Home of the U.S. film industry, Los Angeles boasts numerous attractions, from the luxurious celebrity villas of Bel Air to the beaches that go on for miles on the Pacific coast. In order to have a good experience during your visit, however, it is essential to choose the place to stay keeping in mind your needs and the characteristics of the various areas.
The areas that I would recommend are on the coast or in some neighborhoods or areas more inland that can be easily accessed. At the end of the article, I will also tell you what I think is the best area, but everything really depends on the attractions you want to visit (if you still have no idea, you can read my article on the best things to do in Los Angeles).
Keep in mind that the best way to get around this city is by car (we have already talked about it in this article), even if free parking is quite rare. It may be useful to know that hotels often have parking available for their guests in exchange for an additional charge, but if your hotel doesn’t have this service you can still take advantage of the many paid parking lots in the surrounding area (which usually cost less than those provided by hotels). Having clarified this aspect, let’s now take a closer look at the best places to stay in Los Angeles for an overnight stay and at some recommendations for hotels.
- Pasadena: A Good Balance of Art and Fun
- Santa Monica: Accommodations near Los Angeles on the Coast
- Long Beach: Young and Energetic
- West Hollywood: Within Walking Distance of the Stars
- Downtown: At the Heart of Los Angeles
- Beverly Hills and Bel Air: The Upscale Neighborhoods in L.A.
- Accommodations in Disneyland
- What is the Best Neighborhood to Stay in Los Angeles for Tourists?
- What About an Apartment?
- 3 Tips to Find the Best Deals…
Pasadena: A Good Balance of Art and Fun
Pasadena is an interesting city where you can stay and feel safe and at ease. It is not a neighborhood but an actual city in Los Angeles County and there are very picturesque, artistic, and cultural areas, with many spaces suitable to host events as well as boutiques for shopping and leisure (especially in the historic area, near East Colorado Boulevard).
People often overlook Pasadena when they look for accommodations, because they think that it is a little far from the main attractions of L.A., but in reality, the area is on the outskirts of the city and the attractions in L.A. are easily accessible by metro. If you are traveling by car, then Hollywood and Universal Studios will only be a short drive away (about 20 minutes). I recommend:
- dusitD2 Hotel Constance Pasadena: The style of this attractive hotel harmoniously mixes ancient and modern influences. Equipped with every imaginable comfort, dusitD2 boasts a quiet location far from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
- Rose & Crown Hotel: simple but very good 3-star hotel with spacious and well-kept rooms. Here you can save money – which would be impossible elsewhere in Los Angeles – and have the opportunity to take a stroll to the historic district of Pasadena.
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Santa Monica: Accommodations near Los Angeles on the Coast
In your list of things to see in Los Angeles, you will surely have already included Santa Monica, one of the main destinations on California’s coast, with beautiful white beaches and relatively calm waters, thanks to the Santa Monica Bay, which subdues the great ocean waves.
Again, we are talking about another city adjacent to Los Angeles rather than an area further inland. Of course, Santa Monica’s neighborhoods are full of nightclubs and hotels, especially on the waterfront, and can be a great place to stay overnight. You can also drop by the characteristic amusement park on the pier, Santa Monica‘s landmark. I suggest:
- Oceana Hotel: A high-class hotel in Santa Monica. Some suites have ocean views, but all rooms are equipped with free WiFi, mini-bar, lounge, and every service you can think of, in addition to yoga classes and free bike rentals.
- HI-Santa Monica: The HI-Santa Monica is an ideal solution for those who want to visit Santa Monica, Venice, or Malibu without spending an arm and a leg! In fact, the standard of the services here matches that of fancier hotels.
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Long Beach: Young and Energetic
Long Beach is one of the beaches of Los Angeles most suitable for young people, since it combines the attractions of an important city with the vitality brought by the students of the nearby university, not to mention the long beach, which is a place suitable for practicing any type of beach or water sport.
The central area around Pine Avenue, which has many shops and restored homes, is a pleasant place to stay and is also well connected to downtown Los Angeles via the Blue Line. Long Beach’s 2 main attractions are the Queen Mary, a 1930’s flagship docked in the bay and transformed into a charming art deco hotel, and the Aquarium of the Pacific, which has a stunning display of marine life from around the world.
Another of Long Beach’s main advantages is its proximity to Disneyland Park, which is just 40 minutes away. If you are interested in staying close to Disneyland Park, continue reading and you will find a paragraph about this. Here are some tips on where to find accommodations in the area:
- Hyatt Centric the Pike Long Beach: The concept of this exclusive Long Beach hotel is to be modern and full of charm. In the same way, the service offered to guests is impeccable. The heated swimming pool on the top floor that is open all year is remarkable.
- Kearney Motel: It’s hard to find such an affordable motel in this area of Los Angeles. The rooms are decent, and outside there is also a rose garden with a fountain, making it stand out from other classic motels. The beach is a 15-minute walk away.
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West Hollywood: Within Walking Distance of the Stars
Finally, you can also look in the West Hollywood area, a stylish and glamorous neighborhood close to Beverly Hills and Bel Air that has great shopping, art, and of course, cinematic attractions. Also ideal if you are looking for an area with a lot of nightlife.
For an exclusive overnight stay, you may want to consider the Chateau Marmont at 8221 W. Sunset Blvd, a charming castle-style property suitable for an unforgettable honeymoon, for example, with art deco furniture, a large garden, and sophisticated decor.
If you travel by car, which we strongly recommended in our article on how to get around Los Angeles, you’ll be within a good distance from the main attractions: 25 minutes from Downtown and Santa Monica and 10 minutes from Universal Studios and Beverly Hills.
- Mondrian Los Angeles in West Hollywood: Located in an area full of very luxurious hotels, this beautiful 4-star hotel is up to par with the other hotels in the area, but it remains a little more accessible. The hotel has excellent rooms and is geared towards couples, however, it is not too family-friendly.
- Ramada Plaza West Hollywood Hotel and Suites: There are much lower rates (and expectations) for this hotel, which offers spacious rooms at a good price. It has a great location between Hollywood and Santa Monica.
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Downtown: At the Heart of Los Angeles
The downtown area is the financial hub of Los Angeles, but surprisingly, it is also a center for art and culture and has excellent restaurants. From a purely aesthetic point of view, downtown Los Angeles is characterized by the many tall skyscrapers and daring modernist buildings, such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall or Our Lady of Angels Cathedral. It is also one of the areas that are most accessible by public transportation in the city. For more information, please read my recommended route to Los Angeles Downtown.
It’s not a particularly lively area at night, when offices tend to empty out and move people to other neighborhoods, but it’s also pretty close to other points of interest, so you can move around easily by car: 25 minutes from Santa Monica and Beverly Hills and about 20 minutes from Hollywood and Universal Studios. The distance from Disneyland is also fairly convenient: 30 minutes without traffic and about 50 minutes during rush hour.
- The Los Angeles Athletic Club: This is my favorite hotel in Los Angeles, both for the location in downtown L.A. and for the refined and elegant style of the furniture. But why Athletic Club? Because on the premises of this charming and historic hotel, there is also a real sports center, with a 72-ft swimming pool! The risto-bar is also exceptional.
- Metro Plaza Hotel: This is an interesting hotel for two essential reasons: the low price and the location near Union Station… at least it is convenient for those who made the daring decision to get around Los Angeles by using public transportation.
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Beverly Hills and Bel Air: The Upscale Neighborhoods in L.A.
Another cult area of the city is definitely the one with the highest concentration of VIPs and expensive villas. I’m talking about Beverly Hills and the nearby (less than 20 minutes by car) Bel Air Hill in Los Angeles. These are interesting neighborhoods because they allow you to observe closely a lifestyle far from normal standards and thus it is an opportunity to discover a portion of America that would otherwise be difficult to experience (there is a high chance of seeing famous people 🙂 ).
Obviously, in this area, there is no lack of luxury hotels (starting with those frequented by Hollywood stars). However, in the surrounding area (10-15 minutes by car), you can also find more affordable solutions, such as interesting Bed & Breakfasts and hostels, which we have mentioned in these articles:
Accommodations in Disneyland
First of all, Disneyland is not actually in Los Angeles, but in Anaheim, a nearby city in Orange County. If your main purpose is to visit Mickey Mouse and his friends, then finding accommodations in Anaheim (inside or outside the park) or nearby in Orange County may be a good choice. We have a section dedicated to this in our article on Disneyland. What do you think about these accommodations?
- Disneyland Hotel: The most enchanting choice would be on one of the various accommodations within the park. The hotel is of good quality and makes guests want for nothing, but it goes without saying that the highlight is the location, just minutes from Walt Disney’s first park.
- Best Western Courtesy Inn: This option is much cheaper than the previous one, but definitely strategic, since this great hotel of the famous Best Western hotel chain is located practically next to Disneyland Drive!
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If you want to enjoy Los Angeles, I suggest you choose an area in the city, downtown Los Angeles above all, and here below I explain why…
What is the Best Neighborhood to Stay in Los Angeles for Tourists?
Everything obviously depends on the things you want to see in the city, but generally speaking, considering a visit that focuses on the main attractions of Los Angeles and also includes a stop outside the city to enjoy Disneyland, in my opinion, Downtown Los Angeles remains the best solution that allows you to get around easily by car. Its central location makes it more or less equidistant from the main areas of the coast and the areas further inland and is also located at a convenient distance from Disneyland. In conclusion, it is an excellent compromise, which makes it one of the best areas to look for accommodations.
Not too far from Disneyland, there is also Long Beach (about 40 minutes and less traffic), but at the same time, it is slightly farther from all the other attractions. It’s still true that all of the Los Angeles neighborhoods listed here are good options for an overnight stay in the city, so even if you don’t find accommodations in the downtown area, don’t worry!
What About an Apartment?
There is a valid alternative to the classic hotel: renting an apartment. This solution is very much appreciated by those who prefer the advantages and comforts of a real “vacation home” in Los Angeles. We talked about this option much more extensively in our article dedicated to apartments in Los Angeles.
I want to return to the subject of hotels and conclude by suggesting a few small tips to save money…
3 Tips to Find the Best Deals…
- If your trip includes arrival and departure in Los Angeles, then I suggest that you check out the flight + hotel package on Expedia (you can book the hotel even only for a part of your trip). Usually, this results in major savings compared to booking the flight and hotel separately.
- If you want to just book a hotel, then Booking.com is definitely the first search engine to consult, then try Expedia. Alternatively, you can check prices on all these sites through a price comparison website (I recommend hotelscombined.com).
- In the past, Booking.com did not include taxes in the prices from the beginning (usually 14.75% of the price + tourist tax, which is about $3.5-$5.5 per room per night), but luckily now it includes them in the final price from the beginning, making it easier to compare it with other portals, such as Expedia.