Inside the New InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

Courtesy Intercontinental Los Angeles

Perched high above L.A. in the tallest building west of Chicago, the steel and glass hotel reflects its surroundings in more ways than one.

Standing at the 70th floor check-in desk of the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, it’s difficult to focus on anything but the view stretching out for miles beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows. The incredible vista, from the heart of the city to the ocean, foothills, and distant suburban towns, is central to the design of this luxurious new hotel, in L.A.’s tallest building–and the highest west of Chicago. 

Architectural details throughout take full advantage of the seemingly infinite Los Angeles landscape. In daylight, you’re fascinated by the varied terrain in every direction; after dark, thousands of twinkling lights rival the midnight sky. 

Los Angeles, with its diverse environments, was essential to the design and décor of the hotel. The red, white, and yellow chandelier hovering over the lobby is based on the freeway system, artistically capturing its network of interchanges and connections. Billboard-like posters in each room serve as headboards and display lifelike photos of L.A.’s beaches, foothills, car culture, and urban scenes.

Courtesy Intercontinental LA

The décor in the exclusive Club InterContinental Lounge reflects its view of the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. At night, the front of the slate check-in stele glows with dots of light in homage to the spectacular city lights view.

The hotel occupies floors 31 through 73 of the Wilshire Grand Center, an upscale skyscraper that will also house businesses and restaurants. All of the hotel’s 889 rooms, 110 suites, and Presidential Suite have floor-to-ceiling windows and a soothing gray and natural wood color scheme, a Keurig coffeemaker, and a well-stocked mini-bar with convenient amenities that include phone chargers and electric current converters.

Courtesy Wonho Frank Lee

Floor 73 boasts the already popular Spire 73, an open-air bar and lounge featuring fire pits, a fountain, colorful décor, signature cocktails, appetizers, and its own DJ. Music evolves from relaxing, sophisticated tunes to more energetic club-style beats later in the evening. With views of Los Angeles and its environs in every direction, guests enjoy the lively atmosphere in cozy setups for two, in seats at the bar, or in groups at tables. 

The gorgeous French-accented steakhouse, La Boucherie on 71, is the place for special dinners. An array of fine wines, charcuterie, and cheese is available, along with stylish appetizers, aged steaks, and fresh seafood. The atmosphere is elegant, and service is professional with a few unusual touches. Guests who order meat can choose from a presentation of specially selected knives for their entrée. Eight types of salt are also offered, including rare and flavored sea salts. Their private window-facing curved velvet booth just might be the most romantic restaurant table in all of Los Angeles. 

Courtesy Wonho Frank Lee

Dekkadance, on the 69th floor, offers international market style dining selections throughout the day, with cooks and carving stations. Fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, pizzas, omelets, breakfast meats, fish, cheeses, and more are presented at the morning buffet, with extensive meal choices for lunch and dinner as well. The atmosphere is bright, and the view, of course, is there to enjoy along with the meal. A sushi restaurant, Sora, also on the 69th floor, offers seats at the sushi bar or at tables beside the massive windows. Vodka drinkers will enjoy a visit to the Lobby Bar, where over 100 types of vodka are poured along with cocktails, beer, and wine.

Courtesy Wonho Frank Lee

The seventh floor pool is surrounded by inviting lounge chairs, umbrellas, and cabanas. There’s a casual restaurant and the cleverly named No Dive Bar.

References to Los Angeles give the hotel a sense of place not always felt in large downtown hotels. A particularly charming nod to L.A. adorns the wall of the Lobby Bar. It’s a poem that local children were once taught to help them remember the order of the city’s main streets: “From Main, we Spring to Broadway and over the Hill to Olive. Oh, wouldn’t it be Grand if we could Hope to pick a Flower on Figueroa.”

Courtesy Intercontinental LA

Located just blocks from L. A. Live with its retail, restaurants, bars, and concert venues, the hotel is also perfectly positioned for Staples Center, Microsoft Theater, and Convention Center events. Los Angeles International Airport is 17 miles away, and the Broad Museum, Disney Concert Hall, and Music Center are nearby.

Also offering convenient banquet spaces, some with outdoor areas, the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown will undoubtedly become a popular venue for work and play; for meetings, conventions, and weddings looking to use the city as their backdrop.

Rates start at $379 for double-occupancy; 900 Wilshire Blvd.; 213-688-7777;