A working firehouse from 1927 to 1980, this boutique property was reimagined last April. The nine-room hotel retains many of the original features – including the big red doors, exposed wooden beams and high ceilings – and the Downtown location makes it a hub for creatives, who hang out in the airy bar or graze at the indoor-outdoor restaurant. Each of the colour-themed rooms has individual, quirky interiors that bring to mind the sets of a Wes Anderson film and the hip furnishings and cool atmosphere are justifiably creating a buzz.
The Firehouse is located in the Arts District, just to the east of downtown LA. This area was a magnet for artists in the ’70s, and recently it has blossomed into a workspace and playground for creatives. Warner Music recently moved right opposite the hotel, Spotify is about to set up offices nearby and the ROW is a huge development that includes restaurants, bars, events spaces and the popular Smorgasburg street-food festival every Sunday.
There are no room numbers at The Firehouse. Instead, the nine rooms are named after the seven colours of the rainbow, plus black and white. And each room has its own unique design – the black room has an urban funky vibe; the white room has a burgundy velvet headboard and a rainbow on the wall. What they all have in common is incredibly high ceilings and big windows, so they feel light and airy, plus they have Smeg fridges and the bathrooms pop with glazed terracotta tiles from Clé.
Food and drink
The welcoming lobby is both Instagram-worthy and comfortable, with a café serving Counter Culture coffee and baked goods. Next to this is the hotel’s much-talked-about restaurant, a canopied terrace space where chef Ashley Abodeely (formerly of NoMad DTLA) has created a New American menu that includes the Firehouse dry-aged burger on a pretzel bun and New York strip steak with Dijon butter and rosemary. The attached bar is similarly cool, featuring modernist tube lighting above a marble-topped bar, with large louvred doors making the most of summery LA afternoons.
For business travellers
There is no business centre but the front desk can assist with printing needs. The lobby café is fine for one-on-one coffee meetings and there is a private dining room that can facilitate meetings of up to 28 people, with a projector and screen for presentation purposes.
For wellness travellers
There was no room to include a gym on the property, but on request the hotel can organise yoga and gym passes to nearby places such as Equinox and F45.
The fab factor
The former firemen’s handball court is now an events space, where you can regularly sip cocktails and listen to DJ sets or watch films on Movie Mondays.
Best for: Creatives and cool-seekers
Number of rooms: Nine
Rates from: From $US295 a night, plus taxes
Wi-fi: Fast and free
Parking: Parking at the back of the property costs $US30 overnight
Address: 710 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles
Telephone: +1 213 947 3010