Just Back: Conrad Los Angeles

Guests at the new Frank Gehry-designed Conrad Los Angeles, will get a “wow” view of Gehry’s original architectural icon, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, as they step out of the elevator of the hotel’s 10th-floor lobby. When the concert hall opened in 2003, Gehry changed the face of downtown Los Angeles. Almost 20 years later, this $1 billion project on Bunker Hill with its rectangular, twisted, cube-like-blocks enhances the appeal of Downtown L.A., a massive, mixed-use neighborhood that has the largest concentration of pre-World War II architecture in the United States. 

The 25-story Conrad Los Angeles is one of two high rises (the other being The Grand by Gehry) that anchor The Grand L.A., a new residential, dining, retail and hotel complex. 

Needless to say, the views from most rooms at the hotel, as well as its pool deck, are notable and add to the experience of staying here. 

The interior is unique, as well. It’s all very sleek and contemporary at every angle. One detail worth noting is that all windows open; ours, in room 1804, had close-up views of the concert hall and a sunset vista extending west to Santa Monica. 

Conrad Los Angeles
The 25-story Conrad Los Angeles offers arooftop terrace, a full-service spa, and locally inspired culinary experiences. (Conrad Los Angeles)

Which rooms to pick? The most popular requests are for the “Balcony One Bedroom Suite” because the Conrad Los Angeles has walk-out balconies; these suites overlook City Hall, the Los Angeles cityscape, Dodger Stadium and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Each of the three presidential suites are designed to feel like the guest’s personal penthouse retreat, with separate living, dining, sleeping and lavatory spaces plus a walk-out balcony. 

There’s a mid-century modernist décor in The Grand Avenue Presidential Suite, which at 1,633 square feet, is the largest; the formal living room has a built-in bar, the dining room is furnished with a six-seat dining table, the spacious master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and five-piece bathroom, plus, there’s a private terrace with unrivaled city views. 

We hear that families prefer the Presidential Suite City View, which connects with a double-bedded room (many rooms connect). Premium View rooms offer the best views overlooking the Walt Disney Concert Hall; while City rooms view City Hall. With so many choices, luxury travel advisors can contact Stephanie Leavitt ([email protected]), director of sales and marketing, about selecting rooms, bringing a pet or engaging a private butler. Note: Fall is high season in the business district and rooms are hard to book for major performances and games, so guests should book accordingly, some months out. Contact the concierge team ([email protected]) about tickets, tours and exclusive individual needs including transportation to Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills, to trendy boutiques in West Hollywood or to the beach in Santa Monica. 

Conrad Los Angeles
San Laurel is the signature restaurant on the 10th floor that opens to a terrace showcasing concert hall views. (Conrad Los Angeles)

Conrad Los Angeles is central to all that Downtown offers, from the Civic Center, Business District, with its own garment center, to El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic District, the Crypto.com Arena (former Staples Center), Dodgers Stadium and numerous historic landmarks, including the historic 1920s Central Library and Grand Central Market, plus cultural venues, such as MOCA and the LA Opera. 

The hotel is within walking distance of the Union Station Amtrak Railroad and the Metro and located less than 20 miles from the newly redone LAX, Los Angeles International Airport. For private jets, it is fewer than 15 miles from either Burbank or Santa Monica Airports. 

Award-winning, humanitarian, Chef José Andrés, of the ThinkFoodGroup, heads the five food and beverage outlets. The signature restaurant, San Laurel, occupies the 10th floor in a contemporary space filled with warm woods that opens to a terrace showcasing concert hall views. The fresh-from-California fare arrives via Spain and features familiar Jose Andres dishes: Pan e tomate (similar to a bruschetta), jamón ibérico de bellota (ham), gambas al Zahara (shrimp), tomato tartare, roasted asparagus and Tortilla at breakfast. Latin and Asian flavors dominate on the terrace at Agua Viva restaurant, where patatas bravas, a José Andrés specialidad and gazpacho are on the menu. 

Conrad Los Angeles
Conrad Los Angeles has 305 rooms and suites, all with sweeping views of the city. (Conrad Los Angeles)

Airlight, on the pool deck, offers handheld bites, shareable plates and creative cocktails with a view. SED showcases popular spirits and international flavors. 

Spa Director Alina Medyanikova ([email protected]; 213-349-8585) heads the 7,000-square-foot Conrad Spa, which comprises seven treatment rooms, recovery cabins, infrared sauna, enlightenment lounge space and changing rooms. The hyper-personalized program invites clients to explore wellness with a variety of Thai Massages, Ayurvedic Dosha Balancing, and highly tailored, innovative high-tech treatments including NuCalm meditation, compression leggings by Normatec, and a Gharieni Welnamis wavetable vibration bed, with chromotherapy, meditation and power-nap therapy. 

Aesthetician and massage therapist Vanessa Kemling ([email protected]) provides the signature spa treatment: the Angela Caglia Rose Quartz Goddess Facial. Beauty brands also include CODAGE, Augustinus Bader and Esker Beauty. For service recommendations and appointments, get in touch with Spa Manager Kimberly Landstrom ([email protected]; 213-349-8585) at least a week in advance. 

Conrad Los Angeles
The Grand Avenue View Presidential Suite is on the 24th floor. It offers 1,633 square feet of space and has a large furnished terrace. (Conrad Los Angeles)

One of the many impressive factors about the hotel experience is the eager-to-please attitude of the staff. According to General Manager Adam Heffron ([email protected]), “more than 55 percent of the Conrad Los Angeles team are local Angelenos and 38 percent are from at risk communities, who have been introduced to hospitality as a career path.”

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