There is something about Indigo, a fun brand which offers QL, quirky luxury. Head to any Indigo hotel and, says the gal, you are sure to find something different. In Shanghai the hotel is at the far south of The Bund, about a mile along from Waldorf Astoria. Get there and discover the hotel’s lobby with its walls formed of metal sheets from the shipyards of yore. Get to Indigo Los Angeles Downtown and the two-floor lobby has two displays, 66 hats each, of a variety of men’s headgear. So, you may ask, is it in fact a masculine hotel? Not a bit. It is ageless, up-to-date and fun – and it evokes the word ‘fashion’.
I was shown round the 350-room hotel by Bruce Curry, an American who spent much of his childhood in Hong Kong – his father was an airline guy, so it was not surprising that years of travel led to a hospitality career. Bruce Curry’s first hotel job was at the then-Regent Hong Kong, in the Thomas Axmacher days, and then he became swept up in the InterContinental, now the IHG, family. Here, he handles sales and marketing, working alongside GM Raymond Vermolen, currently out of town. I loved the lobby, and its adjacent Metropole Bar + Kitchen. This has happy hours, with house wines only $5 – at the same time, it offers a doggy social hour, with a complimentary bowl of filtered water and, pay-for, $5 each, home-made puppy ice cream and beef or chicken jerky treats ($5, ‘5-buck’ human bites include rip n’dip truffle hummus or tempura green beans with ponzu dipping sauce). I also loved the 18 Social rooftop venue, open from 5 p.m. – signatures here include FDR Martinis, and Pineapple Mules. Those who live in the blocks of neighbouring residences that are part of the Metropolis Project, nearly completed, will obviously flock to this hotel, a project of Shanghai-based Greenland Group. It is certainly well located, one block from LA Live and the Staples Center, location of the Grammy and many other awards. Apparently in the immediate locale there are over 2,000 fashion businesses, both retail and wholesale, and on the last Friday of every month there are outstanding-value sample sales. I will be back, and next time to stay in one of this new-look luxury hotel’s bedrooms (designer HBA has certainly given a flavour of Los Angeles). NOW SEE A VIDEO OF THE LOBBY, BELOW