2 -min. read

The perfect gift awaits historic hotel lovers this holiday season. Downtown Los Angeles’ original hotel gem, Hotel Figueroa, will reopen this December after an extensive, year-long, $55 million renovation.

When it first opened in 1926, the hotel was actually a women-only hostel operated by the Young Women’s Christian Association. However, in recent years, the exterior backside of the hotel’s three towers have become famous in their own right, since they serve as eye-catching advertisements for a number of things – ranging from TV shows and movies, to video games and sports teams (usually the Clippers or the Lakers). Peruse the many examples of Hotel Figueroa ad art here.

How Hotel Figueroa used to look.
How Hotel Figueroa used to look

The guest rooms were just as eye-catching, featuring deep orange walls, tree branches as wall hangings, and a heavy Moroccan theme. But now, thanks to Studio Collective – the LA-based team behind several hot new hotels including EAST, Miami – Hotel Fig’s 268 guest rooms strike a pleasing, gentle-on-the-eyes balance between old and new.

Gone are the orange walls. Instead, muted white walls are accented by wood beams and natural arches. The bathrooms have been expanded, soft rugs have been added, and both the furniture and decor give off a residential vibe, right down to the books and potted succulents plants on the nightstand.

Have a gander at how Hotel Fig used to look when it opened, versus how it looks now.

How Hotel Figueroa looks now

Of course, no hotel renovation is complete without revamped F&B offerings and Hotel Figueroa has gone all out with this, hiring the four-time James Beard-nominated Chef Casey Lane (the man behind Venice’s Tasting Kitchen) and legendary bartender Dushan Zaric (of Employees Only fame) to unleash their talents.

To start, inside the lobby will be a small bar called Breva (which means “Fig” en Espanol). Breva will serve a tapas-style menu inspired by Northern Spain and Southern France. Bar Figueroa is meant to recapture the spirit of European hotel bars, featuring a two-story, custom-built curvilinear bar that will serve coffee and espresso in the morning and drinks in the evening.

Now on to something super-cool: the hotel’s second bar, Bar Alta, will be a 28-seat, reservations-only bar that’s essentially a bartender’s table, giving guests the chance to interact with nationally recognised mixologists in a very intimate setting. As for proper meals, Veranda will be the hotel’s casual, al fresco, farm-to-table restaurant, serving wood-roasted meats and vegetables, and also pizzas.

Two more event spaces are expected to open early next year and the hotel’s outdoor pool will remain. Here’s an unusual fact: the pool is the only ground-level pool in downtown Los Angeles. Ground pools are the new rooftop pools? Maybe.

Rates for Hotel Figueroa are expected to start at around $269 a night.

[Photos: Hotel Figueroa]


Juliana Shallcross
A self-confessed hotel addict, Juliana Shallcross has been reporting on hotels around the world for more than a decade. She was previously the managing editor A good portion of her job involves sleeping in new hotels, obsessing over technology and keeping tabs on the ever-changing hospitality landscape. She's based in Los Angeles.

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