Arts District Firehouse Hotel

Firehouse lounge and entrance
Firehouse lounge area and entrance - Photo by Aaron Haxton

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.

Firehouse Burger
Firehouse Burger – Photo by Ren Fuller

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.

Firehouse Bar – Photo by Aaron Haxton

Summer nights around the outdoor firepit, next time I’m going with the Smoke & Strawberries. Can’t wait.

But the suites…

Indigo Suite
Indigo Suite – Photo by Aaron Haxton

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.

Blueberry olive oil cake
Blueberry olive oil cake – Photo by Jolie Loeb

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.

Firehouse Hotel
Firehouse Exterior – Photo by Wonho Frank Lee

The Details

Arts District Firehouse Hotel, 710 South Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90021, USA.

Tel: +1(213) 947-3010

Website: www.firehousela.com

Email: info@fireshousela.com

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

Author Bio:

Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.

Photographs courtesy of Firehouse Hotel

53 Comments

  1. Whoa, you definitely had me at the sight of that burger. What a novel use of an existing building…..probably as close as I could get to being a fireman. The whole concept, supported by inviting rooms and restaurant…oh that burger. Next special occasion…we are in.
    Thanks for the tip ….

  2. This looks amazing. I’m always trying to find good hotels downtown for out of town guests and I’m def letting everyone know about this one!
    The food alone… yum. Thanks!

  3. Amazing! I’m always looking for hipper places than the Hilton for visiting friends, and this moves to the top of the list! Meanwhile, I’m heading over for that blueberry cake, which looks INSANE. (Do you think they’d part with the recipe?)

  4. I love all of it. From the brick to the burger. What a beautiful way to keep LA history and still make a buck. Thumbs up!

  5. I work downtown and am frequently asked for suggestions on where to stay. I just found my go to place. Can’t wait to try those amazing desserts during one of my work lunches. Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. This place looks and sounds super cool. Def adding it to the top of the list of downtown places to visit!

  7. Can’t wait to visit the bar and recommend this place for out of town guests. I love the preservation of the old buildings in LA. With so many of them being torn down these days, this is a welcomed change!

  8. What a great concept! Love that downtown LA has become a true destination! Food and drink looks and sounds delish foo!

  9. amazing! cannot wait to bust out and try this spot. i love finding out about these gems that i would NEVER find on my own. yay!

  10. From the exterior, it doesn’t look like it has much going on. I think I would have walked right passed it. THANK YOU for giving me a peek on the inside! It’s amazing! Can’t wait to check it out!a

  11. Brilliant. I love the concept and would die to eat a slice of the cake and then fall into a sugar stupored sleep in the purple room!

  12. What a great concept and I love that every detail is well executed. I can’t wait to check out the bar, restaurant, and rooms!

  13. I think I just found another excuse to get myself downtown! At least for dinner-certainly to hang out for drinks and the suites sound so amazing. Thanks for uncovering this gem, describing it so well (as always), and of course, for sharing!!!

    • AH – so glad you asked – I should have commented more on them. The al fresco section of the bar is so awesome – cushions built into the paved walls, cafe lights, all around a (natch) fire pit. Plenty of barstools surrounding the bar inside, which is great because those tending are a great time (again, Shalin). And the restaurant itself combined with the outdoor bar would make a killer (small) event space, probably for 100 or less. If you throw a party there, put my name on the list please.

  14. I had no idea this place existed…or was about to exist. With the spouse vocating downtown and visitors looking for reasons to visit there, a gorgeous boutique hotel gives just the right foundation to make it happen. Love it. Can’t wait to see!

  15. Looks amazing! I love boutique hotels AND I love the Arts District. Maybe it’s time for a little stay-cation, or at the very least a fun night out.

    • What is this Pico House you speak of? Now I’m intrigued. Firehouse is Bestia adjacent (which I still haven’t been to – shameful), and Bon Temps, the restaurant that moved into the Petty Cash space, was opening the weekend we were there. They’re neighbors. DTLA is kind of on fire right now (no pun intended, swear). Between the Row, Smorgasburg LA, all that’s going on at the Manufactory, and hot spots like Firehouse, it’s quietly become the destination it was probably always intended to be.

  16. I love everything about this, especially that blueberry olive oil cake! Fun place to take the visiting family this summer!

  17. A firehouse?! Wow! I may never ever leave this place! This is the kind of getaway my husband and I love! Novelty meets heavenly retreat away from kids, work, kids, stress, and kids. And that beautiful blueberry olive oil cake tantalizes me with its sumptuousness. How can I resist? I’m swept away…

  18. Thanks for the heads up. That burger looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it. (And the cake doesn’t look half-bad, either.) Really glad to know about this! Thanks.

  19. OH my gosh ..this is exactly what downtown has been aching for! While rooting on marathon runners and attending late theater it will be so pleasurable to suspend parking and traffic irritants and extend our experience with an over night stay in this unique new Firehouse boutique hotel!

  20. This place looks fantastic! I’m always looking for a cool “staycation” location. And the restaurant looks great too! This is on my summer list for sure.

  21. This is truly inspired and I can’t wait to visit! There are so many gorgeous hotels and we can escape and be transported to basically anywhere based on the decor of a hotel. But this is so different. Thanks so much to Jolie Loeb for always finding amazing places to add to my bucket list. This one is going straight to the top!

  22. So excited to see our downtown build on its roots while creating a new and vibrant arts district! Sounds amazing! Looking forward to checking this place out!

  23. The thing I loved the most about our stay at The Firehouse is that it had the charm of a modern, boutique hotel with the service, operational efficiency, and warmth of a historic five-star resort. Every person we met was clearly happy to be there and excited to make every moment of our stay comfortable and joyful. They did a great job of it. Shalin, Frieda, and Frankie all tended bar and schmoozed with us while we drank the afternoon away. The restaurant was pretty stunning and while we didn’t eat there, I would go back. Of course, with Bestia, Bon Temps, Guerilla Tacos, and Church & State all within walking distance, there are plenty of options. For anyone coming to visit the new Warner Music HQ across the street, this is the perfect place to stay, eat, drink, and chill. For everyone else, it’s worth a visit from out of town or even a staycation in town.

  24. Wow!!!! Who would have known this was so close. Sounds very interesting and will have to check it out. Always enjoy you doing the homework for us and researching, we love it Jolie!

  25. I can’t wait to check it out! It looks incredible. Blueberry Olive Cake? Shalin, please get our drinks ready! We are on our way!

  26. What a cool idea to convert this old firehouse! Next time I’m downtown I could definitely see myself checking out their bar, it looks really fun and inviting. And, of course that cake!

  27. Wow what a find. it is awesome that an old building has been preserved and turned into such a fun looking destination. I probably would start with dessert first, the blueberry cake has my mouth watering.

  28. I thought this was look-but-don’t-touch historic architecture in LA. Now I find out I can eat (fabulous burger, deliriously beautiful blueberry olive oil cake), drink, and crash/cuddle in this stylishly renovated historic firehouseand AND head over to The Manufactory? Be still my Westside heart— husband and I will be sending guests (and ourselves) across the 405!

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