90015 Travel Guide
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!
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!
We drove by the hotel at 933 S. Broadway yesterday and saw most of the old United Artists building under construction, leading us to wonder if a fall opening will really happen. The Ace is currently working to transform the historic 1927 theater and office building into a 180-room hotel with a pool, restaurant and bar onsite. They also plan to restore the original United Artists theater to its former glory. And this being Ace, we suspect a coffee shop will open inside as well.
Check out some more snapshots of the construction below.
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The 88-year-old, vintage building is now part of a central marketing ploy for the re-launch of Hostess' iconic Twinkies, CupCakes and Ding Dongs. After closing down due to a labor strike last November, today is the day America can sink their teeth again into the bakery's sinful (and processed) treats. In an interesting historical twist, the golden sponge cake of Twinkies was first introduced during the 1930s which is around the same time the building went from a YWCA to a tourist's hotel, so the advertisement seems fitting.
In case you haven't been keeping up, there's lots of hotel action afoot in Los Angeles these days. Along with the announcement of an Ace Downtown LA, plus the recent total and utter Marriott-ization of the LA Live complex, plus rumors of Hyatt taking over the former Downtown LA Marriott....well, like we said, there's a lot afoot.
Now, the LA Times reports that a group of developers are ready to move on the $31 million conversion of an old three-story apartment building near the Staples Center into a 44-room, "park-like" hotel. And as the renderings show, it will be "park-like" indeed: an abundance of trees, plants and ivy will sprout from the hotel's courtyard and landscaped rooftop, giving it a Secret Garden-type look.
Though, aside from all the shrubbery, another detail that caught our eye was the "separate glassed-in structure for an artist-in-residence" that will hang over Hope St. And writers-in-residence? Where will their structure go?
Killer View / Sweet Suite / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
Occupy Wall Street might be against executives but when it comes to killer views, we have nothing against them. Executive suites, that is.
Today's killer view can be found from the sweet suite at the Ritz-Carlton at LA Live. Up on the 23rd floor is this Executive Suite which, aside from killer views of the Staples Center and downtown Los Angeles below, features a dining area for six, a wet bar, a powder room, two 42" HDTVs (one in the living room, one in the bedroom), a large master bedroom with a separate dressing area complete with a wall of closets and vanity table and one ginormous master bathroom with a walk in shower and separate tub, dual sinks with marble vanities, built-in mirror TVs and Bulgari toiletries.
It's been years since we've gotten excited about MTV's Video Music Awards but for the first time in a long time, we're a little psyched for this year's show on Sunday--namely because MTV is taking over the lobby area at The JW Marriott at LA Live in order to roll out the black carpet for celebs and singers. (The show is happening across the way at the Nokia Theater.)
The black carpet is actually part of some crazy space-time continuum theme the show's planners have created and will travel through the hotel leading up to the theater. Despite its color, the black carpet will essentially function as a red carpet with all of today's popsters, hipsters, rappers, and reality stars expected to strut down it.
As for the hotel, a rep tells us that all of the food and beverage outlets are closed as the preparations are underway but that swank Wolfgang Puck restaurant, WP24, at the adjacent Ritz-Carlton is now serving breakfast and lunch.
While staycationing at the Ritz-Carlton at LA Live the other month, we were flipping through the in-room compendium looking for some room service grub when we stumbled upon this--a pet room service menu!
We knew that hotels have been rolling out the red carpet for cats and dogs for a long time but we were still taken aback reading items like Spot's Chicken Meal and Lassy's Salmon Meal on the menu. Then we noticed how affordable these "entrees" were. Nine dollars for the chicken and six for dessert? Man, some dogs have all the luck. Now excuse us as we pick at our $15 fruit plate.
Even just six years ago, there wasn't much going on in Downtown Los Angeles. Sure, there was the Staples Center, home to The Lakers, The Clippers and the must-stop for any big concert touring act along with several big chain hotels like Westin as well as the downtown outpost of The Standard.
But with the arrival of LA Live in late 2007, an entertainment complex that includes restaurants, bars, a bowling alley, the intimate Club Nokia venue, a movie theater, the awesome Grammy Museum and the adjacent JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, downtown LA is pretty awesome these days. In fact, we prefer it to the tourist trap that is Hollywood Boulevard.
While the JW Marriott and the Ritz are located on LA Live, meaning you exit the hotel and a plethora of restaurants and bars are just steps away, there is another affordable yet still "luxe" option across the street from Staples Center--The Luxe City Center.
If you were looking to go to the X Games 17, the JW Marriott at LA Live can hook you up. The hotel is partnering with ESPN to offer a special weekend pass for July 28 to 31 that will give you exclusive access to special events an put you right in front of the skateboarding, BMX biking and other action that will go down at the Staples Center.
The pass will get you three nights at the hotel and events like an intimate breakfast with an X Games superstar at JW Marriott's LA Market restaurant and VIP status in the Staples Center Lexus Club.
Tipping the housekeeper. We all want to do it regularly, we really do. Each hotel stay we glance guiltily at the nightstand before we head out for the day, telling ourselves, "Do not forget to put a tip down for the housekeeper when you get back," but sometimes, you know, we just forget.
However, this nifty turndown card seen at Ritz-Carlton at LA Live in Los Angeles helped us to remember. Place on the nightstand, the card also came with two chocolates, a cute quotation and a helpful weather outlook. And we especially liked how it listed our housekeeper's name, Tracy.
Of course, Tracy may have been the one who did the turndown service for that night and there probably was a different housekeeper who cleans the room during the day but it's still a good reminder to pay respect to the people who lift the heavy mattresses, replace the towels, organize our belongings and place those seven giant pillows on the bed.