You’ve surfed in Baja, ridden motorcycles in Anjuna, and soul-searched in the Mojave. Visionary and free-spirited, you’re a bohemian citizen of the world with a thirst for experience and more stamps in your passport than an airline pilot. Now you’re in Los Angeles, looking for fresh adventures, and the Freehand in Downtown L.A. is custom-made for an envelope-pushing traveler like yourself.
Located in the former Commercial Exchange building at Eighth and Olive (formerly the publishing house of Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs), the Freehand Los Angeles is a standout property with its high-end hotel/hostel hybrid scene. Most of the 226 rooms in the Freehand L.A. are private - naturally, you decide to book one of the 59 shared rooms. A lifelong early adopter, you’re determined to experience the new wave.
You invite three of your oldest friends along for the ride, to relive the glory days of those great summers you spent together as kids. There’s even a communal kitchen, perfect for making midnight snacks. Designed by Roman & Williams and accommodating groups of four, six and eight, these shared rooms are unlike any hostel rooms you’ve ever seen - custom cedar bunk beds, privacy screens and hand woven textiles, all at a quarter of the price of a typical hotel room in Downtown L.A.
You start the day with complimentary breakfast and a caffeine top-up at the hotel’s Cafe Integral, which brews a selection of Nicaragua’s finest beans. You relax in the lobby with its bazaar vibe, featuring Flower Boy, before stepping out into the bustling heart of Downtown L.A. You intend to experience it all, in the most authentic way possible—on foot.
Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast”, Kerouac’s “On The Road” and Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now” are your touchstones. You make sure to visit the surreal Last Bookstore nearby, and sign up for a free tour of the magnificent Central Library. Two more passions—Art Deco architecture and World Music—are merged when you pick up tickets to a Tinariwen show at the gorgeously restored Orpheum or Regent Theatre.
You’ve heard so much about the burgeoning L.A. art scene, so after checking out the collections at The Broad and MOCA, you catch a Lyft to the ever-expanding Arts District - Night gallery, Venus Over Los Angeles, Maccarone, and Ibid and the Box (run by Paul McCarthy’s daughter) are on your hit list.
And when a hotel tarot card reader says you have “adventure in your future”, you suspect she’s talking about your dinner reservation at The Exchange, the hotel’s signature restaurant. A destination in itself, The Exchange is named for the 12-story vintage sign above its entrance. The global cuisine reminds you of distant lands; the mezze-style plates remind you how much fun it is to share. A moveable feast indeed.