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H Hotel Los Angeles: Rooftop and Retro Charm

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Some airport hotels feel exactly like what they are, and some airport hotels really don’t. The H Hotel Los Angeles is located close enough to Los Angeles International Airport to feel like an airport hotel, but in many ways, it doesn’t feel at all like an airport hotel.

First, it’s a dual-branded hotel, which is still relatively rare in the airport hotel space. The H Hotel is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection occupying several floors of what was once an office building. Other floors are given over to a Homewood Suites, which shares public spaces and a front desk.

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A major plus is the hotel’s proximity to the terminal area. It’s one of the closest airport hotels to the terminals, and every minute seems to count at airport properties where stays are often shorter. Traffic congestion in the area has become notorious, and the hotel’s location near the terminals (accessible via a free shuttle) shaves minutes off the transit time compared with other, further out hotel properties.

Guest rooms and corridors are of higher concept, modern design that feels less cookie-cutter than many of the other more rigid hotel brands neighboring the airport. There are subtle nods to aviation and air travel and a rather timeless design theme that would feel comfortably relevant any time during the last century.

A bonus of the building’s past as an office also means high ceilings and a certain mid-century modern ethos from a time when skyscrapers still had individual, but generously sized windows, before the all-glass tower became de rigeur in the 1980s. Guest room amenities are uncommon for many airport hotels, such as Nespresso coffee machines, Temple Spa bath amenities and televisions equipped for streaming content from a guest’s device.

It’s easy to sit in the rooms enjoying the view—my corner room had views of the airport’s iconic entrance pillars and space-age “theme” building, leaving me to imagine what it must have been like for the executives occupying the offices in the building before it was converted. Having such a large, exciting international airport for a backdrop is certainly ego-swelling, as though the world is at one’s feet.

Another place to feel like a captain of flight or captain of industry is the hotel’s generously sized rooftop, where guests can go to take in wraparound views not only of the airport, but also of the surrounding hills, the Los Angeles skyline and the iconic Hollywood sign just a few miles distant. Guests interested in working off their jetlag can step just inside from the rooftop to the hotel’s sizable workout room (exclusive to the H Hotel; the Homewood Suites has a separate facility) outfitted with modern machines.

When it’s time to dine, there’s the Breakfast-and-Dinner Waypoint Kitchen + Bar, which does a lovely take on California cuisine. There’s also a grab-and-go in the lobby in addition to an outlet of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for guests wishing to grab a drink or a snack and head back to their rooms (or to the rooftop).

There’s also a small but refreshing pool facing the LAX entry sign, just off the lobby.

The Takeaway

Well-located for a short layover or a longer business or leisure stay in the Los Angeles Basin, this hotel breaks out of the hotel brand mode for a transit haven that’s slightly more intriguing than the usual box standard.

The Math

Rates from $199 per night.

Instagrammable Moment

If you’re doing it for the ‘gram, it’ll be hard to tear yourself away from the fabulous rooftop.

Loyalty

Hilton Honors

Good To Know

This hotel offers mobile key—Hilton Honors members who check-in via the app can request a mobile key and skip the front desk at check-in.

Shuttle services can be delayed by traffic in the terminal area—hotel staff can advise on the best estimated travel time to each terminal.

Accommodations were furnished by H Hotel Los Angeles in preparation for this story.

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