Freehand Los Angeles
What We Love
- Freehand’s hip and easygoing vibe
- Delicious tea-infused cocktails at Rudolph’s Bar & Tea served in vintage glasses
- The lushly landscaped rooftop pool, where you can order bites inspired by L.A.’s street food and seasonal drinks prepared by expert mixologists
What To Know
- Shared rooms, which can accommodate up to eight guests, have private bathrooms
- Valet parking is available for an extra fee per day, but there’s also public parking nearby
- Children are welcome, but the hotel is more suitable for adults, especially the young and young at heart
- Dogs of any size allowed at no additional fee
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Laid-back base in Downtown L.A. that promotes mingling with a series of inviting common areas
Originally built in 1924 by architects Walker & Eisen, L.A.’s Freehand boasts unique architectural details like owl-shaped tile work from the 1930s. (The Owl Drug Company was an occupant of the space, which was formerly known as the Commercial Exchange Building). Design firm Roman and Williams took full advantage of these quirky elements, pushing the theme even further by placing a collection of ceramic owls in the lobby bar Rudolph’s Bar & Tea. Freehand’s properties draw inspiration from the down-to-earth communal atmosphere of hostels, without sacrificing comfort or style. You’ll find this chic, social vibe throughout the property, including reception, which is outfitted with shingled sofas, custom wooden lights, and a hodgepodge of green plants all in reference to both the Arts and Crafts Movement and California’s desert environs. The main restaurant, run by the hospitality whiz kids at Bar Lab, is covered in a palette of intense teal and coral combined with auburn wooden panels. Broken Shaker, the award-winning cocktail bar located on the rooftop pool deck, offers expansive city views in an earthy setting of overgrown plants and flowers reminiscent of the California hills. And of the 226 rooms, decorated with sturdy cedar beds and woven wall art, 59 are shared—an ideal option for friend groups or solo travelers seeking affordable accommodations.
In the Area
Downtown Los Angeles was once an unremarkable area of nearly abandoned Art Deco office towers. But thanks to new city regulations, the neighborhood began to evolve into what it is today: a colorful hub of food and culture. Noteworthy restaurants include Bottega Louie, a glamorous light-filled space that’s famous for its well-executed Italian classics and house-made pastries, and Otium, a nouveau American spot run by former French Laundry chef Timothy Hollingsworth. Then there’s art—plenty of it—seen in small galleries and artists’ studios as well as institutions like The Broad, a contemporary art museum showcasing works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ed Ruscha inside a stunningly modern building designed by master architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
How to Get There
This was an interesting stay. Modern, eclectic vibes with incredible rooftop views. Rooms are small but manageable. Definitely not your cookie cutter hotel. Staff was very accommodating and helped me with my questions.
This was a great place! Only complaint is parking is VERY expensive. However, everything else was perfect, kind of funky but super nice Boho feel to it. The restaurant was very good also, a little pricey but super good. Close to Staples center and the Fashion District I would highly recommend this place.
Nice hotel in a convenient downtown location. The room (king with city view) was large, clean and cosy. The bed was comfortable. We loved the window seat and the bag and coat hooks. What a great idea. Good shower too. The staff were really friendly and helpful. Nothing was a problem. The only con for us was the restaurant. We thought the music was far too loud and the menu was limited. But it didn’t matter - there was plenty of eating places in easy walking distance. Try Cassells right across the road. Mostly burgers but it did have nice salad options and pineapple pie to die for. Freehand made our first stay in LA a delight. We will be back.
Stayed in the 8 bedroom bunk room with coworkers for an event. Really comfortable and way nicer than expected. Only complaint is this particular room was next to the service elevator and I picked the bunk next to it instead of one on the other side of the room. However, still a great stay. The room was clean, the bunks were comfortable and had everything one would need for a shared room.
I booked through a third party and got a room overlooking a brightly lit parking lot (no shades) and four bunk beds for $320. When I tried to switch the staff was rude and smug. Takes the cake as worst hotel of the year -- and that's saying something.