the standard hotel, la

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Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Stars, War Paint, Exquisite Corpse, 2009, | LINK

the photography:
i like boutique hotels. i have stayed in a number of them through the years. the best being a japanese boutique hotel that my wife and i stayed in while vacationing in Beijing a few years ago. what i like about boutique hotels is that they match form and function to create class and style. usually boutique hotel means classy designer furniture coupled with hip outfits, cool bars, and everything matches and looks like it came out of the pages of the magazine Dwell. unfortunately, the standard hotel in downtown los angeles is all about the snark. and i say “snark” with the curled-est of lips. the LA standard is probably just like all the other standard hotels across the globe (they have many locations) but since it’s the only location i’ve stayed at (three years in a row), it’s the only one i can comment on. let’s start with snark, shall we?

first off… no hotel in it’s right mind should have valet’s who wear $200 jeans, have $150 haircuts, and who all wear ray-bans. it just shouldn’t happen. second: every hotel room in the world should have more than one trash can and if you are going to have just one, make sure it lives in the bathroom. no one likes to carry their used q-tips to the living room. the standard in LA covers it’s room and bed riser in carpeting only to add one cool chair, a mattress on said carpeted riser/floor, a plexiglass window that looks into the bathroom from the bedroom, and the whole shooting match gets tied together with some line drawing wall paper that feels too “Logan’s Run” to be anywhere near cool.

what the standard lacks in usability, it makes up for in package design. everything from the sticker on the toilet paper to the box of condoms, to the fire extinguisher signage, breaths “70’s key bowl party decadence” meets “90’s hipster snark with ironic mustaches”. if the standard didn’t have a world class roof deck bar, i don’t think i would ever set foot in it again. as a place to visit? it’s awesome. as a place to lay your head for four days, it sucks. check it for yourself in the pics above. i tried to connect the dots with all of the standard’s glory which include a couple of photos from the roof, a shot of the random organ in the lobby, all of their cool design signage, to the free pool table, and the weird sparse rooms. what a headache. but an enjoyable headache to boot.

don’t get me wrong, the hotel is eye candy as are all of the components that make it up. but the rooms are pretty dreadful as far as comfort and quality. roof deck bar with pool? awesome. hotel room without a coffee maker and kleenex? bogus.

ALSO: worst WiFi ever. 15 minutes to send a 1MB email. FAIL!!!!

the music:
war paint is a random band from LA that we (a couple of coworkers and i) ran into on the roof deck bar at the standard. about 3 minutes into their set, i finally realized that there was an actual live band playing in the corner and not that the DJ was ripping some serious grooves. i was slack jawed and happy to see that an LA band was ripping through some psych groove rock and we hadn’t paid a dollar to see it happen before our eyes. so good. so cool. and it turns out that shannyn sossamon was the original drummer. who knew?

7 thoughts on “the standard hotel, la

  1. Shnerfle

    Those pics make it look better than it was. He didn’t mention the non-existent water pressure or giant tongue video or the general feeling that no matter what, you (I) would NEVER be hip enough to fit in. FAIL.

    Amazing shots, though.

  2. Sara L.

    Ian, your review hits the nail on the head. When I stayed there last year, I loved the decor of the common spaces of the hotel. But the room felt “rode hard, put away wet.” The minimalist design just highlighted its impracticality.

    On the other hand, when I called down to room service after I had finally stopped throwing up last year, they really took care of me. I just asked for a tray with stuff for someone who’d been sick. They sent toast, oatmeal, sliced bananas, tea, and a flower.

  3. Shnerfle

    The pics make is look better than it was. A great photographer can make ANYTHING look good. He failed to mention the giant tongue video or the crap water pressure or the general feeling that the hotel was infinitely cooler than you (I) would ever be.

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