LA Look

In a city where physical perfection isn't a gift from the genetics gods so much as a person's aesthetic duty, it was only a matter of time before one of Los Angeles' aging architectural landmarks went under the knife, figuratively speaking.

The Jetsonesque circular building that fronts the renowned Getty Center Museum on the city's west side recently completed a multi-million-dollar transformation from a tired, 35-year-old Holiday Inn into a hip, sensual boutique.

The “casual yet cool” Hotel Angeleno made its debut last summer as the first southern California property from San Francisco-based boutique hotel operator Joie de Vivre Hospitality. An investment group led by GH Capital LLC is the owner.

The 17-story property located at the foot of the Santa Monica mountains, just off the famed 405 highway, offers an ideal base from which to navigate tony Beverly Hills and Bel Air, UCLA and nearby beaches and myriad attractions. The hotel itself boasts panoramic penthouse views from the bar and its high-end Italian steakhouse, West, a chic poolside lounge and 209 updated guestrooms, including three one-bedroom suites.

A custom-designed exterior light display, lush landscaping and a 200-foot-long glass wall dramatically welcome hotel guests.

The hotel's new interior design, created by Los-Angeles based JoFusion, Inc., is a mix of warm and cool elements, blending dark wood, slate and stone with neutral taupe, amber and glass accents. The airy lobby offers soothing respite from the LA hustle and bustle, with its cool concrete floor, smooth wall of shiny pebbles, and plush shag rugs.

Designer Joanna Perlman created the look, her initial foray into hospitality design. Working on a tight budget ($12 million), she tackled numerous aesthetic and mechanical challenges including low ceilings, obstructing walls and updating HVAC systems and plumbing.

Guestrooms envelop visitors in rich tones of chocolate and cream and feature plasma televisions, imported Italian linens and luxurious bath products.

The hotel-top restaurant, with its polished wood design theme, was inspired by Italian classic motor yachts. Plush banquettes and romantic candles add to the sensual vibe.

Rounding out the hotel's repackaging is an updated service program. Guests can access LA-ready GPS systems available for rent in the hotel and an iPod Exchange, which allows guests to check out iPods pre-loaded with various music playlists and podcasts. For spa addicts, Hotel Angeleno has developed “Angeleno Beauty,” a full-service mobile spa that offers guests in-room and poolside personal makeovers and beauty treatments. And to cap the experience, guests can bypass LA's chaotic driving scene with complimentary hotel car service in luxe Cadillac Escalades. Very LA.

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