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One of the oldest towns in the greater Los Angeles area, Pasadena is a thriving urban center backed by the rugged golden hills of Angeles National Forest. Nicknamed the City of Roses, it's home to the annual Rose Day Parade and the Rose Bowl — one of the most celebrated football games in the country. Historic Old Pasadena is filled with vintage buildings and several hundred boutique art galleries, designer outlets, restaurants, and drinking establishments. The area attracts a youthful crowd, which lends it an energetic vibe and lively bar and club scene. A multicultural heritage and a renowned culinary school have also resulted in a strong local food scene, with tastes and flavors from all over the world being combined and reinvented into contemporary fusion dishes. Below, we explore the best places to bed down on your next trip to Pasadena.
Best Overall: The Westin Pasadena
With sights and attractions such as Old Pasadena, City Hall, and the Museum of California Art just a short stroll away, the upscale Westin Pasadena provides convenient city access in addition to comfortable accommodation. Smart modern rooms come with standard furnishings, amenities, and 24-hour room service; additional services, like in-room massages, are available upon request. Guests entering the impressive lobby will encounter polished marble floors, graceful latticework arches, and ornate wrought-iron chandeliers. A heated outdoor pool is surrounded by lounges and private cabanas and provides excellent views of City Hall and downtown Pasadena. The fitness room — well-equipped with wall mirrors, cardio machines, and free weights — offers views of the surrounding mountains; additionally, there is both a sauna and steam room adjacent to the changing areas. Located on an elegant outdoor terrace with cushioned seating and a gas firepit, the Ventanas Restaurant & Bar serves contemporary Californian cuisine accompanied by regional wines.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Hilton Pasadena
With lots of amenities and a convenient location, the Hilton Pasadena is a great lodging option. The hotel has plenty of business facilities, with 25 meeting venues, audio-visual technology available for hire, and a 24-hour business center with mailing, photocopying, and printing services. Exercise facilities include an outdoor pool and a fitness center with a range of workout equipment. At The Corner, guests can enjoy light meals made with locally-sourced ingredients as well as craft beers and Californian wines. The hotel also hosts The Corner Market, a convenience store with a decent range of snacks and drinks for guests on the move, and the Corner Coffee provides an additional caffeine boost to follow the complimentary buffet breakfast. Old Pasadena, the Pasadena Convention Center, and CalTech are all within walking distance of the property, and bus stations just outside the hotel provide opportunities for guests to roam further afield.
Best Budget: Howard Johnson by Wyndham Pasadena
Situated in the heart of Pasadena, the Howard Johnson by Wyndham rests on historic Route 66 and offers excellent access to Pasadena City College and a collection of restaurants lining nearby streets. The lobby wows arriving guests with gleaming granite floors, soft overstuffed couches, and elegant drapes. Guestrooms are spacious and contain simple, comfortable furnishings and marble bathrooms with large walk-in showers. In-room amenities include flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and hairdryers. A complimentary breakfast is provided, and a business center comes with a desktop computer and coffee facilities. Laundry services are available for a fee, and a meeting room can accommodate up to 20 people. Outside, there is a small pool and adjacent hot tub in a shaded courtyard. The hotel's quiet location also makes for enjoyable strolls around surrounding streets.
Best for Families: DusitD2 Hotel Constance Pasadena
A stylish, ultra-modern hotel with bold design and eye-catching detail, the DusitD2 Hotel Constance Pasadena is a great option for traveling broods. High-tech rooms come with Keurig coffee machines, free Wi-Fi, and iPads that control the lights and air conditioning. The hotel accommodates families with a range of kid-friendly benefits, such as free stays for children under 12. There are also complimentary baby cots, discounted meals for kids, and a pet-friendly policy that welcomes four-legged family members to the premises. The crown jewel of the property is the stunning rooftop terrace, with a pool and adjoining fitness center, which provides superb views of the city skyline. Surrounded by restaurants and theaters, the hotel also sits directly on the Rose Parade route, offering an unbeatable location for catching the annual event.
Best for Luxury: The Langham Huntington
With lush lawns, opulent living areas, top-quality facilities, and indulgent amenities, the Langham Huntington is the most luxurious hotel in Pasadena. Guestrooms feature classic fittings in golds and blues, with custom handcrafted furniture and Italian marble bathrooms with separate baths and showers. The award-winning Chuan Spa offers pampering services that utilize traditional Chinese medicinal techniques in signature massages, acupuncture treatments, and hot stone therapies. Treatment rooms are decorated with intricate wooden screens and soft purple hues. Facilities in the spa include herbal steam rooms, saunas, and whirlpool baths. The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse serves a selection of premium cuts sourced from all over the world, cooked to perfection over the namesake flames. Contemporary bistro fare is also served on the scenic Terrace, with views over the pool and gardens. Classic British afternoon tea is held in the Lobby Lounge, and staff at the Prohibition-themed bar pour handmade cocktails, international wines, and premium spirits in a sophisticated room of rich wood paneling and gilt mirrors.
Best Boutique: GreenTree Pasadena Inn
With Old Pasadena just a short walk away through the green lawns of Central Park, GreenTree Pasadena Inn provides a convenient, quiet, and relaxing base from which to explore the area. Guestrooms are comfortably furnished in a sophisticated modern style, with faux-wood flooring, soft bed linens, and modern amenities including flat-screen TVs, coffee machines, and work desks. Bathrooms feature walk-in showers and luxury bath products. A complimentary hot breakfast buffet is provided in the morning. Other facilities include laundry machines and an outdoor pool and spa. The hotel also takes pride in its eco-friendly initiatives, with energy-efficient LED light bulbs, biodegradable plates, cups, and cutlery, and recycling programs making it one of the most environmentally-conscious hotels in Pasadena.
Best Location: Courtyard by Marriott Old Pasadena
Set amidst the restaurants, shops, art galleries, and bars of historic Old Pasadena, the Courtyard by Marriott places guests in the heart of downtown's action while also providing easy access to Los Angeles, Burbank, and Long Beach airports. Slick contemporary rooms feature minimalist furnishings and a full range of modern amenities including flat-screen TVs, work stations, and private bathrooms. The Bistro provides Starbucks coffee, delicious and healthy breakfast dishes, and farm-to-table dinner fare, accompanied by classic cocktails, international wines, and craft beers. The small courtyard — with cushioned lounges, shaded tables and chairs, and a raised firepit — is a great place to relax with a beverage in the afternoon or evening. A well-equipped business center serves working travelers, and the modern fitness room and heated outdoor pool keeps active guests satisfied.
Best for Business: Sheraton Pasadena
Located just around the corner from the Pasadena Convention Center and with numerous meeting rooms and event spaces, the Sheraton Pasadena is ideally placed to host traveling businessman, corporate events, and business seminars. Modern guest rooms and suites come with all the amenities required to keep productive, including work desks with ergonomic swivel chairs, coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and room service. Event spaces range from intimate boardrooms to 350-person ballrooms with the latest in high-tech audio-visual equipment. A full-service business center provides copying, faxing, and printing services. To unwind after a productive day, there's an outdoor heated pool and a modern fitness center with weights and aerobic machines. Restaurant Soliel offers a great selection of Mediterranean cuisine, and Charlie’s Bar serves refreshing drinks, continental dishes, and an hors d’oeuvres buffet.
Best B&B: The Bissell House B&B
Built in the classic Shingle architectural style, this historic, circa-1887 townhouse is full of old-fashioned appeal. Guestrooms in the three-story house are uniquely decorated and contain traditional elements such as antique furniture, floral bedcovers and tablecloths, and ornamental lampshades. Bathroom amenities range from ancient claw-foot bathtubs to modern whirlpool baths. In the mornings, a complimentary hot breakfast is provided in an elegant dining room. An old-fashioned library is filled with well-stocked bookcases and overstuffed leather armchairs, with French doors opening onto a beautiful garden courtyard with a pool, garden benches, and potted palms. The gracious lounge features hardwood floors, a working fireplace, embroidered chairs, and a baby grand piano. The property entertains families with board games, a kids’ outdoor play area, babysitting services, and family-friendly books and DVDs. Activities that can be facilitated by the B&B include horseback riding, cycling, and hiking.