California’s largest city is a slight enigma, housing an iconic film industry yet lacking a independent identity, particularly in its central suburbs. While Los Angeles remains one of the nation’s top tourist draws, its lack of cult attractions is one of several factors holding it back from becoming a must-see international city. That is, of course, a lack of cult attractions within the city itself.
Walk through Los Angeles’ suburban areas and you’ll constantly be confronted with reminders of its history – large ‘gold rush’ styled villas and equally expansive boulevards. The city comprises part of the nation’s largest economy and looks particularly affluent when viewed from street level, with the iconic ‘California-style’ housing spreading for miles into the desert surroundings and nearby hills.
But venture outside of suburban Los Angeles and you’ll find a series of historic hotels, each home to thousands of creepy stories and classic riches-to-rags disaster tales. Los Angeles’ recent history isn’t lacking in controversy and tragedy – during the height of the city’s drug-fuelled boom, rock star and iconic figure David Bowie suggested that it should be ‘burned from the face of the earth.’
While the city’s various historic hotels draw in guests, it’s the Sunset Tower Hotel that draws most of the celebrity interest. Built in the late 1920s and used as a housing complex by John Wayne, this big and blocky building is one of several lined with photographs of its former guests. It’s not a complete image of vintage Hollywood, however, as modern amenities make it a more attractive residence.
If the thought of a bland night in the Marriott, Intercontinental, or Four Seasons lacks the creativity that Los Angeles is known for, don’t let it become your only choice. A weekend in one of the city’s numerous historical hotels is equal parts interesting and luxurious, and a welcome alternative to its central city character-devoid complexes.