Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles,
Trendy, $$ (From $259)
If you're coming to Los Angeles, you may as well be the star of the show.
And what better way to do it than by checking into a hotel with a legendary past as an illustrious theater?
Let's roll the opening credits: The United Artists Theater and movie palace makes its debut in 1927 in what will develop into LA's Broadway Theater District. The producers are United Artists studio founders D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford. Peak premieres draw some 1,600 moviegoers. The Spanish Gothic design is based on the Segovia Cathedral in Spain (Mary Pickford loved that Euro palace aesthetic), which may have helped it gain a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Second act: In 1989, it becomes a church, Los Angeles University Cathedral. Pastor Gene Scott places a large neon sign that reads "Jesus Saves" on the roof, which remains to this day. Preach!
Part Three (Hollywood, friends, has always loved a franchise): The glorious structure makes an impressive comeback in 2014 as Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. With careful attention to dramatic and thoughtful detail, the Ace team (including chief brand officer Kelly Sawdon) converts it into a hotel with 182 rooms, a rooftop pool, cool public spaces, and an award-winning restaurant. Of course they restore the United Artists Theater, which immediately becomes a draw for musicians and performers — and the visitors and locals who want to inhabit the same surroundings: original murals, shimmering mirrors, vaulted ceilings, and opulent grandeur. The rooms and public spaces are decidedly modern, with an industrial but warm twist.
At a Glance
The Vibe: A restored gem from the golden age of cinema converted into an industrial-cool modern temple of work-play-creative-gig economies.
Standout Detail: The theater, in all its three-storied, carefully renovated, grand lobbied, original muraled, high-ceiling'd, I-wanna-be-in-the-pictures glory. It's available for concerts, performances, screenings, seminars, and private events, should you want to stage a talent show.
This Place Is Perfect For: Creative spirits who love the Ace way of life and travel.
Rooms: The hotel has 182 rooms in several categories . In descending order of size, Ace Suites have a king-sized bed, a large private terrace, an Ace x Rega RP1 turntable, and acoustic Martin Guitar. Lofts have king-sized beds, clawfoot tubs or stand up showers, and private wet bar. Large Double Queens have two beds. Large and Medium with Terrace both have king-sized beds; Mediums have terraces (obviously). Medium and Small are more compact, with king or queen beds. Some of the rooms outside the Suite category have the turntable, guitar, and a selection of vinyl, so request one if that matters to you.
All rooms are decorated with locally made and vintage furniture that has an industrial feel, as well as original artwork. The mattresses are hypoallergenic mattresses; the refrigerators are chic Smegs. Amenities include free WiFi, Rudy's toiletries, and Pearl+ soaps. Go ahead and bring your best friend: The hotel is pet-friendly.
On Site: The hotel has an intimate gym with two bikes, two treadmills, weights, and a boxing bag, and is open 24/7. The rooftop pool might be more of a social workout than a physical one, but it should not be missed. The hotel hosts an extensive array of cultural events, as you'd expect from an Ace Hotel. The Ace Hotel Shop stocks all kind of cool-kid gear and goods.
Food + Drink: Best Girl restaurant, named for the first film shown at theater, is helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Cimarusti (Best Chef in the West), who serves a menu inspired by LA's history and cuisine and his favorites home cooking: gnocchi pomodoro, Baja shrimp fricasee, steak frites. The rooftop bar by the pool with killer views, Upstairs, serves cocktails, frozen drinks, and snacks. Coffee Counter off the lobby pours Stumptown brews from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
What to Do Nearby
Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the most exciting neighborhood in the city, with enough food, art, and entertainment to make you forget you're in a beach town. Head to Grand Central Market when you want to sample a few bites of everything. Don't miss The Broad if you like modern art, especially Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms, where advance reservations are essential. The nearby hotels are also attractions and social scenes in their own right, most notably the restaurant in the lobby at The NoMad Hotel and the lively bars at Freehand Los Angeles.