January 11, 2023
Tablet is your source for discovering the world’s most exciting boutique hotels — places where you’ll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. For over twenty years we’ve scoured the earth, evaluating hotels for every taste and budget, creating a hand-picked selection that’s proven and unforgettable. Now, we’re the official hotel selection of the legendary MICHELIN Guide.
Here are the top Downtown Los Angeles boutique hotels:
From its beginnings in East London more than a decade ago to Downtown Los Angeles today, the Hoxton hotels are well on their way to becoming a global phenomenon. Some hotels might lose sight of their essential identity along the way, but Shoreditch and DTLA have plenty in common, from industrial beginnings to newfound hipness and revitalization — and the Hoxton, Downtown LA is a perfect fit for this new chapter in the city’s evolution.
The Hoxton hotels are also known for faithfully tailoring the concept to the setting, and here that means something a little softer than the usual warehouse-chic. The building is a 1922 Beaux-Arts beauty, and its interiors are appropriately ornamented with delicate molding, chevron floors, and printed wallpapers — produced, in East London style, by House of Hackney. Sizes range from Snug to Biggy, and they’re all accurately named. But even the snuggest don’t feel cramped, thanks to thoughtful layouts and luxe touches like Roberts bedside radios and hand-selected books.
We’re not saying Miami and Chicago were warm-up acts, necessarily. They’re big cities, and major destinations in their own right. But Los Angeles is the big stage — and when a mini-chain like Freehand chooses downtown L.A. as a location for its third hotel, the anticipation tends to run high.
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.)
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.
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.
In recent years L.A.’s once-overlooked downtown district has come roaring back, and its renaissance continues with the advent of the Proper Hotel Downtown L.A., a 148-room luxury boutique hotel by the team that includes star designer Kelly Wearstler among its creative minds. Like the original Proper Hotel in San Francisco, it begins with the rehabilitation of a classic building, in this case a 1926-vintage Renaissance Revival building at the corner of 11th and Broadway.
As with all of the Proper hotels — and all of Ms. Wearstler’s previous interior work — the design is singular and unmistakable, a riot of patterns and colors that nevertheless feels cool and composed, never busy. The combination of Southern California sunshine and near-full-length windows makes for light-filled spaces, and the comforts are luxurious, especially the spa-like tiled showers.
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
For anyone with a pet by their side, you have plenty of choices among the top Downtown Los Angeles boutique hotels. Here’s a sample of those that welcome pets (charges may apply):
The Hoxton Downtown LA
While all the boutique hotels on Tablet in downtown Los Angeles are cool, the following are among the hippest. Please get in touch with our Travel Specialists for the full rundown.
The Hoxton Downtown LA
The Ace Hotel Downtown LA
When it comes to a romantic spot for a special occasion in Downtown Los Angeles, we would urge you to consider the following boutique hotel.
Tablet Hotels merged with MICHELIN in 2018 and is the hotels component of the MICHELIN Guide. For more information visit our About Tablet section.