Los Angeles Travel Guide
Proper Hotels, the new hip hotel brand from the founders of Viceroy Hotels, has just announced a location for its second Proper property--Downtown Los Angeles.
Developers Frank Stork, Channing Henry and The Kor Group teamed up to buy the historic 1924 YWCA building at 11th and Broadway (aka The Case Hotel.) We reported on this purchase back in December 2013 and wondered if the building would turn into a Viceroy. Now we know it's going to be a Proper sort of joint.
The historic building will undergo extensive redesign and redevelopment over the next year and a half in order to open as a Proper Hotel in 2017. Here are some brief details on what will be inside when it opens:
The new hotel, located on the border of Downtown’s Historic and Fashion Districts, will reside in the 13-story red brick and stone masonry building. Amenities include a destination restaurant, a rooftop pool and lounge, and the conversion of some of the building’s historic, double-height spaces into unique suites and public areas.
The team is thrilled to be one of the key players in the redevelopment of South Broadway, an active area whose nearby projects include hundreds of apartment units under construction along Broadway and 11th, the Hearst Herald Examiner renovation, and the City’s planned streetcar construction that will stop in front of the hotel, directly connecting Broadway to the Convention Center, 6 blocks away, as well as the Disney Concert Hall and Broad Museum in Bunker Hill.
Proper will open their first hotel in San Francisco by the end of the year. The company also runs the Avalon Hotels in Beverly Hills and Palm Springs.
[Photo: Google Street View]
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We've said it before but Downtown LA is in the midst of awesome renaissance. What was historically a business district is now a lifestyle-oriented live/work/play destination. And you know what that means--more millennial hotels.
By the end of next year, another new (hotel) kid on the block is scheduled to open its uber-hip doors as Hotel Indigo Downtown Los Angeles.
According to a press release, the new 350-room Hotel Indigo is being developed by Greenland USA (American division of China based Greenland Group) as part of a much larger project, aptly named Metropolis, designed by global architect Gensler.
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It comes as no surprise when we hear of Hollywood icons reinventing themselves. No, we’re not talking about stars of the silver screen, but rather an iconic hotel that has catered to them for the last 88 years--The Hollywood Roosevelt.
As we told you last month, the new owners of the hotel, David Chang and Goodwin Gaw, reclaimed management of the hotel, turning it back into an independent property that's now a part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts collection. (Meanwhile, former management company, Thompson Hotels, just announced their new Hollywood hotel yesterday.)
To go along with their newfound independence, the Hollywood Roosevelt now sports a new website, renewed top brass and oh, yes, revamped guest rooms, given the Midas touch by the house of Yabu Pushelberg.
That didn't take long. Just last month, it was revealed that the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel had left the Thompson Hotels collection to be an independent hotel (that's part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.) But Thompson won't be gone long from the Hollywood scene.
A press release put out by Thompson's parent hotel company Commune Hotels & Resorts announced an all-new Thompson Hollywood Hotel, opening on Wilcox Avenue, north of Sunset Boulevard. (FWIW, this will be incredibly close to the Mama Shelter Hotel, due to open next month.)
The Thompson Hollywood will be a 200-room hotel in a 10-story building with a nearly 5,000-sq.ft. restaurant, a 1,862-sq.ft. bar and an outdoor plaza. The rooftop "penthouse" level is promising views of the Hollywood sign and DTLA as well as an outdoor pool deck, a second restaurant and a fitness center. But that's not all.
A new build of Commune's made-for-millennials brand, Tommie Hotels, was announced for Hollywood as well.
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The LA Times reports that Giannini Building at 7th and Olive, a former Bank of Italy building that first opened in 1923, has been purchased by hotel developer The Sydell Group and wants to turn it into a boutique hotel--possibly a spin-off of the NoMad Hotel in NYC. Here's what Sydell has in store for the building:
The main former banking floor will be converted to a "living room" lobby for the hotel where guests can lounge or work, [Andrew E. Zobler, CEO of Sydell] said. The first floor will have a bar and a restaurant.
Sydell will operate the hotel, perhaps as a second branch of its NoMad Hotel on Broadway in New York. Plans call for 250 guest rooms that would either face outward or look into a large existing light well in the center of the upper floors of Giannini Place.
A rooftop swimming pool and event space with panoramic views of downtown are also on the drawing board. The hotel is to be a step up in room price and sophistication from Sydell Group's Freehand hotel being built in the former Commercial Exchange Building.
But there's another new boutique hotel coming to DTLA, just one block away from this one.
Here's what we found on the menu at the hotel's poolside cafe, Cabana, located on the hotel's fourth floor rooftop. Aside from gluttonous casual fare such as nachos, burgers and fish tacos and lighter items like salads and salmon, the menu now holds a few special creations from Spork Foods, an organic and vegan cooking class in West Hollywood.
Such items include the Battered Avocado Tacos ($25) filled with house pickled purple onions and ranchero black beans and the Red Bean Veggie Burger Sliders ($21) served with a beet ketchup and veganaise on a gluten-free bun topped with a battered pickle.
Even if you don't adhere to a vegan diet, you can't deny how good these taste. C'mon, fried avocados? Also that beet ketchup is sweeter than it sounds.
Of course, these dishes might be food-truck inspired but the prices are totally Four Seasons. #treatyoself
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Downtown Los Angeles is quickly becoming the neighborhood to stay in, or at least visit, in Los Angeles with options ranging from The Ace Hotel, the quirky Hotel Figueroa and the luxe Ritz-Carlton. And now here comes Level DTLA, an residential-style, extended stay property, from LEVEL Furnished Living, set to open this summer.
Downtown Los Angeles is in the middle of a certified hotel boom, echoing the larger development boom that is happening in this often overlooked area of Los Angeles. There's the Ace Hotel (which we know and love), the just-opened hybrid Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott, along with the forthcoming massive InterContinental Hotel, a hip Freehand Hotel/Hostel and the pending new look of the old-school Hotel Figueroa.
And in a few years, there will be a luxury hotel from Roberto Cavalli. Seriously.
DTLA's man about town, Brigham Yen reports that the new Figueroa Central complex, which just broke ground across from the Staples Center, has released the details on the planned 183-room hotel. And Roberto Cavalli, through the Dubai-based Pragma Group, will be doing the branding of the hotel.
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One of the things we most like about the Downtown LA renaissance is the redevelopment of old buildings into sexy modern hotels (unless, that is, you’re talking about the Fig, which we cannot conscience in anything but its old, Moroccan incarnation).
The Hotel Normandie was already pretty sexy – a Renaissance Revival-style building done 1920s by Walker & Eisen, who also did the Beverly Wilshire and the United Artists Theater (aka the Ace DTLA), and now a 94-room boutique hotel (although with the old style preserved rather than gutted).
But now it’s stepped up the ante with some food and drink offerings that, rather like the hotel, combine the best of old and new LA.
We've always thought an umbrella in the closet for guests to use during their stay was a nice touch (especially when the umbrella looks like this.) But in Los Angeles, where rain is infrequent. to say the least, Paligroup Hotels and Houses has come up with another item for guests to use during their stay--a Lexdray Cape Town Reversible Tote.
It's like one of those utilitarian and durable LeSportsac bags, but way more stylish with one side fronting with black ballistic nylon and the other side sporting Lexdray's custom twill. It's the perfect tote for a lunch meeting to discuss your screenplay. You can also take it to the beach or stock up on goodies at the farmer's market or the grocery store. (Remember, Los Angeles has a plastic bag ban so you need to bring your own or pay 10 cents for a paper bag.)
The bag will be in the rooms at the original residential-style Palihouse in West Hollywood, the funkier and more affordable Palihotel on Melrose Avenue and the newest hotel in the collection, the Palihouse Santa Monica, just a few blocks from the beach. And if you love the Lexdray tote too much to part with it, you can take it home for $150.
It's that time of year again: the 2014 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
2014 was a huge year for hotel openings. When we compiled our Master List of Hotel Openings at the start of January, we had a feeling this year was going to be more special than the others.
We saw the opening of several new brands like Moxy Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott and the fitness-oriented EVEN Hotels, as well as the openings of tried and true brands in popular destinations like Four Seasons Orlando and Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. We also saw the open of jaw-dropping luxury spots like the Peninsula Paris and the hotel fun factory that is Edition Miami.
One of the most memorable hotel openings is that of the SLS Las Vegas which had transformed the iconic but run-down Sahara into a shiny, mod casino hotel that is big on style, restaurants and shopping but small on actual casino offerings.
Indeed, the opening party alone was a hotel nerd's fantasy come true with Philippe Starck, Jose Andres and Lenny Kravitz in attendance. But while the SLS remains a great place to stay in Vegas, especially for those sick of the corporate glitz of the Strip, there has been some behind the scenes trouble since opening night.
However, there's one hotel opening that has stayed with us all year--The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles.
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File under things you already knew: Downtown LA is, apparently, the place to be. File under things you might not have known: Downtown LA has the best preserved pre-1950s buildings in the United States. Really! When you wander around like we did the other week, saying “Why, it’s like Chicago, but better,” it really is. Which is why we’re sad to hear of the renovations coming up at one of its most historic hotels, the Figueroa.
This HC member only got her first glimpse of the Fig this month, but one foot in the door was enough to know it was true love*. The coffin-shaped pool. The Moroccan interiors. The belly dancers entertaining a Christmas party in the bar, while off duty cops ate in the kasbah-like lobby. It was like a film set. My god, this is what America is all about!