JW Marriott Los Angeles

JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live recently was “refreshed” by award-winning, Santa Monica-based hospitality firm Hirsch-Bedner Associates.

JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live is bustling with hotel guests. Parents of USC graduates and visiting basketball players fill the lobby. 

But no one is as thrilled by the activity as the hotel’s operations director, Parker Passman.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “We have a great room product to begin with. The refresh really brought life to it. The soundwaves in the hallways really capture that energy of LA Live.”

The “refresh” Passman is speaking about is the recent renovation by award-winning, Santa Monica-based hospitality design firm Hirsch-Bedner Associates. 

The lobby atrium and Glance Lobby Bar feature new flooring and furnishings in soft gray and taupe tones. 

The guest rooms complement that with redwood-like finishes, warm colors blended with neutral tones. With pops of color, the rooms mix leathers, brushed bronzes and frosted acrylics. The updates weren’t just aesthetic. They were functional as well — USB ports and mounted televisions that increase desk space.

The artwork embodies the central design themes of light and energy. One piece displays beachgoers spinning torches of fire at night. Passman said the guest rooms’ carpet shares that energy.

The enhancements were grounded in the thematic pillars of motion, energy and light, Passman said. 

“This hotel is an icon of Downtown Los Angeles,” said Robert MacDonald, the project’s key designer at HBA. “We wanted to embrace the energy of that metropolitan environment, while also reflecting the forward-movement of an evolving city. California is also famous for its natural light, from soft morning glows to legendary sunsets, and that’s incorporated into the design, as well. Together, these informed our themes of motion, energy, and light.”

Passman said the hotel renovation lasted four to five months, relatively quick for a comprehensive renovation. 

Passman wants guests to feel comfortable outside of their rooms, too. 

“They’ve all been at home for more than a year now,” he said. “They’ve been DIY making their own sourdough and pasta. We think there’s nowhere better than Downtown LA and LA Live.

“We just started a dinner and movie series that’ll run throughout the summer. On Sunday evenings, our guests can pay $45 for an appetizer and entrée and enjoy a movie. We offer that in the welcome letter so they can really see we’re rebranding ourselves as an urban resort. For the leisure traveler, you don’t have to leave the hotel.”

Other rooftop pool activities will include concerts, fitness programs, and “different delighters,” Passman said. 

“For those who want to wind down, we have the only luxury spa in Downtown LA,” he added. The JW Marriott shares it with The Ritz-Carlton.

For dining, the new restaurant Savoca boasts a 120-seat, open layout interior on the lobby level. The dining space features light and bright décor elements, including terrazzo marble tabletops, coral-hued cushioned booths and a sprawling floral mural. 

Savoca has custom-built dining outdoor “cottages,” complete with heating and electric candles. 

“It makes for a unique dining experience,” Passman said. “It gives diners a personalized experience.”

Savoca’s signature dishes include housemade agnolotti, seared branzino and short rib prepared with roasted carrots and sangiovese wine. 

The DTLA Getaway Package encourages guests to use the hotel’s amenities to “spoil themselves,” Passman said. 

What it comes down to at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live is the first-class service guests receive. 

“We really pride ourselves on the service we provide,” Passman said. “We have a great team of associates at the hotel. They’re so excited to be back at work and engaging with our guests. We’re excited to be back.

“We’ve seen plenty of USC families. We’ve been seeing the same families for four or five years, since (their children) started their college tours. We’re just excited to have guests so enthusiastic about traveling again.”