This hotel has been a hip place to stay since the 1930s, when gangster Al Wertheimer built it to front his casino, bar, and brothel. It later became the Howard Hotel, owned by local luminaries Robert Stewart Howard (his dad owned the fabled race horse Seabiscuit) and actress Andrea Leeds. The couple hosted young Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, and Liberace. Fast-forward to now. The hotel is still hot, with a youthful vibe. The rooms, created by A-list designer Martyn
Lawrence Bullard, are quasi-Moroccan with brilliantly colored mosaic tiles and fabrics, rich woods, and black-and-white vintage movie star photos everywhere. Many have fireplaces and in-room whirlpool tubs. Mature gardens throughout the property provide privacy, even though rooms open to a central courtyard holding the pool.