An Iconic Los Angeles Hotel Just Got a Major Overhaul

An Iconic Los Angeles Hotel Just Got a Major Overhaul 1

It was Cleopatra’s baby—the 1963 film being such a gargantuan flop that 20th Century Fox had to sell off land to developers, a deal which would birth Century City. At the center of the brand new neighborhood was a giant hotel designed by one of the world’s hottest architects, Minoru Yamasaki, who would go on to design the original World Trade Center towers. That hotel, Fairmont Century Plaza, has recently undergone a massive multimillion dollar overhaul and is our latest selection for The New Room with a View, our series on exciting new hotels.

In the decades after it opened in 1966, the Century Plaza was an iconic mainstay in the show business world. Award ceremonies like the Grammys and Emmys were broadcast from its ballroom. It also was a major political draw—Nixon hosted the first ever state dinner outside the White House there, Reagan used its ballroom to celebrate his reelection, and police clashed with Vietnam protesters outside its doors while LBJ spoke inside. But by the turn of the century, the hotel was no longer considered one of the grandest of LA’s great hotels. But in 2015, it was taken over by Fairmont and as part of a larger redevelopment project in the area the hotel was given a major refresh.

Brandon Barré Photography

While the midcentury exterior with its dramatic curving facade of balconies has been preserved, the inside the lobby has been revamped in a sort of Far East meets Great North fusion of Scandinavian and East Asian aesthetics by Yabu Pushelberg. It is almost globalist cold in its vibe with all of the white and light woods, but it’s still comfortable. It’s an aesthetic familiar to any high-end business traveler, which makes sense since Yabu Pushelberg has been behind the interior design of many a large luxury hotel. But a hotel for those who love quirk or eccentricity it is not. The lobby’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows also retract into the floor meaning the whole space can become an open air one. At the center of the hotel lobby is its new signature bar, which every single night was full.

There are 400 rooms, each with balconies that look out across the Avenue of the Stars to CAA’s headquarters. The rooms are large, in part because the renovation saw the number of rooms cut down significantly so as to increase room size. The bathrooms are particularly notable, every inch decked out in a sexy dark gray and white marble (and they come with Aesop products).

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Brandon Barré Photography

One of the main draws for the hotel will undoubtedly be its amenities. One Beast source in the know in the Los Angeles wellness world had told us that the spa created by Fairmont here was one of the more spectacular in the area—they weren’t wrong. The sauna and shower areas are seductive modern caves of marble and the services will include biohacking, which is all the rage these days.

The hotel also has a gym that will leave even the neediest of fitness guests satisfied, and a rooftop pool from which one can see the hills and mountains in the distance between the neighborhood’s office towers.

The hotel is located in Century City, the area just underneath Beverly Hills that in recent years has become an especially big draw because of the immensely popular Westfield Century City. (Which, as far as megamalls go, is about as nice of one as you can get.)

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Brandon Barré Photography

Rounding out the hotel’s offerings is Lumiere, its signature restaurant named for the French brothers who were two of the earliest filmmakers. It’s a French brasserie that in classic Hollywood fashion has spared no expense in attempting to transport you away from where you actually are, such that it even has steeple caps from a decommissioned French church decorating its patio and desks and tables whisked out of Paris stores and restaurants.

Rooms at the hotel, which is about 30 minutes from LAX, start in the $700s.