Hello from the 70th floor of the new Wilshire Grand Center in downtown Los Angeles, home to the new InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. TravelSkills buzzed into LA this week to watch Delta sign its new joint venture agreement with Korean Air and to watch InterContinental open its newest, tallest hotel– all in the same spot.
How are the two related? Well, Korean Air, which is part of the giant Korean conglomerate Hanjin, is the owner of the Wilshire Grand Center. So when it came time to do the deal with Delta, Korean Air chose its newest real estate gem for the occasion. It just so happened that the joint venture announcement and the hotel opening coincided, so it was quite a big deal with CEOs of both Delta and Korean Air in attendance.
The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is in the the new Wilshire Grand Center, a gleaming glass tower that is now the tallest building west of the Mississippi at 1,100 feet. (It beats out the US Bank Tower, which stands at 1,018 feet.) InterContinental runs the hotel part (floors 31-73) of the building.
The $1.2 billion mixed-use complex also houses five floors of meeting space, office space, retail stores, and observation decks. The new tower at 900 West Wilshire Boulevard is on the site of the old Wilshire Grand Hotel, which closed in 2011 and was demolished in 2013.
The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is big, with 889 guest rooms and suites. The guest rooms are located below the hotel’s pubic areas, which include a “sky lobby” for check-in on the 70th floor (a 50-second ride on the hotel’s high-speed, double-decker elevators).
The hotel has five restaurants and bars, including a French steakhouse, La Boiucherie, on the 71st floor (with pink velvet banquets) and an open-air rooftop bar on floor 73 with whimsical designer touches like astroturf chairs. On the 69th floor you’ll find a sushi restaurant called Sora and an upscale restaurant called Dekkadance with a variety of traditional and comfort foods.
Other features of the hotel include 94,000 square feet of meeting space (including a 21,000 square foot ballroom), a business center, and valet parking. The hotel also has upgraded Club InterContinental rooms and suites with extra amenities and services, as well as a Club lounge on floor 70 (see photo at top) with free breakfast, all-day refreshments, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails.
Standard rooms at the InterContinental start at 385 square feet, with beginning rates of $289 double. One-bedroom suites go for $495.
The hotel is in the city’s financial district, but is also close to popular sports and entertainment venues like the Staples Center and L.A. Live, as well as the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Disclosure: Chris McGinnis was a guest of Korean Air for this trip, which included airfare from SFO and hotel for 2 nights.