The Standard Downtown LA
Leading the cool factor pack in the downtown hotel scene.
A new era of revitalization for downtown L.A. took off running with the opening of the downtown Standard hotel. The opening sleepover party was attended by Hollywood's finest clad in pajamas. These days, most of the 207 guest rooms are booked at the weekends by fun-loving hipsters, and during the week, business types fill much of the hotel, carefully tucked away in rooms where they won't be affected by noise from party-goers. Rooms come in various sizes with names like Huge, Gigantic, Humongous and Wow! Each features modern, minimalist décor that speaks of today's retro-futuristic craze: shiny, silver throw pillows; a bar code—inspired design covering walls, curtains and lamps; beds on low, carpeted platforms; and, in the Wow! rooms, giant, foam foot sculptures in the bathrooms. Amenities for business travelers include fourteen-foot work desks with free T-1 connection; cordless, two-line speaker phones with data ports; and meeting rooms and conference facilities. Perks for party types include stereos with CD players (and The Standard's own CD mix available for purchase), large-screen TVs, mood lighting, aromatherapy toiletries, extra-strength travel candles and a mini-bar that can only be described as a toy box for the young at heart --- Good 'n' Plenty candy, cold saké, disposable camera, Mr. Bubble, vitamin-enriched water, condoms and aspirin. The rooms may be a good place to kick back, but twelve stories up is where the real action is: the rooftop bar and pool, where bar-goers are met by fake topiary, a live DJ, sleek Formica furniture and a slim chance of getting a drink unless they catch the eye of one of the busy waitstaff. A swanky diner on the ground floor is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner; it focuses on organic, local produce, and the staff displays none of the snobbish attitude of the bouncers outside. The fitness center may be relatively empty at early morning hours, but it's there if you want it, 24 hours a day. So is room service, offering the same cuisine found in the restaurant. Plenty of other distractions can be found about the premises --- lawn (astroturf) games on the roof, a pool table in the lobby, an electronic organ near the elevators --- but we're guessing the greatest distraction of all might be the very people who frequent this downtown mecca of style.