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L.A.  The

Night t f i Sh  photographed by

 robert whitman 

Nighttime in L.A. comes as a welc ome respite. The relentless sun shine yields to moody chiaroscuro. Traffic on the I-405 accelerates from tortoise’s pace to hare’s. The little black dress comes out of the closet, refuting California’s insistence on color. The spurious custom of dou ble-cheek air kissing gives way to actual flirtation over one last nightcap in the hote l lobby. And the hotel takes on a night life of its own. These are hours of invisible and unacknowledged activities, hou rs of transition to business as usual. The hotel’s public face may be highly polished , but much of that polishing happens after mid night. A housekeeper lowers the chandeliers for dusting, like the staff of Gosford Park. A porter’s brass trolley deli vering newspapers to sleeping guests fills in for the traditional kid on a bike back hom e. And the guests who aren’t asleep play out their own noirish roles. A VIP checks in, underground and unobserved except for secu rity cameras. The poolside chaises are swaddled in their evening attire, but a frisky couple turns the moonlit water into a private oasis. And why weren’t we all invited to the party in Room 312? Here, pho togr apher ­Robert Whitman’s portfolio shot over the course of a week in glorious non-Technicolor reveals the night shift in six of the city’s most splendid hotels. —aim ee lee bal l

168 june 2011 travelandleisure.com


2:45 a.m.

Andaz West Hollywood An employee awaits guests at a check-in station in the Janson Goldstein窶電esigned lobby.


1:30 a.m.

Beverly Hilton Beverly Hills An after-hours swim in the hotel’s Olympic-size pool.

170 june 2011 travelandleisure.com


As we turned around the first peak, we came upon golden, long-maned horses on one side of the path and chewing cows on the other. the two cliques didn’t mix and paid us no attention.

4:00 a.m. Peninsula Beverly Hills Security cameras record the discreet arrival of a VIP guest.

12:30 a.m. Redbury Hotel Hollywood A housekeeper undertakes the nightly dusting of the lobby stairway chandeliers.


2:30 a.m.

Chateau Marmont West Hollywood An employee mans the valet desk during the quiet hours.

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4:00 a.m. Andaz West Hollywood Room service delivers a late-night bottle of wine to No. 312.

3:15 a.m. Peninsula Beverly Hills The weekend papers arrive. 174 June 2011 travelandleisure.com


1:00 a.m.

Viceroy Santa Monica Cocktail hour stretches out in the lobby lounge.

Andaz West Hollywood 8401 W. Sunset Blvd.; 800/233-1234 or 323/656-1234; andaz.com; doubles from $295. Beverly Hilton 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; 800/445-8667 or 310/274-7777; beverlyhilton.com; doubles from $235. Chateau Marmont 8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; 323/656-1010; chateaumarmont.com; doubles from $415. Peninsula Beverly Hills 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd.; 866/382-8388; peninsula.com; doubles from $525. Redbury Hotel 1717 Vine St., Hollywood; 877/962-1717 or 323/962-1717; theredbury.com; doubles from $259. Viceroy Santa Monica 1819 Ocean Ave.; 800/670-6185 or 310/260-7500; viceroysantamonica.com; doubles from $296.


LA The Night Shift