January 8, 2020
We've curated a selection of extraordinary boutique hotels in Downtown Los Angeles — chosen by our experts and rated by our guests after verified stays — and included the latest MICHELIN Guide rated restaurants nearby. Tablet Hotels is your source for discovering the world's most interesting boutique hotels (we've been doing this for 20 years and now we're part of the Michelin family) — places where you'll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. Here's our top 5 Downtown Los Angeles boutique hotels:
It wasn't so many years ago that downtown Los Angeles after six P.M. was a ghost town. This is the case no longer, and it's thanks in no small part to the Downtown Standard — in particular, the rooftop bar, with its astroturf, topiary gardens and waterbed loungers, a fixture on the downtown nightlife scene, and a place so exclusive that guests are issued bracelets to guarantee entry.
The former headquarters of the Superior Oil company; the interiors today are bright and funky, and the clientele tends to the youthful and eclectic end of the spectrum. Guest rooms include everything a business traveler could want, including sprawling work desks, T1 lines and cordless phones, but the environment is decidedly slanted toward leisure and entertaining; stereo systems and DVD players are standard, and the minibar contains not just snacks and drinks but also such goodies as disposable cameras and Mr. Bubble for the oversized tubs.
Downtown Los Angeles is, slowly but surely, reclaiming its status as the center of this expansive city. Its location, significantly to the east of Hollywood, places the Hotel Figueroa practically a world away from the beaches of Santa Monica and the west side. Downtown is all about city culture — this is a walkable world, close to The Broad, MOCA, Hauser & Wirth, and many independent art galleries, as well as Staples Center, Microsoft Theater, L.A. Live and the Convention Center.
The hotel originally opened in 1926 as the first hotel funded and founded by women, and was later in life a Moroccan-themed events space. After a massive renovation, it's back to its original Twenties Spanish Colonial glory. The rooms are equal parts Twenties throwback and contemporary luxury boutique style, all of them decorated with original works by local artists, most of them women, in keeping with the hotel's female-dominated art collection, which includes a mural by Bella Gomez.
The original NoMad in New York made much of the faded prewar glamour of its Broadway setting, bringing it to life with some inspired design by the always romantic Jacques Garcia as well as the major culinary attraction of Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. And if you doubt that this recipe can feel every bit as relevant in Downtown L.A. as it does in Manhattan, then the NoMad Los Angeles is bound to come as something of a surprise.
If anything, it's even more grand and even more opulent than its East Coast cousin. The Giannini Building is a neoclassical landmark that once contained the Bank of Italy, and the Art Deco lobby is unapologetically grand, a soaring two-story space under an ornate gold-and-blue ceiling. It's a continuation of the NoMad's "food everywhere" philosophy — the restaurant and bar span the ground floor while the mezzanine level doubles as a formal dining room. Meanwhile the rooftop features a café, a cocktail bar, and a pool deck, all with views of the Downtown skyline.
Follow the enormous neon "Commercial Exchange" sign — at 12 stories, the largest in the city — to a historic, renovated office building, once the home of Edgar Rice Burroughs's publishing company. There's a suite named after him on the top floor of the building with unbeatable panoramic views of DTLA. (If you're looking for something smaller and cozier, stay in a king room, studio, or suite. You'll still have great views, and you can take in the full panorama from the rooftop pool.)
Bringing a group of friends or a big family? Try the shared rooms with bunk beds — trust us, they offer a lot more privacy than your college dorm room ever did. But no matter the room you choose, the decor here is homey and very L.A.: Roman & Williams outfitted these generous guestrooms with dark woods and cream walls, big windows with plenty of light, and Angeleno artwork hanging on the walls.
Within living memory the United Artists film studio was practically synonymous with Hollywood big business, but just under a century ago it was born as the indie-est of ventures, as Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith joined forces to take on the established studios. Which is an odd way to introduce a hotel, we'll grant — but it means there's a nice symmetry in the fact that the old United Artists Tower is now home to the Downtown Los Angeles installment of the Ace Hotel, a concern that's traveled quite some distance down the road from indie beginnings toward massive mainstream success.
To be perfectly honest, it takes a bit of an effort to view the UA Tower, at least from the outside, as a truly beautiful building — distinctive, yes, but…. All the better, however, to appreciate the fact that what GREC Architects and Commune Design have done with the interiors is nothing short of extraordinary, managing to combine a rough-edged salvage vibe with touches of pure high modernism as well as nods to basically every significant period in Hollywood's history, from the Twenties on up to the golden age of the Seventies and beyond. The result, though, is less a period piece than a boutique hotel that's entirely up to date in its proudly eclectic postmodernism.
More boutique hotel lists in the Los Angeles Area:
Top 5 Los Angeles Boutique Hotels
Luxury Hotels in Los Angeles
Hollywood Boutique Hotels
West Hollywood Boutique Hotels
Santa Monica Boutique Hotels
Beverly Hills Boutique Hotels
West LA Boutique Hotels
Palm Springs Boutique Hotels
View our entire selection of Boutique Hotels in Los Angeles
The MICHELIN Guide's restaurant selections for Downtown Los Angeles: