“Los Angeles,” as Dorothy Parker said, “is 72 suburbs in search of a city.” Though it can be a bit far-flung, with traffic that would frazzle even long-term meditators, travelers and locals alike find unity in wellness and fitness activities. These destinations show that staying fit while traveling can be fun and affordable, while keeping you stress-free and centered throughout.
Tucked away in a discreet yet central part of West Hollywood, the Mondrian typifies L.A. chic. Rooms are spacious, with white, cream and glass accents serving an Alice in Wonderland theme. Views are spectacular from nearly every room, and the fitness center is state-of-the-art, with a gorgeous teak wood pool for those who want to get in their laps before grabbing a drink at Skybar. An air of whimsy continues with oversized mirrors and rain showers, not to mention bath products from Malin + Goetz. Though there’s no spa, in-house services can be arranged through the front desk, and Ivory on Sunset, the hotel’s restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with many healthy options.
Visiting Los Angeles means visiting the beach, and all it has to offer. Santa Monica’s Viceroy delivers, with step-out balconies for all guest rooms (ask for one facing the ocean, though, since only about 25% of them do) and stunning Kelly Wearstler retro designs. Amenities include Egyptian cotton linens and Neil George bath products, not to mention floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pool or ocean. The hotel’s in-house Cast restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to create interesting and unique dishes, while the fitness options include personal trainers, poolside yoga and Pilates, as well as guided canyon hikes and surfing lessons. End the day at one of three nearby spas, with treatments galore.
Set in the busy Sunset Strip area, The London West Hollywood caters to the entertainment business, especially the music scene, with mosaics, Berber carpeting and marble desks inviting visitors to cultivate their own inner rock star. A beautiful, well-maintained fitness center is accompanied by a sparkling pool and tennis courts to get the blood pumping, and off-site wellness choices include guest passes at nearby Aura Studio for yoga and TRX classes, or concierge-curated hikes in Runyon Canyon. The London West Hollywood is also dog-friendly, for those who wouldn’t think of leaving home without their pets, and offers in-room hair, nail and makeup services, so you can always put your best foot forward.
If you’re visiting Los Angeles near Rose Bowl season, look no further than the Langham Huntington Pasadena, which offers stylish navy and gold decorated rooms, flat-screen televisions, complimentary Wi-Fi and Italian marble bathrooms. Larger cottages add patios and kitchens, in case you have special dietary needs and enjoy cooking, and one suite even has a baby grand piano, Jacuzzi and its own service entrance. Set on 23 acres of beautiful country estate, it’s perfect for long walks among the Spanish-style buildings, followed by a dip in the giant swimming pool. The Chuan Spa offers wellness treatments from high-tech skincare to Chinese medicinal massage. Several on-site restaurants offer hearty fare like steaks and burgers, or lighter dishes like dim sum and upscale California cuisine.
Downtown Los Angeles, or what locals call the Historic Core, was once a busy hub of commerce and entertainment. Thanks to redevelopment of new lofts, condos and artist spaces, it’s undergoing a renaissance. The Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles was built in 1923, and retains its old-school glamour. Visitors may even recognize it from movies such as Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, Bugsy and Chinatown. Though the lobby drips with opulence, the rooms are on the small side, but marble touches throughout make it worth exploring further. Have a custom cocktail in the period Gallery Bar, or take afternoon tea in the Rendezvous Court, with Spanish cathedral architecture and ornate carvings. But don’t miss the Art Deco-designed health club, with a stunning pool inlaid with original Roman tiles.
If you’re looking to splurge on some beachfront glamour, Santa Monica’s Casa del Mar is the place to see and be seen. Five-star accommodations come with amenities like Keurig coffeemakers in every room, sunken tubs and luxury bath items. Multiple restaurants focus on Mediterranean fare and fresh-catch seafood, while an everyday hotel bar becomes something special with an off-lobby wine tasting room, complete with sommelier. Though the fitness center is on the small side, it has basic cardio machines and free weights to get the job done, and the daily resort fee buys you access to classes ranging from beach boot camps to Pilates and yoga. Since the hotel is located steps from the boardwalk, walking, running, biking and rollerblading are all there for all your fitness needs.