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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Standard Downtown LA

The Downtown Standard in LA marks the beginning of neo-modern cool revival in the boutique hotel scene. Andre Balaz has a knack for bringing out the cool in everything he does. When making this hotel he did what it takes to create a hyper mod spartan-luxe environ that would talk to the young celeb and business set tired of all the pomp and circumstance at most upper end hotels that border on tacky or over the top traditional fussiness that doesn't speak to the younger ( or wanting to be younger ) crowd. Materials used both in the lobby and the rooms have a clean modern forms with sleek lines and minimalist attributes. Architectural furniture and stone slabs greet you at the lobby softened by warmer earth tones and wood grain. The roof top pool features an amazing view and the chance to meet celebs in an uber chic setting. Th color palette is not for everyone - but this hotel is hardly for everyone - it is a hotel that is for those who have it all and want something different. - Ecomanta

The Standard Hotels have been called a lot of things, but never once boring. With his property in Downtown Los Angeles, hotel provocateur André Balazs has brought the funk to a place that was already brimming with cool. If you didn’t think it was possible to raise the wow factor, think again. Styles blend all over the property, from the rooftop pool to the ’70s-style gym. We’d expect nothing less from the hotel baron Vanity Fair once called “a captain of industry with a kinky streak.” Sail on.

What we love

  • Featured in the new book Condé Nast Traveler Room With a View, published by Assouline, available here
  • Wild design in a former downtown office space
  • Rooftop pool with awesome city views and waterbed cabanas
  • Glass-encased walk-in showers
  • ’70s-style wood-paneled gym
  • Windows that actually — gasp! — open

What to know

  • Downtown L.A. is mostly a business district — this isn’t West Hollywood
  • Rooftop pool area can be a packed scene
  • The hotel’s style is unique and modern; not for everyone

Jetsetter review

Imagine for a moment what would happen if Pop Art exploded all over an oil company’s California headquarters. Well, it did. The Standard reinvented a dusty old corporate space as if it were Madonna in a business suit — all fun, all brass, tongue firmly in cheek.

Personally, I’m a fan of the Downtown property’s funky rooftop pool scene; the always-filled waterbed cabanas look like massive red rubber thimbles. The Standard Downtown L.A. has brought more over-the-top fun to the financial district than anything since deregulation. And the neighborhood is more happening than ever these days, with new restaurants, bars and galleries opening all the time.

Whether it’s the Brady-Bunchy electric yellow breakfast room or the ’70s-style wood-paneled gym (complete with Lou Ferrigno and Bruce Lee posters), The Standard brings as much visual style as the eyes are willing to take. And be honest: Who wouldn’t want to work out with the Incredible Hulk?

Be prepared for the cool to make its way into the guestrooms as well. All rooms feature electric orange couches and one of my absolute favorite hotel features of all time: windows that actually open. Thanks, office building designers of the past.

Rooms are named for their size — “Wow,” “Huge,” etc — and they’re not playing. Check out the sprawling 14-foot desk, king-size platform bed and glass encased walk-in shower, and tell me you’re not ready to get to work.

Guests can choose how involved they want to get in the social scene. Take advantage of line-cutting privileges at the rooftop pool, perhaps the most useful amenity since the advent of the alarm clock. And, if necessary, 4 a.m. cravings can be accommodated by the 24/7 Restaurant, which is open…well, you can infer when it’s open. Like the rest of The Standard, it’s a never-ending scene.

What to do

  • Speakeasy Chic. Opened last year by the team that created Milk & Honey in New York, The Varnish is a specialty cocktail bar at the back of Cole’s where they make their own mixers and chip their own ice.
  • Bring the Heat. Housed in a restored 1912 firehouse, Engine Co. No. 28 offers traditional firehouse cooking in Downtown L.A. Comfort food and fireman-size portions leave you warm and toasty.
  • Tiny & Mighty. It may be just 300 square feet, but Spring for Coffee brings L.A. residents to Spring Street in droves. Potent potions keep the locals coming (and fighting over the two tables). (213) 228-0041. Prices vary.
  • Buzzworthy. The Hive Gallery features up-and-coming Downtown artists in a relaxed, open environment. If possible, hit it on the second Thursday of the month, when it’s part of Art Walk L.A.
  • Bodyslams and Burlesque. Lucha VaVOOM has become a Downtown institution at the Mayan Theater, combining two of everyone’s favorite ridiculous things: Mexican pro wrestling and striptease.

Room Details

  • Wow Rooms are 710 sq ft
  • Maximum Occupancy: 4
  • Bed Type: King
  • Children Policy: 1 child is permitted per room at no additional cost
  • Handicapped Accessible: No

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