Places to stay in LA

Aug 17th, 2004, 05:22 PM
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Places to stay in LA

Hi there...I am planning a trip from Canada to LA in November. What are some recommendations for decent hotels in the $100-150 USD price range?

We are planning to spend the majority of our time in Hollywood - want to see all the things on the beaten path: Universal, Walk of Fame, maybe catch a TV show or 2. It's our first time here and we want to see what LA/Hollywood is all about.

Problem is, I've heard Hollywood isn't the best area to be staying in (especially to be outside at night). Is there any truth to this? I was thinking West Hollywood might be better. I came across the Sunset Plaza Hotel. From their website, this hotel seems to have everything we need. The reviews of it seem ok on Does anyone have any experience with this hotel? Any other recommendations as to good places to stay? Any help would be appreciated!
cjk33 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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Hollywood can be a bit seedy, so you might look into the Westwood area adjacent to UCLA. It should have some moderately priced places for families to stay who are visiting the campus. (You could probably look at the UCLA website and see what hotels they recommend.) UCLA is something to see, and Westwood is a nice spot for walking and grabbing a bite to eat. You would be close to Sunset Blvd., the Bel Air neighborhood, Beverly Hills Hotel, Rodeo Drive, and not too far from Malibu and sights in Hollywood.
Aug 17th, 2004, 05:51 PM
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I always stay in West Hollywood near the Sunset Blvd. area.
But for what you're saying I see no reason to avoid staying right in Hollywood. The big new Renaissance Hotel may be a little out of price range, but worth a try as they do lots of special pricing and packages. It's right in the heart of things.
I no longer think that Hollywood is seedy. Tacky yes, but that's its charm. Seedy or dangerous, not really.
For what you're talking about it's really probably your most convenient location.
Patrick is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 06:05 PM
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The Sunset Plaza is in a great area on the Strip and easy to walk to all areas of the strip from there. The last time I was actually inside there was long before it became the Sunset Plaza, so I can't comment on the way it looks now.

The Magic Castle Hotel might work for you.
Surfergirl is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 06:31 PM
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I stayed in the Holiday Inn (probably a Crowne Plaza now) near the LA Airport, and the location turned out to be fine. It's a longish drive to Hollywood, but then again, it's on the way to Long Beach and to the beautiful beaches south of Los Angeles.

Everything is so spread out that there's no place to stay where you would not want to go to other places.

If I was going back, I'd be looking in Santa Monica, so I could be close to the ocean.

I did find parking was easier than Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, and the clogged expressways were no worse than those three Canadian cities.

BAK is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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There are only two hotels in Hollywood I'd even consider: The Renaissance and the Hollywood Roosevelt (historic hotel). Your desired price range makes it a bit difficult. I can't think of another good property in that area.

DISCLOSURE: I live in Long Beach and don't rent hotels in the LA area.

The Best Western Sunset Plaza is a good choice, actually. Good location for what you want to do/see. Another under-the-radar choice in West Hollywood would be the Farmer's Daughter Motel on Fairfax, across from CBS Television City and the Farmer's Market. Don't let the campy name fool you: it's a fine little hotel.

Santa Monica is a very popular part of the LA area for tourists (I work there), so finding hotel deals is very difficult. In the coastal area, only one good hotel MIGHT hit your price point-- and probably won't-- and that's the Georgian on Ocean Avenue.

The LAX area isn't bad to stay in-- the problem is, the area isn't desirable after dark. Nothing to do (other than a seedy lap dance emporium at Century and Aviation).... Westwood is a good choice, but again price is going to be an issue, even in November.

Good hunting!
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. Much appreciated!

Santa Monica would be cool....but how far of a drive would it be (in off-peak traffic) to the attractions mentioned? (IE Universal, etc)?
cjk33 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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Although I am from Pasadena, I have spent many a night in Hollywood. One of the benefits of being married to a musician, I suppose. For the past couple of years a night out in Hollywood always included a suite at the Orchid Suites. It is right behind Hollywood and Highland on Orchid, adjecent to the Kodak and across from the Renaissance. It is a fun, vibrant area and the rooms are in your price range. I am especially a fan of the rooftop garden, where we like to take in a cockatail and enjoy the sunset before heading out for a night on the town.
here_today_gone2Maui is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 07:28 PM
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From Santa Monica to Universal, I'd give 30-45 minutes; you can do it without hopping freeways and it's a pretty easy drive.

Here_today's suggestions for the Hollywood/Downtown LA area are always good, so take her reco of the Orchid Suites seriously; I'm not familiar with it, but I'm sure it's great.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 07:59 PM
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I would have to agree about Hollywood not being as seedy as it was in the past but to be honest, I would not stay there (depends how big of a sense of adventure you have). But it can be a lot of fun.

My rec would be the Universal Sheraton. Literally next door to Universal Studios and City Walk. An easy drive into Hollywood. Rooms could be had in the $150 range. Again, not too much by way of excitement (a vanilla choice) but it is would be a reliable option and convenient to where you want to visit.
ssm is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 08:25 PM
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I would need to know if you are going to have a car before recommending anything too far west. Sunset Plaza is a very good choice if you are going to be using the bus and subway system. Renaissance is a good choice too.

The Sunset Plaza is very nice, pretty recently renovated, but it is not quite as nice as it looks on the site in my opinion. The rooms are on the small side - so if you are more than 2 people sharing a room you would be cramped. You might check if they offer their "entertainment card" rate during your dates of can easily buy a card online if they do.
tracys2cents is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 06:45 PM
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I assumed Universal was in Hollywood, but I guess not. (It IS called the Universal Hollywood, isn't it??).
Anyhow, maybe that would be an option. Is the area really that much different than Hollywood?

I think we would be renting a car. We hadn't planned on it initially, but everything I read says you have to, and we do want to see and do a lot.

Small rooms at the Sunset wouldn't be a problem as there will only be 2 of us. We're not very picky when it comes to hotels: as long as the rooms are clean and the beds comfortable, we're happy. I'm just still not sure about the Hollywood area.

Thanks for all the advice -- keep it coming!
cjk33 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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Go to and read the FAQ for hotels. Pay special attention to the topic regarding non-US residents bidding on Priceline US. There are some (minor) issues using Canadian-issued credit cards with Priceline, but the work-around is easy.

In your price range you ought to be able easily to obtain a 4-star hotel in the West Hollywood-Beverly Hills area, probably with enough savings to pay for a rental car obtained through PL, plus maybe the cost of parking the car at the hotel too. Really - try the Beverly Hilton for $75.

I don't like Hollywood very much, as much for its inconvenience to other places as for the lingering ickyness of parts of the neighborhood. Farther west, in BH or Westwood, or all the way to Santa Monica (the major east-west streets start in downtown LA, pass through upper/lower Hollywood and terminate at the ocean in Santa Monica) conditions are nicer, air somewhat cleaner, and you're really not that much farther in time terms from major attractions than you would be in Hollywood.

Book a room with a res that you can cancel, then around the first of September give PL a flutter. STUDY for how-tos on bidding, or follow the moderator's rules (or else) to ask for bidding assistance. LA in November is often bargain city using PL; as long as you stay at the 3/4 star level, you won't go very wrong, and most likely you'll end up a Priceline addict like the rest of us.
Gardyloo is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 08:20 PM
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I considered Priceline, but have never used a site like that before and don't like the idea of giving my credit card # without knowing what the rate (or hotel) will be beforehand. Maybe I just don't know enough about the process but I find that very intimidating. I guess it's worth a look though - thanks for the info
cjk33 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 08:29 PM
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Stay in Santa Monica - you can daytrip to Hollywood and Beverly Hills
GLMDesigns is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 09:42 PM
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To clarify: Universal Studios Hollywood is NOT in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood, but in a separate municipality called Universal City, just outside of Hollywood (which for me is either the "state of mind" of the movie industry or a gritty middle-class neighborhood). The Sheraton in question is nice, but it's only convenient to USH.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 10:53 PM
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You might think about staying in Burbank, just a short drive or bus ride to Universal Studios. Warner Brothers tour might interest you, and there are TV shows taped at WB and NBC nearby. It is a less-intimidating area than "big city" West Hollywood , or Hollywierd. You could take the subway down to Hollywood from'd need a car for trips to Beverly Hills/Santa Monica/beach areas.

You might check if decent airfare is available to Burbank Airport (BUR) if you haven't already booked into LAX. United and American fly into Burbank.
tracys2cents is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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WE're flying into LAX. The flight has already been booked.

Does anyone have thoughts on the Travellodge on Pico Blvd in Santa Monica. It's rated the #10 SM hotel on

The Universal Sheraton looks okay. That certainly may be another option. I have also looked at the Priceline info and may heed that advice as well.
Thanks for the comments - keep them coming!
cjk33 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 10:40 PM
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RE: The Travelodge at 3102 Pico-- although it gets good ratings from Tripadvisor, there's no way I'd stay there, knowing LA. Not that it's a bad neighborhood, it's just that I'd rather stay anywhere but that rather dull stretch of Pico Blvd. I can be cheap, but in this case I'll spend the money and stay somewhere nicer. Please give the Farmer's Daughter a call. I think you'll like it and its location:
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2004, 10:53 AM
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Travelodge on Pico is two big steps down from the Sunset Plaza, to say the least. "Popularity" rating on TripAdvisor seems to have more to do with "number of opinions posted" than "quality". Opinions both good and bad are counted.

hibrentwood is another well-located to tourist-attractions hotel worth looking into...and they sometimes have a discount coupon on

Once again, an entertainment card might save you $$$, especially if you're staying for more than a few days.

You can even check beforehand with these hotels to see if they have an attractive "entertainment card discount rate" available for your dates. If so, book it, and you can purchase your entertainment card afterwards.
tracys2cents is offline  

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