Most new, fancy apartment buildings in Los Angeles come with a roster of the same luxurious amenities: pools, dog runs, screening rooms, enormous gyms. But which are the best? Which are the most over-the-top ridiculous? Which are the best use of your insanely high rent? Which involve live animals? To help differentiate between all these high-end apartments and their various takes on these perks, we've compiled this very scientific ranking of which Los Angeles buildings have the best of each, and singled out one "best overall" award to a dark horse that's got four pools, a rock wall, a 100-seat movie theater, tanning beds, and, incredibly, so much more.
↑ Best pool: Watermarke Tower
That view! The pool at the 35-story Watermarke Tower isn't even at the top, but it's still got some amazing vistas of the Downtown skyline. The almost-100-foot infinity pool is bordered by cabanas for chilling out post-swim and a covered, open-air lounge with plenty of seating, for those floppy-hat-wearing friends who want to hang by the pool but just don't do sun.
↑ Best communal bar/lounge: Rubix Hollywood
Their "urban bar with residents lounge" goes ahead and invites you to maybe have a few in the common area. You were going to anyway, so why not sit at a proper bar on one of those wiggly stools? The decor mixes Hollywood Regency with hardcore Vegas, the perfect subtle hint to get behind the counter and mix a few. There's a pool table nearby, too, just like in a real live bar.
Honorable mention: Apex in South Park has a pretty rockin' bar area with an enormous pool table and LED TVs.
↑ Best gym: The Vermont
The very well-stocked gym at this Koreatown complex is in a large, long room with floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides and a sweeping view of the pool, lounge deck, dog park, and city, but the standout feature is this little, weird room where you can spin your heart out. There are a few almost Swiss-cheese-like holes in the walls of the room, allowing users to get a little glimpse of the world outside, but there's also a good deal of privacy—something not enough gyms have.
Honorable mention: Millennium Playa del Rey's outdoor gym overlooks the pool and allows for vital indoor/outdoor air circulation.
↑ Best rooftop lounge: The Emerson
The views are incredible, but the rooftop lounge has so much more. A huge freestanding fireplace, an array of outdoor furniture, and fancy islands to prep the food for the multiple outdoor grills, which someone else will clean after the barbecuing is done.
↑ Best screening room: 8th + Hope
The South Park apartment complex has a giant lounge with a sleek bar, informal seating (no movie theater rows), and a projector that shoots films up onto the wall across from the bar area. It's not as private as a screening room, but doesn't that make it more like an actual theater?
Image via Ava Little Tokyo
↑ Best bike: Ava Little Tokyo
Ava Little Tokyo has bike storage but also has a dedicated space for bike repairs. There's the sink to wash off grease (and, if you're not particularly handy, blood) and a stand to put your bike up—a vital back-saving apparatus—as well as some tools on-hand.
↑ Best dog stuff: Empire at Bellagio
Only the best for little Lucky or Bella! The Empire at Bellagio in Bel Air has a dog-washing station, a "drying area," and, the deal-sealer, a roomy rooftop dog-romping zone.
↑Most over-the-top overall: The Lorenzo
Fauxtalian-fortress developer Geoff Palmer gets a lot of flack from everyone (mostly from us) for the external hideousness of his buildings, which flip off the public, but within their walls, there is an overabundance of goodies saved just for residents. Designed as unofficial student housing for USC kids (it's just across the 110 Freeway from the university), it's perfectly designed as a place that would deeply impress young, stressed-out people whose parents are paying their rent. The living quarters are basically a trumped-up dorm, but in terms of amenities, this place is bananas. A short list of some of the most incredible perks for residents of this little world-within-a-world includes:
— an arcade with air hockey (and the CSI pinball game no one knew existed)
— parties DJed by local radio stations
— an indoor soccer field
— and, one time, a camel
But wait: there's more! Don't miss the light-up, "Bellagio Style Interactive Fountain" with regular shows, a rock wall in one of the two gyms (with "Equipment You Won't Even Find at Equinox!"), a 100-seat movie theater, a karaoke room, a sauna, jacuzzis, four pools (including one on the roof and a heated pool inside, for those cold, SoCal winters), and—AND!—tanning beds (a huge selling point when the compound opened).
· Renters Week [Curbed LA]