Los Angeles Travel Guide
DTLA Hotels / Andrew Zorbler / Sydell Group / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
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
DTLA Hotels / Level Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / New Hotels / Extended Stay Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Bars / Hotel Renovations / DTLA Hotels / Koreatown Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Renovations / DTLA Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Affordable Hotels / → All Tags
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!
Hotel Bicycles / Hotel Bikes / Ace Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / Hotel Amenities / → All Tags
Not just any bikes, either (obviously – this is the Ace); they’re bikes from tokyobike.
This isn’t the first collaboration with tokyobike for Ace; the London hotel has them for guests to use. But unlike London, which is all cold and full of British reserve and lets guests get on with it by themselves, the Ace DTLA is all fuzzy and friendly and American – so they are giving free guided bike tours of Downtown LA.
Hotel Christmas Trees / Hotel Holiday Decorations / Hotel Holidays / Ace Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in hotel-land. Trees. Baubles. Gingerbread houses. Scented candles – they have it all. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be picking out some of our favorite decorations. Got some OTT trees of your own? Send ‘em in to firstname.lastname@example.org!
What does a hipster hotel do for Christmas? Well, if it’s the Ace DTLA, the answer is that it eschews the traditional tree (so bourgeois!) in favor of a stylish, understated nod to the holiday season.
Enter the Christmas gifts on top of the photo booth, above, which went up a couple of days ago.
But the Ace isn’t really too cool for school, and it can’t resist a good old gingerbread house anymore than the posh hotel across the pond. So down at the Coffee Counter (at the entrance to LA Chapter, the restaurant), you’ll find this glorious representation of the hotel itself:
Evacuated hipsters milling around
You never know how you’ll react in an emergency until it happens. Will you freeze? Will you morph into an action hero? Or will you be a little scared and a little excited and start obsessing over the fact that your teeth aren’t clean #notushonest #okmaybeus?
Yesterday morning we were working in our room on floor 12 of the Ace DTLA when the fire alarm went off. Try as we might to ignore it, we joined the bleary-eyed hipsters stumbling out of their rooms. It turned out to be a smoke alarm on the 13th floor, but we were all evacuated anyway. It was our first hotel evacuation! The excitement! And it was pretty spectacular. After some reflection on why it was so good, we present:
The Official HotelChatter Guide to Evacuating Hotels
Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Renovations / Pacifica Hotels / San Diego Hotels / Marina Del Rey Hotel / → All Tags
The $20 million renovation has turned the hotel into a four-star property, now with a full-service restaurant, 24-hour room service, concierge assistance, an outdoor, marina-facing pool, sundeck, marina-front wedding venue, and over 6,000 square feet of meeting space.
The guest rooms, shown in the cover photo, have been fully revamped, many now with private balconies. The details of the rooms have also been upgraded to include, among other amenities, Egyptian cotton linens. The new restaurant, SALT, is an indoor-outdoor eatery that will serve contemporary California cuisine and fresh seasonal seafood fare.
We’re looking forward to taking a closer look at the renovations sometime in 2015, and will certainly pass on an inside look when we do. Its location makes it one of the closest hotels in Santa Monica to Venice and LAX, so it should draw plenty of interest. Rates start at $239 a night.
[Photo: Pacifica Hotels]