For those who place a priority on edgy design and a sense of communality, the sought-after LINE LA makes a fine landing spot. Between the pool, always-packed Commissary restaurant, and quirky art objects displayed in the rooms (think bird sculptures and crystals), this hotel lets its personality do the talking.
A hulking 1964 building on the busy intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Normandie Avenue took the city by storm when it reopened after a renovation by the Sydell Group (NoMad Hotel, Ace Hotel). The grid-like facade is organized into perfectly square windows back-lined with neon colored curtains, which quickly became the selling point for the hotel’s 388 rooms. Designed by Sean Knibb—he of the hipster flower cafe in Venice—all the rooms offer views of either Wilshire Boulevard or the Hollywood Hills. The latter are slightly more expensive, for obvious reasons. But to have unfettered sight lines of the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign while bingeing Netflix, all cozy in your art-filled, concrete-walled sanctuary is certainly a treat. A whole lot of love was also heaped upon the dining operation, and with good reason: from the international newsstand shop, Poketo, to Commissary (an all-day dining spot whose greenhouse-like design makes you feel like you’re eating in a Victorian palace), the lobby has sufficiently diverse attractions to keep an interesting mix of Koreatown locals and far-flung travelers coming through the doors.
Location: At the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Normandie Avenue, the LINE LA makes it easy to explore the much-touted neighborhood of Koreatown, which is packed with fun bars and restaurants. The Wilshire/Normandie metro station sits across the street, providing easy access to Downtown and beyond.
Park’s BBQ: From the quality of the meat to the bright, modern furnishings, this Korean BBQ spot, which sits just two blocks from the hotel, easily ranks as one of L.A.’s best.
Dan Sung Sa: If you’re feeling adventurous, try this low-key Korean diner for small traditional plates (the noodle-filled “dumbells” are a must), a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Shatto 39 Lanes: In the mood to bowl? This neighborhood favorite, located a mile away, has been around since 1954 and offers a roundabout bar, coffee shop, arcade, billiards room and of course, 39 bowling lanes.
Koreatown Plaza: There are a million ways to fill up an afternoon at this family-friendly, ‘80s-style shopping mall, an 18-minute walk south of the hotel. Dumpling houses, Korean supermarkets, a Korean spa: it’s all here.
Good for: If you like the element of surprise when you check into a hotel, there’s a satisfying reserve of fun discoveries to be made here, from the hexagonal lobby bar decorated with wonderful squiggly balloon-like shapes (the cocktails aren’t too shabby, either), to the odd bits of art in the rooms, including a series of watercolors done exclusively for the hotel by a local painter. With a lively bar program and generous lobby seating, party animals and digital nomads will feel perfectly at home here, too.
Amenities: Pool, room service, free Wi-Fi, minibar, restaurant, bar, shop, gym, concierge
Time Out tip: Reach over on your nightstand for a copy of Here, a custom magazine created by the hotel for first-timers to L.A. The guidebook is specifically tailored to the kind of guests that stay at the LINE, so count on lush, gorgeous photos, plus insider tips on the best K-town spas, shops and cafes to hit up during your visit.