Tag Archives: Downtown

Global Hotspot – Beirut, Berlin’s Brother From Another Mother

It’s our first day in Beirut. We stroll down the beach while well-trained youths play volleyball in waterfront beach clubs. Somewhere close a Ferrari’s engine roars to life. With a Pina Colada in hand and a dazzling blue sky above our heads, the eerie ruins in the distance almost seem to disappear. Almost. They’re a remnant of the civil war from 1975-1990, tearing country and people apart. The traces show all over the city, but that doesn’t seem to bother the tanned sun-

seekers on the lively beach.

Beirut get easily overseen, thanks to prejudice and the general feeling that the Middle East is not a safe place to go. On the upside that keeps boring mainstream tourists at bay and lures brave travellers into the country. Where they quickly realise Beirut isn’t the Middle East.  It’s a fashion-conscious metropolis, open-minded and strongly tied to the Western world. Just imagine our endless joy when we discovered it’s one of the few Arab countries that lets you buy champagne! Consequently, their pumping nightlife is every bit as hedonistic as Berlin’s. The city’s hustle and bustle can be a little overwhelming at first, but once seduced, you’ll be craving for more. From warm-hearted hospitality to outstanding nightlife, Beirut is a city sure to enthrall your senses.

HIGHLIGHTS

National Museum - Beirut’s main cultural institution. Features an impressive collection of bronze figurines, human-faced sarcophagi and byzantine mosaics.

Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque - An imposing structure and architectural landmark with towering 65m minarets. Designed in historical Ottoman-style, the mosque is the Sunnis’ place of worship.

Art Center - The Art Center explores what’s new in contemporary Middle Eastern art and is recognized as a leading voice in the Lebanese culture scene. On 1,500 square meters art lovers find exhibitions from local and international artists with a focus on photography and video.

Pigeons’ Rock – A stunning natural two-rock formation standing like gigantic sentinels to the city. It’s located right off the cliffs of busy Raouché district and fascinates locals and tourists alike.

Beirut Souks - Beirut’s major commercial district boasts over 200 shops, 25 restaurants, cafes, street markets, a children’s science museum and a 14 cinema complex. It’s every shopping-queen’s come true.

Archaeological Museum - The third oldest museum in the Middle East after Cairo and Constantinople is a haven for archaeology fans. Located on the American University of Beirut’s campus, they boast well-preserved artifacts. The entrance is free.

Zaitunay Bay - Built on 20.000 m2 prime ground, this urban beach extends along the waterfront of Beirut’s high-end streets. It’s essentially a concentrated version of all the lifestyle and luxury Beirut has to offer.

Sursock Museum - Known as thriving center of cultural life, Sursock was devastated by the civil war. A €10m makeover have once again turned the Italian-style mansion into a hotspot for art lovers, poets and playwrights.

American University - Initially set up for medical training by the US, the American University of Beirut now ranks among the top universities in Lebanon. It’s picturesque campus spans across 25 hectars, boasts a private beach, a bird sanctuary and a botanical garden.

Station Beirut - A hybrid cultural space dedicated to presenting bold, contemporary and progressive content. Launched in September 2013, the venue seeks to contribute to the regional creative scene by offering a platform for artists and curators in the visual, performing and digital arts.

Development and Architecture

For the past 5,000 years, Beirut’s center was the city’s pulsing heart. From colorful grocers to street vendors, small cafes and shouting fishmongers, it was bustling with life. Then came the civil war. After it left the city devastated, a half private, half public company called „Solidere“ was founded by billionaire and then-prime minister Rafik Hariri to restore the center.

Solidere is equipped with both compulsory and regulatory powers, allowing it to manage the city centre like a mini-barony. Vendors and grocers have been replaced by Gucci and Luis Vitton stores. With Solidere’s „restorations“ halfway done, the center now feels strangely deserted. Who’s to afford these luxury goods? Certainly not Beirut’s residents.

What the city’s developers are creating is a largely deserted area disconnected from the city’s soul. That’s not to say the architecture isn’t impressive. From 23-storey 3 Beirut and its 3 green-roofed towers to the cliff-like Beirut Terrace and the whopping 195m Sama Beirut, the architecture looks amazing. If you want to feel Beirut’s soul, go to Badaro or Mar Mikhaël.

Cool Neighborhoods

Badaro
Badaro’s picturesque streets are lined with grocers, small eateries, pubs and upscale eateries. The residents are a wild mix of impoverished Christian bourgeoisie, bohemian mid 30’s and urban professionals. Lovely. While the up-and-coming district is a bustling business hub at daytime, it turns into a pulsing hotspot at night. At its center is Badaro Street, where you’ll find cozy eateries and fancy bars including well-known chains like Dany’s, Lina’s and Bodo.

Hamra
Hamra Street is one of the main economic hubs. Formerly known as Beirut’s Champs Elysées, it emits a cosmopolitan vibe and houses historical cafes and theaters. Hamra district is crowded with young people, because it’s also home to the famous American University of Beirut. Don’t mind the spontaneous street events, they happen regularly. Swing by at „78 Street“ (known as „the alleyway“) and enjoy Hamra’s main pubbing and clubbing hub.

Downtown
Modeled after 20th century European cities, Downtown is the the district of posh hotels, stylish shops and upscale restaurants. On Nejmeh Square you’ll find the world famous Ottoman-style clock tower. Nearby Martyr’s Square has a history of public demonstrations and is home to the bullet-holed martyr’s statue. It’s rounded up by Solidere district – the French mandate city center turned high-end shopping area.

Hotel District 
The all-new hotel district expands the prewar city center towards the Mediterranean sea. It’s a high density area with a mix of residential, office, hotel and leisure developments. While it’s not the raw Beirut experience, it’s slowly coming to life with new hotels such as Monroe Hotel, 4 Seasons and Beirut Tower.

Bourj Hammoud 
Also known as Beirut’s Armenian soul, Bourj Hammond is a distinctive muncipality with an unique flair. It’s an intriguing mix of industrial, commercial and artisanal areas with narrow alleys and plenty of Armenian flags. Wait, Armenian flags? Fleeing a genocide, Armenian refugees were rescued by french boats and relocated to Beirut in 1915. They turned a swampy area into a lively neighborhood. While you’re there, grab a “lahme bajeen” – a very thin pizza with mince meat doused in lemon juice. Delicious.

Corniche
Corniche Beirut is a seaside promenade in Central District. Lined with palm trees, the waterfront esplanade offers visitors a magnificent view of the Mediterranean and the summits of Mount Lebanon to the east. Corniche is also home to many of Beirut’s architectural landmarks, such as Platinum Tower, University Tower and the lighthouse.

Rue Gouraud
Named after a French General, Rue Gouraud competes with trendy Badaro’s flair. It’s a mixed residential and commercial street in Gemmazey district. It’s lined with trendy bars, restaurants and historic buildings from the French era. Travel + Leisure magazine labelled it „SoHo by the sea“ due to its colorful and chic cafés amidst 1950 apartment buildings.

Mar Mikhaël
Long considered Beirut’s trendy district, Mar Mikhaël’s glory has faded a little with the re-emergence of Badaro. While Badaro and Rue Gouraud undeniably share the nightlife’s throne, Mar Mikhaël has stepped up to conquer artists & fashionista’s hearts. With many trendy boutiques, antique furniture stores and art galleries in the area, it’s the place-to-be for everything artsy and creative.

Restaurants & Cafés

Villa Badaro (Top pick) 
As the name suggests, this restaurant-pub is located in a renovated vintage villa in Badaro. From luscious greenery to mouth-watering food, colorful decor and a chill atmosphere – everything at Villa Badaro spells love. The menu shows Japanese and American influences and boasts a selection of salads, tuna dishes, burgers and steaks. Drop by on Monday night to enjoy amazing cheese fondue and beef pierrade!

Liza Beirut
After earning critical praise for her Lebanese eatery in Paris, Liza Asseily opened a second dependance in the city that inspired her in the first place. Liza Beirut occupies a 500sqm space of a 19th-century palace in the stylish Achrafieh neighborhood. The venue is divided into the Building Room, Money Room and Banana room. The kitchen serves classic Lebanese cuisine. Our tip: Grilled halloumi with sweet tomato jam.

Gavi
Here comes the best Italian food in Beirut, maybe Lebanon! Gavi is an upscale restaurant in the gardens of the Kampai building. If you hadn’t noticed it’s upscale, the 24k gold leaf on your risotto might remind you. The food is so disgustingly good that while you’re eating, you start missing the little Italian town you’re not even from. Tears were shed after the last gnocchi was devoured, but hey. You can always come back.

Gilt
Gilt combines food, design and music to turn a normal dining experience into an immersive cultural evening. The menu fuses Mediterranean influences with Asian and Peruvian dishes. The interior: Subdued grey and white tones are mixed with blue, accompanied by wood elements and dimmed light. The decor is at the same time a bit funky and strangely pleasant.

Petit cafe
Let’s be honest – Petit Cafe isn’t exactly a culinary highlight. But the view is nothing short of spectacular. Sitting atop a cliff, it allows perfect views over Pigeon’s rock and the surrounding azure-blue sea. We whole-heartedly recommend it for a shisha and a few drinks. Don’t expect too much from the food.

Manara palace cafe – Great selection of appetizers and nice view over the sea

Casablanca restaurant Combination of Asian and Lebanese organic cooking

Boulevard Beirut – Combines the epicurean richness of home-cooked and traditional Lebanese cuisine

Al Mandaloun Sur Mer – Grilled sea bass, oysters and lobsters combined with an amazing view over the ocean.

Meat the Fish – Delivers a signature line of smoked fish, shellfish sea food and premium meat free of charge

Basterma Bedo – Specialist in Soujouk, Makanek, Basterma and Roast Beef

Mayrig Beirut – Armenian restaurant adapting popular classics of Armenian cuisine, while generously borrowing from Lebanese influences 

Chez Claude – Amazing french restaurant with a choice selection of wines 

Mounirs – In the heart of an old pine forrest Mounirs serves excellent Lebanese cuisine

Babel Restaurant – famous for serving progressive Lebanese mezza and platters 

Sud Resto - Italian restaurant with rooftop and great cocktails

Cafe Em Nazih – Hearty Lebanese food well-loved by locals and tourists alike

Appetito Trattoria – Italian restaurant ideal for romantic dates

Seza Bistro - Armenian food in a cozy atmopshere

Party Destination

Beirut is a haven for hedonistic night owls. It shares the same liberal attitude towards partying and alcohol as Tel-Aviv to the South. LGTB will be surprised how open minded people are and what Beirut has to offer. A rarity in Arabic countries! Enjoy the freedom and the diversity of people but always take caution. The same goes for enthusiastic drink lovers, who want to enjoy a beer or two, or maybe twenty. No-one bats an eye! While most eyes are on nightlife havens like Berlin, New York, London and Miami anyway, Beirut is easily overlooked. But once you’re inside BO18, a bunker turned legendary club, or inside Uberhaus with its unique lighting rig, your jaw drops to the (dance)floor. This is GOLD! Coming form a Berliner, that counts for something. Learn more in this amazing video:

Bars

Cherry on the rooftop (top pick) 
Rooftop bar Cherry attracts a young and stylish crowd. Its name stems from a catchy cherry painting hanging at the entrance. Relax on a cozy red couch and enjoy amazing views over Beirut, the Lebanese mountains and the blue Mediterranean sea. The highlights are the fruity and punchy cocktails suited for sharing with friends.

Iris Beirut
Iris is vintage, rustic and ranks among the best rooftop locations in Lebanon. The lounge bar has broken out from the mainstream’s blaring beats and mundane pub culture and created a unique rooftop experience. A minor setback is the amount of tables – when it gets crowded, it gets noisy and you crave more space.

Demo Bar
Located in the backstreets of Gemmayzeh district, this cozy and dimly lit bar attracts young and old alike. Demo is an unpretentious affair and the perfect place for a casual night out. During weekdays it offers great cocktails and pleasant background music. On the weekends loud hip hop and dance music swells into a full-blown party mix. The place gets so wild that part of the party gets carried onto the street regularly.

Torino Bar
Set in the vault of a 1930 Beirut house, Torino is a pretty puristic bar experience. The interior is sparse, the drinks are strong and the crowd is just right. It ranges from hip kids to medium-cool and regular, but always friendly. When night draws closer, bottles are popped and things quickly get out of hand. We approve.

Kissproof
One of the busiest spots in trendy Badaro, Kissproof attracts an energetic and international crowd. It’s the in-place for French students, so expect to hear more French than Lebanese or English. They also serve great pub food for your after-drink meat cravings, and it’s very affordable. Booze-fueled weekends are followed by lazy hangovers, so Kissproof decided to remain closed on Mondays.

Capitole – Restaurant & roof bar 

The Roof by Four Seasons – Hotel rooftop bar with special blend cocktails 

Anise – Cozy bar offering the best Bloody Mary in town 

Internazionale – 1950s American chic with dark wood furnishing 

Molo – At Molo, you share good food, great music and even better drinks 

Troika – A mix of café, bar and restaurant with simple and pleasant design

Salon Beirut – Great venue for live bands and snug dates 

Dany’s pub – A local’s favourite cafe-bar-lounge with local DJs 7 days a week 

Bardo Bar (Gay friendly) – An open-minded crowd, chill atmosphere and lots of pretty waiters 

Clubs 

AHM (top pick!)
AHM is a huge brand-new music temple on the waterfront. It was kept under a cloak of secrecy before the opening. It turned out to be a real blast. It boasts mast-like lightning structures on the main floor and a spacious rooftop. AHM drives crowds wild with soul music on Wednesdays, disco & house on Thursdays, pop & classics on Fridays and special club nights on Saturdays, featuring techno heroes like Victor Ruiz, M.A.N.D.Y. and Max Cooper.

BO18
A spectacular venue that’s literally underground. Located in a bomb-shelter lookalike, it’s been voted among the best clubs in the world several times. It was one on the first clubs that underlined Beiruts ambitions to become a worldwide nightlife destination. Its metal facade features an hydraulic apparatus that moves the retractable roof. What this means? The club’s roof just disappears into the walls and ravers gaze at the stars above when the beat drops.

SKYBAR
After a fire burned it down in 2015, SKYBAR returns with a bang! It fits up to 2500 party-goers per night and focuses on techno, rave & house music. The rooftop club sits right behind the waterfront and offers spectacular views over the sea. The downside: Skybar is a club all about seeing and being seen. On some nights, people stare more than they party. Amateurs.

The Gärten by Überhaus
In a unique setting below a glass dome, The Gärten features international and local DJs hitting the decks every weekend. The sound system is absolutely massive, the lights and visuals are smashing. If you want to relax for a bit, you can grab a bean bag and enjoy the spectacle from a distance.

O1ne
While Skybar is the place-to-be on hot, steamy days (and nights), O1NE is the banging indoor location for cold winter nights. Its walls are completely white, brought to life at night with a mind-blowing 360° video mapping. The changing visuals are an amazing way to create different atmospheres during the night. This place adjusts to its artists like a chameleon!

The Grand Factory – Stylish underground venue for concerts, multi-social gatherings, cultural events and happening of all sorts and flavors

Yukunkun – An alternative club and music venue located in Gemmayzeh focusing on eclectic groovy sounds from all genres

Seven Sisters - A green island in skyscraper-packed center where you can enjoy sunset drinks, listen to lounge music and live-bands and of course – party on the weekends

Beach Clubs

Sporting Club
Sporting Club occupies a loving spot in many Beirutis’ hearts since the 1950s. To many it feels like a second home. It attracts a colorful crowd from bronze-tanned Lebanese beauties to old men playing chess and youngsters drinking beers on the beach. If you can’t be bothered to jump into salt water, there are two pools to cool you down. While you can enjoy hearty Lebanese snacks at the poolside restaurant, there’s 5-star seafood just up the alley.

Madame Bleut - An urban beach resort in the midst of Beirut’s hustle & bustle somewhere between simple & luxurious

Bain Militaire - Swimming club in the heart of Beirut with great food and reasonable prices

Riviera Hotel - Boasts a stylish main pool, a family pool area and a floating island

Mövenpick Hotel Beirut - Vast outdoor pools with access to a private beach

Hotels

Le Gray (top pick)
Sleek, stylish and cosmopolitan. Located on Martyrs’ Square, Le Gray is capturing the image of the „new Beirut“ perfectly. Its exceptional design and service steal the show among Beirut’s upscale hotels. It’s just moments away from the city’s museums, shopping areas and thriving nightlife scene. 100% recommended.

Staybridge Suites Hotel
Just the rooftop and its pool are worth the visit! You can casually splash around the water while enjoying a view over Beirut’s infamous skyline. The suites aren’t lacking either. Well-equipped kitchens, a spacious salon and an inviting balcony made us feel at home in split seconds.

Phoenicia Beirut
What Adlon Hotel is to Berlin, Phoenicia is to Beirut. It’s considered a true Beirut landmark and is located just a stone’s throw from sophisticated art, dining, shopping and entertainment spaces. It boasts a beautiful view over Zaitunay Bay and Beirut’s famous Corniche.

Lancaster Plaza – 5 star hotel featuring a night club, sun deck and an indoor pool

Hotel Albergo - Luxury boutique hotel with deluxe suits, private apartments and 2 gourmet restaurants

O Monot - A quiet, luxurious oasis amidst Beirut’s hustle and bustle

Le Patio - An exclusive Boutique Hotel superbly located within Beirut’s most upscale residential area.

The Key – A sleek and contemporary aparthotel in Beirut’s museum district

Excursions

1. Byblos (top pick) - Arguably believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world

2. Cave adventure - Explore extraordinary stone forms of curtains, columns, draperies and mushrooms

3. Bonita Bay Beach – if you are looking for a cluster of cool Beach clubs and Beach bars side by side along the crystal blue sea you should head to Batroun. The best choice is Loco Beach Resort with its panoramic pool. Their neighbours are also great beach spots to visit for lunch or dinner – White Beach Lebanon, Pierre Friends and Oasis Beach Restaurant. The nearby Le Six Hotel is a good choice if you want to stay across the street to all beach bars!

4. Harissa – A Sanctuary of Virgin Mary, located on one of Beirut’s most beautiful hills 

5. Chateau Ksara – Visit Beirut’s famous winery, followed by a tour of the historic two-kilometer Roman caves, where their rarest and finest vintages are stored  https://libanonweine.de/libanon/ksara/

6. Baalbek – A beautiful town with historic sites dating back to 8.000 before Christ (travel warning, only with guide!)

7. Tyre - referred  to as “Queen of the Seas” 

8. Baatara waterfalls 

Cool city walking tour
Jana
Alternative Tour Beirut
+961 71 273 712

Private driver & in-the-know guide
Rami
+96171645488
Ramyouzbachi82@outlook.com

Useful links

Beirut’s official webpageSecret’s of Beirut, Timeout’s extensive city guideThe Culture Trip’s insider guideBeach resorts & clubs in Lebanon, AirBNB’s Beirut Guide

Global Hotspot – L.A. Downtown

Has there ever been a city name more befitting than Los Angeles (“The Angels”)? Legend has it the city’s high-rises tickled the skies so the stars fell down from heaven and landed in Hollywood. In a big car. In front of their villas. Ready to party. As far as we are concerned, the trend-setting metropolis could very well be the flashiest places in the milky way.

L.A. is mainly known for its sand beaches, tanned movie stars, nonstop nightlife and more celebrities than anyone cares to count. But when you look beyond all the eye-candy, you’ll find vibrant multicultural neighbourhoods with very distinctive personalities. A mixture of the most fascinating areas can be found in Downtown L.A., where each neighbourhood has a unique style and the district’s soul is determined by a mix of cutting-edge and classic influences.

Known as one of Downtown’s most energetic districts, the Historic Core is what brought L.A. on the world’s map in the first place. From the Broadway Theatres to galleries and contemporary food destinations, the Historic Core offers an exciting insight into the city’s turbulent past.

Highlights

Downtown wasn’t on an insider’s coolness radar for a long time. It has undergone a revivification over the last two decades, growing well beyond the borders of the business center. It’s still a little rough around the edges, but the ongoing cultural renaissance is slowly turning it into a stronghold for culture, architecture, amazing sights and of course – parties. We’ve compiled a list of attractions that you wouldn’t want to miss.

1. Walt Disney Concert Hall – 274$ jewel with an open platform stage, gallery and roof garden

2. Music Center – Consists of the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper forum, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Walt Disney Concert Hall

3. Bradbury Building – Downtown’s oldest commercial building (Blade Runner’s final scene was shot here)

4. Grand Central Market – European-style food hall with great eateries

5. The Broad – LA’s newest contemporary art museum

6. Grand Park – 50k sqm park – great for people-watching

7. LA City Hall – A huge conrete tower ideal for enjoying the view over Downtown

8. Union Station - Beautiful rail station with marble tiles, wood beamed ceilings and Art Deco influences

 9. El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument – The oldest section of LA, where it was first established in 1781

10. Broadway Theaters – Movie screenings, musical performances and live theaters

Restaurants

While L.A. in general offers some of the best restaurants in the USA, it’s Downtown’s culinary scene that has seen a real boom over the last years. Finding more than a few great restaurants was quite a mission not too long ago, but now you’ll have a hard time ignoring the tasty odors filling the air on almost every corner. Acclaimed chefs have conquered Downtown to leave their mark in the history of one of America’s hippest culinary bastions. With so many great restaurants around, it can be hard to keep track. Read on for our personally compiled list of amazing treats.

Otium (top pick!) – contemporary restaurant that draws from the rich culinary heritage of Chef Timothy Hollingsworth. Otium boasts a vertical garden, wood-burning oves and the best food in Downtown!

Spring – French cuisine with stunning open kitchen and relaxed&sophisticated atmosphere

Cicada – Extraordinary fusion of Art Deco and contemporary design

71 above – Breathtaking oceans views and elevated American cuisine at 290m

Shibumid – Kappo-style service and cuisine like in Tokyo

eatwinsome – Great neighbourhood restaurant with typical LA cuisine and warm interior

Baldoria – Hybrid bar-restaurant with easily sharable plates and hearty cocktails

Baco Mercat – Low-key eatery where every snack is a revelation

Redbird – Modern American cuisine in a vast open space

The Palm – Renowned for prime beef, lobsters and its authentic Italian cuisine

Coffee shops

Some like to call the Art’s District “Coffee District”, and rightfully so. The surge of ambitious coffee-nerds-turned-business-men has caused a real boom for trendy&tasty coffee roasteries over the last years and rumour has it that without the coffee, Downtown’s renaissance would be a long time coming. Here are the 8 best coffee stops in town.

Verve coffee roasters (top pick) – Lovely espresso bar with automated pourover brewers, cold presses juices, seasonal specials and slick furniture

Coffee Colab – Serving Suits & Knifes roasted coffee

Urth Caffé – pioneers in health conscious coffee making

Poppy + Rose – classic American diner fare prepared with honest ingredients

Mendocino Farms – Passionate eatery with great comfort & friendly staff

Demitasse - Coffee geeks shop where every barista has his speciality

G&B Coffee - Award-winning, warm, unfussy location in Grand Central Market

Cliftons – The biggest public cafeteria in the world

Bars

All the roasteries and restaurants in the world are no use if you want to have a REALLY good time. Where life pulses, drinks aren’t far behind – and in Downtown, the life beat is constantly speeding up. In a town full of plastic surgery and sunshine, Downtown’s bars offer a refreshing mix of gourmet and edgy. From a beer with friends to cocktails with the stars – a Downtown night has lots to offer.

Perch (top pick) – Art Deco roof top bar with upscale casual vibe and French-inspired menu

Ace hotel roof top – Sophisticated decor, strong cocktails and great DJs

The Standard roof top – Waterbeds, Bikinis, beers and an amazing view over Downtown

The Varnish – Located in an old storage room with drinks that are spot on

Seven Grand – Premiere destination for whiskey enthusiasts

La Cita - Theme-based bar nights in an old-school Mexican bar

Barrel Down – American craft beers from over 40 taps

Far Bar – Dynamic setting and amazing bartenders – more than 400 whiskeys

Villain’s Tavern – Unpretentious and off the beaten path

Redwood Bar & Grill – The pirate decor will make you feel like you’re in Pirates of the Carribbean

Clubs

The Downtown clubbing scene has come a long way. Its variety and uniqueness easily puts it at eye level with the legendary Hollywood parties, creating even more hype for the up and coming Downtown scene. From hipsters to hip hoppers, from subtle to all-out, from easy-going to full-blown sound systems, you can find it all in Downtown. Dance your feet off!

The Edison (top pick!) – Multidimensional club in a former power plant with old brick walls & generators

Exchange LA – Art Deco building turned into a modern club experience with House, Techno and Trance DJs

Club Mayan - Two-level main room with the look of a Mayan temple

The Crocker Club – Part of the club is inside a former safe deposit box in an old bank building

Elevate Lounge – Upscale nightclub located 21 floors above ground level

Hotels

Downtown’s hotel scene is spoiling travellers from around the world. Luxury and glamour are just around the corner, but you can also find more affordable hotels for budget-conscious travellers. The current generation of hotels boasts anything from intimate one-of-a-kind boutique hotels to timeless classics and luxurious digs with panoramic views over the city. Whatever kind of accommodation you’re looking for, Downtown won’t let you down.

Ace Hotel (top pick!) – Upscale boutique hotel with amazing roof top and unique personality

The Standard - Stellar 24-hour restaurant that boasts a rooftop beer garden serving traditional German food and beer

Millennium Biltmore - The choice of celebrities, presidents, and dignitaries. Absolute luxury! 

Ritz Carlton - Luxury hotel with world-class service, exceptional dining and dramatic views over the city

Omni Los Angeles Hotel At California Plaza – Low fuss, high-class hotel experience with an amazing staff

The Line Hotel - Modern interiors, lounge styled by Koreatown natives and a lifestyle boutique shop

SoHo Warehouse - Coming soon to Art’s District!

Hotspot – The Art’s District

While Downtown enjoys a lot of attention, the Art’s district is the area’s real jewel. For everyone creative, cool and aspiring this is the place to be. Creators from all over the world have found a home in the ultra cool hood consisting of warehouse wasteland and stylish galleries, trendy coffee shops and some of the best bars & restaurants in town. Don’t miss these hotspots and enjoy your trip to LA:

Bestia (top pick!) – A multi-regional rustic Italian restaurant focusing on a “from scratch” approach, offering house-made charcuterie, handmade pasta and pizza

Zinc Cafe – open kitchen and peaceful courtyard dining area provide a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of Downtown

The Spring – Health space with fresh food, yoga, wellness & workshops

Stump Town Coffee – 99 problems, but a cup of coffee ain’t one

Little Bear – A cafe pouring Belgian and domestic beer on draught with a kitchen showcasing Belgian food favorites

Blue Bottle Coffee – U-shaped bar, where you can see both the mess and the magic of coffee-making unfold

Bread Lounge – Contemporary artisanal bakery and café

American Tea Room – Retail shop, tea lounge, restaurant, cafe, and bar with 7.5m living wallscape and fire pits

Art’s District Brewing – Craft brewpub with onside brewhouse, 9 original beers and space for 300 guests

Eighty-Two – Innovative bar with more than 50 classic arcade & pinball machines, DJs, food trucks and game tournaments

The Wheel House – Community-centered bicycle and coffee shop

The Factory Kitchen – Traditional Italian fare in a comfortable yet interactive environment

Useful web pages

The Downtown LA web page

Historic core web page

Explore artsy Downtown

Downtown Muse