Los Angeles is a great town, but that comes with a few hiccups: it’s also noisy and it can even feel altered. The iconic California city might be full of palm trees and have the joy of places by the ocean, but it’s no less a great metropolis. So, while it’s a lovely vacation spot, it can be a little tricky to find peace here, particularly for a couple travelling with a baby.
We needed to stay at a place where we could enjoy the vibe of the City of Angels without compromising a quiet time. We weren’t just craving luxury, we needed a lodging that we could call home, even entertaining guests. AKA gave us exactly what we craved, and then some.
The AKA Collection specializes in creating luxury accommodations for long-term stays, and they have venues in a few major U.S. cities as well as London. There are two AKAs in Los Angeles: one is in Beverly Hills and the other in West Hollywood. We stayed at the latter, and couldn’t have asked for a better location. We were in the midst of the thriving L.A. life, and we had no problem reaching the nearby local hotspots, from Mel’s Diner to Fred Segal. It’s one of the most walkable areas in L.A., so it was easy for us to get around without spending time in traffic – plus, of course, reducing our carbon imprint if only a little. Still, it wasn’t the prime location that made me fall in love with this place, but rather its truly cosy feel.
Our stay at AKA was absolutely incredible. First of all, the staff is among the most wonderful I’ve ever encountered in any kind of lodging. Every single person who works at AKA has a real dedication to service, from the reception to the cleaners. Everyone was very professional and friendly, making an effort in giving us the feeling of home. I was with my husband and our baby of eight and a half months, and when you’re with a small child, you need all the comfort you can get. The staff was quick to remember our preferences, always going the extra mile to make our stay as pleasant as possible.
The second thing I loved about AKA West Hollywood was its strong community, and the feeling of being surrounded by incredible people. As a place that hosts mostly long-time residents, the people staying at AKA have grown tight in one way or another. There are plenty of common areas where we had the chance of mingling with our fellow residents, like an exclusive bar and lounge, a pool deck with an incredible view and 24-hour fitness center. You can choose to be as involved as you want with the AKA community, but our personal experience with the residents was a breath of fresh air.
Offering an environment of comfort is exactly the AKA area of expertise, so we were happy to host guests, just like we would back home. We had movie screening nights at the venue’s private screening room, inviting friends and family over for a magical time. AKA offers the kind of experience I crave when I’m staying at a high-end residence, mixing the best of both boutique hotels and luxurious apartment buildings. I’m travelling with my family, so I expect to have areas where we can all feel at ease and truly disconnect during our stay.
Besides all the comforts I’ve already mentioned, AKA is also a very visually pleasing place. Its interior design takes after the neighbourhood it’s in, a vivid representation of the class and relaxation of West Hollywood. The rooms are full of light and decorated in clear hues, with white and grey often taking center stage. Nothing feels at odds, and there’s a real feel of deluxe in every detail, each in a specific location for balance. They have five types of rooms: studio apartment, one-bedroom suite, two-bedroom suite, premium two-bedroom suite and multi-level suite. Each of these is modern and exquisite, with state-of-the-art appliances in perfect harmony. They’re also a dream for city dwellers, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the thriving Los Angeles. Natural light abounds during the daytime, while the evening invites to a glass of rosé while West Hollywood awaits outside.
The common areas have the hip feeling of this trendy L.A. neighbourhood, with a very loungy feel to them. The color palette in the design is darker, a little more adult, always with a wink to the West Hollywood way of life. With the obvious exception of the private screening room, the entirety of AKA faces the city in all its glamour. The sofas and chaises near the pool are contemporary and comfortable, inviting you to sip a drink while stargazing.
There’s a lovely combination of luxury living and comfortable spaces at AKA. I felt creatively stimulated by my surroundings, finding a great place to work outside the office. In the meantime, I was also entirely at ease with my family, which can be a little hard when you’re with a very small child. Babies can be fussy and a lot of parents can feel self-conscious about travelling because of it, but we didn’t feel uncomfortable in the slightest. In part, I have the lovely AKA staff to thank for this freeing sensation.
Whether my journey is about business or pleasure, it’s absolutely essential for me to find a peaceful place to call my own when I’m away from home. While I love going to new cities, when you do it very often it can bring about a sense of disconnection, like you don’t really belong anywhere. Spots like the AKA are critical for those of us who might not spend as much time at home as we’d prefer. It’s really a home away from home, and you can get that feel from every single detail, from the service-focused attention to the beautiful West Coast design.
Photo credit: Jose Perez