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Seeking recs for centrally located quality hotel in LA

Seeking recs for centrally located quality hotel in LA

Old Jun 21st, 2013, 10:28 AM
  #21  
 
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I generally hate Hollywood. The Hollywood Blvd. scene is all the worst of the L.A. stereotypes.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/lo...212403371.html

The Hollywood Bowl on a summer night is the best.

https://www.alumniconnections.com/ol...ent_149999.jpg



But to each his/her own.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 12:49 PM
  #22  
 
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Now, now, no fighting here, you're ALL pretty!!

My 2¢ worth is this:

LA's vast size does present challenges to visitors. Bear in mind that what people casually call "LA" is not a single city, but an amalgam of two islands (San Clemente and Santa Catalina), two counties and over 100 cities spread out over roughly 5,000 square miles (13,000 square km). Public transit, depending on the municipality involved, can be very good, or not so good. Getting around without a car can be done, but it takes planning and-- usually-- a bit extra time. Worrying about being within walking distance from everything you want to see is lost effort.

Whatever hotel you choose, if it has a concierge, spend time with him or her to discuss points of interest and how to get to them. Ask him or her to provide the number of their preferred taxi company; keep it with you at all times and call for a taxi when you don't see them running around.

I work in Santa Monica but live in Long Beach; therefore I consider myself a daily visitor to "LA". For what you want to see and do, I'd consider Santa Monica a lovely non-starter as far as lodging; it's just too difficult to get in and out of that city (especially since the best hotels are located in areas with lots of public works construction and teeming masses of tourists). West Hollywood/Beverly Hills, in my opinion, would be the best cities in which to start looking for hotels, with the Westwood and Brentwood areas of LA coming next.

Since you're more interested in the arts & architecture aspects of LA, WeHo and BH get you central to museums, galleries and some notable houses by LA-area architects (but move fast; a lot of Paul Williams homes have been razed for those Persian Wedding Cake mega-mansion atrocities springing up all over BH). There are architecture tours of the notable buildings in downtown LA. This region is also home to some of the best examples of Arts & Crafts ("Prairie style" is a term I've also seen) houses, especially in Pasadena and coastal Long Beach; frankly I don't know if there are tours of those in the summer. Frank Lloyd Wright designed a few very striking houses that place him as transitional between Arts & Crafts and Art Déco; check online for tours, as a couple of them are being renovated. The Case Study homes that are still standing would be great to see, except that some are still private residences (the house designed by Charles and Ray Eames is owned by their daughter and her kids, for example). The Schindler House in West Hollywood is an important artifact. Irving Gill has a house or two in the area (his Long Beach house is gorgeous, privately-owned and probably nearly priceless). Hollywood Déco buildings are scattered all over LA County.

Now, if you DO rent a car, parking in most commercial parts of LA is assuredly NOT free; you'll see meters that must be fed, usually Monday through Saturday 9AM to 6 PM (but this ALL varies, read the signs!!), you'll see areas that are "parking permits ONLY". Most hotels (but not motels) charge daily parking fees. Residential streets that are more than a block from major thoroughfares often have free parking, and outlying cities will have less metering and prohibitions in general. These are NOT absolute rules, by the way; I'm going from observations in and around my daily travels. Just about all sit-down restaurants without large, dedicated parking lots will have valets to park your car; for that matter, so do major shopping centers.

Now, these are general considerations. Concrete questions for you:

-- Hotel or motel?
-- How much per night?
-- Do you want to be smack-dab in the middle of great dining and entertainment options, or is that not so important?
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 03:48 PM
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http://www.figueroahotel.com/
How about 'the Fig'? It's near Staples Center

The Biltmore Hotel is smack-dab in the middle of downtown (on a larger map it's pretty much where you see the dot for Los Angeles) just off Pershing Square. I had the good fortune to live there one summer in the 80's. Amazing experience.

I have a friend who manages to do LA as a tourist on public transportation, but as a born & raised Californian I say you really need a car. The city is simply not designed to be without one.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 03:57 PM
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It's been a long time since suze lived in LA, if I'm correct.


For someone visiting as a tourist for two days, with a short list of sights, the need is far different than a returning resident visiting friends scattered all over two or three counties.

(Or someone commuting 30 miles one way as poor rjw does. Rjw, maybe you need a new job).
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 05:39 PM
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I've been to England half a dozen times I can't imagine trying to drive on the "wrong" side of the road.
Parking is often an issue in LA and I think Hollywood is mostly rundown strip malls and tourist traps.
Two days is not long. Stay at The Biltmore and use the metro. There are sights to enjoy a short walk away, Grand Central Market(cheap and good Mexican food), Angels Flight, The Disney Hall, The Bradbury building.
The food scene in downtown is really exploding with many interesting places to dine after dark.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 06:51 PM
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>>I've been to England half a dozen times I can't imagine trying to drive on the "wrong" side of the road.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 07:16 PM
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I have to ask: given how easy it apparently is to get by without a car, hopefully jean and mlgb can answer the following:

1) do you have a car?
2) when was the last time you took public transit to the Getty and from where?
3) when was the last time you spent a day sightseeing without a car?
4) if a friend were to visit and you were showing them the sights, would you drive?

If you were willing to spend a lot on taxis, then I'd say skip the car. If not, then you will cut your sightseeing time at least in half by using public transit. It is simply ridiculously inefficient.

As for staying downtown... I don't get it. I genuinely don't. I especially don't get it when the one known place the OP wants to visit is the Getty, which is at least 1:30 by public transit from downtown (as much as 2:00, depending upon the hour). And, no, the train doesn't go there.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 07:17 PM
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I am not seeing recommendations for hotels. I am seeing a debate on driving or not driving.Please get to hotels
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 07:23 PM
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I am not seeing recommendations for hotels. I am seeing a debate on driving or not driving.Please get to hotels

The hotel answer is largely dependent upon the answer to the car question.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 07:26 PM
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>>I am not seeing recommendations for hotels. I am seeing a debate on driving or not driving.Please get to hotels
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 10:21 PM
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And, other than wanting to end up in Long Beach, you haven't mentioned one thing on your sightseeing list, so we can't even zero in on a preferred location, much less specific hotels in that area.

And we need to know your budget and when you're coming.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 10:26 PM
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Good for you janisj, good for you and your thirty plus trips. But the OP does not want to drive!
I do live here and I am trying to give my best advice.
Offer yours as well, but don't imply that my suggestions are less worthy.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 10:31 PM
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By the way, I love staying on The Queen Mary!
Try to get a starboard side room facing Long Beach and not overlooking the parking lot.
Just don't leave your cabin late at night.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 01:29 AM
  #34  
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Wow, I've unleashed a hornet's nest of responses! I actually don't drive at all but my sister does. She freaked out driving in San Francisco (we got a bit lost) so I didn't think it was fair to ask her to drive in another, bigger city. She is fine in the countryside, hence we will be hiring a car to travel into parts of Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.

We do plan to see some of the usual touristy attractions such as the Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach. We do really love walking and would easily spend hours walking a city, soaking up the atmosphere, with a general direction in mind and checking out what the interesting sites are in the vicinity. Generally on holidays we walk pretty much all day, just for stopping for meal breaks and a bit of shopping.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 04:02 AM
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We do plan to see some of the usual touristy attractions such as the Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Venice Beach.

If you remain committed to not having a car, and with that list (+ the Getty), I'll reiterate my recommendation for one of the better hotels in West Hollywood. I would definitely not stay in downtown.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:33 AM
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Always lots of opinions (which I skimmed). I lived in LA for 3o years and as said it is very spread out. Sounds like in 2 days you want to get the "flavor". I would stay in Santa Monica, near the 3rd Street promenade and pier area. It's a lovely area, shops, ocean, restaurants, shopping, and you're not too far from the Getty, Getty in Malibu (there are 2 Gettys), etc. Getting around may be a challenge, but there are car services and taxis like everywhere else. We've driven many times on the "wrong" side when visiting the UK and it is doable, but traffic in LA is a challenge. Your hotel could advise you on public transportation.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 09:49 AM
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Just one quick comment and I'll leave it. No wonder you are reluctant (!) - even many locals don't like to drive in SF. It is the only California city where having a car is not recommended. The public transport in SF is brilliant and a car simply simply isn't needed.

LA is a whole different kettle of fish.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:03 AM
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This is truly one of the most difficult recurring questions, "Seeking recs for centrally located quality hotel in LA". Especially if you're not renting a car, there is practically no answer.

"LA is a whole different kettle of fish" for sure. It's a car-drivin' town, no doubt about it.

I am afraid that if you think you can rely on public transit, not knowing your way around, you might end up hating LA!

The Getty Center and the Getty Villa are both great places to visit. But I don't know how to do it via public transit myself.

We prefer to stay in the Santa Monica or Marina del Rey areas. Lots of good hotels there. The Jamaic Bay Inn is good and usually has special rates.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:31 AM
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Oops-- Jamaica Bay Inn
http://www.jamaicabayinn.com/
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 11:19 AM
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No, Marina del Rey is not a good option for the list of attractions that you want to see. Terrible.

Have a look a the routes for the Hop on Hop off buses, here

http://www.starlinetours.com/los-angeles-tour-HOHO.asp
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