Open for just a few months at the time of our visit, the Line is an eagerly awaited and heavily promoted new boutique hotel in LA's Koreatown. Other Lines are expected in other US cities in the not too distant future. The location is excellent, with I-10 five minutes away and the purple line metro across the street. As long as you like Korean food, there are plenty of places to eat locally, but otherwise downtown is an easy $1.50 metro ride away.
The property itself is a 1950s/60s slab block, with two parallel wings slightly offset from each other. South-facing rooms look onto Wilshire Boulevard and the office buildings opposite, while north-facing rooms look over the low rise buildings to the north and towards the Hollywood Hills. For a view you want to be on this side and on at least the eighth floor or higher. I'm told that south-facing rooms depend on air conditioning not to overheat.
Check in was confusing and chaotic. A private party was lined up at the entrance so we were rushed to unload the car. There is a big parking garage but it's valet only, and this is $35 plus a tip. The valet staff are understandably obsequious because they're making bank. The hotel claims that this price is comparable with other properties in LA, but it's overcharging for the price point the hotel is pegging its rooms at.
The hotel has a big open plan reception and lobby bar. This being a new hotel, bar and restaurant in LA, it is achingly hip, and the music is as loud as a nightclub. We didn't mind this but it's a very brash way to set the hotel's ambience. We had cocktails here on our first night, and the speed of service was glacial - it took almost 15 minutes for a server to notice us and 10 more to deliver drinks.
Setting these poor initial impressions aside, the real success of this hotel is in the rooms. Upon renovation the hotel was stripped of almost all its interior décor. Throughout the hotel, plaster has been cut away to reveal bare concrete beneath. New carpets, pale wood fixtures and other remnants of the old hotel (such as the textured ceilings of the corridors) all work together to create a unique and really distinctive look.
There are flaws, but the rooms are the highlight. Each follows the standard footprint of the old hotel's rooms, but the key difference is that the beds are now facing out of the window instead of across the room. This reduces space a bit, but on the other hand provides you superb views from your pillow and a spacious desk which you can reach from the bed. The décor is superb: bare concrete walls with contemporary framed prints and a metal sculpture on one wall. The bed is very comfortable with high quality linens and excellent pillows.
All rooms have floor to ceiling and wall to wall windows, although these haven't been refurbished along with the property. Two blinds (sheer and blackout, the later of which are dyed different colours on the outside to give the hotel facade a colourful appearance) can be controlled from the bedside. Jet lag may have woken us very early both mornings, but we did at least get to luxuriate in this fine bed as we watched the sky change colour and the sun rise over LA.
The downsides of the room are mostly niggles. Firstly, the wifi signal was strong but never worked. We could connect to it but the signal always dropped within 30 seconds. A call was put through to remote IT support but no solution was found. Secondly the room is supposedly all wired up for you to plug and play your own devices trough the sound system, but the in desk control panel was dead and there was no indication of how to use it or how to run sound trough the tv. There's a bedside clock radio with an old-style iPhone dock, but this flummoxed us even more. There's a flatscreen TV hanging by the window, but it's too high to be comfortably viewed from bed.
The biggest drawback of the room is that it for American standards, it is tiny, and facing the bed out of the window only reduces useable space even more. There was insufficient space for us to open our bags, so within half an hour of check in the modern minimalist chic was completely lost under our piles of clothes. Wardrobe space is very limited.
The bathroom is cute and chintzy, with a gold framed oval mirror on a mirror and chunky old faucets - possibly those from the old hotel. Water pressure and temperature was good, although there were no feminine hygiene bags and there was no trash can with a lid in the bathroom.
There is a minibar and amenity basket but the prices are absurd: $10 for Fiji water, $20 for can of "champagne", $10 for condoms, etc. The selection is also poor: four kinds of beer, all of them big brand lager. Breakfast can be delivered to your room, cooked dishes are all around the $10-12 mark, but we ate out instead.
We stayed two nights at the Line and left with mixed impressions. In spite of the technical faults, the rooms are fabulous and the experience of waking up on our first morning in LA to see the night sky turning pink and blue with dawn will be unforgettable. The downside is that at the prices currently being charged for the rooms, the hotel is overcharging for services and amenities (mandatory valet parking, for example). The quality of some details (Pringles potato chips and Bud Light in the minibar) doesn't live up to the standards being aimed for by the hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Each room at The LINE Hotel features custom furnishings, local artwork, and floor-to-ceiling views of Los Angeles. LA's own Roy Choi oversees The LINE's three restaurants - including Commissary a working greenhouse restaurant that spills out to The LINE's pool deck. Citrus trees and scented flora and its open year-round to hotel guests surround the outdoor pool. The LINE also hosts POKETO, a local design shop, and BREAKROOM 86, a nightclub by Houston brothers. The LINE is centrally located in Koreatown with easy access to Beverly Hills (6 miles), Downtown (3 miles), and Hollywood (3miles). Complimentary access to LINUS x LINE bicycles is available to all hotel guests along with 24-hour gym access. At The LINE Hotel, wifi is always free. In addition, there are free yoga classes every Saturday for hotel guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Wilshire Plaza Hotel Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Wilshire Plaza