Jan 13, 2016
Travelling to Los Angeles for business? Here’s where to check in.
Roughly equidistant between Downtown and Hollywood, Koreatown is arguably the hippest neighbourhood in Los Angeles. If any further evidence was needed, witness The Line. Housed in a striking 1960s modernist building, its airy foyer is decorated with old T-shirts and features a series of circular booths that make ideal meeting spots. At one end is the café, serving excellent coffee by local roasters LAMILL; at the other is the Pot Lobby Bar, which turns into a club by night. The regular rooms are chicly decorated but rather small, although even the tiniest feature floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of the city.
Business facilities There’s a 24-hour business centre and several meeting rooms, ranging from small boardrooms to a ballroom, and a private outdoor sundeck. Wi-fi complimentary.
Food and wine Signature restaurant Pot is Korean fusion, while on the second floor by the pool is The Commissary, a vegie-focused café in a plant-filled greenhouse.
Fitness and wellbeing The fitness centre has cardio machines and free weights, plus guests have complimentary use of designer bicycles, with helmets and locks.
Run route A 7.5-kilometre run east down Wilshire Boulevard and around MacArthur Park and back should take about 30-40 minutes.
Located right near Universal Studios and handy to many other studio headquarters, The Garland is like a modern version of Greg Brady’s bedroom – apt, perhaps, considering that the original Brady Bunch house is just around the corner. Recently refurbished, the new interiors take their cues from the 1970s modernism of the original buildings. A period colour scheme of mission brown and bright orange gives rooms and communal spaces a great sense of fun, while mid-mod tapestries, tile work and furniture offer sophistication without sacrificing homeliness. The grounds, too, are lovely, with several courtyards, a generous pool and green spaces shaded by mature olive trees. Large outdoor fireplaces and movie nights by the pool complete your Hotel California experience.
Business facilities A business centre with free printing and computer terminals is available, along with several meeting rooms and function spaces that can be hired. Wi-fi complimentary.
Food and wine The Front Yard restaurant offers satisfying modern-American cuisine and a private dining room decorated in period antiques and artworks. If you’re after a cosy space, try the retro bar by the pool.
Fitness and wellbeing The in-house gym is supplemented by a roster of daily activities, including fitness classes with a personal trainer, tai chi and guided neighbourhood walks.
Run route South Weddington Park – a little more than three kilometres away – is a quiet spot to lap as long as you like. To reach it from the hotel, go right on Vineland Avenue (under the freeway), right on Whipple and then right on Lankershim Boulevard. You’ll see the park on your right at Valleyheart Drive.
“Old Los Angeles” might seem like a contradiction in terms but the Hotel Normandie is about as historical as this town gets. Opened in 1928 in what is now Koreatown, the Normandie was originally a boarding house for single men and has been home to several celebrated characters over the years – English author Malcolm Lowry wrote his masterpiece Under the Volcano here. After years of neglect the hotel was recently renovated and is now a model of historical adaptation. With hardwood floors, a subdued palette and wet bars, the rooms have a clubby (dare we say masculine?) vibe. Drenching Art Deco showerheads are the guiltiest of pleasures in drought-affected California.
Business facilities The hotel doesn’t have a business centre but guests have access to extra laptops in their rooms. A library-quiet meeting room features leather Chesterfields and a 150-person-capacity ballroom is also available. Wi-fi complimentary.
Food and wine Cult hamburger bar Cassell’s serves great breakfast and burgers but Le Comptoir, the intimate counter restaurant that takes seasonal local food to obsessional heights (the chef grows the vegetables on his own farm), is perfect for a one-on-one or solo dinner.
Fitness and wellbeing The gym is complimentary but is at the WilFit Sports Club a block away. Gym clothes and towels are provided and every cardio machine has internet.
Run route Head west around the corner on West 6th Street and run about five kilometres to the Miracle Mile neighbourhood, where you’ll find the site of the La Brea Tar Pits. Depending on how long you spend at the Ice Age-fossil excavation site, there and back might take an hour.
One of two Standard hotels in Los Angeles, this Downtown property occupies the former headquarters of an oil company and its design inspiration feels like a cross between the sensibilities of Stanley Kubrick and Kanye West. With many of the features of the old building still intact, The Standard is almost like a witty parody of a business hotel: note the original oil-rig corporate art in the foyer and the name-tag stickers that double as room numbers. Rooms are mod-minimalist with low-platform beds and famously huge showers, while even the smallest have vast windows with views of Downtown LA’s skyscrapers.
Business facilities A business centre with three computer terminals and a printer is available, plus two formal meeting spaces for hire. Wi-fi complimentary, except at business-centre terminals.
Food and wine The rooftop, which has a pool and bar area with panoramic views of the city, is a well-known party spot. It can get very full and rowdy at weekends but, thankfully, guests don’t have to join the often-long queue. Downstairs, the 24/7 Restaurant (yes, that’s its name) opens out into an oasis-like patio shaded by yucca trees.
Fitness and wellbeing The 24-hour gym is a quirky, retro treat with wood-panelled walls, tartan carpet and pictures of the Incredible Hulk to inspire you.
Run route Head south-east (away from the freeway) on West 5th Street, left on Main then left at the fork with Alameda. Once around Los Angeles State Historic Park and back is about 9.5 kilometres.
Image: The Line Hotel