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henny16 Sep 7th, 2007 08:49 AM

LA Hotel advice needed
My parents are planning a dream trip to drive the california coast and I am trying to help them with some details. They will be leaving from AZ and driving up to the redwoods. They would like to stop in the LA area and do a day bus tour. I nor they have ever been to LA so trying to figure out where to stay isn't easy. Hoping you experts can help. They would like to stay out of the city far enough to avoid the worst traffic but close enough for the tour bus to be able to pick them up at the hotel. Would like it to be economical and safe. Also if you have any advice on which tour company offers a good tour - they all look the same online.

clarkgriswold Sep 7th, 2007 09:43 AM

Probably easiest to find a hotel right off the freeway that they'll be coming in on (the 10 or the 210?) , or easy-on to the freeway they'll be heading out on the next day. Starline Tours is a good company and they will pick up at most hotels in the area. When you have more details such as time of day they'll be arriving,day of week well as an idea of what they'ld like to do in the afternoon and evening after their bus tour, we might be able to point you to a good hotel to avoid traffic problems etc.

henny16 Sep 7th, 2007 10:45 AM

They'll be coming in on Sunday, 9/23 towards evening. Looks like they'd be coming in on the 10 (I don't see 210 on my map?). They would then tour on Monday. They would do the bus tour and I think they would like the Getty museum - is it doable to do both in one day? They would stay Monday night and leave Tuesday morning and head up the coast. If you were a couple in your 60's with one day to spend in LA area what would you want to see?

lvk Sep 7th, 2007 11:12 AM

There is a company called that has a combination LA City/Hollywood tour plus the Getty.

They should encounter terrible traffic coming west on a Sunday evening, so driving to the west side of LA should work for them. It would provide a good jumping off point for their drive up the coast on Tuesday morning.

The Hotel Angeleno ( is just north of where the 10 freeway meets the 405. I'm not sure what their budget is, but Beverly Hills, Westwood, or Santa Monica would work well for them, location-wise. I'm assuming they will be heading north on Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica?

lvk Sep 7th, 2007 11:14 AM

I really should proofread BEFORE I post! They should NOT encounter terrible traffic coming west on a Sunday evening.

henny16 Sep 7th, 2007 11:20 AM

Thanks so much for that info - exactly what I needed. That hotel looks very nice but I think they would prefer to keep around $100 a night. Is that possible and still be in a decent area?

henny16 Sep 7th, 2007 11:25 AM

Ah, The Getty is closed on Mondays. Good to check these things beforehand. I guess they won't be going there that day. Any other ideas for things for them to see?

lvk Sep 7th, 2007 11:44 AM

I guess it will depend what time they take their bus tour. How about the Getty Villa in Malibu? You need reservations, so should coordinate the time with their bus tour times.

At that price point, it will be difficult to find a place in a decent neighborhood. Travelzoo is showing a special the Residence Inn in Manhattan Beach for $89. The Holiday Inn Express in Manhattan Beach is usually right around $100. These are in a very safe neighborhood, not far from the 405 and close to the beach. Since they are so close to LAX, I believe the tour companies will pick up there, too.

I think that weekend is right around the time that UCLA students are moving in. This may explain why there are not many hotel specials on the west side of LA.

travisblue Sep 7th, 2007 12:26 PM

here's a link with hotel info that UCLA puts out for visiting parents:

henny16 Sep 7th, 2007 01:46 PM

Where did you find the Residence Inn for $89? I am not seeing that. That sounds like a great deal.

clarkgriswold Sep 7th, 2007 02:51 PM

There's a Comfort Inn at $89 right near the Sunset Strip. They could walk to Hollywood and the "Walk of Fame" from here if they are good walkers, or they could hop a Dash shuttle. Starline would pick up from here for their tour.

On Monday after their tour they could drive down Sunset Blvd into Bev Hills to see Rodeo Drive, drive around stars' neighborhoods, dine, etc. High traffic on Mondays between 8-10am and 4-7pm but they wouldn't be straying too far from Sunset Blvd probably. On Tuesday morning they could head down Sunset Blvd to the 405 freeway, they would recognize the drive from the day before. 405 North leads to 101 Ventura and onward to the coast. If they prefer, it's slower but Sunset Blvd leads all the way to Malibu and the ocean and then they could drive coastal route 1 north from there. Sunset Blvd dead-ends at Malibu and it's an interesting drive through various ritzy neighborhoods. Turn right when they hit the ocean and they're on their way up the coast.

The hotel is easy from the 10 Freeway, just print them mapquest directions from Phoenix to 7051 Hollywood Blvd.

lvk Sep 7th, 2007 03:14 PM

$89 is for a Sunday night. Monday would be $50 more. Still a great deal

smartcookie Sep 7th, 2007 06:16 PM

tours vary from 2-3 hours to all day 7 hour tour. they might want to drive to Santa Monica and explore that area a bit. Go to the pier, the promenade etc. Another option is to do the Getty Villa in Malibu if you can get a reservation for that day. You have to book in advance. I would recommend staying in Hollywood/West Hollywood or in Santa Monica since they only have one day and want to make the most of it. Tours pick up in Hollywood. Manhattan Beach is too far out. Check out the Ramada on Santa Monica in West Hollywood as well as Best Western.

henny16 Sep 7th, 2007 08:29 PM

OK, I'm looking at the Residence Inn Manhattan Beach, Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Beach or what about the Quality Inn Hermosa Beach. They all look like they have good reviews and the VIPTours will pick up at all 3 of them. All fairly comparable prices. They look close enough but out of the very busy traffic??? True? Out of those three would you have a better pick?

tracys2cents Sep 7th, 2007 08:41 PM

Arriving on Sunday, they could hit lots of beach traffic if they go all the way to Manhattan Beach. On Monday, the tour will hit tons of traffic heading for Hollywood and after Hollywood it's kind of a long way back to Manhattan Beach. They won't want to then drive from MB or Hermosa back into Bev Hills, they'll be tired of driving and will want to wander the beach city,that's it. Since they will be getting lots of coastal/ beach time on the way north ...they may want to spend their "Los Angeles" time nearer to the sights of Hollywood, Bev Hills etc.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think MBeach is about a half hour out of their way, and a half hour further south than they want to be on the day that they leave the area (ugly morning traffic headed north from those areas, whereas from Sunset Blvd they're almost going against the major traffic).
I guess it depends if they want a "Hollywood/Bev Hills" experience or just some more beach time.

lvk Sep 7th, 2007 08:45 PM

Of the three, I would go with the Residence Inn, MB. It's basically in the same neighborhood as the Holiday Inn, but the rooms are more spacious. It is also closer to the freeway than any Hermosa Hotel. There are lots of good dining options in Downtown Manhattan Beach ( or on Rosecrans Avenue, for Sunday and Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, they might want to wait until 10 am to get onto the 405 to head for points north. They could take the 405N to the 10W to PCH and start their dream California coastal drive. September is the most beautiful month along the California coast, IMO. :)

henny16 Sep 8th, 2007 05:06 AM

Tracy2cents - thanks for the traffic warning. It would be nice to be north of the traffic. They really don't want to stay "in" the action though. I think a tour is really all they want to see of the Hollywood scene. But I think it would be good to be further north if possible at a reasonable price based on what you said about the traffic. So anyone have a recommendation based on Tracy2cents feedback? Thanks

clarkgriswold Sep 8th, 2007 07:14 AM

How long do they have for their trip? Could they do the L.A. part on their way back instead?
Or how about arriving a day earlier? Sat & Sun traffic would be a lot easier for tourists to handle than Sun & Mon traffic. I'm not sure if Starline does Sun tours however.

henny16 Sep 8th, 2007 08:58 AM

How about the Comfort Inn Santa Monica? Is that far enough north to be beyond the Monday traffic heading north? Has decent reviews for decent price - obviously not luxury but clean. How about the neighborhood - safe?

clarkgriswold Sep 8th, 2007 09:53 AM

Have they got early requirements on the Mon or Tues morning that they leave L.A? Do they have to be up north for their Hearst Castle tour at a certain time or anything like that?

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