The Line Hotel in Koreatown captures the multicultural spirit of the neighborhood and offers an unbeatable view of the city and its hills.
The large arrow-shaped sign on Wilshire Boulevard reads “caFe…free wifi” and points visitors directly to the door of a coffee shop
serving habanero mochas and red bean buns. Next to the valet, a bike-rack
filled with Linus bicycles sits
waiting for riders. A neon Poketo sign
glows from their store that's stocked with colorful contemporary designs next
to the elevator. All of these elements help to tell the story of The Line Hotel in Koreatown, Los
Angeles. In the few months since this Sydell Group property
has opened its doors, the goal of becoming an inviting gathering place for the
locals and hotel guests has led to quiet mornings of sipping coffee to vibrant
evening gatherings for drinks in the expansive lobby.
CaFe—one of chef Roy Choi’s food and beverage options at The Line—flanks the lobby with a menu of coffee and tea and an eclectic variety of
pastry, snacks, and congee. Towards the back of the lobby, Choi’s restaurant POT serves giant tofu hot pots, noodles,
dumplings and Korean BBQ dishes. This summer, Commissary restaurant will open
on the second floor pool deck in a custom-built greenhouse, and later in the
year the Houston Brothers will open Speek—a nightclub in the
style of a mid-century lounge.
While the lobby is the heart of the hotel, the guest rooms reveal its soul. Each room features floor-to-ceiling windows with jaw-dropping views
of the north hills of Los Angeles and picturesque vistas from the
southern-facing rooms. Designer Sean Knibb visited
the building before a design meeting to discover these windows hidden behind
large drapery. He immediately started moving around the furniture to figure out
how to best highlight the view. Knibb turned the bed around to face the windows
and imagined a large executive desk to give each guest the feeling that they
owned the city. He then peeled back the layers of the wall to find the hidden
concrete structure. The concrete 1960s Brutalist architecture bones of the
building became one of the chief inspirations for the transformation into The
Together, Knibb and Sydell Group founder Andrew Zobler set out to infuse the hotel with the social makeup of LA—wanting especially to
honor and represent the Korean and Latino communities in Koreatown. "It is
really important to us that we be a part of the fabric of the
neighborhood," says Zobler, "We love the idea of a big lobby that is
a living room for the neighborhood." It's that enthusiasm that led to many
collaborative partners helping to develop these hotel concepts in the middle of
the bustling Koreatown. "We have a lot of subtle nods to Korea in the
design and the food offerings," explains Zobler.
Zobler aimed to celebrate Los Angeles authentically as a multicultural melting pot, full of diverse neighborhoods. "We wanted to celebrate the everyday life of Los Angeles, not just the glamour of Hollywood. When you go into the lobby and look up, the ceilings are mostly made out of T-shirts. In the guest rooms there are detergent bottles repurposed as art." Throughout the hotel, the color orange has been chosen for pillows, lamps and other accent pieces because in Korea that color denotes happiness and well-being. A chair made from Mexican blankets sits in each guest room as a nod to the large Latino community in the neighborhood—and throughout Los Angeles.
When visiting The Line Hotel, it becomes evident that Zobler and Knibb’s desires are coming to fruition. The stunning vistas make it difficult to leave the room—sitting at the large desk, looking out over the city to see the panoramic views from West Hollywood to Downtown (including the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory) the feeling of owning the city is palpable. Room service orders come wrapped up in a gingham cloth with charming tin-covered dishes and hot beverages arrive in Stanley thermos mugs.
Back in the lobby, Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung run the hotel store as part of their company Poketo—offering the best of their Arts District flagship store inside The Line Hotel. Ceramics, books, jewelry, toys and
more—all with a modern sensibility and pops of vibrant color—somehow appear
made especially for the hotel. Also on offer are porcelain vases molded from
castaway plastic bottles by Foekje Fleur van Duin, which are found in the hotel rooms and and Roy Choi’s book
"L.A. Son." It's those surprises and attention to the little
things—each detail seems to reflect the last—that makes a stay at The Line
Hotel something very special, and very LA.
The Line Hotel is located at 3515 Wilshire Boulevard, Los
Angeles, CA 90010. Visit the hotel's website to
book a reservation and learn more.
Room service photo by Julie Wolfson, all other images
courtesy of Adrian Gaut