Los Angeles

Freehand Hotel


Set in the historic Commercial Exchange building, Freehand Los Angeles features suites, rooms & shared accommodations in a midcentury mountain lodge aesthetic. The property is an 8-minute walk to the closest metro station, and an easy trek to the Staples Center — or  just head to the rooftop for dip in the pool and a tasty cocktail from Broken Shaker.


BY: Alex Temblador Contributing writer

A modern gentleman quickly learns a few things in life. First, stick to the classics. White tees are your friend. Secondly, experiences are more important than things. And perhaps the most critical lesson: color outside the lines.

What separates a man from a gentleman is taking chances. Drawing your life’s journey is more fulfilling when you’re going at it freehand. The pen is yours to use how you see fit. It’s this idea, this lifestyle that can be found throughout every inch of Freehand Los Angeles.

Freehand doesn’t confine itself to pre-set lines. It’s both a hotel and a hostel, offering private rooms and shared rooms with bunk beds for up to 7 people, lockers, and attached bathrooms. The private rooms are spacious and chic thanks to sleek, simple furniture and walls spruced up with local artwork. The Loft Suite is most impressive with city views, a desk, and flat-screen TV, though King and Studio rooms are only slightly smaller with the same amenities.

This boutique property sits in the historic Commercial Exchange building in DTLA and offers a kick ass selection of public spaces for travelers to work, create, and connect. Start the day with Nicaraguan coffee and a light breakfast from Café Integral (though if you’re in a shared room, there is a free continental breakfast available).

Pre-dinner drinks at Freehand differ from most, in that Rudolph’s Bar & Tea has a menu of tea-infused cocktails. You’re not going to find many hostels/hotels with stunning restaurants like The Exchange. The cuisine is multicultural in nature, though primarily focuses on the Israeli and Mediterranean flavors that have exploded on the Los Angeles scene.

Following dinner, head upstairs to the rooftop pool deck which is home to Broken Shaker, a bar with cocktails made with exotic ingredients. During the day, hit up the pool. Float on the large banana floatie as you admire the DTLA high rises on either side or post up on one up the pink loungers (because real men can rock any damn color they please).

If all that wasn’t enough, Freehand hands you one of the most thriving new spots in the city right at your doorstep — DTLA. The property is surrounded by shopping, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and coffeeshops. Concerts and games are just a 15-minute walk away at L.A. Live.

It’s not exactly a hostel, and not fully a hotel. It’s Freehand Los Angeles. The kind of place where CYTIES travelers are the masters of their pen and creative license is king.


In the lobby is Rudolph’s Bar & Tea, the most unassuming cocktail experience in the city — order up

The Exchange is Freehand’s answer to cuisine, the menu explores the multi-cultural flavors of urban LA through an Israeli lens

Broken Shaker is located on the roof, offering pool city views from its oasis of hand crafted cocktails and small bites

There are a variety of rooms when it comes to Freehand, splurge for the loft suite to feel like a true rockstar