In a historic Hollywood locale, the Aster has created a hybrid hotel and members club that combines hospitality, creativity, and community.

The Aster Los Angeles Members Floor
Thomas J. Story

Hollywood and Vine has always been an intersection of dreams, the sidewalks studded with the names of movie stars, the Pantages and El Capitan theaters just up the way, the iconic Capitol Records tower rising over it all. It’s a fertile historical backdrop for a neighborhood that’s now home to Netflix and numerous “techtainment” businesses. And an organic extension of that creative resurgence is the Aster, a hybrid boutique hotel and membership club that’s flipped the script on the ever-evolving social club model.

The Aster Los Angeles Member-Level Bar
 The bar on the member level, ready for cocktails or co-working.

Thomas J. Story

In the past decade, there’s been a boom in social clubs in the West, part of a global phenomenon that saw the traditional members club expanded upon in dozens of iterations: the women’s-only club, the creative class club, the tech club, the luxe fitness/wellness club. As co-working spaces like WeWork and its competitors grew in popularity, the shift from being social-first to more work-friendly accelerated. Now many clubs exist as a sort of fifth space beyond home, office, hotel, restaurant/bar, and entertainment venue. The Aster is one such hybrid model and enriches the genre with Hollywood flair.

The Aster Los Angeles Reception
The reception area at the Aster.

Thomas J. Story

The Aster is, like many social clubs, low-key from the outside: A large heavy blue door and a valet sign are the only clues it’s there, with no indication of the charming spaces that lie within. Beyond the door, the light shifts and a single desk serves as guest and member check-in.

The Aster Los Angeles Pool and Patio
A pool is tucked away on the roof, just above the hustle of Hollywood, ready for a swim or that Southern California tradition of working by the pool.

Thomas J. Story

Before it became the Aster, the space was the opulent Hollywood outpost of the h Club, a London-based club funded in large part by Paul Allen. The bones of the extensive revamp of the space remain, and just one floor above, there’s a secret pool discretely nestled between the two towers of the building offering that rare combination of privacy and open sky in the center of the city. Here hotel guests swim laps or sip sparkling rosé tucked into ice buckets while members work on a laptop or practice the old Hollywood tradition of the poolside meeting.

Rooftop Screen and View of Capitol Records Building
Cacti and the Capitol Records building are a classic California pairing.

Thomas J. Story

Just off the pool, there’s a bright tropical-themed bar with low club chairs, marble-topped cocktail tables, and plush banquettes. On the sprawling roof, guests enjoy a spectacular view of the old 1920s buildings of Hollywood with their vintage neon signs, the Hollywood sign nestled in the hills, and that mid-century masterpiece, the Capitol Records building. Intimate lounge areas with fire pits fill the space. An outdoor movie screen is on one wall, there are two bars, and nearby, a restaurant overseen by celebrity chef Marcel Vigneron. Serving punchy modern California dishes like caviar-topped chips and dip and miso salmon and a stellar smash burger, the restaurant is called Lemon Grove, a name that pays homage to the agrarian roots of the neighborhood. The hotel rooms are throwback glam with rotary-style phones, plush furnishings, and black and white photos—and among the best deals in Hollywood. It’s a stylish and savvy hotel hack for in-the-know travelers.

The Aster Los Angeles Guestroom
Guest rooms at the Aster are colorful updates on the Hollywood pied-à-terre.

Thomas J. Story

While anyone can book a room at the hotel, members have access to a private floor that’s the heart of the club experience. With its own bar and lounges, baby grand piano, cabaret space, work studios and meeting rooms, a screening room playing first-run films and documentaries, and a music and podcast studio, the space is an opulent full-service facility for the members of the creative industries that roost here. On any given day, the Aster is buzzing with pitch meetings, table reads, and marketing brainstorming sessions, with the night giving way to wine tastings, screenings, member dinners, and industry panel discussions.

Eero Saarinen Womb Chairs
Well appointed spaces throughout the Aster allow for socializing, working, or dining. Here a pair of iconic Eero Saarinen Womb Chairs offer members stylish seating in a vividly wallpapered lounge on the members’ floor.

Thomas J. Story

If this all sounds rarified and out of reach, think again. While private member clubs have a reputation for being exclusive and impossible to get into, the Aster practices an open-door member policy that invites anyone to join. It’s a refreshing twist that’s increasingly common in the world of member clubs. With fees that average out to a movie ticket a day—and reciprocity with clubs in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Aspen, Denver, and beyond—it represents an accessible yet aspirational paradigm shift for nomadic workers in the increasingly hybridized work world in the West.

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