Have you been to downtown Los Angeles lately? Wow! This is now L.A.’s hottest spot. Everywhere you turn there are new hotels, restaurants, and skyscrapers being added. All of this activity within a few square miles has given Los Angeles the “go to” feel that has always been missing. The most dynamic addition to downtown is L.A. Live, and our hotel on this visit was the Luxe City Center right across the street.
Downtown L.A. had for years been kind of boring at night and on weekends. Largely populated by lawyers and bankers by day, it would turn into a ghost town during the week after about 7 p.m. or as soon as the freeways lightened up enough for everyone to leave happy hour and head home. Weekends were even worse with the only activity created by events at the Los Angeles Music Center.
Then along came L.A. Live and the Staples Center. What a brilliant stroke. The Lakers, Clippers, and Kings professional sports teams moved their games here, creating a festival-like atmosphere on a regular basis. To complete the experience, L.A. Live sprang up right next door. This collection of restaurants and attractions gives everyone a reason to visit even without an event next door at Staples.
Something big seems to be happening almost every night here. Along with two NBA teams and an NHL team, the Staples Center has also hosted the Grammy Awards, the Democratic National Convention, and numerous big name concerts. The Microsoft Theatre, a bit smaller and more intimate, has hosted the American Music Awards, the ESPYs, and the Emmys. For a normal night, Regal Cinemas provides a state-of-the-art cinema experience. Music buffs won’t want to miss the Grammy Museum.
Luxe Hotels has the Los Angeles area covered for a boutique lodging stay. With hotel locations on Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, and L.A. Live, you really would not need to stay with anyone else. On this visit we tried the Luxe City Center next to L.A. Live. This is a well-run hotel group and one of the best bets downtown.
The first thing I noticed was the staff, very, very friendly and helpful. The experienced woman handling my check-in was very pleasant and helpful. The same can be said for the bell desk attendants who are a must here. You will want to listen to them upon getting into your room as the Luxe City Center is fitted with the latest in technology, especially in the bathrooms.
The rooms are very comfortable and modern in design. The finest bedding and bathroom touches allow for a respite from the hectic downtown pace. Each room has all of the business needs one would expect from a luxury property including comfortable work stations. The technology used in the showers is really cutting edge and a lot of fun. The water can be directed from multiple locations, and temperature control is dialed in like a computer. For complete details visit LuxeCityCenter.com.
Nixon Global Kitchen and Patio Lounge is the hotel’s signature restaurant and offers a setting just right for whatever the occasion might be. The Global Kitchen is more formal while the Patio Lounge includes an open-air bar area flowing out to a large deck overlooking L.A. Live. This was my choice both nights, and I would not hesitate to go back. They claim to have the best happy hour in downtown L.A., and I would agree.
My ahi tuna tacos and shrimp pesto flatbread were prepared perfectly. I was able to take in a football game while dining and also enjoyed a view of L.A. Live and much of downtown. I would go out of my way to spend some time here, perhaps before a large event. It’s probably a lot easier to valet park at Luxe, too, as opposed to the traditional Staples Pavilion parking option.
From Santa Barbara, you could take Amtrak to downtown and then a short cab ride over to Luxe. Whether for sporting or cultural events, there will be something of interest to draw you downtown. Luxe City Center would be my pick of places to stay.