Los Angeles, CA
Groovy, $ (From $190)
Los Angeles is no stranger to the multi-hyphenate. You're an actor-DJ-surfer-entrepreneur? Sure. Under the sunny skies of Tinseltown, you can be whoever, and whatever, you dream of. This is especially true with Gold-Diggers, a former bikini bar in East Hollywood that was recently transformed into a boutique hotel, bar, music venue, and recording studio. A self-proclaimed "bed and beverage," the hotel moonlights as a music studio where one can drink, sleep, and record in one place.
The building, a discreet black brick, two-story facade with a neon yellow sign on Santa Monica Boulevard, was originally built in 1924 to house an inn above a tavern. In the 1950s, it was the soundstage for American filmmaker Ed Wood's movies, including Plan 9 From Outer Space. Guns N' Roses and Jimi Hendrix are rumored to have used the space as an underground rehearsal studio, as well as the '80s thrash metal band Slayer, who left their graffiti on the walls.
When real estate mogul Dave Neupert purchased the club in 2015, he wanted to keep the volume up on the grunge and rock 'n' roll vibes while appealing to today's creative nomads. To enter the hotel, guests are given their own key code for a discrete entrance. Each of the ten apartment-style guest rooms have unique configurations, several with separate seating areas and large windows overlooking downtown Hollywood and its famous marquee. The downstairs recording studio, Gold-Diggers Sound, includes nine soundproof studios equipped for everything: rock, hip-hop, electric house. They're open 24 hours for jam sessions. To get the creative juices flowing, the recording studio seamlessly melds into the bar – which hosts nightly concerts and dance parties under the former bar's original disco-ball chandeliers.
While music seems to fill the halls at all hours of the day, guest rooms are surprisingly soundproof and cozy (ear plugs might still be a good idea for light sleepers). You won't find round-the-clock concierge service here or poolside cocktails, but if art, music, and late-night rebellion is more your thing, you're part of the Gold-Diggers band — or at least a cool groupie.
At a Glance
The Vibe: Rockin' hideaway.
Standout Detail: If you want to cut an album, debut your guitar solo to a live audience, throw an afterparty, and then crash — you can do so under one roof.
This Place Is Perfect For: Musicians, creatives, and art lovers drawn to LA's grungy side.
Rooms: Ten design-driven guest rooms, including five suites and a private guest lounge, are an easy sell for a full buyout with friends who want a unique, off-beat stay in Hollywood. The apartment-like rooms have their own style, several overlooking the Hollywood sign with separate entertaining areas and writing desks. After a long day in the studio or a night out on the Strip, sink deep into the plush beds with LA's favorite eco-friendly Parachute bedding and clean up with Malin + Goetz products. In the mini bars, hangover patches are at the ready, along with curated snacks, cold brew, and craft beers.The hotel takes the in-room sound system as seriously as the recording studio, with turntables, vintage vinyl, Sonos sound bars, and cassette players.
On Site: Gold-Diggers lovingly restored Ed Wood's legendary soundstage to become Gold-Diggers Sound, designed by Kingsize Soundlabs with nine acoustically sound rooms that are equipped for audio and visual projects with keyboards, guitars, and full mixing boards. The '60s-inspired velvet sofas, Moroccan vintage rugs, lava lamps, and bean bags in each studio add to the cool factor. Once a track is ready to be debuted, a soundstage with casual seating can also be used for screenings, events, or private parties.
Food + Drink: The hotel doesn't have a restaurant, but the front desk hands out drink tokens for the dimly-lit Gold-Diggers Bar downstairs. It's the type of place you go for "just one drink" and end up dancing with strangers all night during the all-vinyl dance parties and rotating DJ sets. The disco-ball chandeliers, '70s light fixtures, and worn-in bar stools add just the right amount of seedy, old-school glamour.
What to Do Nearby
East Hollywood has a nostalgic feeling — it's old Los Angeles. Those in need of a hangover cure should head to Sqirl, which serves breakfast until 4 p.m. with a menu that pleases the spectrum from bacon lovers to vegan delights. Or if sessions in the recording studio go late, Leo's Taco Truck is known to make the rounds down Santa Monica Boulevard, serving spit-roasted al pastor tacos and carne asada burritos loaded with beans and melted cheese. For more live music, The Echo in Echo Park always has an impressive lineup of live shows, especially punk rock concerts. The hotel is only a ten-minute drive from The Greek Theater, one of LA's most beloved outdoor music venues.