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Hotel Figueroa 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.

Those fortunate 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.

At 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 ornate knick-knacks.

Many SIGGRAPH 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.

"Tonight 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.

But 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 deejays.

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.




When will we get back to LA? The convention center is perfect. The Figueroa rocks. But it looks like it will be 2007 at the soonest.



The Figueroa Poolside - a little more crowded than usual.



This page is maintained by YON - Jan C. Hardenbergh All photos you see in the 2001 reports are due to a generous loan of Cybershot digital cameras from SONY