C California Style

The sitting room in Chapter 3 features an Eileen Gray Bibendum chair.
A Moorish-style second bedroom in Chapter 4.
The hotel’s discreet exterior.
Proprietor Dustin Lancaster and designer Sally Breer in the dining area of Chapter 4.
Chapter 1 is a nod to Lancaster’s Midwestern roots.

By the Book

by C California Style

Dustin Lancaster and Sally Breer open the doors to the uniquely charming Hotel Covell.

Dustin Lancaster is quite possibly East L.A.’s hardest-working hospitality magnate. The energetic Oklahoma native spent his 20s as a television and commercial actor while tending bar at Cafe Stella in Los Feliz, and by 2010, he had saved enough to open his own place, Bar Covell, in a two-story 1930s brick building near Sunset Junction. A successful launch led to more projects under Lancaster’s umbrella company, Eastside Establishment, including hits like El Cóndor, The Hermosillo, Sidebar (a private space inside Bar Covell), Highland Park Brewery and L & E Oyster Bar.

The hotel concept didn’t emerge until 2012, when Lancaster noticed a leak at Bar Covell one night and went upstairs to inspect the source. “I knew a guy who was living in this front unit and knocked on his door to tell him to turn off the water. I peeked inside and it reminded me of Chateau Marmont. There was an old tub, old built-ins. I thought, ‘Man, this would make a really cool hotel room.’”

Lancaster met with interior designer Sally Breer two days after finalizing the lease on the upstairs units to lay out his vision: The five suites would reflect life chapters of the bar’s namesake, George Covell, an imaginary character loosely based on Lancaster. The result is a series of spaces filled with intimate, thoughtful touches including records from Lancaster’s personal collection, retro Smeg refrigerators and vintage burlwood nightstands from Breer’s Highland Park store Shopclass—topped off by unobstructed views of the Griffith Observatory and Hollywood Hills. Rooms from $245; 4626 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., 323-660-4300; hotelcovell.com.

Edited by Kelsey McKinnon.
PHOTOS: Ray Kachatorian.