The upcycling trend is ubiquitous, carbon footprints are lessening, and we, as eco conscious Samaritans are grateful. As travellers who revel in every ingenious advent turning old into new, we become giddy when such innovations inspire our industry.
Like when a former Firehouse becomes a boutique hotel.
What conceptionally had me curious was immediately validated in architecture and archetype. Here was this historic 1927 firehouse, situated in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. Bricks aged, massive red panel doors, exteriors are real, and weather worn. Flash forward to 2019, the firehouse authenticity has been preserved in its entirety, only now it identifies as a boutique hotel, housing nine unique suites, with a welcome to stay a few nights or many more. And as any discerning traveller would expect in a boutique board worthy of its address, it houses an appropriately hip restaurant. We didn’t get the chance to dine there this go around, but the aesthetics alone are a feast full, and their burger has already made a name for itself. Sliders looked outrageous.
The bar however, we made our way their twice. The cocktail list is outstanding (Grapefruit Spritz for me, Old Fashioned Zombie for he). Shalin tends bar with flair and fun and I really hope he’s working when you visit. Ask for him.
Summer nights around the outdoor firepit, next time I’m going with the Smoke & Strawberries. Can’t wait.
But the suites…
Each with their own color theme, amenities to the nines and designs so chic they’ll strike awe and Instagram, not necessarily in that order. SMEG refrigerators. Le Labo bath luxuries. Claire V. robes and Parachute Luxury bedding and bath towels. A birthplace and breeding ground for trend and taste, each their own colourful opportunity sleep beneath soaring ceilings of wood beams and weathered bricks. No firepoles. Everybody asks.
The in-house café is legit awesome. Exhibited by those sea salt chocolate chunk cookies and that blueberry olive oil cake.
Some suites are larger than others, so do your research before booking. Some are cavernous (white room), some cocoons (red). Some are a little whimsical (orange), some sunshiny (guess). The green room features an adjacent living room and the blue room lets you sleep beneath a cascade of azure. The Indigo room is Japanese inspired, and the violet room, with its wrap around banquette and rain shower is a rose-tinted version of the design chic felt in every sun swathed suite. Most feature massive windows and marble bars. If you’re partial to color, know that going in, too. It is a sensory experience, being here. And you want to make sure it suits you.
The experience at large inarguably will. Open only six weeks at the time of this visit, this creative construct is inspiring to its core, the ingenuity, undeniable. An easy escape for staycating Angeleans, a haute destination for those less local. Downtown Los Angeles has been on a redefining roll in cutting edge cuisine and haunts too hip to hold back. Here’s one more destination they’ll turn up for in droves. The Firehouse has been reborn. Expect alarms to sound.
Arts District Firehouse Hotel, 710 South Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90021, USA.
Tel: +1(213) 947-3010
The hotel is located on Santa Fe Avenue in the arts district of downtown Los Angeles. Overnight parking is $30 and recommend you pack luggage you can carry upstairs.
Type of Hotel: Independent Boutique Hotel
Number of Rooms: 9 suites including complimentary Wi-Fi
Brice Band: Medium
Insider Tip: Book early, suites fill up fast.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.
Photographs courtesy of Firehouse Hotel