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We're loving Downtown LA these days and so are hotels. On the heels of an Ace Hotel opening with its excellent historic theater and a new hybrid Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Hotel comes news that Freehand Hotels/Hostels will open in DTLA in 2016.
The LA Times reports that the site of the Freehand Hotel will be the 13-story Commercial Exchange Building at 8th and Olive streets. The former office building, built in 1924 and once home to Edgar Rice Burrough's publishing company, was recently purchasedby the Sydell Group Ltd, the same company who did
the awesome Ace Hotel in New York and (see clarification below) the excellent Line Hotel in LA's Koreatown. The LA Freehand, like the original in Miami and the upcoming one in Chicago, will be developed in partnership with Yucaipa Cos., Ron Burkle's investment company.
Hotel Openings / Courtyard by Marriott Hotels / Residence Inn Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / LA Live / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Yesterday we gave you a little sneak peek inside the dual-brand Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, across from the LA Live sporting and entertainment complex. The two select service brands are not just sharing a building but also a check-in desk, a lobby, a fitness center, a pool and even the guest room floors. (Here's how to tell which side of the hallway is yours.)
Now, here's the full reveal of the property. Peruse the photos below to see the shared spaces at the hotels, as well as the individual rooms of the Courtyard and Residence Inn brands. Then keep reading to see what we liked and what we didn't like.
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Marriott International has more than a crush on Downtown LA. Not content with having a Ritz-Carlton and a JW Marriott Hotel at LA Live, Marriott has now opened their first dual-brand hotel on the West Coast right across the street from the Staples Center--The Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn at LA Live.
Not only is this the first dual-brand on the West Coast for Marriott but it's also the first dual-brand hotel to share a floor. (Typically, the different brands split the floors.)
So how do you know which side of the hallway is yours? Follow the carpeting.
When you step off the elevator, you'll see a lotus type of design on the floor. The purple side of the lotus will lead you to the Residence Inn side, while the orange side will lead you to the Courtyard rooms.
But the two brands share more than just the guest room floors. They also share the check-in desk, the lobby, the pool, the 901 bistro and the fitness center. However, only Residence Inn guests can access the spacious RI Lounge and its free, hot breakfast buffet. We'll tell you now, this lounge is worth the extra $20 a night that Residence Inn charges.
Room rates for the Courtyard side of the hotel, which has 174 rooms, are around $289 a night while Residence Inn has rates for its 219 suites starting at $309 a night.
Stay tuned tomorrow for photos galore!
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Last summer we saw the hybrid Marriott hotel rising in downtown Los Angeles from the 10 Freeway. This month, we've got a closer look at the hotel which sits across from The Staples Center and the LA Live entertainment district and which will host 174 Courtyard by Marriott rooms and 218 Residence Inn suites.
As you can see, the wacky wavy-looking exterior is completely done and the signage is up while the websites are live with photos of the rooms. Of note, both hotels are sporting the newest room designs for the brands, which not only look pretty but are supposed to be super functional, i.e. the ottoman with a table top over it and the modular desk furniture.
The hotels are supposedly opening this month but we weren't able to make reservations on the website just yet. We'll let you know when those open up for real and how much they're going for.
Residence Inn by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott
[Top photo: HotelChatter; Renderings: Marriott International]
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!
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.
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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.
Downtown LA is hot for boutique hotels. Or maybe boutique hotels are hot for Downtown LA. Either way, the once-forgotten district of the City of Angels is definitely having a comeback moment--as far as hip, design-forward, nightlife-oriented hotels are concerned.
Aside from the big brand hotels near the Staples Center, we've got an Ace Hotel coming in January, a Virgin Hotel coming sometime soon and whenever the owners get their act together, the Hotel Clark with its rooftop pool. Now hotelier Sam Nazarian is sniffing around the area for a possible site for an SLS Hotel.
GlobeSt.com reports that SBE Entertainment is looking at a development site near the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the Bunker Hill neighborhood. While this could definitely be for a new SLS Hotel, remember SBE is spinning off its Redbury Hotel (the one in Miami is currently in a soft opening for family and friends but should be ready to go before Art Basel) and we also uncovered a trademark for Hyde Hotels.
So there's a few ways this hotel could swing. Either way, Someone Likes Surprises and it's us so we'll take either an SLS, a Redbury or a Hyde.
Most of the hotel ghosts that we hear about here are pretty harmless. They are more poltergeisty rather than in-your-face frightening. But at the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, there's clearly something that is at best, haunting and at worst, downright evil at play.
You may remember this hotel from earlier in the year when a young woman was found dead in the hotel's water tank. As if that wasn't tragic enough, her body had been in there for two weeks. It was only until guests and residents at the Skid Row hotel noticed the water had a black color and a foul odor. You're already creeped out. But now VigilantCitizen.com has found something even more disturbing--a video surveilance tape that shows the young woman, Elisa Lam, in the elevator shortly before she lost her life.
If you watch the video, you will see that Lam was not in her right mind. She entered the elevator and pushed all the buttons. Then when the doors wouldn't close, she peeked around the corner to see if someone was coming but yet she also hid herself and acted afraid that someone might see her.
Things get weirder still. She steps out of the elevator and begins waving her hands in a strange fashion and they appear to be a little warped. Finally, she walks away from the elevator and out of the camera's sight. The elevator then closes its doors and takes off.
Later, she somehow found a way into the gated water tank area, that's also protected by an alarm system and into the water tank where she drowned. Her death was ruled by the coroner's office as an accidental drowning but no drugs or alcohol were found in her system.
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The Ace in DTLA in early August
Good news has come for hipsters who wait--The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles is now taking reservations for JANUARY 15, 2014 and beyond. But there's a catch.
You can't make these reservations just by going to the hotel website. Instead, you can only make a reservation through a link that was sent out to Ace's e-mailing list, called The A-List. Oh don't worry, we've got the link for you right HERE. Even better, the Ace DTLA is offering a special rate for opening night--just $129 for a small or medium room. A medium room with a terrace is just $149.
Some other good things to know about the Ace--WiFi is free (woot!), pets under 25 pounds are accepted for $25 (woof!), valet parking is available (not sure for how much yet) and all rooms are non-smoking rooms (whew!). The amenities will also include Rudy's Toiletries, Pearl+ soaps and a Revo Radio as well as a flat-screen and a fully-stocked minibar. We're so there, will you be?
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Construction began on the hybrid Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Hotel across from the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott at LA Live just last March but the hotel looks nearly finished, at least on the outside.
We snapped this pic from the 10 Freeway the other day (Shh! Don't tell the CHP) and the hotel looks nearly identical to the rendering put out last year. And no, it's not your eyes or your computer screen, we think those rooms windows are supposed to have that haphazard look. (Or maybe that was just because we were in motion when we took this pic. Oops.)
When it's completely finished, the 24-story building will house a 174-room Courtyard by Marriott (hopefully with these new "Gen Next" rooms) and a 218-room Residence Inn. Word is the hotel should be done by Summer 2014.
Meanwhile Marriott isn't done with Downtown LA. They are still building a Renaissance Hotel across from the JW Marriott on the northeast corner of Olympic Boulevard and Georgia Street. The hotel will have 450 rooms when it opens in 2016. Construction is expected to start next year. Perhaps Downtown LA should automatically sign you up for Marriott Rewards when you visit.
[Photo: HotelChatter, while driving. Don't do this at home, kids.]
The Hotel Clark doesn't quite have the green light.
UPDATE: The hotel might not be a King & Grove after all. Read the latest here.
From what we could tell, things look practically ready to go. The signage is up and looking good and we even spied some fancy spherical lighting fixtures at what looks like the entrance. Except it was all gated off.