90010 Travel Guide
Hey LA peeps, new hotel alert: the Sydell Group, who is responsible for two of NYC's big-time, hip and happenin' hotels (Ace New York and The NoMad) is hard at work converting a 388-room hotel at 3515 Wilshire Blvd, in the Koreatown neighborhood of LA.
The hotel will be called The Line, and to better fit in with its surroundings, Sydell is planning to make it "the first lifestyle hotel of its kind in the US to draw upon Korean and Korean-American culture, food and design." Well! We didn't see that coming.
Koreatown has been likened to Bushwick in Brooklyn as LA's newest destination for young, artsy 20-somethings on the hunt for cheap rent. Which fits right in with Sydell's style—do you remember what the neighborhood surrounding the Ace New York was like before the Ace showed up? Yeah, nobody else does either. That's because Sydell managed to turn a formerly-dead midtown block into a trendy hangout spot by making the hotel the destination.
We're guessing they hope to re-create that success in LA with The Line when it opens next summer.
The deal sounds rather amazeballs, if you will. This includes an upgraded room with floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the iconic Hollywood sign, along with two for one breakfast daily, $7 off parking and complimentary WiFi. The only thing is, we've never heard of The Wilshire Hotel before. That's probably because it used to be a Radisson.
Now it looks like the hotel is undergoing some renovations but not all the rooms are done. And according to recent TripAdvisor reviews, the rooms might be the worst part about this hotel. Another bummer for the hotel? It's location in Koreatown which is not quite close to anything--not downtown, not Hollywood and certainly not the beach.
LA's historic Ambassador Hotel is a movie star in its own right. Now owned by Donald Trump, the Ambassador has been closed for over a decade, but is a favorite spot for on-location filming due to its swank ballrooms and old-hotel charm. Back in the hotel's heyday, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby all performed there, and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were frequent guests -- but sadly, it was also the site of Robert Kennedy's assassination in 1968.
In what has been a hotly contested battle, it looks like this Hollywood landmark will soon be torn down. On one side, the local school district would like the site for a new K-12 complex, and the Kennedy family (with city officials behind them) agrees that the Hotel should be bulldozed -- it's only a source of painful memories for them.
On the other, a group of lobbyists including Diane Keaton has been fighting to preserve the Ambassador and all the history that comes with it. Keaton recently pleaded, "We in Los Angeles are so guilty of wiping out our history. The Ambassador Hotel is the history of Los Angeles... We have to fight for this."
However, it may be too late for any more lobbying. This Tuesday, LA's Board of Education voted to raze the building and replace it with schools. Keaton's efforts weren't wasted though: several elements will be preserved, including the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, the Paul Williams-designed coffee shop, and parts of the Embassy Ballroom, where Kennedy gave his last speech.