By the looks of this hotel, you'd have no idea it was a hostel.
Located in a hip section of downtown Los Angeles, the Freehand by Sydell Group offers a chic alternative to your typical hostel stay–for the same price. With private king rooms (and two suites), the hotel is a mix between a high-end boutique hotel and a money-smart lodging alternative for travelers on a budget. Starting at $39/night for a bed, shared rooms have spacious and cozy bunk beds with an old-school Los Angeles vibe. With art salvaged from flea markets, vintage-inspired furniture, and green tiled bathrooms, you might feel like you’re staying in your grandparent’s basement–but in the best way possible.
Expertly curated, instantly familiar, and Instagrammably chic, this hostel so much more than just lodging. Designed by Roman & Williams, the hotel eschews the ubiquitous minimalist trend in favor of mid-century modern furniture, restored walls and floors, warm woods, mustard and earth-toned accents, and hundreds of plants.
The bar on the main floor has a distinct SoCal vibe, with fresh takes on old-school classics. The restaurant off the lobby (The Exchange, named after the building the hotel is in: The Commercial Exchange Building) is bright, airy, colorful, plant-filled, and undeniably Californian, serving Middle Eastern-inspired food with Asian and Mexican influences and fresh ingredients. There’s a coffee bar on the main floor serving matcha lattes and Nicaraguan roasts, and a shop called Flower Boy that sells hyper-curated and thoughtful local goods with an artsy Los Angeles bent–everything from plants and fresh cut flowers to vintage blankets, Mexican sugar skulls, and cigarette holders. The roof is expected to open later this summer with a pool, grill, and cocktail bar called Broken Shaker (of Miami fame). Freehand also has locations in Miami and Chicago, and is planning a fourth location in New York City in early 2018.