Things are looking brighter in Los Angeles after a year of pandemic restrictions. On the heels of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance that fully vaccinated people can freely travel within the U.S. without any testing or quarantines, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that California will reopen June 15 and curtail most COVID-19 rules. Then today, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board announced the city’s intention to become the first Sharecare VERIFIED destination in the country, as more than 175 hotels in the city are on track to earn the digital health company’s health security designation.
All hotels with 50 or more rooms in the City of Los Angeles will become VERIFIED, a designation for those who have achieved and continue to maintain more than 360 standards across health and hygiene protocols, cleaning products and procedures, ventilation, physical distancing, the guest experience, and health safety communication with guests and employees. The hotels are expected to be VERIFIED by the end of April, the tourism board said.
The badge is a seal of approval from an independent party that signals to guests and employees that the facility complies with public health protocols and best practices. It’s the latest step the city is taking to lure back travelers, as it reopens museums, indoor dining, theme parks and live outdoor events. (Full disclosure: Forbes Travel Guide helped create the VERIFIED platform.)
In anticipation of Los Angeles’ reopening, we highlight nine hotels you should visit this summer.
Housed in a soaring 73-story glass tower — the tallest building on the West Coast — this hotel literally stands above the rest. Captivating L.A. vistas appear almost everywhere you turn, from the soothing, neutral rooms with walls of windows to the seventh-floor outdoor pool. But don’t miss the newly reopened Spire 73, the highest alfresco bar in the Western Hemisphere.
Huddle around the 73rd-floor rooftop bar’s fire pits, nosh on filet mignon with chardonnay-herb butter and fries, sip a City View cocktail (vodka, lemon, cassis, raspberry and sparkling wine) and gaze at the best views in town.
The soon-to-debut Fairmont Century Plaza (which made our list of most anticipated hotel openings for 2021) impresses with its design. After a $2.5 billion refresh, architect Minoru Yamasaki’s 1966 midcentury-modern icon remains intact, but it’s been given new life through modern touches, like sophisticated Yabu Pushelberg-designed interiors; an inviting 17th-floor rooftop pool; a 14,000-square-foot spa (one of L.A.’s largest) with a Himalayan salt room, an aromatherapy steam room and a hammam; American brasserie Lumière and Laura, a 23-foot-tall sculpture of a floating head by Jaume Plensa that greets you outside the building.
This historic hotel is a longtime champion of women. Beginning as a ladies’ hostel in 1926, it was the largest project of its kind in the U.S. to be financed, owned and operated by females at the time. The property also made history by employing America’s first female hotel manager, Maude Bouldin.
Today, Hotel Figueroa honors this legacy by featuring female artists’ work, including a 12-story façade mural of vintage florals from Bella Gomez and an ongoing exhibit spotlighting local women artists. The overall hotel design also radiates a feminine feel, like the vivid blue fig leaf bathroom wallpaper and the curvy furniture.
The Five-Star hotel provides a stable of Wellness Rooms and Suites that pair luxurious, bright accommodations with health-centric amenities like air and water purification systems, guided meditation narrated by Deepak Chopra, a soundscape machine, Alo yoga products and the latest workout equipment.
During the pandemic, it expanded its wellness offerings with the Private Fitness Suite, a dedicated mini gym that comes with a treadmill, a Hydrow rowing machine, a Peloton bike, a medicine ball and weights and a SoulCycle bicycle. Reserve a two-hour slot for up to three people in the wood-floored suite, which has its own bathroom and shower.
The hotel unveiled a new look in March, with sunny guest rooms swathed in gray and artwork that depicts the themes of light and energy. After checking in, enjoy a meal at the recently opened Savoca. The trattoria added heated outdoor dining cottages, a cozy, socially distant setting for cacio e pepe (bucatini coated in toasted black pepper, Parmigiano Reggiano and pecorino).
Time your visit to coincide with the Poolside Dinner & A Movie series, which allows you to sit on the fourth-floor rooftop; nibble on hot dogs, burgers and unlimited popcorn; and watch flicks like Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction on a big screen.
If you can’t travel to Italy just yet, this hotel might provide the next best thing. Owned by Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani (whose grandfather opened Venice’s famed Harry’s Bar, which created the Bellini), the hotel furnishes its room with Italian pieces from Tedeschi, Italian linens from Casarovea and black-and-white photos that capture la dolce vita.
There’s also The Restaurant at Mr. C. The Ciprianis are known for their Italian eateries, and this one turns out dishes like baked tagliolini, grilled branzino and artisan pizzas. Bonus: it serves Bellinis, using the original white-peaches-and-prosecco recipe from Harry’s Bar.
You will want to linger in Philippe Starck’s stylish rooms with quirky accents, but carve out time for the hot spot Vista Rooftop. During the day, you can unwind on teak loungers and splash among the two pools. The deck also flaunts Starck’s eclectic taste, like a black pig sculpture standing in the water and assorted oversized empty frames showcasing excellent city views.
At night, Vista Rooftop transforms into an alfresco dining destination. Dig into seared salmon with roasted cauliflower and cauliflower puree or short ribs with cheddar grits.
The Ritz-Carlton shares the same building as JW Marriott, providing yet another venue with knockout vistas in L.A. Live, an entertainment hub that includes Staples Center and the Grammy Museum. But it boasts its own unique amenities, including an expansive 23rd-floor Club Lounge, a heated rooftop pool and bar on the 26th floor and an 8,000-square-foot spa, the largest in downtown Los Angeles. Visit the ethereal haven for the popular CBD Massage, which incorporates up to five activated hemp-based products to leave your body feeling blissfully relaxed.
You will forget you’re in one of the world’s most renowned urban centers at this leafy retreat, which is all about the outdoors. Meander through the 12 garden-filled acres, which have 483 different trees, more than 4,000 plants and four resident swans.
Most accommodations in the pink stucco buildings open directly onto the gardens. Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air embraces the outdoors with its chic terrace, and the Five-Star spa offers The Enclave, a 570-square-foot treatment suite with its own tropical patio and trickling waterfall.