Most hotels have some kind of unifying design manifesto that ties the entire place together. Hotel Indigo in a departure from the Golden Age Of Hollywood aesthetic that has become so common in LA hotels, is all about the history of the Downtown district in which it is located.
Found on Francisco Street, and (at the time of writing) awash in construction on the wider complex, the Indigo is a mirror of the suburb in which it resides, rising from the ashes and reinventing itself for the modern era while still paying homage to what went before.
Many locals will be able to tell you that, for a very long time during the 90’s and early 2000’s, life in Downtown LA was not great. The kind of place you’d avoid unless you had business there, it wasn’t until widespread renovations began in the area that converted many of the old office spaces in loft apartments that more affluent residents began returning to the area. The Staples Centre went up. The Grammy Museum opened. Little Tokyo became a boom area. LA Live cemented the area’s appeal as a hotspot, attracting thousands of visitors day and night. With its latest reinvention, Hotel Indigo is a significant piece of that metamorphosis.
From the moment you enter the lobby, little details that point to the history of the Downtown area are everywhere. The hotel restaurant, Metropole, is modelled on the classic idea of an underground Speakeasy, inviting guests through a series of circular frescoes that recall the bootleg tunnels of old.
Art of the walls reminds of local icons like Flower Street. Art in the elevators reminds of everything from the prohibition era to local pioneers. The halls that lead to your rooms are mood-lit, recalling a trip through underground tunnels.
My room itself was exactly what you would want in an upper floor corner suite — spacious without being cavernous, well-appointed, well-lit and with a view of the city to the east over the 110 freeway. My bed, a king-size, was incredibly comfortable and made dealing with the jet-lag from my 17 hour flight extremely comfortable, and the bathroom was a giant chamber altogether too fancy for my middle-class upbringing. The shower recess alone could have been repurposed as a very comfortably sized office cubicle.
Much of the Indigo’s ballrooms and meeting areas were still under refurbishment during my stay, though on a tour of the facility it was clear even in their unfinished state that they will be something to behold when complete. Ballroom after ballroom, meeting place after meeting place. This is the kind of hotel where significant events will be thrown and the venue operators know it. The meeting room alone has been built specifically with press junkets for tentpole Hollywood films in mind. They are not messing around.
This was a wonderful place to stay, and will only become moreso as the construction winds down and moves on to other buildings in the same plaza. The staff were endlessly kind and helpful to my poor, jet-lagged Australian self and Metropole served me some of the better food I was able to sample while in Los Angeles (seriously, try their burger, unbelievable). My room was a wonderful haven against the storm of international strangeness whirling around me and Downtown provides a sense of history and firmness of place that are hard to find, even in other areas of the city.
For bookings and reservations, head here.
Hotel Indigo Downtown Los Angeles
Address: 899 Francisco St, Downtown, Los Angeles CA 90017
Hotel Indigo provided our writer with two complimentary nights at the hotel. Headline photo provided. Other photos by the author.