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Travelers set their sights on Los Angeles in search of sun, sand, surf and its legendary entertainment industry. Visitors can spend a day at Universal Studios theme park, take a movie or television tour, snap a photo of the Hollywood Sign, stroll along the boardwalk of Venice Beach or window shop along Melrose Avenue. But what about the hotel situation in Los Angeles? Finding affordable accommodations in desirable neighborhoods such as Hollywood, Downtown, Koreatown and Venice Beach can be difficult, and when you factor in daily parking rates the total price can skyrocket. So if you're trying to save a few pennies when visiting La La Land, here are 10 of the best budget hotel options in the area.
Best Overall: Hollywood Orchid Suites
Perfectly positioned next to the Hollywood and Highland Entertainment Complex (home to the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and a metro station), the 40-room Hollywood Orchid Suites offers guests an exceptional value, so if you're looking to be in the tourist hub, this is a great choice. The hotel has a large number of spacious, apartment-style suites that feature full kitchens with bar-style counter seats (junior rooms have kitchenettes), a separate dining and living area and contemporary décor. Their “no party” policy ensures a good night’s sleep, and a continental breakfast and WiFi are included in the rate. There’s also a heated swimming pool, rooftop garden, self-service laundry and parking (for a charge).
Best for Families: Magic Castle Hotel
Located next to the Magic Castle Club (a school of magic) and just steps from Hollywood Boulevard, the Magic Castle Hotel has all the amenities and services that families love. TripAdvisor members appreciated all the little touches such as a free soft-serve ice cream machine, a “popsicle hotline” for kids to order cool treats while swimming in the heated pool, free laundry (that they’ll even fold, wrap, and deliver to your room), pool noodles and unlimited snacks. The 43 rooms and suites have iPod docking stations, full kitchens, a mini refrigerator, bathrobes, turndown service, free WiFi and breakfast – with the occasional appearance of a magician.
Best Beachfront: Venice on the Beach
With prime real estate next to the Venice Beach Pier, the Venice on the Beach is right front and center on one of L.A.'s most popular stretches of sand. Rooms and suites are fairly small, and have white-washed walls and basic amenities like mini refrigerators, writing desks and free WiFi. A rooftop patio makes a perfect place to soak in the views or enjoy the included breakfast, and a beach volleyball court is located right in front of the hotel. Guests can borrow beach towels or Frisbees, and while the hotel is light on additional amenities (there’s no pool or bar and parking is limited), the friendly staff and unbeatable location make this a gem.
Best Pool Scene: The Line
If you're looking for a hip scene, The Line hotel is it. The outdoor pool area at The Line Hotel is a trendy hotspot with crafted cocktails, foosball, ping pong, music and views overlooking Koreatown. A stylish, urban greenhouse next to the pool serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner with Asian-fusion and American fare (and plenty of vegetarian options). In addition, the lobby bar has live DJs performing from Thursday through Sunday. To start the morning off right, the café serves pastries and specialty coffees. The 383 hotel rooms have concrete walls with local artwork, floor-to-ceiling (and wall-to-wall) windows, a mini bar with Korean and Western snacks, docking and charging stations and flat-screen televisions. For active travelers, The Line also offers free yoga on Saturdays, free bicycle rentals, and a fitness center. Valet parking is an additional charge, and a metro station is just across the street.
Best for Friends: Mama’s Shelter
This hip, 70-room hotel is centrally located in Hollywood and is a great place for a friends' weekend (there are two bars, so you'll have plenty of time to catch up over drinks). Standard Rooms (which they call “medium mamas”) have designer furnishings and lighting, trendy gadgets like an iMac, Airplay for streaming videos and songs and free WiFi. Be aware that the cheapest digs have views of the alley, however, the rooftop restaurant and lounge overlooks the city and also transforms into a yoga studio. The hotel also offers a coffee shop and an outstanding restaurant with American fare for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch. This hotel is a happening place and TripAdvisor users have noted that it can get noisy at times.
Best Downtown: DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown
The 21-story DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown in Little Tokyo has reasonable rates and a few unique surprises considering its location (like a rooftop Japanese garden with trickling waterfalls, ponds and views of the financial district). The hotel offers free yoga classes on Thursdays (in the garden), a 24-hour fitness center, business center and a courtesy shuttle. The Justice Urban Tavern at the hotel has craft beer and new American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Starbucks is also on hand for a quick coffee on the go. Rooms feature Asian-fusion décor, flat-screen televisions, mini refrigerators, microwaves, iPod docking stations and granite bath vanities. Some additional charges include self or valet parking, and access to WiFi in the guest rooms (it is free in public spaces).
Best in Hollywood: Hollywood Celebrity Hotel
The 38-room, Hollywood Celebrity Hotel puts travelers in the heart of the action just a three-minute walk from the namesake boulevard, Dolby Theatre and the Walk of Fame. Posters of famous celebrities and actors adorn the halls and lobby walls, while rooms have contemporary décor and free WiFi; some also have full kitchens and living areas. Guests can receive passes to the Magic Castle Club to see magicians perform, a simple but adequate continental breakfast is included and parking is available (the hotel has some of the lowest rates in town). TripAdvisor members especially appreciated the staff’s efforts to go above-and-beyond to make them feel welcome.
Best for Solo Travelers: Trylon Hotel
With so many high-priced hotels, Los Angeles can be an especially expensive place for solo travelers, but the Trylon Hotel offers a great location in central Hollywood at a fraction of the cost of other properties. The Trylon’s 30 accommodations are small and basic – but clean and adequate – with hardwood floors, private baths and free WiFi. Some rooms have also been recently renovated. Other amenities include laundry service and a helpful tour desk to assist with information. The hotel is a short walk from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and the nearby metro station can whisk guests away to Universal Studios in about 30 minutes.
Best Boutique: Palihotel
If you prefer smaller properties, the 32-room, Palihotel is the self-proclaimed “first boutique hotel on Melrose Avenue” and is ideally located in the heart of the shopping district. Standard Rooms have free WiFi and views of the courtyard, Hollywood Hills or famous Melrose Avenue. Décor features a creative blend of furniture, lighting fixtures, and deep blue or pale orange hues. However, rooms deliberately do not have phones or alarm clocks (but are available if needed). The lobby has a worldly, sophisticated feel with historical paintings and books – yet it’s also refreshingly modern. The on-site restaurant, Hart and Hunter, serves new American comfort food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch.
Best for Couples: Brentwood Inn
About 15 minutes by car from Santa Monica, this cozy inn offers a refreshing change of pace. Free parking, a quiet neighborhood, friendly and helpful staff and stylish décor set the tone for a romantic, stress-free stay. There are 21 intimate rooms ideal for two guests, with exposed brick walls, plush bedding, flat-screen televisions, wood-beam ceilings with skylights and premium bath products. Freshly baked cookies and tea are a nice touch and continental breakfast is served on the outdoor patio. The one drawback is that the hotel does not have a swimming pool.