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C California Style

M Bar at The Mayfair Hotel. Photography by Wonho Frank Lee
Eve American Bistro. Photography by Wonho Frank Lee.
The Queen Superior room.
Designer Gulla Jónsdóttir and artist-in-residence Kelly “Risk” Graval helped reimagine the historic property.
An exterior shot of The Mayfair Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
The Mayfair Hotel was the site of the first-ever Oscars after-party in 1929.
A view of M Bar from the second floor.

A Historical Reimagining

by C California Style

Downtown Los Angeles’ reinvention continues with The Mayfair Hotel: a totally new yet referential take on one of the city’s lore-steeped gems

This 1929 site of the very first Academy Awards after-party—and the place where novelist Raymond Chandler once wrote—has been wholly revived, keeping its innate glamour intact.

Led by Los Angeles developer ICO Group of Companies, the top-to-bottom overhaul has brought the 294-room Mayfair Hotel back to life with the help of innovative Los Angeles-based Icelandic designer Gulla Jónsdóttir, and artist-in-residence Kelly “Risk” Graval.

The Mayfair Hotel was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it opened in 1926; now it fuses Roaring Twenties hallmarks such as original checkerboard flooring with new black cage chandeliers and a multimillion-dollar modern art collection (curated by Graval)—not to mention a sun-drenched atrium with vertical garden wall (a pool deck also opens this winter).

Signature restaurant Eve American Bistro—helmed by executive chef Scott Commings of Hell’s Kitchen fame—nods to the past with its name, taken from the main character of I’ll Be Waiting, which Chandler wrote while living at The Mayfair with his mistress in the ’30s. In his honor there’s also a Writing Room, and its modern equivalent: a custom Podcast Studio.

You can’t pay homage to the ’20s without cocktails, so there’s also the oval-shaped M Bar and The Library Bar, serving libations prepared with housemade syrups and seasonal produce. Monthly art exhibits, live concerts, DJ sets and jazz trio nights, programmed by the industry vets of Regime 72, ensure that as a venue this hotel will continue to roar. Rooms from $185/night. 1256 W. 7th St., L.A., 213-632-1200; mayfairla.com.

Written by KATHRYN ROMEYN.