This story comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.
By Merle Ginsberg & Gary Baum
It's Los Angeles hotel season, folks. And no, that doesn't mean hotels around the city do promotions or offer great deals. It means it's Oscar time. So forget the normal Angeleno status indicators of having a nice car or fancy zip code -- this week, where you stay, drink and dine is more important than ever before.
Our friends over at The Hollywood Reporter have put together the list to end all lists and they have called it "Hotel Wars." We prefer to look at is as a guide to where to try to sneak in this week for a quick cocktail and a possible Oscar family sighting. Check out a few of our favorites below, or click over to THR for the complete list. Bottoms up!
The Art Deco 1929 landmark hotel with a great Hollywood history -- once home to Elizabeth Taylor, Howard Hughes and Diana Ross -- is now the swank canteen to Jennifer Aniston, Ryan Murphy, Emma Stone and Brian Grazer at its Tower Bar restaurant. In 2010, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt broke bread here with David Fincher the night before the Academy Awards, and this is where Michael Fassbender hit the dance floor with Channing Tatum at the CAA post-Globes party in January that ran past 3 a.m. Vanity Fair holds its annual Oscar A-list post-telecast fest at the hotel. "Every aspect of the hotel feels warm and intimate," says NBC-Universal's Lauren Zalaznick. Indulgence: An in-room 50-minute four-handed massage ($240) while staying in one of the two penthouse suites ($2,500), which come with wraparound terraces. Who Stays: Andy Samberg, Tom Ford, Sean Penn. From $375 For the complete list of THR's "Where the Oscars Nominees Sleep, Drink and Celebrate" click here
To alleviate limousine gridlock during Oscar weekend, the hotel pays for permits from the city of Beverly Hills allowing it to post no-parking signs on four surrounding side streets. The extra curb space lets limos line up and be ushered into the driveway one at a time. Just weeks ago, the Peninsula completed a $20 million refresh of its 193 guest rooms, villas and suites. One special touch: Repeat guests get their own monogrammed sheets. In the living room, look for live music from former Hotel Bel-Air piano player Antonio Castillo de la Gala (who has had impromptu duets with the likes of Billy Joel); he decamped here when the Bel-Air recently was closed for two years of renovations. Indulgence: The hotel will deliver room service course by course. Who Stays: Kate Winslet, Glenn Close, Cate Blanchett, Michael Caine. From $625 For the complete list of THR's "Where the Oscars Nominees Sleep, Drink and Celebrate" click here
The five-acre property, which underwent a $30 million renovation and expansion in 2010 (adding 40 new villas), is a mecca for music industry players. During Grammy weekend, 32 nominees checked in at the hotel, whose garage can fit two tour buses. It's also a draw for European directors (Danny Boyle, Pedro Almodovar), and Michael Fassbender rented out one of its villas for four nights during his Golden Globes visit. Those staying in the Presidential Villa ($5,000) can avoid the lobby via a dedicated staircase to the underground lot. Indulgence: Booking time in the hotel's world-class Nightbird recording studio, where Drake recorded his latest album and Ocean's Eleven was sound-edited. Who Stays: "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius, George Clooney, Usher. From $330 For the complete list of THR's "Where the Oscars Nominees Sleep, Drink and Celebrate" click here
There are only three Montage Hotels (the others are in Laguna Beach and Deer Valley), and they are privately owned and maintained like polished gems. While the 201-room Beverly Hills location, modeled after the area's Spanish Colonial Revival great estates, has hosted junkets recently for Underworld: Awakening and the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean," it's more likely to attract New York society and European royalty. Word is, when Oprah Winfrey stays in L.A., it's always here. Indulgence: For an exclusive get-together with friends, spend $2,000 to $5,000 to rent out the private bar Ten Pound (located above Scarpetta restaurant), which pours some of Macallan's rarest whiskies. Who Stays: Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Harvey Weinstein. From $500 For the complete list of THR's "Where the Oscars Nominees Sleep, Drink and Celebrate" click here