It’s an oasis of cool Arabian style in the centre of bustling LA. Girl About Town Laura Coulter tells us why the Figueroa is a boutique hotel that even celebrities can’t resist.
Why We Love It: In a city known for style, the Figueroa Hotel (www.figueroahotel.com) has it in spades. Enter another world – the one of Lawrence of Arabia, souks, lanterns and magic.
This Moroccan themed boutique hotel will take you miles away from the cookie-cutter style hotels and into another world. Persian rugs, Aladdin’s lamps, diverse and interesting patrons, and affordable prices make this hotel a unique choice.
Ambiance and Style: Step out of Hollywood and into ancient Arabia at this unusual hotel. Oodles of celebrities frequent the place for pre- and post- concert parties, fashion shows, basketball games at the Staples Center but no one raises an eyebrow.
The Figueroa Hotel was built in 1925 as a YWCA residence. Since then, it has hung on to the building and changed into a boutique hotel.
Owner Uno Thimansson, has been managing it since 1979 and many of the staff have stayed on with him throughout the years. Morocco, India, Iraq, Syria,Mexico, Sweden..all are nationalities represented here and seemingly happy.
Where: Downtown Los Angeles! The Figueroa Hotel is located in the city’s centre and just 10 minutes by car from shopping and dining destinations in the area.
Who to go with: There’s something romantic about the Middle East, even if you aren’t directly there. Go to the Figueroa with a special someone and see what energy you can feel.
With rooms called Casablanca, Marrakesh, and Medina, romance is waiting for you. This hotel has seen many a marriage proposal and wedding. There is quite a diverse clientele who frequent the Fig: foreign tourists and real people.
How long to go for: There is a lot to see and do in Los Angeles. With the low rates at the Figueroa, you can easily stay a week and use it as your base. The staff provide helpful maps, bus routes, and information.
The Fig is a 1 block walk from The Pantry, a LA institution that has been serving breakfast since 1924 and keeps its doors open 24 hours a day. It’s also a block from the Staples Center, making it a convenient place for conventions and sports events.
What are the rooms like: Each room is unique and quirky with furniture sourced from the manager’s travels and Hollywood contacts. Uno always has his eye out for a bargain and you may be sitting in chairs sourced from the Hilton renovation or from Bangladesh.
It’s all a mixed bag of style that works. Fall asleep on a canopy bed and enjoy the Middle Eastern flair. Each room is spotless. For a special treat, enjoy one of the Moroccan suites.
Amenities and extras: The manager is very clear: this is NOT a luxury hotel. There is no room service, bell hop, or frequent flier mileage cards accepted here. However, what you do have exceeds even the more luxurious hotels in the area in terms of convenience and character.
The parking is very reasonable (a steal by LA prices), the wi-fi is a fraction of what they are charging at the five star across the road, the long-serving staff are cheerful and prompt and you can find everything you need (Starbucks, grocery stores, banks, ticket agents) within a two block radius.
With 285 rooms to offer, the Figueroa is run by a multilingual staff, allows pets to be brought in, and provides guests with parking services, an outdoor swimming pool, bar lounge, and a restaurant.
Dining: There is a quiet coffee shop in the hotel that serves a simple breakfast but the real spot to be seen is the bar. Full of celebs who can relax without the paparazzi, as no one bats an eye, this lush watering hole features delicious mojitos and Arabian style.
Overgrown with lush plants and statues and featuring a pool in the middle, it’s a wonderful spot to relax after a day of fighting the LA traffic.
How much: Rooms start at $148/night
Address: 939 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015
Have you spent time in the Figueroa, or perhaps rubbed shoulders with a celeb in the bar? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.