When our daughter asked to see Billie Eilish perform in Los Angeles, I froze remembering that I had promised myself never again to attend a large venue concert. In 2014, our then eleven-year-old son reintroduced us to the Beatles while learning to play the bass. He could never have imagined the beautiful impact his musical choice would have had on our family. The memories of the five of us dancing around the kitchen island to Here Comes the Sun and his favorite All My Loving are forever etched in our minds. My husband and I were excited to take him to see Paul McCartney at Candlestick Park, the last scheduled event in the 54-year-old stadium. His joy that evening was priceless, but being stranded until the wee hours of the morning in an unfamiliar town, had me literally shaking in my boots. I vowed to forever forego the urban madness in favor of our beautiful Santa Barbara bowl, where top notch performers like Rod Stewart, Katie Perry, and Sting perform under the stars.
Three days before Billie Eilish was scheduled to play in LA, I was told that the venue was not the beast I had imagined but the Shrine Auditorium where I had covered the Academy Awards in the late nineties. At one tenth the size of its Candlestick Park cousin, the Shrine was definitely doable so a few moms embarked on an L.A. adventure with eight preteen/teen girls to see the concert of their dreams. Like five years ago with our son, the experience was thrilling. Nothing compares to bearing witness to your child’s emotionally charged cries of joy.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the South Park district of downtown L.A. where we stayed, was completely devoid of trash, a permanent fixture along with many homeless people just a decade ago.
An iconic beacon of change in an ever-evolving downtown, our Hotel Figueroa oozed L.A. culture with a nod to the past, not least by showcasing compelling works by local and international artists, continually reminding us that we were experiencing the city’s thriving art scene at every turn.
The boutique appeal of this downtown landmark is undeniable. Flanked on one side by a Spanish style fireplace and on the other by Veranda restaurant, the pool is in equal measure breathtaking and quaint. Rather than defying the skyscraper surroundings, Hotel Figueroa embraces them with a multistory mural reminiscent of the classic-modern fig tree wallpaper I fell in love with in our bathroom.
The hotel boasts three restaurants and two bars, one of which is located in the lobby lounge where the breakfast buffet is served. Bar Figueroa is in one word “sexy,” with perfectly mismatched furniture and trendsetting art exquisitely juxtaposed with Spanish Colonial architecture, an ambitious design aesthetic which Hotel Figueroa achieves flawlessly. The idea of kicking off the day in a sun-kissed room, hinting at the night before, is yet another example of opposing design elements which coexist in perfect harmony.
The room decor echoed that of the lobby, an exquisite marriage of today and yesteryear. The only downside is that there was neither a mini bar nor room service at night which seemed like an opportunity lost. We returned from the concert at 11:30 with our hearts set on some pintxos (the Basque word for Spanish tapas or appetizers) from the hotel’s Breva Restaurant which had closed a half hour earlier. The concierge recommended ordering from L.A. Cafe, but our delivery arrived nearly an hour later when we were already asleep.
I am not eager to attend an event at the nearby Staples or Convention Center, but there is no question that next time DTLA calls, I’ll come running…straight to the Hotel Figueroa (and I will be certain to order some pintxos when I do!)
Hotel Figueroa, 939 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California 90015
Photos 1, 3, 9, 10, 20, 21 : courtesy of Hotel Figueroa. All others: Designs by Alina