Created by Sydell Group, Freehand LA offers 167 private accommodations in addition to 59 shared rooms, ranging from a spacious Corner Suite to a Super 8 Bunk Room. The hotel expands Freehand into the luxury space with the addition of superior rooms and suites, as well as amenities including doormen and room service. In keeping with the brand’s ethos, the hotel combines the social culture of a hostel with innovative design, exceptional food & beverage, and a strong sense of community. Extensive public spaces include a restaurant, a rooftop pool & lounge, which is home to the award-winning Broken Shaker, a communal lobby area with salon-style cocktail service, grab & go coffee by Café Integral, and a concept store by Venice’s Flowerboy Project. Later this year, Sydell Group will open The NoMad hotel, one short block away, creating a complimentary experience and furthering Downtown LA’s cultural and culinary renaissance.
Inspired by the history of the Commercial Exchange building and the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles, Freehand LA embodies a sense of urbanism that is uniquely Californian. Developed by Rudolph Rosenberg in 1924, the Commercial Exchange building played a significant role in the expansion of Los Angeles’ metropolitan core. It is where local businesses, like the Owl Drug Company, had its first retail drug store - and where Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan, had his publishing headquarters. Sydell’s longtime Freehand collaborator Roman & Williams bridged the gap between these two eras to create a conversation between past and future, layering a modern interpretation of LA’s evolving urban landscape over meticulously restored interiors. Outfitted with handcrafted furnishings, vibrant tapestries, earthy decorative elements and murals by local artists, Freehand LA is a relaxed, California oasis in a bustling, urban setting.
Guest rooms are outfitted with vibrantly colorful textiles and dynamic accents including custom light fixtures, case goods & upholstery, and painted tile. Similar to rooms at the Freehands in Miami & Chicago, Freehand worked with local manufacturers and artisans to create custom furniture and decorative elements with a focus on the American craftsman aesthetic. A mural by LA art collective CYRCLE adorns the building’s lightwell, and amenities including toiletries by Argan, a full minibar with a variety of local snacks and gifts, bathrobes, slippers, and room service add to the Freehand LA’s elevated experience.
Freehand LA’s restaurant, The Exchange, pays homage to the restored 12 story blade sign (the largest in LA) under which its entrance proudly sits. The restaurant is led by the team behind Bar Lab, who brought the beloved 27 Restaurant to Freehand Miami, and Angeleno chef Alex Chang, best known locally for his Paladar dinner series at USC. Similar to 27 Restaurant in Miami, where dishes explore the city’s many flavors through a Latin lens, the menu at The Exchange explores the multicultural flavors of urban LA through an Israeli lens – incorporating flavors & practices from Chang’s Asian & Mexican background, with a strong focus on local produce. Outfitted with communal tables to mimic the menu’s shared format, Exchange’s interiors are inspired by the experience of being outdoors – with plants and terrariums tucked throughout the restaurant in a nod to the California desert. Original mosaic tile “owls”, which represented the former entry to the Owl Drug Store, have been restored and are featured throughout the restaurant.
Gabe Orta & Elad Zvi of Bar Lab introduced a new cocktail concept in the hotel’s lobby, called Rudolph’s Bar & Tea. Set in the Commercial Exchange Building’s original foyer, the bar exudes a relaxed sophistication, with sourced vintage furniture and decorative objects, and a menu built around tea-infused cocktails, vintage spirits, and light bites.
Bar Lab have also brought the acclaimed Broken Shaker bar to the hotel’s rooftop. Similar to the Miami outpost, the West Coast iteration is a departure from city nightlife with lush greenery, vintage furniture, and a laid back vibe. The Broken Shaker LA is an urban retreat, with a rooftop pool, city views, and a garden overgrown with trees paying homage to the California hills. The bar’s menu features a variety of cocktails infused with homemade elixirs, fresh herbs and produce, and street food inspired snacks that bring coastal flavors to the city. Known for marrying playful, hand crafted cocktails with hospitality, The Broken Shaker has been nominated for two James Beard awards, named one of the “The World’s 50 Best Bars” from 2014-2017 - and was awarded the Best American Hotel Bar at the 2016 Tales Of A Cocktail Spirited Awards.
Off the hotel’s lobby is an outpost of the popular Venice shop, Flowerboy. Created by local interior designer Sean Knibb (a longtime Sydell collaborator) and inspired by his grandmother’s flower store in his native Jamaica, Flowerboy carries fresh flowers and wares including pottery, candles, fragrances and jewelry.