The Figueroa Hotel from “90210”Jun 10th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
A couple of years ago, while perusing through an issue of AAA’s Westways Magazine, I spotted an article about Southern California’s nicest most reasonably –priced hotels and, because I was dating the Grim Cheaper at the time, I figured I’d best read through it. Of the ten properties featured in the column, the Moroccan-themed Figueroa Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles immediately caught my eye and I dragged the GC right on over there to grab a cocktail just a few nights later. The two of us pretty much fell in love with the place’s unique architecture and exotic décor on sight and have returned there a couple of times over the years to grab a drink or just hang out. So imagine my surprise when the Fig, as it is commonly referred to, popped up on fave show 90210 as the Cabo San Lucas resort where Liam Court (aka cutie Matt Lanter – sigh!), Annie Wilson (aka Shenae Grimes), and the rest of the West Beverly gang spent their Spring Break in the recently-aired Season 3 episode titled “The Enchanted Donkey”. Because I had not taken many pictures of the hotel during our past visits, I immediately added the place to my Re-Stalk list and dragged the GC right on back over there this past weekend.
The Figueroa Hotel, which was designed by Stanton, Reed, & Hibbard at a cost of $1.25 million, was originally built in 1925 by the YWCA as a hotel/residence for businesswomen and their families. Shortly following the Great Depression, the 12-story, 409-room structure was turned into a public hotel and it later served a brief stint as housing for troops during World War II. The property fell into disrepair in the years following, until the late 1990s when it was purchased by Uno Thimansson, who immediately set about renovating the place, giving it a Moroccan theme. And, let me tell you, he did an incredible job. Walking through the hotel’s front doors, one is quickly transported from the busy streets of Downtown L.A. into a Casablanca-esque oasis. Every time I am there, I half expect to see Sam tickling the ivories while Bogie puffs away on a cigarette somewhere nearby. True to Westways Magazine’s word, despite the hotel’s fabulous ambiance and location directly across the street from Staples Center and L.A. Live, it still boasts extremely reasonable room rates. And while the reviews on Trip Advisor and Yelp are quite mixed, in this stalker’s never-to-be-humble opinion, the Figueroa looks like an extremely cool place to vacation. Not to mention that the poolside bar is something of a celebrity hotspot, with everyone from Keanu Reeves to members of Depeche Mode dropping by for a cocktail throughout the years.
The Figueroa Hotel was used quite extensively in “The Enchanted Donkey” episode of 90210 in which it masqueraded as the “Hotel Burro Encantado” (aka the Enchanted Donkey Resort) in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Areas of the hotel which appeared in the episode include the main entrance;
the poolside bar, where Teddy Montgomery (aka Trevor Donovan) met up for drinks with former schoolmate Tripp Wallison (aka Alan Ritchson);
and the pool area . . .
. . . behind which producers had an image of the Cabo San Lucas skyline superimposed. In reality, the Figueroa Hotel pool boasts views of several massive Downtown L.A. skyscrapers. I was literally cracking up taking the above photograph while envisioning the way the pool appeared on 90210.
And while I had assumed that one of the hotel’s real life hallways had been used in the episode, the GC and I ventured upstairs to take a look at one and, as you can see above, it does not at all match up to what appeared onscreen. It seems that producers built a fake hallway set for the filming.
I had also assumed that some of the Figueroa’s actual rooms had been used in the episode, as well, but as you can see on the hotel’s website, that does not seem to be the case.
The super-nice front desk clerk also informed us that the Figueroa’s lobby restaurant, the Fig Street Café, stood in for a supposed Cuba-area eatery in the Season 7 episode of fave show CSI: Miami titled “The Deluca Motel”.
The hotel was also featured in the Season 4 episode of Chuck titled “Church Versus the Seduction Impossible” as the Marrakesh, Morocco-area hotel where Chuck Bartowski (aka Zachary Levi), Colonel John Casey (aka Adam Baldwin), and Sarah Walker (aka Yvonne Strahovski) were sent to rescue Roan Montgomery (aka John Larroquette).
In the Season 2 episode of Make It or Break It titled “Worlds Apart”, the Fig stood in for the Rio de Janeiro-area hotel where Kaylie Cruz (aka Josie Loren) and the rest of her teammates stayed during the World Gymnastics Championships.
In the Season 2 episode of NCIS: Los Angeles titled “Harm’s Way”, the Figueroa stood in for the Blue Oasis Hotel in Sana’a, Yemen, where Sam Hanna (aka LL Cool J) and G. Callen (aka Chris O’Donnell) stayed while trying to capture the leader of a terrorist group.
One of the hotel’s real life rooms – one that the GC, randomly enough, just so happened to snap a photograph of – also appeared in the episode.
I find it highly ironic that NCIS: Los Angeles filmed at the Figueroa as I have always thought that the hotel’s lobby bears a striking resemblance to the NCIS headquarters on the series.
Some filming of the yet-to-be-released James Cameron flick Battleship, which stars Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard, and Brooklyn Decker, also took place at the Figueroa Hotel this past February.
And on a Matt Lanter side-note – a couple of weeks ago the cutie actor tweeted that he was going to be featured on the cover of the June 2011 issue of Metro Magazine. Well, I took one look at that tweet and ran right over to Vroman’s Bookstore to purchase a copy. Sadly though, Allen, the man who runs the Vroman’s newsstand (and yes, I know his name because I shop there FAR too often) told me that not only did the store not carry Metro Magazine, but it was apparently not even available from their distributors. So I marched on home and started searching for the publication online, but came up completely empty-handed. I could not find it anywhere and I am a pretty good Googler! Over the past few weeks I have also visited several newsstands and bookstores in search of the mag, but no one, it seemed, had ever even heard of it. Flash forward to last night when the GC came home from work with the above pictured laminated photograph in his hands. My birthday is today and he has been gifting me with little presents every night this week. Last night’s present, as it so happens, was a copy of Matt Lanter’s issue of Metro Magazine. As it turns out, Metro is published in the Philippines and not only was the GC able to figure that out, but he somehow managed to track down a man in the Philippines via eBay whom he had go purchase a copy for him! It is currently being shipped to me and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on it! When the man heard why the GC had gone to such trouble to purchase the magazine, he said that he had inspired him to be a better husband. How cute is that???? Best.present.ever! Thank you, GC!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!