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LA Travel Magazine’s top pick for Los Angeles’ Best New Hotel in 2019 isn’t technically “new” at all.
In fact, clients have likely seen the awarded property, The Mayfair Hotel, depicted on screens big and small. It was featured in films including “The Deep End of the Ocean” and “The Search,” along with television series such as “True Lies” and “The Office.”
Another surprising tidbit? The hotel isn’t located in one of the sparkling skyscrapers in Downtown L.A. (DTLA) just east of the 110 Freeway. Rather, it’s about a mile west in the city’s Westlake neighborhood, a mostly tourist-free pocket that’s starting to come into its own. (Fun fact: When The Mayfair was constructed here in 1926, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.)
The choice to renovate and reopen a boutique hotel in Westlake may surprise some guests — at first. I wondered why the developers chose to renovate the existing structure, rather than to rebuild the hotel in a trendier part of town.
But, as I quickly learned, such a move would have been blasphemous. The 294-room building, a member of Crescent Hotels & Resorts’ Latitudes collection, is rich with history. A hidden gem in a sea of trendy DTLA newbuilds, The Mayfair is now even more enticing to new and returning visitors thanks to a full, top-to-bottom renovation and a fresh array of music- and arts-centric offerings.
Upon walking into the hotel’s lobby, guests will feel as if they’ve been transported back to its 1920s heyday. Original flooring and fluted charcoal-colored columns pair well with historic brass fixtures in the all-glass and black iron-latticed atrium, and the central plaster “Mayfair Flower” sculpture in the lobby is a stunning sight to behold. And distinct decorative touches — such as black-cage chandeliers and a faux-foliage wall in the Mezzanine’s Garden Gallery atrium— have upgraded The Mayfair to be contemporary and cutting-edge.
The red-brick and terra-cotta building was originally designed in a beuax-arts style by designers Alexander Curlett and Claud Beelman (the latter is most known as the architect/designer of the famous Eastern Columbia Building in DTLA). Its fresh look, which pays homage to the flapper-era of LA, was the work of Gulla Jonsdottir, a locally based architect and designer who is originally from Iceland.
Indeed, a mix of old-turned-new can be found around every corner at The Mayfair. My favorite spot is the exposed-brick ballroom (which, be sure to tell clients, was the home of the first-ever Academy Awards after party in 1929).
As both art and entertainment are at the core of the culture in The City of Angels, so too is it a primary theme at The Mayfair. A podcast studio has been constructed near M Bar (in the lobby lounge), along with a writer’s room and an art gallery that features a curation of rotating work chosen by artist-in residence and LA-based graffiti artist Risk (all of which is available for purchase). The Mayfair also features amenities hotel guests have come to expect, including several conference rooms for meetings and events, a fitness center and a soon-to-open outdoor pool with cabanas, chaise lounges and a dining area.
Travel advisors should be aware that guestrooms run small — a byproduct of the hotel’s early 20th-century construction — but feature unique touches, such as a headboard wall covered with a 1929 vintage mural map of L.A., in which The Mayfair makes an appearance.
Dining options will suit a variety of tastes and will likely attract more locals and visitors to this emerging neighborhood. On-site is Eve DTLA, which features new American dishes made with organic, seasonal ingredients (try the Steak ‘N’ Eggs salad), while M Bar offers a variety of smooth libations in a cozy setting.
Independent from the hotel but connected to the lobby is Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea, located in a light-filled dining atrium that serves as the Chicago company’s first West Coast location.
The DetailsThe Mayfair Hotelwww.mayfairla.com