Westin Bonaventure Hotel

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites is a 367-foot (112 m), 33-story hotel in Los Angeles, California, constructed between 1974 and 1976.[6] Designed by architect John C. Portman Jr., it is the largest hotel in the city. The top floor has a revolving restaurant and bar. It was originally owned by investors that included a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation and John Portman & Associates. The building is managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts (IHR), and is valued at US$200 million.

Westin Bonaventure Hotel
Westin Bonaventure Hotel.jpg
Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 2006
Westin Bonaventure Hotel is located in Los Angeles
Westin Bonaventure Hotel
Location in Central Los Angeles
Hotel chainWestin Hotels
General information
Location404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°03′10″N 118°15′21″W / 34.052778°N 118.255833°W / 34.052778; -118.255833Coordinates: 34°03′10″N 118°15′21″W / 34.052778°N 118.255833°W / 34.052778; -118.255833
ManagementInterstate Hotels & Resorts
Height367 ft (112 m)
Technical details
Floor count33
Design and construction
ArchitectJohn C. Portman Jr.
Other information
Number of rooms1,358
Number of suites135
Number of restaurantsBona Vista Lounge
Hotel Food Court Restaurants
L.A. Prime
Lakeview Bistro
Lobby Court Coffee Bar

Postmodern designEdit

The hotel and its architect John Portman have been the subject of documentaries and academic analysis.[7][8]

In his book Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (1989), Edward Soja describes the hotel as

a concentrated representation of the restructured spatiality of the late capitalist city: fragmented and fragmenting, homogeneous and homogenizing, divertingly packaged yet curiously incomprehensible, seemingly open in presenting itself to view but constantly pressing to enclose, to compartmentalize, to circumscribe, to incarcerate. Everything imaginable appears to be available in this micro-urb but real places are difficult to find, its spaces confuse an effective cognitive mapping, its pastiche of superficial reflections bewilder co-ordination and encourage submission instead. Entry by land is forbidding to those who carelessly walk but entrance is nevertheless encouraged at many different levels. Once inside, however, it becomes daunting to get out again without bureaucratic assistance. In so many ways, its architecture recapitulates and reflects the sprawling manufactured spaces of Los Angeles.[9]

Fredric Jameson discusses the hotel in his book Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.[10][11]

Floors and elevatorsEdit

The hotel is a 33-story building, with no floors numbered "7" or "13"; the top floor is therefore numbered "35". The four elevator banks (each containing three cars for a total of 12) are named by colors and symbols: Red Circle (the only one that goes to "35"; the other three only go to "32"), Yellow Diamond, Green Square, and Blue Triangle. The color-coded system of directions was a later addition, as visitors found the space confusing and hard to navigate.[12]

Location filmingEdit

Several bronze plaques commemorate elevator scenes from three major films:

It has been featured in other movies and television series over the years including: Interstellar, Strange Days, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (as part of the city of New Chicago), Blue Thunder, It's a Living, L.A. Law, Breathless, Matlock, This Is Spinal Tap, Nick of Time, Midnight Madness, Showtime, Hard to Kill, The Lincoln Lawyer, Chuck, Heaven Can Wait, Xanadu, The New Dragnet, Moby Dick,[13] The Fantastic Journey[14][15] and was destroyed (via special effects) in Escape from LA, Epicenter & San Andreas. You can see it under construction in the 1975 film The Wilderness Family (released a year before the hotel opened). In cartoon form, the building can be seen in the first shot of Jem in the episode "The Beginning", and in the anime Steins;Gate. In November 1979 the ABC soap General Hospital videotaped some on location scenes there dealing with Luke Spencer, played by Anthony Geary who was hired to assassinate Senator Mitch Williams.

In 2002, the hotel was the location for a Fear Factor stunt which involved crossing a bridge of plexiglass discs on cables suspended on the lobby's fifth floor. The television series It's a Living was set in a restaurant atop the Bonaventure. The hotel is also showcased in episodes of CSI and its exterior can be seen in Americathon, Mission: Impossible III, Almighty Thor, Hancock, and at the beginning of the Lionel Richie "Dancing on the Ceiling" music video. The building made appearances in the 1991 Kylie Minogue music video Step Back In Time, the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the 2012 video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II (in the "Aftermath" multiplayer map) and in the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V with the name "Arcadius Business Center". The hotel was also used as a setting for R&B singer Usher's music video for the 2002 hit single, "U Don't Have To Call". A pivotal scene in the season four (2005) episode "Another Mister Sloane" of the espionage drama Alias took place in the Bonaventure Hotel as well, while it was also featured in season one (2017), episode 5 of another espionage drama, Counterpart.

See alsoEdit

Other John Portman hotels:


  1. ^ "Westin Bonaventure Hotel". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ Westin Bonaventure Hotel at Emporis
  3. ^ Westin Bonaventure Hotel at Glass Steel and Stone (archived)
  4. ^ "Westin Bonaventure Hotel". SkyscraperPage.
  5. ^ Westin Bonaventure Hotel at Structurae
  6. ^ "PCAD - Bonaventure Hotel, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA". pcad.lib.washington.edu. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  7. ^ Soja, Ed (1990s (posted 20 January 2008)). The Postmodern City / Bonaventure Hotel (Flash) (video). BBC2 (via YouTube). Retrieved 15 March 2014. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  8. ^ pls4e (6 November 2018). "Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites". SAH ARCHIPEDIA. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  9. ^ Soja, Edward W. (1989). Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. London: Verso. pp. 243–44. ISBN 9780860912255. OCLC 18190662. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  10. ^ Jameson, Fredric (1991). Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. pp. 39–. ISBN 9780822310907. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Postmodernism and the Bonaventure Hotel". Ethical Martini. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  12. ^ Jameson, pp. 43-44
  13. ^ Boloxxxi (23 November 2010). "2010: Moby Dick (Video 2010)". IMDb. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  14. ^ Fantastic Journey - Ep2 - Atlantium (3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROmqJVtlEqw&NR=1
  15. ^ Photograph of some of the cast in front of the building http://www.snowcrest.net/fox/journey/GR/journey4.JPG

Further readingEdit

  • Cameron, Robert (1990). Above Los Angeles. San Francisco: Cameron & Company. ISBN 0-918684-48-X.
  • Webb, Michael (2000). Architecture + Design LA,. Berkeley: The Understanding Business Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-9641863-6-5.
  • Jameson, Frederic (1991). Postmodernism or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-0929-7.
  • Joseph-Lester, Jaspar (2009). Revisiting the Bonaventure Hotel. London: Copy Press. ISBN 0-9553792-2-9.

External linksEdit