Hotel at a Glance: Hotel Normandie
The Hotel Normandie was built in 1926 by architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen, the same duo who designed LA’s Beverly Wilshire and Fine Arts Building. A multimillion-dollar renovation has returned the hotel to its Jazz Age splendor; construction crews pried open decades-old skylights to allow natural light back in, and the original terrazzo has been restored in the lobby.
- 1920s glamour characterizes the lobby, from its original flooring to the art-deco-inspired stone fireplace, velvet couches, and lavish chandelier.
- In-room amenities: flat-screen TV and free WiFi
- Notable guest: British author Malcolm Lowry wrote Under the Volcano while staying at the hotel in the 1930s.
- Nearby attraction: The hotel is 3 miles from LA’s Museum Row, where you can find the massive and critically acclaimed Los Angeles County Museum of Art, home to more than 100,000 works.
- Eat at Cassell’s: More than a hamburger stand, the hotel’s onsite restaurant features a classic ’50s breakfast menu, coffee bar, housemade sodas, and a fully stocked bar.
Wilshire District, Los Angeles: Shopping, Restaurants, and Museum Row
Wilshire Boulevard runs for 15 miles through Los Angeles, ending at Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. There are dozens of restaurants and boutiques along the boulevard. Museum Row is also located on the Boulevard, in the so-called Miracle Mile between Fairfax Boulevard and La Brea Boulevard. Four of Los Angeles’ most notable institutions are clustered here: The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and the Petersen Automotive Museum. Preserved Ice Age fossils of mammoths, dire wolves, and saber-toothed tigers are on display at the Page, all of which were excavated by paleontologists at the neighboring La Brea Tar Pits.
The bright lights of Hollywood aren’t too far away. The cemented handprints of Tinseltown celebs, including Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne, are on the sidewalk in front of the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre). You can experience the movies firsthand at Universal Studios Hollywood. Its interactive thrill rides are inspired by classic and contemporary films such as King Kong, Jurassic Park, and Transformers.