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PUTTING ON THE RITZ

The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles has begun a highly anticipated hotel enhancement, the largest in the property’s 10-year history. The renovation will feature a full redesign of the hotel lobby, and extend to all of the hotel’s 123 guestrooms and suites, corridors and Club Lounge.

“The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles sits in the middle of an exciting and active part of downtown Los Angeles, adjacent to L.A. Live. L.A.,” said Laurence Cartledge, design director & associate principal of Rottet Studio. “Live is home to major sports, concert, entertainment, theater, arts, convention, and business venues. It’s a diamond in the rough, a special retreat among the concrete surroundings of downtown Los Angeles.”

Under the direction of Rottet Studio, the new design will celebrate the current renaissance of downtown Los Angeles while paying homage to the lavish spirit of the city’s Golden Age. Style will cultivate classic Art Deco references with modern design touches, offering a polished retreat that reflects a true sense of place.

“When looking at the hotel, we thought what better way to celebrate The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles than to reflect on the rich history of downtown Los Angeles and the energy of L.A. Live,” he said. “There are significant displays of Art Deco design in the architectural history of downtown—especially when you look at the beautiful movie theaters that line Broadway. Movie stars and celebrities have always stood in the spotlight of Los Angeles, something that remains commonplace at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and L.A. Live.”

When unveiled later this year, the hotel’s modern interpretation of Art Deco will evoke visions of Los Angeles from its Golden Age with understated references to the cinema, fashion and culture of the 1920’s. The theme of ‘finding sanctuary’ will also be subtly woven into many of the details, as guests encounter symbols of forms seeking refuge throughout the restyle.

“The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles renovation celebrates the union of these two concepts,” Cartledge said. “Our story is that of an iconic celebrity stepping out into the spotlight Los Angeles; elegant, cool, reserved, posing in front of a huge crowd of flash-bulb-popping paparazzi jockeying for position. The image is a dichotomy of explosive energy and quiet reserve. The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles becomes a metaphor for that iconic celebrity in juxtaposition with the action surrounding the celebrated hotel. The design embraces these emotions and senses through the use of new finishes, fixtures and furniture silhouettes.”

The hotel lobby will be completely transformed and reconfigured to emphasize a sense of arrival and welcome. The repositioned front desk will open the space, drawing the line of sight to notice elements radiating Art Deco flair. Hand-painted, gilded wallpaper from de Gournay will showcase a whimsical woodsy scene originally created by artist Armand-Albert Rateau for fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin’s 1920s Parisian home. Glossy ceiling panels will set off striking chandeliers custom designed with woven rods of warm metal, bringing to mind angular and ornate bird nests. An eye-catching, black-and-white photograph of a feminine silhouette will hang above the concierge desk, suggesting the chic lifestyle of the Golden Age elite.

“Renovations are always challenging because you typically must work with many existing conditions—to include existing architecture, existing architectural finishes, existing furniture items, integration of new technology in existing conditions and conservative budgets,” he said. “Coordination of all those items along with developing a project concept can prove to be challenging.”

All of the hotel’s guestrooms and suites will undergo a metamorphosis that deftly melds Art Deco glamour with a Southern California ambiance. A muted color palette of champagne, bronze and gray, rich textures and angular patterns will accent the opulent, airy approach to an urban haven. Updates will include new wallcoverings, subdued lattice-print carpeting, warm metal fixtures and sleek furnishings with architectural impact. Black-and-white photos using light and shadow and unexpected compositions will capture the joie de vivre of the time. A back-lit, etched mirror headboard emulating artwork from French glassmaker Lalique will act as the focalpoint to the room.

Perched within the hotel’s 23rd floor and featuring panoramic views of the city, the Club Lounge will also experience a refresh including new carpeting and furnishings. Food and beverage displays and seating areas will be rearranged to offer more open space to relax and unwind. The walls will feature high contrast photographs in the style of early cinema that show the essence of sports, music and entertainment which have long been a staple for Los Angeles.

“The fairy tale,” he said. “The California dream. Living large and celebrating your own celebrity and success.”