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2 Week Vacation in LA and San Diego. Hotel Advice?

2 Week Vacation in LA and San Diego. Hotel Advice?

Old Dec 7th, 2007, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,430
I've never eaten at Noe, in your hotel, but there are reports that it is excellent and has a bit of a bar scene. The other restaurant at the Omni, Grand Cafe, does a reasonably good job at breakfast and lunch.

Virtually across the street are two red granite towers (Wells Fargo). There's an interesting little (free) Museum in one of them. There are a few Patina Group restaurants inside the center, Nick & Stef's has a yuppie happy hour scene. Good takeout from Koo Koo Roo around the corner.

There is a Dash bus stop just in front of MOCA. It's a lot more convenient for getting around Downtown than driving. Fare is 25 cents with a free transfer. The routes you'll want to use are A and B, the driver will have route maps.

If you just want to wander around downtown on your own, here's my favorite map:


Many of the office tours have holiday decorations in the lobby and are worth the walk through.
It's also fun to take the maligned pedway system in Bunker Hill for some good views. If you cross thru the Wells Fargo Center, and Bank of America Center, and go to the right when you reach World Trade Center, there is a good vantage point for photos of the Disney Concert Hall. Also take the "Bunker Hill" or "Spanish Steps" to the Central Library. The renovation (be sure to see the new wing), and the lovely Robert Graham sculpture at the top of the steps are worth seeing. There are some other works near the YMCA and near the bridge to the Bonaventure.

On the other side of California Plaza (the water court feature next to your hotel) is Angel's Flight. They were working on reopening it this fall but I'm not sure of the status. Down the hill below is Grand Central Market, Bradbury Building and Broadway.

Enjoy your trip!
mlgb is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2007, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 200
Make sure to go to the top of the Bonaventure hotel in downtown one evening for a drink in the revolving restaurant on the 34th floor, great views. Drinks are pricey, but view is well worth it. Here's a link to a really good map of downtown:

Oh and the downtown library is really nice too, and they do tours and usually have exhibits in their gallery:
travisblue is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2007, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,721
A personal central LA favorite is the Rennaisance. If you can get a rate, it's a great place in a super location.

In San Diego, if you luck into a good price at the Marriott Marina, it's one of their best hotels anywhere.
stumpworks73 is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 34
Travis blue

WOW = What a terrific map
The best I have seen
Incredibly interactive with an amazing level of search-ability! Thank you!
jlsct is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2007, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 868
You'll find out why staying in Downtown LA is not a great idea when you're doing the things you have planned when you do it. You'll be spending $30 per night on parking at most hotels there and commuting for an hour or more each way in traffic to get to many of the attractions you have planned. The area itself is not somewhere you will want to walk around at night, and you will have to drive and pay for parking anywhere you go in Downtown itself because even the things you will be seeing there are mostly not near each other, so you won't be walking much. Overall, the area is not very attractive or lively. It's mostly a business district that's being revived. But it's not an area where you will be walking around with lots of shops and restaurants open, within walking distance from each other, especially in the evenings and on the weekends. And some areas are downright dangerous and should be avoided. There is a reason that most people stay in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, or Beverly Hills when they are visiting for tourism purposes.

Your budget is pretty low, but you can get a very nice hotel for that in a good area by bidding on Priceline (read www.biddingfortravel.com to check out tips and info on recent deals that people have gotten in various areas to get an idea). You can get a 3-4 star hotel in West Hollywood or Beverly Hills/Century City area for under $100 pretty easily. So even if you have to pay $20-30 for parking, you will still be under budget and will be conveniently located to most things you want to do.

From the hotels you listed in the first post, staying in Santa Monica or in Venice would be pretty good. Another option you should check out is Celebrity Hotel in Hollywood which is well-reviewed and in your price range. Out of the areas I listed above, Hollywood would be my last choice, but it's definitely convenient. West Hollywood or Beverly Hills is definitely most central to all things you want to do. BH is pretty quiet at night if that matters to you.

Either way, my main point is that the recommendations above are not about picking a "hip" area to stay in. It's about convenience. LA is very spread out and you don't want to be spending half of your vacation parked on a freeway.
smartcookie is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2007, 06:00 PM
Posts: n/a
You got a rate of $159 a night at the Manchester Grand Hyatt for $159 a night along with a $100 credit..
High five to you!!
Excellent hotel and great location.
Happy to answer any questions you have..
Old Dec 15th, 2007, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 653
I posted this in response to another San Diego bound traveler, but it also might interest you:
I have a suggestion for a "fun" thing to do during your San Diego visit:

On 27 September the Big Bay (Holiday Bowl) Balloon Parade will take place from 10:00 until roughly 12:30 along North Harbor Drive (the Embarcadero) from Beech Street south to where Harbor Drive makes a big turn.

The event is free, although you can pay $15 for unnecessary grandstand seats. Last year about 100,000 people attended and saw a larger collection of huge balloons than are in the Thanksgiving parade in New York. There are marching bands from all over the US and lots of unique, often quirky evends (like the weiner-dog race, the folding chair "marching" group, etc.).

We go every year.

d_claude_bear is offline  
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