Referencing the city’s seemingly year-round summer, Hotel June brings the atmosphere of a Baja beach resort to LA’s vibrant Westside. A wallet-friendly sister to the Proper Hotels, June builds on their winning formula with her unmistakably Californian interiors, poolside social club and coastal cuisine. For her look, LA-based designers Studio Collective looked to the coasts of Alta California, borrowing their palette of sandy neutrals, sunset pinks and ocean blues. The influence of Baja Californian is evident at Caravan Swim Club, the hotel’s poolside restaurant and lounge, where the fish tacos and mezcal cocktails inspire thoughts of palm-lined beaches. Five minutes from the beach and 10 to the airport, June also makes the perfect start or finish to a California road trip.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm, but flexible subject to availability.
Double rooms from £131.87 ($175), including tax at 15.695 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 3% per room per night on check-out and an additional resort fee of $15.00 per room per night on check-out.
Rates don’t include à la carte breakfast. For something light, try a bran muffin ($4) or vegan breakfast tacos ($4). Big day ahead? Go for the Horchata French toast ($15) or the full June breakfast ($19).
June occupies a Sixties building designed by LA architect Welton Becket, the man behind the Capitol Records Building.
At the hotel
24-hour gym, fire pit, free WiFi throughout, laundry. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, desk, Aesop bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Venice-based designers Studio Collective have created bright, beachy interiors with an unmistakably SoCal colour scheme. Mid-century furniture is teamed with fabrics in sandy neutrals, charcoal greys and ocean blues – and the city views are unmistakably LA. Go for a Spacious King with a coastal view or treat yourself to the Apartment Suite, which has a larger living area.
The heated outdoor pool is the centrepiece of Caravan Swim Club, the hotel’s Baja-inspired terrace and alfresco bar. The pool’s lined with cabanas on one side and sun loungers on the other – food and drinks can be ordered to either. A fire pit keeps the good times rolling after sundown.
There’s no spa, but there is a 24-hour fitness center with Peloton bikes, Woodway treadmills, a rowing machine, free weights, kettlebells, strength training equipment and a very fancy Tonal machine (think of it as a Peloton for weight training).
Your best all-American eyewear – think Garett Leight, Ray Ban and Moscot.
All rooms have braille markings and there are several wheelchair accessible rooms, all of which are ADA compliant.
Caravan’s laid-back atmosphere extends to the seating – take a table on the elevated deck, sit poolside or order straight to your lounger.
Go for a classic Golden State palette that borrows from the sea, sand and sky.
The restaurant is part of Caravan Swim Club, June’s Baja-inspired poolside terrace. It’s an open-air affair with simple wooden tables, rattan chairs and woven lanterns providing a beachy feel. The menu is inspired by a culinary road trip from Santa Barbara to Baja California, paying tribute to the diversity of the Alta California coastline. Local seafood is a big feature, making the fish tacos, ceviche and oysters a solid bet. At lunch, keep it light with oysters (served with michelada mignonette, watermelon granita and lime), shrimp tacos and watermelon salad. For dinner, try the line-caught Baja seabass or the organic hanger steak, prepared in papaya marinade and your choice of a coffee, brown sugar or sea salt rub.
There are two: the long, coral-tiled bar at Caravan Swim Club and a wood and marble-clad bar in Scenic Route, just off the lobby. There’s a big focus on natural wine (with over 65 bottle prices under $100), local craft beer, small-batch tequila and mezcals, and cocktails. On a hot day, try a Calidad lager or the suggestively-named Pool Party at Hotel June, a Grenache-Mourvedre from Santa Barbara.
Caravan Swim Club is open from 7am to 10pm (midnight on Friday and Saturday).
Hotel June occupies a midcentury building on Lincoln Boulevard, an artery at the southern end of LA’s Westside. Playa Del Rey Beach is a five-minute drive away; Venice Beach and the Marina Del Rey can be reached in 10.
LAX is just two miles away, making quick arrivals and getaways a breeze. Outside of rush hour, a cab from the airport should take less than 10 minutes.
If you’re going to be on the move a lot, a car will make LA’s sprawling proportions much more manageable. The hotel has valet parking for $36 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
You’ve haven’t really slipped into the LA frame of mind until you’re poolside, sinking cocktails at golden hour. In this respect, Caravan Swim Club has you well and truly covered. Shack up in a cabana or take a pew at the bar, serving craft beer, small-batch tequila, biodynamic wines and smoky mezcal cocktails that call to mind the copal-scented coasts of Baja California. Playa del Rey and Playa Vista (Silicon Beach) are a five-minute drive away, or you could borrow bikes from the hotel and cruise along the Beach Path, which runs for 22 miles along the LA coast. Venice is 10 minutes away, where the iconic beach and mile-long Abbot Kinney await.
Surfing newbies will find a solid teacher in Heather of Soul Surf Sessions, based at Manhattan Beach. Heather grew up in Hawaii, spending as much time on the water as she could. She’s surfed all over the world and has tried pretty much every other watersport you could think of, making her an expert in all conditions. Most importantly, she’s great with first-timers, giving you the best possible chance of turning it into a lifelong habit. For coastal cruises, sailing and fishing trips, head to the Marina del Rey, where you can charter sail boats and luxury yachts. Make it a dinner date by arranging a sunset cruise with a grazing box from Alfresko Experience, who specialize in luxury hampers and beach picnics infused with SoCal soul. If boats aren’t your thing, they can also arrange a date night in a vintage VW van with a grazing board, Californian wine and beach-ready playlist.
Skirting the sand on Venice Beach, brunch favourite Great White serves an all-day menu of breakfast classics, pizzas, sandwiches and salad bowls, all made with as much locally sourced goodness as possible. Pair with one of their natural wines, sourced from innovative producers from the US and beyond. Gjusta, on Sunset Avenue, is a deli and market that sources produce from some of the best farmers, ranchers, fishermen and cooperatives that SoCal has to offer. They buy ingredients from no fewer than five farmer’s markets throughout the week, keeping everything as fresh as can be. Superba is another community-focused option, serving sought-after baked goods, small plates and just-caught seafood. It’s as popular for brunch as it is for dinner, when heartier mains are on the menu. For dinner, don't miss Scopa, a rootsy Italian reminiscent of classic New York restaurants. Everything from the antipasti to the tiramisu is spot on, and the cocktails are well worth arriving early for.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this budget boutique hotel in Los Angeles and unpacked their Garett Leight sunglasses, a full account of their West LA break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel June in LA…
Before Los Angeles became a city in the US, it was part of Alta California in New Spain, which controlled all the territory from Oregon to the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Today, the US and Mexican portions have their own distinct culture, but the sunshine, beaches and natural splendour on both sides of the border have been an influence on LA’s spirit since the very beginning – and it's this embracing of the whole California coastline that June taps into.
Five minutes from the sand at Playa del Rey, June isn’t quite on the beachfront, but the vibe of the hotel could make you forget that very quickly. In the rooms, the coastal colour palette, white-oak furniture and woven lampshades call to mind Spanish-style villas and the beach shacks of Baja. Outside at Caravan Swim Club, guests take up position with Napa wine and half a dozen oysters to let the good times roll. Because in this little pocket of the Golden State, every day feels like the start of summer…