Part of the Metropolis development, which is also home to numerous luxurious condos which have been going up everywhere of late, as LA’s downtown district becomes an increasingly popular place to live, the 350-room Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown has become the place to stay in the City of Angels for those after a more authentic and immersive experience.
Whilst the hotel is positioned in the midst of a thriving area of 21st century resurgence, back in the day, a century ago, this was the original epicentre of the movie business, where the Golden Age of Hollywood essentially happened, and where artists like Charlie Chaplin took centre stage. A section of Downtown’s main street Broadway named the Theatre District, lined with glorious, glamorous Art Deco theatres, was once the highest concentration of cinemas in the world. But Downtown LA was also the centre of many illegal goings-on during Prohibition, where corrupt city officials are rumoured to have smuggled alcohol via its 18 kilometres of underground tunnels. So, it is apt that Hotel Indigo’s design aesthetic is a nod to Prohibition-era Hollywood, and actively invites guests to experience what it was like in Los Angeles during the 1920s. The hotel is, in particular, inspired by the first Chinese-American film star and fashion icon of the time, Anna May Wong. Much of the imagery throughout the hotel depicts her life and career.
In the lobby, old newspaper clippings make up the upholstery for sofas in front of the registration desk, with a bicycle spoke light fixture hanging overhead, and a collage of historical images adorning the largest wall, tantalisingly obscured by an array of white flowers to lure in guests for a closer look. Next to the lobby, the bar and restaurant are separated by silver tunnel-like archways, with low-slung lights highlighting seats in rich turquoise and lime green velvet, and huge flower prints on the walls celebrating the Fiesta de los Flores, a popular parade that used to take place in Los Angeles at the time.
Throughout the public areas of the hotel, the art is fun and funky with respectful references. Meanwhile, guest room wall coverings resemble what occupants might have seen out their windows at the time, from historic buildings to parasols on the street, all overlaid on top of each other. Floor lamps resemble stage lighting. Rich colours are evident throughout, from mauve pillows and navy-blue bedcovers to purple walls and black and white tiled bathrooms. Staying at Hotel Indigo is Downtown LA is not only a contemporary hospitality experience which takes you back in time, but also an artistic and creative insight into the thriving creativity, urban vibe and unique multiculturalism of the dynamic 21st century Los Angeles of today.