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Where to stay in Hollywood?

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Oct 10th, 2011, 10:12 AM
  #1
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Where to stay in Hollywood?

My husband and I plus our son and daughter-in-law are planning a four day getaway to LA in November. Shopping, touristy sights, shuttle to one of the theme parks are on the agenda. We will not have a car. We think Hollywood would be a good choice. Can anyone recommend a good hotel in this area? Budget is probably up to $250 a night per room.
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Oct 10th, 2011, 10:23 AM
  #2
 
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1 room for $250, or 2 rooms for $250, or 2 for $250 each?
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Oct 10th, 2011, 10:24 AM
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If Hollywood (never my first choice), based on your budget and number of people, I would suggest the Magic Castle Hotel, which is around the corner from the Renaissance (a much higher priced hotel), and close to the Metro.
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Oct 10th, 2011, 10:27 AM
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Surfergirl, what other area would you suggest? None of us have ever been there and are certainly open to ideas.
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Oct 10th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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If it's the weekend of the 18th, the Renaissance is at $189
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Oct 10th, 2011, 02:42 PM
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If it's that weekend, that $189 is a good deal. Magic Castle has a 2 bedroom suite for around that price.

Jranger, the reason why I say "not my first choice" is because Hollywood, particularly the eastern part, remains kind of gritty, and the economy hasn't helped much. Plus lots of druggies, especially east of Gower. I don't shy away from Hollywood, but then again, I have a car, so even if I'm out late there, assuming I'm with someone, I don't panic. If you've ever been to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, that area with the Ripley's believe it to not and souvenir shops, it's kind of like that except with a bunch of panhandlers. Anyway, other than Hollywood Boulevard and Graumann's Chinese Theatre with the celebrity prints, there's not much in the way of touristy things to do there. It's another story if there's a show you want to see at the Kodak or the Pantages, or a concert playing at the Music Box a block from the Pantages, or if you have tickets to the Jimmy Kimmel show. Or, because you won't have a car, you could use the Metro (subway system) to get you downtown or to Universal Studios.

But it won't help getting you to points west (Beverly Hills, Century City, Santa Monica, Venice, even West Hollywood's Sunset Strip). For that you'd need to taxi or take the bus -- not the most fun thing to do on a Saturday night!

With 4 people, it would be a better deal for you to actually rent a car -- you can get some good weekend deals that would cost you a whole lot less than a taxi from point "A" to point "B".

I guess the question for you is, when you are thinking about what touristy things you want to see, what are they? Knowing that, it would be easier to suggest an appropriate area for you. Lots of people come to L.A. to see Venice and the beach. In which case, somewhere in Santa Monica might be the better choice. If it's historic L.A., then maybe downtown might be best.
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Oct 10th, 2011, 03:43 PM
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Thank you, Surfergirl, for your comments. Yes, we've been to Niagara Falls and I get the picture you are describing - yuk. The "kids" want to shop, see Graumann's, check out Hollywood Blvd. We are actually going to visit our daughter who is attending SCU who lives a couple of bus stops from Hollywood. My husband and I probably won't do much in the way of sightseeing but we did want to please the younger generation in our group. We thought the Hollywood area would be workable but again, we're flexible. The daughter attending school has just moved there so doesn't really know the different areas yet either. We're not averse to renting a car but we just finished driving through Italy (literally got back last night) and I think are feeling gun-shy about driving around a strange place!!
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Oct 10th, 2011, 04:25 PM
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Do you mean SCU in Whittier or USC in the West Adams area? Neither is close to Hollywood.

Ha ha, I know what you mean about Italy -- I've driven all over Europe, but let the train take me in Italy -- even the hard core driver in me gets a panic attack thinking about that! Seriously, aside from the L.A. traffic (which, in the great scheme of things isn't as bad as we think it is), and a few drivers who are either lousy drivers or those with road rage, L.A. is, for the most part, on a grid with wide lanes, making driving easy. You miss a street, and you go around the block. Not like in England or France where 4 right turns and you're NOT back where you started.

I would suggest, if you do decide to rent a car (looking like a better option, right?!?)-- would be somewhere in the Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood areas. Lots of shopping areas -- both malls and streets; fairly decent night life, and close to Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, and the beach.

For example, if you stay in Santa Monica, you're at the beach; at the Third Street Promenade - which is a great place to shop, walk, eat, people watch, and see the free entertainment of street performers, both day and evening, not to mention Santa Monica Place, the transformed and very improved shopping mall at the south end of the promenade.

If you stay in the West Hollywood area, you're close to Farmer's Market and the Grove (more shopping & eating), the Sunset Strip with all its bars, restaurants and music clubs, but relatively close to Hollywood Blvd. (driving that is), and the LA County Art Museum.

If you stay in the Westwood area, you have the UCLA campus (gorgeous!) -- was there last Friday and they were filming "Modern Family"; Westwood Village, with lots of bars and restaurants, and relatively close to the Getty, and Beverly Hills.

Just throwing out some ideas. Another thought is Pasadena -- even though it's a little north of downtown, old town Pasadena is a blast, day or night; the Norton Simon Museum has the best impressionism this side of the Rockies; and the Metro Gold Line will take you downtown (Olvera Street, Union Station, Walt Disney theatre), or west to Hollywood Blvd.
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Oct 10th, 2011, 04:54 PM
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Santa Monica is a much more pleasant area to base yourself. You can go to Hollywood for a few hours - really, you don't want to spend every day and night there.
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Oct 10th, 2011, 05:08 PM
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For Santa Monica in the winter is it better to stay on the beach or closer to 3rd Street?
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Oct 11th, 2011, 09:28 AM
  #11
 
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I try to avoid renting cars when I am on vacation but I was glad we rented one when we visited LA a few years back. I really don't see how you can see the area without a car.
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Oct 11th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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SCU? You mean USC? Not convenient to Hollywood. Downtown LA might be better, and also has good transit service.

You can take the DASH bus (F route) to USC daytime and taxi at night. Plus the Metro subway redline will get you to Hollywood in about 15 minutes travel time. However, be aware that most downtown LA rooms will have the double beds, not queens.
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Oct 11th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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I too would recommend Santa Monica. It's a great beach, the pier, Venice, not far from downtown. The biggest problem with LA is it's so spread out and a real pain to get from point to point.
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Oct 11th, 2011, 04:23 PM
  #14
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Appreciate everyone's input - I'll let you know what we decide!
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Oct 11th, 2011, 04:42 PM
  #15
 
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Traffic isn't too rough on weekends, and if you stay away from the worst traffic hours on the weekdays (7:30 to 9:30am, 4:30 to 7:00pm ). With four of you, and another daughter to meet up with, you'll be happy to have the car. Best Western Sunset Plaza is a great place to stay if you have a car. It's actually also on a good bus line, but doesn't have good public trans to and from the airport. Parking is about $15 a night. It's in West Hollywood which is less tacky and noisy than Hollywood. www.sunsetplazahotel.com
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Nov 8th, 2011, 06:27 AM
  #16
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Well, contrary to most advice, the majority voted and we will be staying at the Roosevelt on Hollywood Blvd. Next question: are there any restaurants in that neighbourhood you would recommend? We like all types of food but would probably prefer not TOO high-end as we won't be bringing suits, etc. We will not have a car.
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Nov 8th, 2011, 08:36 AM
  #17
 
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The hotel looks very nice, but I think surfergirl gives the best advice regarding a better location where you could stay. If you are deadset decided on the Roosevelt, I think you need a car.
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Nov 8th, 2011, 03:00 PM
  #18
 
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You've got the Hollywood/Highland complex across the street w/ a mix of restaurants & fast food places. I can recommend Trastevere.

http://www.hollywoodandhighland.com/...ne/restaurants

From there, you can take the subway up to Universal City, which has many selections as well.

http://www.citywalkhollywood.com/
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Nov 8th, 2011, 03:28 PM
  #19
 
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Suits are pretty rare, even in high end restaurants.

Would you consider taking a cab? You can find Hungry Cat, not too far away. Also around Melrose there are plenty of choices, including Mozza, Angeli Caffe, Los Balcones de Peru, Street.

I would also browse LA Weekly by neighborhood for more ideas.

Or you can take the subway to downtown LA which has some really great choices, although be sure to check their hours.
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Nov 9th, 2011, 09:45 AM
  #20
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Thanks very much LABruin and mlgb - we'll check out your suggestions. We have no issue taking cabs around. We're heading there tomorrow - hope it won't be raining!!
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