof and even has a cocktail cart for tableside mixology magic. Sunday Hospitality, the team behind famed New York eatery Sunday in Brooklyn, crafted the food and beverage menu for The Hoxton. Pilot at the Hoxton Downtown LA, 1060 S. Broadway, downtown; (213) 725-5900.
The West Hollywood EDITION
For dinner on New Year’s Eve, why not enjoy a Michelin star-caliber meal at a hotel with ties to Studio 54, nestled below the Hollywood Hills? Last month, hotel impresario and nightlife legend Ian Schrager re-entered the hotel game on the Sunset Strip with a bang when he launched The West Hollywood EDITION.
In some circles known as the “creator of the boutique hotel,” Schrager previously brought a breath of fresh air to L.A. when he opened the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in the late 1990s. This go round, he went bigger and better. Over the course of five festive nights, the West Hollywood EDITION hotel celebrated its debut in November with the who’s who of Hollywood. Each night included performances by the likes of Chaka Khan and Janelle Monáe, while Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio shared a bottle service table in the hotel’s club aptly named, Sunset. FYI, Sunset nightclub’s ceiling is entirely lined with disco balls. But would you expect anything less from the man behind the iconic NYC nightclub Studio 54?
Located on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Doheny Drive, the 190-room hotel brings a sleek, minimalist aesthetic to the corner for- merly frequented by rock and roll and grunge nightlife revelers. The hotel, in partnership with Marriott, is the first L.A. project of British archi- tect John Pawson. The design feel reflects that of Los Angeles’ abundance of nature and provides several watering holes perfect for tourists or locals alike. The expansive lobby bar features a very Instagrammable artistic installation by Los Angeles artist Sterling Ruby, as well as pool tables and ample seating.
Los Angeles native and world renowned Michelin-rated chef John Fraser crafted an ex- quisite five-course prix fixe chef ’s family-style menu at Ardor for New Year’s Eve. The menu consists of a choice of canapés, followed by shared appetizers, entrees that include beef ten- derloin, roasted cauliflower and Greek iorata. Finish off dinner with a delectable assortment of homemade desserts — the perfect fuel for dancing and toasting 2020 at the next stop. The West Hollywood EDIITON, 9040 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 953-9899.
Harriet’s Rooftop at 1 Hotel
Toasting the new year in the City of Angels should include one of L.A.’s best attributes: the gorgeous skyline. Harriet’s Rooftop atop the 1 Hotel West Hollywood is the ideal spot for the countdown, but before 3,2,1 make sure and explore the entire property.
Following an extensive renovation of the former Jeremy Hotel space, the 1 Hotel opened to great fanfare in July of this year. The team behind the 1 Hotel sought to focus on two key changes when revamping the space —California luxury and a mission of sustainability and eco-conscious practices. The elegant hotel features lush greenery walls, 100-year-old olive trees and an onsite garden. The latter provides the produce to create remarkable food and drinks at all three food and beverage outlets, which are run by nightlife darlings H.Wood Group. Their long list of successful hospitality hotspots in Los Angeles continues to grow with Harriet’s Rooftop being their latest treasure.
Set in the heart of Sunset Boulevard, the rooftop bar and restaurant brings a mellow yet elegant setting to the Sunset Strip. The open air lounge boasts views of Los Angeles from downtown to Santa Monica. John Sofio of Built Inc. designed the space with sleek woodwork flooring and columns, deep burgundy upholstery, marble table tops, and lush greenery all around. New Year’s Eve revelers can enjoy the plentiful views of Los Angeles while sipping bubbly or libations crafted by Justin Campbell while listening to music by a very special surprise guest DJ. New Year’s Eve will turn in to New Year’s Day at this late night dance fest hap- pening at Harriet’s Rooftop. Harriet’s Rooftop at 1 Hotel, 8490 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; (424) 281-1860.