64.5 F
Los Angeles
Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023



Staff Reporter

Even by Sunset Strip standards, it’s not your typical hotel.

There’s the large glass case behind the front desk that houses a reclining live nude woman. There are the inflatable white sofas and metallic silver beanbag chairs in each of the 138 rooms.

And there’s the patio, with its electric blue artificial turf deck and hot pink-painted swimming pool.

The Standard is definitely creating a buzz so much so that when popular English disc jockey Paul Oakensold was in town recently to perform at the Viper Room down the street, he wanted to stay there.

“He requested that he be placed nowhere else,” said Chris Cary, a promoter for the club. “It’s definitely one of the cooler spots to stay in L.A., and it has a vibe that makes it fun.”

Owner Andre Balazs, who also owns the Chateau Marmont Hotel down the street and the splashy Mercer hotel in New York, says he designed the Standard as a way to shake up the staid hotel industry.

“Why not be different?” he says.

His concept was to provide a hip and relatively affordable urban resort that caters mainly to travelers in the arts and entertainment from ad executives to rock musicians.

With backing from celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz, Balasz has plans to open two similar hotels in New York and Chicago during the next two years.

The Standard is located in a three-story building that once housed a retirement home and then the Thunderbird Motel. Along with its unusual d & #233;cor, the hotel also offers a T-1 computer line and top-of-the-line mini-component stereos in rooms.

Later this month, The Standard will open a 24-hour restaurant and a bar will be added early next year. Room rates range from $95 to $200, with each of the two suites going for $550 a night.

It’s also the site of an office suite created especially for Nylon fashion magazine. Editor-in-chief Marvin Jarrett approached Balazs with the idea and says it has worked out well.

“Our business associates love it and who wouldn’t?” Jarrett said. “They enjoy the atmosphere, they can have drinks at the pool. It’s good business for us.”

Analysts say that the specialty hotel niche is still relatively new and designed to stand out from the traditional chains. In West Hollywood, the trend began with the opening of the Mondrian Hotel three years ago by impressario Ian Schrager.

Still, questions remain about long-term viability.

“I see it as somewhat of a fad,” said Neale Redington, director of the Western region hospitality group at Deloitte & Touche LLP. “West Hollywood can get away with it, but other cities would be more hard-pressed to unveil something like that.”

Yet others counter that targeting a niche market is the point of such ventures.

“Clearly, these places aren’t for everybody and that’s the strategy behind boutique hotels,” said Bruce Bolton, senior vice president of PKF Consulting. “They have classes within themselves from the avant-garde to the European inn that draw distinct crowds.”

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