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Seeking recs for centrally located quality hotel in LA

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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:56 AM
  #1
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Seeking recs for centrally located quality hotel in LA

Dear fellow Fodorites, seeking recommendations for a centrally located LA hotel close to all the major sights. I realise the city has different sections of interest quite wide spread but I am wondering what is reasonably central to all attractions, especially as we will only have two days at the beginning of our trip here and haven't visited before. We're planning two days at the end at Long Beach, looking to book on the Queen Mary for then.

Appreciate all tips and recs. Thanks!
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Jun 17th, 2013, 09:37 AM
  #2
 
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LA is massive and there is no perfect, central location. For touristy stuff, though, I might look at something in West Hollywood - we liked the Andaz well enough.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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Will you have a car and what sights specifically do you want to see? As travelgourmet said there is really no one central location to everything.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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I would add that, if you aren't renting a car, you should. I can't imagine visiting LA and not renting a car.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:34 PM
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It depends on what you want to see and do, exactly. Choose a few attractions that you're interested in seeing over the 2 day period and let us know. If July, August, September, avoid Hollywood or downtown L.A., too hot and smoggy.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 10:09 PM
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>>LA hotel close to all the major sights . . . I am wondering what is reasonably central to all attractions,<<

No such animal. Tell us what you plan on seeing/doing and we can suggest the best areas to stay.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 03:57 AM
  #7
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Not renting a car in LA - I imagine it would be a nightmare trying to find parking. Also you drive on the other side to us, so not sure how we'd go with that! We are great walkers and know there is now a train system in LA, so plan to use that and shank's pony.

Neither of us are huge Hollywood films fans so no plans to see stars' houses or anything like that.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 03:59 AM
  #8
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We are more interested in the arts (Getty museum), historic buildings and that sort of thing. Thanks!
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Jun 20th, 2013, 08:38 AM
  #9
 
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Reconsider having a car. Most Brits/Aussies/Kiwis do just fine driving over here (just like Yanks successfully drive in OZ and the UK.)

>> I imagine it would be a nightmare trying to find parking.<<

California is the center of car culture - parking is seldom an issue. Except for special events parking is usually quite plentiful and often free.

And no place is walking distance to many (or ANY) sites.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 09:13 AM
  #10
 
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The Biltmore in downtown is across the street from a metro station.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 09:31 AM
  #11
 
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Not renting a car in LA - I imagine it would be a nightmare trying to find parking.

Parking is a non-issue in LA.

We are great walkers and know there is now a train system in LA, so plan to use that and shank's pony.

The train system in LA is a joke. The city is massive, covering something like 500 square miles and sights are spread all over. Walking is a non-starter due to distance, heat, etc.

You seriously need to reconsider renting a car.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 10:30 AM
  #12
 
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LA is not built like a city - there are multiple centers for different purposes and a large number of suburban areas all glommed together into a "city".

Walking places is not an option. Public transit is slow, complicated and a huge waste of time. (This is no NYC with a subway or bus every 5 minutes to everywhere - it's a 30 minute wait for a bus to nowhere except another bus).

You really need to rent a car - and identify what you want to see most - so you can stay in a reasonable distance.

And parking is NOT a problem as in real cities. It is everywhere and mostly free. Defiitely way more space than cars - as opposed to NYC - with twice as many cars as there are places to put them.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 12:25 PM
  #13
 
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I agree, reconsider the car rental thing, otherwise you probably need to stay in the area near Hollywood and Highland, which has lots of transit (mostly buses though, train routes are pretty limited) and near Starline tours, even if you are not interested in seeing anything of Hollywood itself. There are places in all price ranges, without a budget in USD per night it is hard for anyone to recommend anything. Hotel tax is 15% per night.
You can use the Trip Planner at metro.net to see how long and how many changes of buses you will need to take to get from Point A to Point B (such as Getty Museum or Getty Villa).
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Jun 20th, 2013, 12:45 PM
  #14
 
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You do not need to rent a car. There are shuttles between the airport (or port) and hotels, and back again. If you don't want to drive, and don't want to use the public transportation system, the Hop-On Hop-Off tours are an option.

A central location would be Hollywood or West Hollywood. Depending on budget.

There are a few Destination Experts on Tripadvisor that are expert in advising you on how to use the public transportation system if you are interested. You will need to tell them more than "all the major sights" though. Do a bit more research on what it is that you actually want to see, first.

Another way to look up transportation between locations is to use Google Maps, Directions by clicking the bus icon.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 12:48 PM
  #15
 
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One thing to be aware of re the Getty is that there is massive freeway construction at the moment.

I might recommend Westwood Village (try the Kimpton). It's pretty easy to get to the Getty, the airport and there are busses that run along Wilshire Blvd regularly.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 04:21 PM
  #16
 
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Of course one can get to certain sites w/o a car. Not every single person in LA drives. But the permutations/transfers/distances means you need a LOT of time and a transport guru to sort out the possibilities. W/ a car you can go where and when you want for how long you want.

A 20 or 30 minute car drive drive might take 90 minutes and a subway and 2 buses.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 05:36 PM
  #17
 
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What a load of crap. If the OP doesn't feel comfortable driving, there are easy options for getting around. These include door to door shuttles, taxis, and in many cases, direct transit links.

Too often the posters that complain about needing a car don't live here, don't visit as tourists, and have never even used the public transportation system here!
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Jun 20th, 2013, 05:39 PM
  #18
 
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PS, that's why I recommend visiting Tripadvisor. They are actually helpful, the DEs live in Southern California.

Not Sacramento. Or some nameless suburb thereof.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 06:54 PM
  #19
 
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L.A. native and life-long resident here...

IMO, whether you can easily get by without renting a car depends (almost) entirely on what you want to see/do. Most sightseeing destinations can be reached by one or a combination of bus and train (see link below) and/or by taking taxis or tours. Whether driving a car or riding public trans will get you there faster depends on where you're starting from and where you're going.

http://www.metro.net/riding_metro/ma...System_Map.pdf

But there are some things you can't do (or probably shouldn't do) using only public transportation, such as explore Griffith Park or the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area or go to a night-time event at the Home Depot Center.

It also matters where you are sleeping in relation to what you want to see/do. Even with a car, trying to see the Huntington Library and/or the L.A. County Arboretum from a hotel in Santa Monica could very possibly drive a tourist insane.



And I'd like to know the location of all that free parking someone referred to. I can only think of a couple of sightseeing locations in all of L.A. where parking is free. Even the Getty Center, with its multi-billion-dollar endowment, charges $15 for parking. The overnight parking charges at some hotels are very high.
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Jun 21st, 2013, 05:56 AM
  #20
 
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The Rennaisance Hollywood is a fine hotel. You are walking distance to the Hollywood tourist destinations and the Hollywood Bowl. Reasonable restaurants nearby. You are central to many popular destinations. You still need a rental car to visit the Getty or the Beaches or the studios.
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