Where to Stay in Los Angeles?

Old Jan 26th, 2024, 01:41 PM
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Where to Stay in Los Angeles?

First trip to LA for me, first pleasure trip for my wife coming up in late February, early March. Don't care about shopping or Hollywood, but do want to visit the Getty Museum and Villa, and figure we'll be driving out to Malibu and Santa Barbara, probably for an overnight. A neighborhood with a little life and some good restaurants would be nice. I guess about $300 -- $400 a night would be about right. Also same advice for Santa Barbara. Have heard that "LA is a great big freeway" so understand we'll need a car and a place to park it. Thanks!

Oh, bonus question: Where to stay to visit Joshua Tree?
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Old Jan 26th, 2024, 04:23 PM
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I'm not a fan of Santa Monica, but it certainly has some good restaurants and nice hotels in your range. The better hotels are close to the ocean which would be convenient for the Villa (and the departure through Malibu to SB) but a bit less convenient for the Center.

The W Hotel and the Kimpton, both in Westwood, are nice properties convenient to the Gettys and not in SM. Caveats: Good dining options in Westwood are slim, and there's a big subway station project impacting traffic for a couple of blocks on Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood. (You can avoid this when driving to the Gettys by using Sunset Blvd.) But you could visit the Hammer Museum in Westwood, and there are some good restaurants nearby in Brentwood (Wilshire Blvd. just west of the 405) and in Beverly Hills (the opposite direction). For a splurge dinner, go to the Bel Air Hotel.
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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 09:24 AM
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My views, for what it's worth.

For LA, I've stayed a couple of times at the Farmer's Daughter, a very fun hotel/motel directly across the street from the historic Farmers' Market. Note it's been renamed as the Short Stories Hotel. It's well located for museums and plenty of places to eat, not least of which are some of the historic cafes like Du-Par's in the Farmers' Market, or Canter's Deli. The hotel used to be where contestants on The Price is Right (taped at Television City, also around the block) and their photos were taped all over the lobby. No longer, I guess. Hotel in West Hollywood Los Angeles | Short Stories Hotel (shortstorieshotels.com)

I'd also agree on State Street in Santa Barbara.

For Joshua Tree, I'd stay in Palm Springs. If you can swing it, the Andalusian Court is out of this world. Andalusian Court Hotel | Hotels in Palm Springs, California (theandalusiancourt.com)


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Old Jan 27th, 2024, 03:41 PM
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Although I was raised in LA, I'm not a huge fan of the region. Spent too much time on the freeway to get anywhere. We returned for a visit about 2 years ago - mainly to visit my old stomping grounds, the Victorian houses on Carroll Ave, and to see the Getty stuff. We stayed close to the beach in Santa Monica at the Huntley Hotel.
https://www.thehuntleyhotel.com/
Excellent hotel - and the best meal we had on the trip was at their restaurant on the top floor. We're foodies (live near San Francisco, and spend 2 months in France every year).

When we drove north to get home, we hit many of the beach towns south of Santa Barbara, and enjoyed Avila Beach the most. We stayed overnight there.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 06:42 AM
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Based on what you want to visit, I agree with Jean.

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Old Jan 28th, 2024, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the ideas folks. I have somewhere to start now. Some great looking places!
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Old Jan 29th, 2024, 12:34 PM
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If you go to Joshua Trree, I strongly recommend taking the cable car up Mt San Jacinto. Completely spectacular and overlooked because it's not a national park. But you have to be prepared because the weather up there is different than down below.
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Old Jan 30th, 2024, 07:37 PM
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Santa Barbara overnight is fabulous!! so easy to walk all over SB.

When we go with extended family we stay by the beach at the West Beach inn, or get an upper level ocean view room.. https://www.coasthotels.com/west-bea...tel/stay/rooms
If a splurge for the two of us, the Simpson House off upper State Street. https://www.simpsonhouseinn.com/

For restaurants Iíd recommend Corazon Cucina in the SB Public Market for casual but unusual and amazing tacos, ceviche, etc https://corazoncocinasb.com/. For a great lunch, Alessia https://alessiapatisserie.com/. For a lovely dinner, Olio e Limone. https://www.olioelimone.com/

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Old Jan 31st, 2024, 08:16 AM
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Trails at the top Palm Springs (not Joshua Tree) cable car can be a little sketchy in winter. People have died while walking around up there. You can visit Joshua Tree from the Palm Springs end or the Indio end. The hotels closest to the Park are in 29 Palms, a range of chain hotels and some indedpendent inns and motels. I have only ever stayed at the Motel 6 as usually don't spend the night there but rather elsewhere in the Coachella Valley.
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Old Jan 31st, 2024, 03:48 PM
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I live in SB and recommend the El Encanto hotel with amazing ocean views, Palihouse in a nice quiet part of downtown, Montecito Inn and Coast Village Road in Montecito-close to great Montecito beach and restaurants on Coast Village Road. Iím not a huge fan of west beach which is full of motels and hotels and just feels very touristy. Love the Public Market for a fun evening and second the Corazon rec or great Thai place there called Empty Bowl. Itís very lively. Also love Bibi Ji for Indian, Sama Sama for Malaysian and La Paloma for Mexican/old Calif dishes and Handlebars for great coffee. The courthouse inside and out is spectacular and be sure to wander inside to see tile work, murals and an amazing rooftop viewing deck.

I agree for LA that the Huntley is a nice spot. Great views and close to Getty. I grew up in La in Hollywood area but for first time visitor beach area might be nicer.
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 06:23 AM
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Many thanks for these additional ideas -- much appreciated!
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Old Feb 7th, 2024, 10:43 AM
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We have stayed a few times at the Jamaica Bay Inn, at Marina del Rey. It's nice and not terribly expensive. Walking distance to several restaurants.
https://www.jamaicabayinn.com
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Old Feb 7th, 2024, 11:54 AM
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Royal Palace Westwood is far from royal but a nice basic motor hotel in a great neighborhood around the corner from UCLA. Walkable to restaurants and markets, parking is included which is a rare perk in the area. Situated kinda between Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, you could hop a 15 min bus to Beverly hills, 20 minutes to Santa Monica beach or 10 minutes up to the Getty Center, so you'd save on parking fees in those areas and not have to worry about having to find a parking garage. Bus service is frequent in the neighborhood because of the University. Easy access to the freeway from the airport and an iconic drive along Sunset Boulevard down to Malibu. Do check the weather and road closures if the area has any more rain this month, and check the forecast a couple of days before driving north to Santa Barbara...it's rare but rains can close the one road in and out of SB.
If you have time, consider the wine valley north of Santa Barbara, it's usually gloriously green and lush in early March, a great time to take a day drive around the vineyards and ranches and hills.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...alifornia.html

https://www.visitsyv.com/

La Playa Inn is our favorite for Santa Barbara, an easy walk to the famous wharf and to the beach, also walkable to all the restaurants on lower state street (Santo Mezcal is our favorite...nice happy hour).
Parking and light breakfast is included in the hotel rates, no silly added fees, and I see a current 15% off blurb on their website which might be weeknights only.
laplayainn.com

Watch your drive times up to Santa Barbara, I wouldn't leave L.A until after 9:30am on weekdays. Returning into L.A is a problem if you leave the Santa Barbara area between 3 and 6:30pm on weekdays or maybe anytime on Sunday afternoons (though the latter is more of a summer problem).

Last edited by clarkgriswold; Feb 7th, 2024 at 12:10 PM.
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Old Feb 8th, 2024, 09:31 AM
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More great information -- thanks so much!
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Old Feb 12th, 2024, 12:10 AM
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Santa monica has lost lot of its appeal, with a high vacancy rate for retail spaces on 3rd street and SM place, serious issue with homelessness.
but it is still a nice place to stay and convenient for a base. You could even use public transportation to visit the Gettys, Westwood (Hammer), Venice, Marina del Rey, Malibu...
I used to stay at Calmar which was very good quality for money, close to 3rd street and Ocean.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 07:29 AM
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Fra_Diavolo...

FYI, recent storms caused damage on a 6-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy. 1) NW of Malibu... between Sycamore Canyon Road and Las Posas Road in Ventura County. That section of road will be closed for repairs from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., indefinitely, and there will be lane reductions in both directions during the daytime hours.

AND, another large storm is expected to arrive early next week. Obviously, there will be huge traffic delays in the Malibu area.
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean
Fra_Diavolo...

FYI, recent storms caused damage on a 6-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy. 1) NW of Malibu... between Sycamore Canyon Road and Las Posas Road in Ventura County. That section of road will be closed for repairs from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., indefinitely, and there will be lane reductions in both directions during the daytime hours.

AND, another large storm is expected to arrive early next week. Obviously, there will be huge traffic delays in the Malibu area.
Huh, thatís weird, my husband just went down to LA from Santa Barbara and cut over to I from Oxnard and didnít have any problems. I just checked Google maps and put in Malibu and again directions told me to cut over to 1 and take it to Malibu without any traffic issues. Anyway I think op is coming in the spring.so hopefully we will be drying out by then!
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Old Feb 16th, 2024, 03:20 PM
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OP's trip is "late February, early March." It could all be fixed in 2 weeks... or not, esp. if there is more damage from next week's storm. There is erosion of the ground beneath the highway in a couple of spots, so this isn't as simple as clearing away a landslide.

In the L.A. Times today:

https://www.latimes.com/california/s...t-indefinitely

Some photos and video of damage and repair work:

https://ktla.com/news/local-news/pch...urther-notice/

Last edited by Jean; Feb 16th, 2024 at 03:27 PM.
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Old Feb 19th, 2024, 06:26 AM
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Hotel Milo and Santa Barbara Inn are both along Cabrillo blvd next to the ocean. El Encanto is in the hills by the mission and has beautiful views of the city and ocean. Palihotel is a nice spot in good part of downtown.

Last edited by Moderator1; Feb 19th, 2024 at 07:46 AM. Reason: removed quote of and response to a deleted post
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 06:18 AM
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Thanks again to all. We ended up staying at La Playa Inn in Santa Barbara, and The Huntley in Santa Monica. They are very different hotels but but we enjoyed both, plus dinner at the Huntley. Great recommendations! I'll see if I can come up with a trip report over the next few days.
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