A retro hotel in LA will set you free in a way that’s new

Downtown Los Angeles (formerly, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel) is about to see a transformation with an array of new projects, projects that promise to have a transformative impact on the area. Design and site architect Hoss Kilkenny, joined at the hotel to oversee project improvement by international company SREA, has tapped Eastern KA Design for interior design and Philippe Kemp Architecture & Design for the hotel’s exterior.

The overall vision for the hotel was to create a space that is welcoming, efficient and natural.

“SINA and I have set out to find a solution to the problems in Los Angeles and L.A.’s hotels that create an extremely difficult environment, while making them comfortable and welcoming to everyone,” says Kilkenny.

The hotel features five mid-century contemporary wings, each with a different feel and consistent look.

Kilkenny says, “We are proposing it as a communal gathering space for a mix of elements, fixtures and objects.”

To that end, all five rooms have a different experience. Each has a sitting area, but the design is balanced so that there is an enjoyable balance between functional and aesthetic, and there are several smaller, independent spaces.

One idea explored in the rooms was to use a minimalist look in the lighting to create a comfortable environment. Walls are painted red and exposed brick components are placed to tie in with the overall feel of the space. Kilkenny added that the hotel will offer “a continuum of experiences for guests to engage and interact with each other.”

Housekeeping department worker Charlotte Lanier said she liked the “fresh, clean and contemporary” design.

A new addition to the hotel is an 18,000-square-foot terrace. At least 10,000 square feet of terrace space was added thanks to a public spaces infusion from the Greek shipping magnate Dimitris “Zeke” Pariani and SREA chairman and CEO, Iacovou Pariana. The Greek shipping magnate bought the adjoining hotel building and park directly across the street and renamed it Willard Hotel. The terrace, meanwhile, spans all of the ground level and is made up of two pavilions over a pavilion and two gardens connected by a courtyard.

“Zeke is obviously the benefactor of my architect who is shaping a stunning addition to the Hollywood Roosevelt, which has been a city landmark since 1936,” Pariana said in a statement. “The success of the hotel rests on the collective team that has been taking action to improve and reimagine it for several years. We wanted to create an additional experience, especially with an external terrace area that gives the hotel owners and management team a public amenity.”

The terrace’s indoor eating area overlooks a private patio and lighted pool. One of the features of the deck is a unique floor-to-ceiling glass wall that provides unrivaled views of the city skyline. At night, the pavilion does not close entirely, meaning that guests can host events.

The hotel features 132 rooms and 18 suites, most with private bathtubs.

Guests who stay at the hotel overnight will receive a free bottle of Montrachet (no thought or talk necessary — the champagne supply is in every room and on every balcony); a private limo (at least 20 minutes by taxi and three hours for a car; not Uber; and a bottle of Champagne for the privilege).

Those staying in suites will receive complimentary Wi-Fi, private staff and up to 20 percent off dining with full spa and fitness facilities that include yoga, Pilates, weight training and more.

The hotel also has a three-day pass to The Grove shopping mall and a Ferris wheel (The SkyWheel) that open Jan. 22. The Hyatt House Hotels, which arrived in 2015, will soon have their own SkyWheel.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Hoss Kilkenny.

Toby Melville contributed to this report.

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