In 2010, Dustin Lancaster opened the wine bar Covell on Hollywood Boulevard. He has since debuted an array of other establishments and developed the hospitality company An Eastside Establishment. He now runs about a dozen bars, restaurants, and hotels with various partners. One of those properties is Hotel Covell—a boutique hotel that opened in 2015, dedicated to an array of amenities that make short- and long-term stays special. Each of the nine rooms guides guests through the storyline of struggling writer George Covell and his daughter, Isabel, as their journey leads them from Oklahoma to Paris.
Whitewaller spoke with Lancaster to hear more about the property, and what he enjoys doing in Los Angeles.
WHITEWALLER: Can you tell us about Hotel Covell?
DUSTIN LANCASTER: Living on the Eastside, I was personally very aware that the only hotel options when friends and family came to visit were Downtown or West. When the apartments above Covell became available, I reimagined them as the best of both worlds—hotel rooms with apartment-like touches that made them comfortable for both short and long stays. Each room has a kitchenette, and a wonderful mix of vintage and modern furniture and fixtures that allow it to feel both homey and visually arresting.
WW: How does the hotel embrace art?
DL: We think it’s really important to create visually rich and interesting spaces, and so we brought on the immensely talented Sally Breer to design the space. Sally created an incredible narrative around a fictional character, George Covell. Each room, which we call chapters, corresponds to a different point in his life. Therefore, the art and decor in each space is totally different than the next. We’ve used a combination of vintage and modern art from all over the world to complement this narrative backstory. We worked with a local art curator, Jonathan Pessin, to procure the art for the ground- floor public spaces.
We really looked at Hotel Covell as an opportunity to fill the room with furniture and amenities that we love and wish we found in hotels when we travel. That meant attention down to the smallest detail—like whimsical hooks made by Kaye Blegvad, fixtures from Brendan Ravenhill and Park Studio LA, and decadent bath amenities from Le Labo.
We felt it was important to utilize the artists we worked with in different ways throughout the space to help create a cohesive visual identity event amongst the varied uses of the spaces.
WW: You’re set to reopen Firehouse Hotel in Downtown L.A. this spring—an old fire station originally built in 1927, now featuring nine hotel rooms. How did this project come about?
DL: I was approached several years ago by the owner of this amazing one-of-a-kind firehouse, who loved the space I had created at Hotel Covell. He had owned the Firehouse for the last decade and had even lived there with his family for a while. It was a truly special building and seemed like a great location to rehab into a boutique hotel, bar, and restaurant.
WW: Where do you like to spend time in Los Angeles?
DL: I live in Silver Lake on the Eastside of Los Angeles, so I spend a lot of time going to the locations that I own in those neighborhoods. I also frequent HomeState and Go Get Em Tiger a lot since they are close to my office. We have a two-year-old, so we spend time in Griffith Park and museums throughout L.A. Mostly when I’m not working, I like to be home enjoying time with my family.