The Big Six: Californian city stays

Hip haunts, Hollywood history and playful pop art

Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles

Opened in 1927, the Hollywood Roosevelt hosted the first Oscars ceremony in 1929. In the Forties, its glamorous reputation was sealed when Marilyn Monroe moved into Cabana Suite 246 as she launched her modelling career. Overseen today by Thompson Hotels, it has recently undergone extensive renovations to its poolside cabanas and added three new entertainment spaces: the Public Kitchen restaurant; the Spare Room games parlour; and a Vaudeville-themed theatre, Beacher's Madhouse.

Hollywood Roosevelt, 7000 Hollywood Boulevard (001 323 466 7000; Doubles start at $289 (£181), room only.

Hotel Zetta, San Francisco

San Francisco has suffered from a dearth of new hotel openings in recent years, so it came as welcome news when Viceroy announced plans to redevelop the old Hotel Milano as the Zetta. The hip new haunt opened in the SoMa district last month, with 116 rooms decorated in moody mocha shades and edgy collage artworks. The downstairs lobby has Apple Macs and a cocktail bar, while the S+R Lounge will have a pool table and games consoles when it opens on Friday.

Hotel Zetta, No 55 Fifth Street, San Francisco (001 415 543 85 551; Doubles start at $265 (£166), room only.

El Encanto, Santa Barbara

This exclusive hilltop retreat reopens on 18 March after an eight-year restoration by Orient Express. Set in seven acres of landscaped gardens, the new-look lodge will comprise 92 luxury suites and bungalows with open fireplaces, marble bathrooms and either a private garden or patio outside. Chef Patrice Martineau is in the restaurant cooking up classic Californian cuisine with Asian accents in a menu that will taste even sweeter when sampled on the sweeping terrace.

El Encanto, 800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara (001 805 845 5800; Doubles start at $525 (£328), room only.

Hotel La Jolla, San Diego

The seaside resort of La Jolla unfolds over a seven-mile stretch of curving coastline from San Diego. Here, Kimpton Hotels – the group behind Boston's Nine Zero and New York's Eventi – has transformed the Hotel La Jolla in a $4m renovation. The lobby, pool and Hiatus lounge have all been given a fresh look by Icelandic designer Gulla Jonsdottir, while a new Cusp Restaurant has been added to the 11th floor, with a seasonal Mediterranean menu and Pacific Ocean views.

Hotel La Jolla, 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, San Diego (001 858 459 0261; Doubles start at $190 (£119), room only.

The Saguaro, Palm Springs

A former Holiday Inn in the desert city of Palm Springs has been transformed with a playful Pop Art palette by Joie de Vivre Hotels. Reopened last year, the 245-room hotel – which once blended into the background of the Coachella Valley – now screams for attention. The Sixties-styled rooms are done out in a vivid hotchpotch of colours that shouldn't work, but does. At the centre of it all is a palm-shaded pool and the El Jefe tequila bar.

The Saguaro, 1800 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs (001 760 323 1711; Doubles start at $158 (£99), room only.

Andaz, Napa

The Andaz relaunched last year in the downtown area of California's best-known wine hub. It became part of the Hyatt portfolio when the group purchased Avia Hotels. Rebranded and completely remodelled, it now features design-focused interiors, a field-to-fork restaurant and a Mercantile Social lounge that serves produce from the Napa Valley. The outdoor firepit, complete with cosy blankets, is the place to relax after a day touring the vineyards.

Andaz Napa, 1450 First Street, Napa (001 707 687 1234; Doubles start at $227 (£142), room only.