Los Angeles Travel Guide
We've long been a fan of James Hotels in Chicago, Soho and Miami, with their cool art, minimalist but comfortable rooms and happening nightlife so the news that they are coming to the West Coast has us, in short, thrilled.
The LA Times reports that The James Los Angeles will open in 2016 on the southeast corner of Sunset and La Cienaga boulevards in a new $300 million complex called, Sunset La Cienaga, which will also have apartments, retail and eateries.
The James itself will have 286 rooms done in a "warm modernism" interior style and two James-branded bars and restaurants, including a rooftop bar. Woot! Oh and don't forget, James Hotels also offer free WiFi. Even better.
The hotel already has a website up, although it only has a press release announcing the property. This marks a return to the west for The James which used to operate a hotel in Scottsdale, which then later turned into a Mondrian before finally becoming The Saguaro, a JDV Hotel.
While many hotel brands are getting in on the juicing trend (Kimpton Hotels just announced a hotel-wide program too), we were beyond excited to see that the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles embrace a new, healthy-eating trend with a special Paleo Menu at their Breeze restaurant, a first of its kind for a hotel restaurant.
For those not familiar, the Paleo diet is based on the food groups of our "pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors." Cavemen, really. Essentially, the diet is all meats and vegetables but only "clean" meats and vegetables, nothing processed is allowed. And sorry, dairy is not allowed either.
The diet not only claims to help with weight loss but also to help with autoimmune disorders and systemic inflammation. (Note: I personally try to follow Paleo for an autoimmune disorder that I have but goddammit, cheese is too often too good to resist.)
Like all diets, Paleo requires careful selection of ingredients (read your labels!) and time to prepare the foods. While it's possible to order around the menu options at a restaurant to meet your Paleo requirements, most of the time dining out Paleo-style can be difficult and near impossible when staying at hotels. But not at Breeze, Hyatt's all-day dining restaurant.
Hotel Industry News / Hotel News / ALIS / Trump Hotels / Ivanka Trump / Donald Trump Jr / Donald Trump / → All Tags
UPDATE: So not China.
Today, the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, or ALIS as it's called, kicks off in Los Angeles and it's where hotel operators, owners, investors and experts will be convening over the next two days to talk about, well, duh, the latest trends in the hospitality biz. (We're particularly interested in this session tomorrow: "DESIGNING HOTELS FOR THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION")
Big-time conferences like this are also prime opportunities for hotel brands to make some import ants announcements and we've already got word that Trump Hotels is one of them.
We hear the announcement will pertain to Trump's international operations and if we had to guess, we bet it's about China. Last year, Trump designated a VP of development of China and indeed, Ivanka Trump (#HCGirlCrush) posted something about a Beijing hotel and condo project on Facebook (check her schedule at around 3pm.)
Then again, Trump (represented by Donald Trump, Jr. who will break the news today) could have something totally off the radar to announce. Either way, we're excited. We're sure it's going to be the biggest and best thing the world has ever seen.
Insane Hotel Packages / Valentine's Day Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / → All Tags
The InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles not only has an awesome 18th floor helipad with insane views of Los Angeles, the luxury hotel is now letting use it for Valentine's Day. Helicopter ride included!
Priced at an eye-watering $11,000, the package includes accommodations in the newly renovated Presidential Suite with welcome drinks upon arrival (we've seen this suite and it is spectacular), a private 30-minute helicopter tour of Los Angeles in the city’s only twin-engine helicopters, a six-course private dinner for two with wine pairings against a romantic sunset backdrop with sweeping views of LA atop the hotel’s helipad, the Romance Ritual spa treatment at the Spa InterContinental, breakfast in bed for two the following morning, and overall royal VIP treatment, including valet parking, a romantic welcome amenity and suite decorations.
Of course, this is not something you book online. If you're serious about wooing your sweetheart with this package, call (310) 284-6557 to book.
If your wallet can't handle this package, don't fret. The hotel is also offering a Dinner on the Deck package which includes an upgrade to a Superior Sundeck Room with VIP treatment, an intimate four-course dinner with wine pairing on your private sun deck and breakfast in bed the next day. That's priced at $699 and can be booked online here. Just don't let your lover know you took the cheaper option.
GO HERE TO SEE THE NEWLY RENOVATED ROOMS AT THE INTERCONTINENTAL LOS ANGELES
So we've already shown you inside a guest room at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as 14 other cool things to see but today, we're taking you on a tour of the historic United Artists Theater first built in 1927 as the flagship theater for the United Artists movie studio.
The theater has been immaculately preserved throughout its long history (mostly thanks to pastor Gene Scott and his congregation who occupied the theater for about 20 years) and basically all that Ace Hotels needed to do was install some new carpeting and do some touch-ups here and there. (They're also working on building a new box office as the old one could barely hold one person.)
The theater's revitalized glory will be unveiled on February 14th when the hotel hosts their first event, The Spiritualized, which is already sold-out. But until then, guests at the Ace Hotel (like we were last night) aren't able to even peek into the theater. So we decided to give you a good, in-depth glimpse of it now. 3, 2, 1, action!
Hotel Renovations / Before and After / InterContinental Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the before and after.
Over at the InterContinental Hotel in Los Angeles, renovations are underway on all of the hotel's 361 guest rooms and 148 spacious suites. We got the chance to peek into both a not-yet-renovated room and a glammed up one and the difference is amazing.
Pre-renovations, the guest rooms look very much like they have for the past ten years or so. This is actually what the rooms looked like when the hotel was once a Park Hyatt. Ho-hum. We can't decide which is worse--the headboard or the drapes.
Keep reading to see how the rooms look after the renovation!
When it comes to tipping the maid, there is always a bit of confusion about where to put the tip. Do you leave it on the nightstand or the desk? Or perhaps you leave it on the dresser or the minibar?
At the just-opened Ace Hotel Los Angeles, there is no confusion about where your dollar bills go. On the desk atop the stationary is a little yellow envelope with the words "MAID TIP stamped in red. And there you go.
While we doubt luxury hotels would ever consider adopting this sort of hint for guests (it's probably considered too "vulgar"), we do think it could work at lots of other boutiquey hotels. But if this becomes a hotel standard, then we best remember to bring dollar bills with us. We'll feel pretty sheepish leaving that envelope empty. Wonder if they take credit cards?
Check out more of what's inside the rooms at Ace Hotel Los Angeles in the gallery below!
Yesterday, we took you inside a guest room at the just-opened Ace Hotel in Dowtown Los Angeles. Today, we're showing you 14 Things we liked about the hotel, most of them are outside of the guest rooms. We especially like #1, #7, #11 and #13. What about you?
1. Hot Doorman: Definitely a good first impression.
2. Photo Booth Near the Check-In Desk: Your room not ready yet? Amuse yourselves in the photo booth for a while.
Photo Galleries / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Ace Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Decisions, decisions, decisions. We were completely torn over what snapshot from the just-opened Ace Hotel Los Angeles we should put up first.
That's because the hotel has so many awesome Ace-y things to show off--from the clever penciled artwork on the walls to the Stumptown coffee offerings, the curious library hanging above the front desk, the rooftop pool and lounge with killer views of Downtown LA and the immaculately preserved United Artists theater which was built in 1927.
But we'll show you that Ace goodness tomorrow. Today, we'll take you inside a guest room on the third floor.
The property, on the southeast corner of Broadway and 11th Street (about two blocks from Ace) , was recently snapped up by local developers Frank Stork, the Kor Group and Channing Henry of Alma Development. The new owners plan on redoing the hotel to appeal to downtown's "growing population of creative professionals."
While a hotel operator has yet to be named, we can't help but wonder if the Kor Group will use their ties to the Viceroy Hotel Group (Viceroy was previously called Kor Hotels) to put in a Viceroy or otherwise hip brand. Or possibly this could be a spot for the upcoming Virgin Hotels brand. Virgin has expressed interest in opening in DTLA.
Of course, all that is ages away. Up first is renovating the building which according to the LA Times in the 1950s, included six floors of guest rooms, six floors of offices, a swimming pool, health club, dining room, three cocktail lounges and a garden roof. Later on, it was converted to YWCA-operated Job Corps Training Center but has been vacant for over a year. We hope they keep the pool, three cocktail lounges and the garden roof when they start thinking about the redesign.
[Photo: Google Street View]
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Ace Hotels / Downtown Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
Ace Hotels had a rough month last month, but they rebounded with the opening of the American Trade Hotel in Panama the other week and now comes news that the long-awaited Ace Hotel Los Angeles will open a tad bit early on January 6, just in time for the Golden Globes. Previously, the hotel was set to open on January 15.
We found a "Small" room open that night for $289 a night. That includes a queen bed, flat screen television, full-stocked minibar, a custom Revo Radio, free internet and Rudy's toiletries. A "Medium" room is going for $299 while a "Medium With Terrace" room is $319. (Room photos are below.)
Those are big increases from the initial opening rate of $129 that we found (and booked) last month for January 15th. We guess the hotel is already cashing in on Awards Season, which kicks off on January 13th with the Golden Globes. But who cares. The Ace is finally opening in Los Angeles!
The 388-room hotel was supposed to open this past summer but instead, it looks like the hotel will open on December 11th with a special opening rate of $195 a night.
Done as a collaboration between the Sydell Group, chef Roy Choi, nightlife brother-duo Mark and Jonnie Houston, and interior designer Sean Knibb, the hotel sports not just a nifty logo and a killer location in K-town but also a rooftop pool deck, a lounge hosted by the Houston Brothers, a POT restaurant and lobby bar from Choi featuring late night street eats, the Commissary greenhouse serving fruits and vegetables in salads and juice formats, as well as delivery service from the hotel with "the ease that mirrors a pizza shop or NYC Chinese take-out."
There are several room categories and clearly the ones to book are the ones with the view of the Hollywood Hills. Amenities include floor to ceiling windows, a large desk and seating area with Negril Chairs by Knibb, Baxter of California toiletries, bathrobes, curated minibar with American & Korean drinks and snacks, original artwork and best of all, free WiFi. Looks like our holiday hotel wish list is coming true a little early this year.
[Photo: The Line]