Up in the hills looming above Sunset Boulevard, silent-movie mansion The Paramour Estate is an elegant escape from Los Angeles. The 1920s home of a film star and his oil-heiress wife, tucked away in the residential seclusion of coolly well-heeled Silver Lake, the grand Spanish Revival mansion and its lodges peer down on the city below. There are bright lights and cocktails mere steps from your vintage bed… but if the autograph hunters and paparazzi are hounding you, your estate awaits.
We're particularly enamoured of the Gate House – there's something extra romantic about a spiral staircase up to a loft bedroom, with a king-size canopy bed. The custom-made copper bathtub and shower inlaid with handmade Moroccan tiles make ablutions an elegant experience, and the kitchen – with its Smeg fridge and vintage O’Keefe & Merritt Stove – is cool enough that you’ll be tempted to stay in and cook at least once. The artist-renovated ethos is evident throughout, from the 19th-century doors transported from Corsica to the Sixties touches lending a the space an idiosyncratically arty air.
You'll feel like a silver-screen star as you swim lengths in the main mansion's historic 65ft pool.
Bring trainers you can walk up hills in – the street is seriously steep.
The estate's a historic home that isn't wheelchair accessible.
Leave 'em at home. This is a grown-up stay (no under-18s allowed).
In honour of the silent screen stars who graced the estate back in its heyday, don your Thirties-esque best to flounce around your semi-private hideout in the hills.
There’s no food served at the hotel – but you’re in foodie-ville here in Los Angeles, from Downtown’s ever-changing array of star-chef-helmed hotspots to the taco trucks on Sunset (wander down at 1am if you’re peckish; you’ll find always them between the bars).
You’ll find the estate in the achingly cool Silver Lake neighbourhood, just west of Downtown (about 20 miles inland).
You’ll likely land at LAX, the bustling aviation hub that’s served by direct flights from just about anywhere. It’s an hour or so’s drive, depending on traffic; check in with the Smith24 team if you fancy some help making travel plans.
Downtown’s elegant Union Station is a short cab ride away; from Downtown or Hollywood, you can jump on light rail or Metro trains.
On-site parking’s free (unusual for LA). You’ll need wheels to get around town, but they don’t have to be your own: if you’re not a fan of driving in extreme traffic and spending ages looking for parking wherever you go (or paying through the nose for valet) it’s probably easier to grab cabs. Plus, Silver Lake’s a very walkable neighbourhood with plenty of shopping, eating and drinking.
Worth getting out of bed for
There's not much to do at the estate itself (and that's what you'll love about it). But it's an ideal base from which to discover the best of Los Angeles – the Los Angeles that real Angelenos love, one that doesn't involve being sold overpriced 'maps of the stars' homes'. The strolling-distance boutiques of Silver Lake, for instance, are packed with works by near-impossibly cool local designers (and priced accordingly, so bring your wallet).
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 secluded city hotel in Silver Lake and unpacked their no-photos-please sunglasses, a full account of their boutique break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Paramour Estate in Los Angeles…