The Standard Downtown L.A., Los Angeles, CA *

Q: What is it? A: Another Balacz operation. Interesting location. Playful design. Spectacular rooftop. Some quirky ideas. And a downright shitty attitude from the staff.

Just surround yourself with glass, steel and concrete...

– Let’s have a drink and look at the skyscrapers! That’s what you do on the rooftop of the Standard Downtown L.A. Verner Panton’s chairs never looked more fab.

Imagine hot chicks in tight little skirts and crazy heels skip and jump around this one...

– Anyone for foosball?

Typical room. With glass shower.

If there hadn’t been a glass shower, this room had been rather dull.

And Marvin Gaye sings: "Let's Get It On..."

Interesting hotel amenity: A pack of condoms. Comes with pictogram suggestions on how to utilize them. An in-room conversation piece + a smart way of boosting the hotel brand, as most of them are probably taken home by guests…

Because first impressions last:
The young Denzel lookalike is looking straight through me. I’ve been driving 200 miles then been through a lot of hassle while changing my rental car and all in all I’ve had a rather shitty day. I want to get to my room and I want to do it right now. So why the no? Is it my sneakers? Am I dressed like a Des Moines car salesman? Or do you need to look like a million bucks to access your room at The Standard?
I ask Denzel Jr. for an explanation. “We have a strict members only policy”, he says. To what? The elevator? I want my room. “You have to see front desk about that.” I was at the front desk two minutes ago. I just parked my car. “Just see front desk, man.”

It’s a weird feeling being denied access to a hotel elevator.
The elevators to the guest floors at The Standard take you to the rooftop bar (pictured above). Guests have to share these elevators with the party animals. Not unusual. No problem. But when a hotel guest is getting treated like a party animal with bad breath and rabies – big problem. And Denzel Jr. should be able to distinguish party animals from hotel guests. In my case it should have been really easy, as I was dragging behind me an oversized aluminium traveler’s case. It’s also hard to get intoxicated and do the flare groove carrying my heavy backpack containing camera equipment.

A cool place with tough security everywhere.
The restaurant is protected from people in a similar fashion. Ordering a drink at the rooftop bar means that you must pass the ignorance test. Do not disturb! The actor/personality behind the bar is in deep contemplation about which body part he needs to get inked before the next audition.
The Standard Downtown L.A. is awarded half a star for the interior design. The building is the former HQ of the Standard Oil Company and there are quite a few details remaining from that era. It’s getting another half star for the view from the rooftop. The shiny skyscrapers provide quite a surreal backdrop. To tell you the truth, I would have been happy to let the stars rain over The Standard. The man behind the concept, André Balacz, is obviously brilliant and full of ideas – but when the majority of the staff think that they’re Fabio, the stars are finding themselves being ripped out, one by one. That’s a pity.
I would be happy to be proven wrong. In fact, the next time I’m around, I’ll stay a night or two there. It has the potential to become a very interesting visit.

The Standard Downtown L.A.
550 S Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
United States

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