Price From $129
'Hood A block from Union Square; neighbors include several of the city's best art galleries and the American Conservatory Theater. To spot the unassuming hotel, look for a white sculpture of a woman saddled with shopping bags out front—the area is, after all, known for its boutique stores.
The Vibe L.A.-based designer Thomas Schoos transformed the outdated Maxwell Hotel into this fashion-forward boutique property, reopened in 2009. It's a clever hybrid of art deco accents and retro touches from the '60s, with some not-so-subtle beaux arts classicism thrown in for impact—such as the giant kelly green crystal chandelier that twinkles above the second-floor landing.
Rooms Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's fame would have felt right at home here. Each of the 153 rooms comes dressed up with Carrera marble bathrooms, chic houndstooth-patterned carpeting, white-leather couches, vintage black-and-white photographs, and clusters of delicate pendant lamps blown to look like champagne bubbles. The hotel's 28 junior suites, each with a sitting room, are an excellent value.
Plus It doesn't cost much to seriously upgrade your experience. An extra $40 per night gets you an eighth-floor Bold Level room with cathedral-style ceilings and oversize arch windows—plus a 2 p.m. late check-out and a full breakfast at Max's on the Square, the deli-inspired restaurant off the lobby.
Minus Decompressing in the room is pretty much your only option because the hotel doesn't have a gym, a pool, or a spa.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes.
Credit Cards Accepted AmEx, Discover, MC, Visa.
Details Doubles from $129, Bold Level doubles from $169, junior suites from $339, penthouses from $2,000.