Each room feels like an apartment, complete with an array of amenities that are ideal for hosting long-term guests. (Photo: Hotel Covell)
This is the mostly untrue story of George Covell, a travel-weary writer and New York socialite trying to raise his young daughter in the chic rebellion of sixties Paris. The story’s author is Dustin Lancaster, but there’s a twist: Lancaster isn’t a writer; he’s an hotelier and bar-owner. But never mind those minor details, Lancaster has concocted the most unique, genre-shifting, brand-blurring boutique hotel of modern times — a hotel designed as a novel, and each room tells the story of the fictional Covell, from his life in Lower Manhattan, to his days traversing the globe from India to Monaco. Though to be fair, with only five rooms, perhaps “novella” may be the more appropriate term.
The idea is the literary and design lovechild of interior designer Sally Breer and Lancaster, who worked together to create a backstory and narrative for Covell’s life and transform that story into space and décor. The result is one of America’s best new boutiques.
Want a drink? Stop by Bar Covell. (Photo: Hotel Covell)
The five-room micro-hotel is located inside a 1930s brick building at the east end of Hollywood Boulevard, long past the tragic glitz and tourist congestion of Hollywood. It resides in Los Feliz, where you’ll find the rooms just above Bar Covell, the areas trendiest, most hipster bar, a narrow space of dark wood and candles where mixologists can whip up pretty much any ingredient that suits your favorite flavors and brand of liquor.
But back to the story of George Covell, a fictional writer, nomad, and father, loosely based on the real-life adventures of both Lancaster and Breer — their lives, their stories, their dreams and triumphs — told chapter by chapter, room by room. The story should transport you to the New York and Paris of a bygone era, so it’s fitting they remain mostly small and tasteful, ranging from 300-800 square feet, and starting around $250 per night.
The coolest part about Hotel Covell is that every room tells a different story. (Photo: Hotel Covell)
Lets start on Chapter 2, the early-fifties of New York, the small room dressed in mid-century furniture and art, evoking a handsome timelessness. And onto Chapter 3, where we discover Covell’s girlfriend and her days in 1960’s Paris — the room an homage to romantic Parisian designs and vintage pieces.
Chapter 4, the hotel’s most deluxe suite, tells the story of Covell’s far-reaching journeys through Monaco and India, and then we’re back to New York for Chapter 5 to learn about Covell’s Paris-raised daughter and her 70s-era apartment.
The hotel, which opened this month, is a rejuvenation and reinvention of sorts for one of LA’s hottest and most up-in-coming neighborhoods that long suffered from not having any decent accommodations. The new opening of Covell changes that. But Lancaster says his plans for the neighborhood extend long beyond the bar and hotel.
There’s a room for every style at Hotel Covell. (Photo: Hotel Covell)
Lancaster is a powerhouse in Los Feliz having already spawned such neighborhood powerhouses as L&E Oyster Bar in Silver Lake and the Highland Park Brewery, and how he wants to take over the entire stretch of Sunset Junction, an area long poised to break-out as the city’s hottest intersection since Hollywood and Vine, and Lancaster sees its future of boutique shops, restaurants, and hotels, a transformation of a single block that could change an entire city.
As for Covell, we suspect he’s downstairs at the bar, a quick drink before his cab arrives to whisk him off to the airport. We suspect his story has just begun.
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