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Travelers the world over love the coastal city of Long Beach. Located in southern California, just outside of another crowd-favorite — Los Angeles, the seaside city appeals to all sorts of visitors with famous waterfront attractions like the Queen Mary. Unlike the hustle and bustle of nearby LA, Long Beach is known more for its small-town, relaxed feel, as well as streets dotted with those on leisure strolls or casual bike rides rather than bumper-to-bumper traffic. Known for hosting an array of arts and music festivals throughout the year, come for the beach and the water, but be sure to stay for the fantastic dining, nightlife and laid-back Cali culture. Whether you're traveling on business, with close friends or toting some toddlers, these are the best hotels to hang your hat.
Best Overall: The Cove Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member
Just launched in spring of 2018, The Cove Hotel is a 76-room boutique property with classic coastal style, expansive guestrooms and suites (they're actually the largest in Long Beach — starting at 400 square feet) and a brightly lit lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows. Amenities won't cost you extra here: Wi-Fi, continental breakfast with coffee and tea, cabanas, and access to the pool and fire pit are all included. Guests will find that the hotel impresses right from check-in when they're handed a welcome flute of champagne or chilled juice. If you're a caffeine or wine-dependent person, you won't have to go far to get your fix. There's a gourmet coffee and smoothie bar in the lobby that transforms into a bar at night for cocktails, wine, local drafts and light bites. Aside from enviable design, the hotel also benefits from a prime location just 15-miles from the LA airport, 11-miles from Knott's Berry Farm and less than a mile from one of California's most treasured fast-food joints: In-N-Out Burger.
Best Budget: Hyatt Regency Long Beach
The Hyatt Regency Long Beach is a great option for the traveler who wants to feel at home on-the-go while still being close to the action — AKA in the heart of downtown. The spot delivers incredible views with 528 suites and rooms facing either the harbor or city. As for décor, accommodations lean toward residential with down duvets, chaise lounges, gallery walls and a palette of crisp white, homey beige and bold blue. With a waterfront location, the Hyatt offers easy access to shopping destinations, restaurants and prime beach stretches like The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, Shoreline Village, Belmont Shore and more. That said, you may not even feel the need to venture out all that often as the hotel has a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool, a fire pit, an on-site restaurant featuring a modern eclectic menu and a 24-hour fitness center which offers views of the harbor through a wall of windows. When you finally feel like exploring, take the pedestrian and cycle paths around the harbor and they'll lead you straight to the beach.
Best Boutique: Miyako Hybrid Hotel
Located just outside Long Beach — about 15 minutes away from the center of the activity in nearby Torrance — this one-of-a-kind hotel is worth the detour. The upscale retreat places travelers near all the beaches, attractions and shops they could want in South Bay. Though with 208 rooms and 12 suites it's technically a little big to be considered a boutique hotel, with modern Japanese-meets-Western amenities and next-level hospitality, it's a worthy exception. Down comforters, deep soaking tubs, rain showers, heated bidets and blackout curtains are just some of the creature comforts you'll find in your room. The Miyako is also a feel-good option as the luxe Leed-certified hotel is easy on the environment, incorporating an eco-conscious philosophy into everything they do. From sustainable building materials and solar power to energy efficient lighting and water saving fixtures, there’s plenty to see and do in a unique streamlined package.
Best for Families: Hampton Inn Long Beach Airport
When it comes to hotels fit for families, the dual-branded Hampton Inn by Hilton Long Beach Airport checks all the right boxes. The stylish, 241-room hotel offers convenient access to local beaches as well as family-friendly southern California attractions and amusement parks like the Queen Mary, Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. Additionally, kids will love spending an afternoon or two at nearby Glacial Garden Skating Area or the Aquarium of the Pacific. There’s also value-added amenities catered toward traveling broods such as free hot breakfast with plenty of options for picky eaters (including eggs, oatmeal and waffles) as well as high chairs and cribs upon request. Homewood Suites by Hilton Long Beach Airport also offers a combination of studio and one-bedroom accommodations featuring fully equipped kitchens and separate living and sleeping areas (one for the parents and one for the kids). There’s even opportunity for a relaxing dip in the outdoor heated pool and hot tub.
Best for Romance: The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary is undoubtedly one of southern California's most iconic attractions. Since departing from South Hampton, England on its inaugural transatlantic voyage in 1936, the historic liner was known for its elegant design. After retiring from active sailing in 1967 and converting to a permanently docked hotel, the Queen Mary has welcomed some 50 million visitors. The unique property is home to 343-rooms done up in Art-Deco style, allowing guests to pretend they're cruising in the golden era of travel — just without ever having to leave the port. There’s endless romance to be found here, whether you grab an after-dinner cocktail or embrace the swaying ship as you nestle into bed for the night. There are also tons of educational experiences to be had, with historical and paranormal tours of the ship on offer. Whether you're traveling with a longtime lover or a new fling, no stay in Long Beach will be quite like this one, that’s for sure.
Best for Luxury: Hyatt Centric The Pike Long Beach
If you're looking for a sophisticated city hotel that also delivers on California's signature laid-back beach style, you're going to want to consider the Hyatt Centric. Bright, airy rooms offer contemporary furnishings, plush beds and Cuisinart coffeemakers. When hungry, opt for SoCal-inspired small bites at the Bay Street Kitchen or visit Rooftop 360° for cocktails and some pool time (the hotel does feature Long Beach's only rooftop dip with panoramic city views). The hotel is located just minutes from Long Beach's buzzy Pine Street, the 138-room hotel is close to dozens of restaurants, the beach, the indie shops of Retro Row, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Long Beach Museum of Art. You’ll get plenty of exercise exploring the neighborhood and all the landmarks, but if you still need to burn off some steam, there’s a fitness center waiting at the hotel upon your return.
Best for Nightlife: Renaissance Long Beach Hotel
Long Beach is an unmistakeably artsy place, and the Renaissance puts down roots in the center of the city's culture, shopping and nightlife hub — right downtown. Here, city- and harbor-facing rooms (some look out on Catalina Island) start at 276 square feet and feature oversized chairs, marble bathrooms and simple, classic design. Some even open out onto private balconies and include a private spa bathtub. While the style of accommodations are admittedly not much to write home about, you probably won't be spending that much time in them anyway if you're here for nightlife. Onsite SIP Bar + Lounge serves up locally inspired cocktails and bites from award-winning chef Janine Falvo, while the third-floor 111 Pool + Lounge overlooks the ocean and historic Queen Mary with fire pits perfect for socializing around. Couple your onsite imbibing options with a fitness area, hot tub and both indoor and outdoor pool and you'll realize there's plenty to fill up a day here.
Best for Business: Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach Downtown
The Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach Downtown caters to business crowds with a location ideal for work and personal pursuits. Close in proximity to Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center — should you be hosting a seminar or tradeshow — as well as Catalina Island, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach Museum of Art and much more, you can get down to work but also enjoy the locale as soon as you're off the clock. The hotel has 216 rooms, as well as a meeting and event space, outdoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, James Republic Restaurant and Bar, business center, and of course, all the free Wi-Fi your business traveling heart could desire.
Best B&B: Dockside Boat & Bed
If there’s anything better than a quaint bed and breakfast on the water, it's a quaint bed and breakfast literally on the water. Dockside Boat & Bed rents luxury yachts — each moored in Ranbow Harbor — to travelers who find themselves in Long Beach. Roomier than most standard hotel accommodations, the boats include galleys, living rooms and views that simply can't be beat. The yachts — which range in size from 40- to 50-feet —never leave the dock, but the experience is as relaxing as only a night on the water can be. As you’d expect when sleeping on a boat, galleys are intimately sized but fully functional with a microwave and fridge; there's also a stove, but that’s just for show — instead, you'll find a gas grill on the dock to cook with. The ships also have free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, so you won't have to worry about roughing it.