Sunny Los Angeles, City of Angels, is a constellation of many different neighborhoods, each with its own personality and style. When visiting Los Angeles, you should ideally stay as close to your points of interest as possible, as the city spreads out over a large area and traffic can be heavy at any time of the day.
First-time visitors tend to stay in hip Hollywood, near the Walk of Fame and Universal Studios, or in chic Beverly Hills, home to the designer shops of Rodeo Drive. Younger travelers love West Hollywood (WeHo) for its funky bohemian style and eclectic shopping. Families flock to Anaheim for Disneyland fun and beach lovers choose stylish Santa Monica or Venice Beach for fantastic shopping, sun, sand and sea.
More and more tourists are also using downtown Los Angeles as sights, and the city now seems to be finding its soul. Trendy new galleries, museums and restaurants beckon among the tall buildings, and huge entertainment venues, like LA Live and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, draw waves of enthusiastic sports fans and concertgoers. Wherever you choose to stay in LA, it’s easy to find a hotel that suits your itinerary, budget, and style.
Read also: Los Angeles: Your Guide to Enjoying LA!
Where to Stay for Sightseeing
If this is your first trip to Los Angeles and you want to take in the sights without breaking the bank on Beverly Hills, Hollywood makes a great base – especially if you plan to use public transport. It’s also only about seven miles from Griffith Park, California’s largest state park, with fun tourist attractions like the Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Observatory, planetarium, and hiking trails.
The Redbury Hollywood, an all-suite boutique hotel with a bohemian atmosphere, puts you right off the Walk of Fame. It is also just 1 mile from the Hollywood Bowl and 3 miles from Universal Studios. Celebrities often dine at the chic Cleo restaurant and the suites feature European-style kitchens.
Located a few blocks from Hollywood history, The Hollywood Roosevelt hides a beautiful palm-studded courtyard and pool, while the Hollywood Celebrity Hotel is also within walking distance of the Walk of Fame and the Dolby Theater and Grauman’s. Chinese theater.
Beverly Hills is central to both Hollywood and the beach, making it a great base for multiple getaways. It’s also a little quieter at night if you have kids in tow. A top mid-range choice here is the chic modern SIXTY Beverly Hills, with stunning views of the city at night from its rooftop terrace. (For luxury properties in Beverly Hills, see below.) If you want to explore Santa Monica’s seaside attractions and open-air shopping malls, the Shore Hotel is steps from the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade.
Culture vultures who come to downtown LA for the restaurants, galleries and museums will love the luxurious JW Marriott Los Angeles LA LIVE. It is within walking distance of fantastic restaurants; the Staples Center; Walt Disney Concert Hall; the museum of contemporary art; and The Broad, LA’s impressive new art museum. The nearby Sheraton Grand Los Angeles, fresh from a renovation, is a great mid-range choice.
Where to stay for luxury
For the best luxury hotels in Los Angeles, you can’t beat Beverly Hills. Top hotels in the area include the classic Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel) of Pretty Woman fame and the chic Montage Beverly Hills. Both are steps away from all the designer shops along Rodeo Drive. A few blocks away and surrounded by lush gardens, The Peninsula Beverly Hills gives you the chance to live your fantasies with unique experiences like Red Carpet Glamour: a Hollywood-style photo shoot.
Other highlights include the Old Hollywood glamor of the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel (also known as the “Pink Palace”) and the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, in a lush residential neighborhood about a five-minute drive from Rodeo Drive. The hotel’s private car will take you anywhere within a 2 mile radius.
North of Beverly Hills, set among 30 acres of peaceful palm-tree-lined gardens and swan-like down lakes, Hotel Bel Air feels far removed from the bustling streets of LA, even though it’s just minutes from many of the top attractions of the city. Guests can relax in the spa, relax by the pool and enjoy Wolfgang Puck’s Californian cuisine.
If you’re looking for a downtown cultural venue, the Los Angeles Los Angeles at California Plaza, with a heated outdoor lap pool and luxurious spa treatments, is steps from the Museum of Contemporary Art and a block from The Broad. Sports fans and concert groups love the convenience of the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Los Angeles LA LIVE. Both are part of the LA LIVE entertainment complex and across the street from the Staples Center.
Smash dab on the sand in Santa Monica, Shutters on the Beach pulls off elegance with ease, while its neighboring sister property Casa del Mar, with an oceanfront pool, is slightly more formal in style.
Where to stay for the best value
Despite LA’s reputation as a star magnet and style hub, you can still find some quality hotels with down-to-earth prices. A short walk from the Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater, Hollywood Orchid Suites is an older property in the heart of the Hollywood action, yet manages to maintain a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. The impeccably clean suites feature fully equipped kitchens.
For families on a budget to Disneyland, the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground offers excellent value with an on-site water park. It’s just a six-minute walk to the park gates and kids love the water slides, splash pads and fountains. Courtyard Theme Park Entrance Anaheim also has a water park and is just a 10-minute walk from the gates of Disneyland.
For easy beach access in Santa Monica without beachfront prices, The Georgian Hotel is a charming boutique hotel a short walk from great restaurants and the Santa Monica Pier.
Where to stay for families
Most families visiting Los Angeles are on a mission to see Disneyland and the adjacent Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. If this is your focus, you’re better off staying as close to the theme parks as possible to maximize your time there and get the best value for money.
Guests at the three Disneyland Resort Hotels score the added bonus of the Extra Magic Hour, which allows early entry into the parks on select days before they open to other visitors, but these hotels tend to have higher rates than non-owned properties. are from Disney. The most luxurious of the three Disney hotels is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, with its own entrance to the California Adventure Park. From the Disneyland Hotel, near the Downtown Disney District, you can take a monorail straight into the park or walk to either park entrance, while the nearby Disney Pier Pier Hotel Anaheim has a Californian coastal theme, with lots of palm trees and beachy motifs.
To save some money, you can stay a little further from the park and hop aboard a shuttle. The family suites with fully equipped kitchens at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Anaheim Resort – Convention Center offer plenty of space for parents and children, and breakfast is included in the price. Families of up to six can fit in the large twin-bunk rooms at the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance, and kids will love the Surfside Waterpark.
If you want to see a mix of attractions and price is no object, the lush Beverly Hills Peninsula welcomes families, with spacious suites; custom baby equipment; and special experiences such as Red Carpet Kids, Princess for A Day and the Young Pastry Chefs Academy.
The great value Magic Castle Hotel is more affordable and is minutes from all of Hollywood’s top attractions and Universal Studios. It offers one and two bedroom apartments with full kitchens that are ideal for families. Rates include breakfast, snacks, movies, games and laundry, and as a special touch, white-gloved waiters offer free popsicles by the heated pool. Nearby, Hollywood Orchid Suites is a great family hotel with spacious suites. Both options are older in style, but well maintained.
Families celebrating a concert or sporting event will enjoy the full kitchen and extra space at the Residence Inn Los Angeles LA LIVE, a short walk from Staples Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall and downtown museums.
Where to stay near the beach
If you especially like sun, sand and sea, Santa Monica is the best base. It’s safe and easy to stroll around, and you can ride the solar-powered Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, bike or jog along The Strand, or shop until you hit the outdoor malls.
Right on the beach, Shutters on the Beach feels like a stylish family beach house and next door is its sister hotel, Casa del Mar, a grand old hotel from the 1920s with stunning sea views. Directly across the street from the beach, the boutique and eco-conscious Shore Hotel is a more affordable option with a pool, fitness center and beautiful beach views. It’s also a short walk from the Santa Monica Pier and the shops and boutiques of Third Street Promenade.
Venice Beach is another popular location on LA’s coast, with its famous Ocean Front Walk and Muscle Beach, where street performers strut their stuff. The mid-range boutique hotel Erwin is within walking distance of these top attractions and serves freshly baked cookies in the lobby. Venice on the Beach is true to its name, with beautiful beach views and affordable prices.
Where to stay for shopping
Santa Monica offers one of the best shopping experiences of all time in LA. Here you’ll find Third Street Promenade, a pedestrian mall, and adjacent Santa Monica Place, with Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and more than 80 specialty stores. Both the luxurious oceanfront Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows and the boutique Huntley Santa Monica Beach hotel are a short walk from Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place. Also within walking distance is The Georgian Hotel, a boutique hotel with great rates. Chic Montana Avenue, with more than 150 luxury boutiques and shops, is also just a few miles from the beachfront shops.
Hip West Hollywood (“WeHo”) is also a popular place for shopping, with everything from vintage clothing and boutique designer stores to eco-chic home decor.
At the Sunset Tower Hotel and Petit Ermitage, you are just minutes by car or taxi from the eclectic shops of Melrose Avenue and luxury shopping of Beverly Hills.
For fashionistas with fat wallets, Rodeo Drive, Baby is the best place to shop and stay. This famous strip in Beverly Hills is home to major boutiques such as Versace, Cartier and Dior. Convenient to this chic area are the Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel), where Julia Roberts stayed in the movie Pretty Woman and went on her famous shopping trip, the chic Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills and Montage Beverly Hills. For the ultimate shopping experience, sign up for the Catwalk to Closet academy program at The Peninsula Beverly Hills, which includes a personal conversation with a top Hollywood saleswoman and a tour of LA’s fanciest stores.
If you want to save money on your hotel and spend it on shopping, Hotel Beverly Terrace is a great mid-range choice within walking distance of all of WeHo’s shopping districts, including Melrose Avenue and the Pacific Design Center, and less than a mile from Rodeo Drive. The Sofitel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills is also conveniently located across from the Beverly Mall.