recalls Indiana Jones, Arabian Nights
by Ben Wyrick
If Harrison Ford
attended SIGGRAPH, he'd stay at the Figueroa.
Located two blocks
north of the convention center, the Hotel Figueroa is unlike any
hotel you've ever been in, unless you've been to Morocco. Built
in 1925, the 12-floor, 285-room hotel dedicates 100 of its rooms
to SIGGRAPH visitors.
enough to book a room are treated to a classy and unique decor.
According to the Figueroa's operator, Uno Thimansson, the hotel
is a mixture of Early California Mission style with "a strong
flavor of Moroccan decor."
In layman's terms,
the Figueroa is "I Dream of Jeanie," "Indiana Jones,"
and the Arabian Nights. Like other hotels it has a pool, a bar,
a restaurant. But the Figueroa takes decoration a step beyond the
bland ambiance found in most hotels and adds flair and fantasy.
night, a warm, reddish glow permeates the lobby, which is more of
a social parlor than just a place to check in and order wake-up
calls. The lobby is a hub of friendly activity. Visitors let their
eyes wander over the unique lighting fixtures, wooden statues, and
veterans make a point of staying at the Figueroa. During the day
it is common to see conference badges on many of the guests in the
lobby. Thimansson is full of praise for SIGGRAPH and the clientele
it brings: "We like SIGGRAPH people ... they are like young
musicians," he says, referring to the bohemian nature exhibited
by some attendees.
could be a little bit wild," Thimansson predicts, referring
to a SIGGRAPH party which will attract 800 people to the Figueroa.
The hotel has emptied its dining room for the party, which will
feature a high-powered light show.
Last night a post-concert
party for Depeche Mode was held at the Figueroa. Thimansson is proud
to note that Elton John and Eminem partied here after the Grammies.
Madonna has booked the party rooms for December.
you don't have to be a celebrity to let your hair down at the Figueroa.
Less exclusive pool parties are thrown every Sunday, featuring different
The Figueroa charges
$98-136 for regular guest rooms and about $170 for its three special
suites, the Casablanca, Marrakech, and the Maroc. Staying there
is an exotic treat worth experiencing.