Step Inside L.A.'s Chicest New Boutique Hotel
Hotel Covell, a new boutique spot in Los Angeles from restaurateur and hotelier Dustin Lancaster, boasts some of the chicest rooms we’ve seen, but it’s the backstory and inspiration for the design that really sets it apart. Designer Sally Breer conceptualized the five guest room—which are referred to as Chapters—around the life and experiences of a fictional figure named George Covell.
From Covell’s all-American upbringing in the ‘30s to his first apartment in New York City and an eventual love nest in Paris, each suite projects a unique viewpoint brought to life by thoughtful combinations of textures, colours, vintage pieces, and tasteful styling. “Each room at Hotel Covell was designed with the same thought and attention to detail that would go into designing a luxury residence,” Breer says. Keep scrolling to learn about each of the rooms and hear more about the unique inspiration for the hotel’s design.
The first suite was designed to have an earthy vibe and overall utilitarian setup. Large doses of wood provide warmth, while raw steel elements feel masculine and industrial.
“Like most good ideas, I came up with the idea of creating the fictitious George Covell to inspire the design for the hotel at a bar over a glass of wine,” the designer shares. “His story was inspired by the year the building was built, by Dustin’s Oklahoma origins, and by my father’s life.”
This room exudes the smart-space planning necessary in compact, big-city apartments, and while it feels more grown-up and refined than Covell’s first "home," the expansive use of wood references his Oklahoma roots.
“In my opinion the best spaces are ones that have layers and soul to them, which isn’t usually derived from simply ‘decorating,’ because layers are collected over time and the soul of a space is born from the unique person that lives in it,” says Breer. “By creating a narrative of this man, it was a really organic way to both dictate a design aesthetic and infuse the layers and soul that I felt were important to the intimate feeling of the hotel.”
In Breer's narrative, George started an affair with a French artist named Claudine, whom he met during the war. Her apartment is a calming space full of layered neutrals and a bohemian combination of collected pieces picked up on her travels.
With a design concept in place, Breer set out to tell a story and source the unique furniture and lighting that would convey the vibe and specific aesthetic of each of Covell’s life stages. “Once I knew the story so intimately and where we were in the story, each room became a 'WWGD?' (what would George do), or a 'WWCD?' (what would Claudine do), or in the case of Chapter 5, a 'WWID?; (what would Isabel do),” says Breer. “Thinking about what decade and setting each character was in provided parameters and limitations to the design.”
Covell’s adult home is a rich combination of saturated colours and luxurious materials. Additional global influences reflect his many travels, while glamorous touches nod to the style of the time period.
With such a unique and thoughtful design, Breer had to be conscious of her material and furniture selections to ensure they would stand up to the high traffic of a hotel. “We don’t have the luxury of time to get things replaced or fixed when designing a hotel because every night there could be a new guest, experiencing the room for the first time,” the designer says. “There’s no option to have a chair missing because it has a stain and is at the upholsters.” Breer made smart choices, like upholstering the dining room banquette in pieces that could easily be switched out if one section needed cleaning or attention.
Isabell, the daughter of Covell and his Claudine, has moved from Paris to New York and set up a home that is playful, feminine, and soft.
Located just upstairs from Bar Covell, a renowned beer and wine establishment, the hotel’s unique concept doesn’t end at the story behind the guest rooms. Though there is a small lobby, it is not open 24 hours as would be typical. Instead, guests are sent a personalised text message the day of arrival and met at the property by a staff member.
Long-term stay is certainly encouraged, as each unique suite is set up as a fully functioning apartment. As Breer sums up, “All of this is situated a mere staircase away from a great wine bar and arguably the best breakfast tacos in L.A.” Why would you ever want to leave?
Which room in the hotel is your favourite? Share with us in the comments!