The newly opened Hotel Covell on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz adds an upscale option on a side of town frustratingly devoid of appealing accommodations for out-of-town visitors. The five-room hotel is the work of Dustin Lancaster, the entrepreneur behind the existing Bar Covell in the same building, in addition to hip bar and restaurant locations like L&E Oyster Bar in Silver Lake and the Hermosillo in Highland Park.
The hotel's unique design motif has already attracted attention from the likes of The New York Times and a crowd of enthusiastic visitors at the hotel's open house on Feb. 1.
Each of the hotel's five rooms embodies a chapter in the life of an imagined character named George Covell, as created by the interior designer on the project, Sally Breer. (Breer is one of the creative forces behind Shopclass, a furniture and décor boutique on York Boulevard in Highland Park.)
The trope of the hotel as a storytelling vessel is most obvious in "Chapter 1" (the Oklahoma Room) and "Chapter 2" (1950s New York Flat). The former reflects George's rural upbringing in Oklahoma — a point made around the room by exposed, rough wood and fixtures repurposed from the trappings of a pastoral life. The latter calls on the geometric patterns and stronger color palette of New York's post-modern avant garde — an obvious launching point for a youth of artistic sensibilities.
As George matures and meets the woman in his life, his tastes follow suit. "Chapter 3" conjures George’s apartment in Paris, where he lives with another imagined character, Claudine, and adopts more feminine and calming touches. By "Chapter 4," a suite with two opulent bedrooms and a reading patio, George's worldly success is apparent. ("Chapter 4" will also ring up the most expensive bill of the five rooms.) The story concludes in "Chapter 5," the 1970s apartment of George and Claudine's daughter, Isabel, in New York.
Though George's fortunes improve from his rustic and simple beginnings, each room maintains a level of quality and amenities. All of the rooms include a kitchenette, outfitted with Smeg refrigerators, Parachute luxury bedding essentials, and additional amenities by Malin+Goetz.
In conversation, both Lancaster and Breer downplay the role of George's narrative as a gimmick to attract customers but credit the role of the characters in informing the design decisions. Lancaster says "the depth of the passion that went into each room" will be obvious to visitors thanks to George's inspiration in the design process, "even if people don't know about it." Breer credits the consistent presence of George for connecting the creative flourishes of each room into a cohesive whole.
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The question that many will ask is whether it's possible for a hotel to actually tell a story. The answer, in the case of Hotel Covell, is both yes and no. While the details of the life of George Covell won't be obvious to all visitors at the hotel (and they won't be able to go into every room), each room succeeds in making you feel like you're immersed in a life well lived.
Of course, the whole endeavor might strike some as a novel variety of hipster foolishness. But if hipsters have a monopoly on attractive places to hang out in Northeast Los Angeles, they must be doing something right. In a nod to how many of the finer things in life are available on this side of town to those in the know, Hotel Covell visitors will get discounts at all properties owned by Lancaster's Eastside Establishment, including L&E, Hermosillo, Bar Covell, El Condor and Highland Park Brewery.
Hotel Covell is located at 4626 Hollywood Boulevard. Weekday rates range from $245 per night on the low end to $595 at the high end. Weekend rates run from $295 to $650. Reservations can be made at HotelCovell.com.