Tag: Women

Hotel Figueroa has long stood up for women. Now it will be a voting center too



a tall building: The historic Hotel Figueroa at 939 S. Figueroa St. in downtown L.A. (Hotel Figueroa)


© (Hotel Figueroa)
The historic Hotel Figueroa at 939 S. Figueroa St. in downtown L.A. (Hotel Figueroa)

The founding mothers of the Hotel Figueroa would be proud. The downtown L.A. landmark opened in 1926 as a women’s hostel, six years after ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Now, the hotel joins Dodger Stadium, the Pantages Theatre, the Hollywood Bowl, the Magic Castle and hundreds of other places that are opening their doors as polling places for the 2020 presidential election.

Large venues where voters can spread out and vote during the COVID-19 pandemic were sought after this year. The Hotel Figueroa offered to help make an important connection to the community and to the mission of its founders, said hotel manager Connie Wang. “It was such a historic moment for a group of women to be in real estate investment,” she said. “Even in 2020, that’s still unfortunately rare.”

In-person voting starts at 10 a.m. Friday in the Gran Sala ballroom, where voters can social distance and see some of the hotel’s original architecture. Any L.A. County voter can show up between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday through Monday, and 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, election day. Voters also will receive the hotel’s custom “I Voted” stickers featuring a yellow rose and the year of its founding.



a living room with a clock at the top of a wooden table: The original fireplace and arched windows at the Hotel Figueroa, which opened in 1926. (Hotel Figueroa)


© (Hotel Figueroa)
The original fireplace and arched windows at the Hotel Figueroa, which opened in 1926. (Hotel Figueroa)

The hotel opened as a YWCA to provide a safe haven for solo female travelers. Its founders hosted women’s clubs and salons, and the hotel quickly became known as a place for political discussions. The L.A. Times reported on Aug. 15, 1926: “The new hotel is said to be the largest project of its kind to be built, financed, owned and operated by women.” The price tag was $1.25 million, a fortune at the time.

New owners reopened the hotel in 2018 after a careful four-year renovation. The original Spanish Colonial style, with pillars and terracotta tiles, was later overlaid with a Moroccan motif. Both styles endure.



a large brick building: The historic Hotel Figueroa looks much as it did when it opened almost a century ago. (Hotel Figueroa)


© (Hotel Figueroa)
The historic Hotel Figueroa looks much as it did when it opened almost a century ago. (Hotel Figueroa)

Wang said she was moved to act “to honor what the founders did and bring it to the modern day to say, ‘How can we be of service during this time?'”

The hotel is open to guests (rooms start at $159 on election day, according to the website). The pool-side Veranda Al Fresco will be open from noon to 9 p.m. for “contactless dining and to-go.”

Info: hotelfigueroa.com

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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Why You Really Need to Take All of Your Vacation Days: Women Who Travel Podcast

We say it a lot over here at Traveler: Americans are really bad at taking vacation. So much so that in 2017, we left 705 million vacation days on the table, the U.S. Travel Association reported. Think of all the walking tours, island naps, and life-changing meals that were missed! And while we always urge you to take all of your days—be they five or 25—we don’t always practice what we preach, either. One of us (cough, Meredith) left nearly half of her vacation days unused during her first year at Traveler, for fear of being gone from work too much.

Thankfully, we’ve since learned the error of our ways—but we could all use the reminder that we’re actually devaluing our salary by leaving those days behind. (Especially given women are already earning about 19.5 percent less than our male counterparts, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.) We tapped the keeper of our vacation days, Traveler‘s director of editorial operations Paulie Dibner, and contributor Cassie Shortsleeve to chat about vacation guilt, how to ask for time off, what to do when you have unlimited vacation, and what to actually do when you get it.

Before we got into the studio, we put out a question in our Women Who Travel Facebook group and on our Instagrams: do you, dear listeners, take all of your vacation days? We got a mountain of responses, and decided to run a few of them below. Which side do you stand on? Let us know by tweeting @ohheytheremere and @LaleArikoglu to share your thoughts.

Yes, of course I take them all.

“I do use all of mine and feel comfortable using it. I make it clear to my supervisor that my travels are very important to me and I plan far enough in advance and also when others may not be traveling (during school time) to try to help manage coverage.” –Danielle L.

“I just started working but I’ve always been passionate about travel so I make sure I use my vacation days (or other type of leave). I’m really lucky that I work in a position where I can get time off instead of overtime pay. I took two weeks over Christmas and New Years and only had to take three vacation days (also three holidays). I’m pretty much the only person who uses all their leave in my office but my first supervisor told me that no one is too important to take time off. If you died in a freak accident, your job would still get done somehow.” – Sierra L.

“I use up every last bit of vacation time I can!! My work is very strict on you having no unpaid time off, which really sucks, so it’s important that I travel every time I use my vacation time. I feel guilty when I take off time that somebody else in my department also wants, [but I also] feel guilty when I’m

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Travel Fashion Tips and Advice for Women

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