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Where to stay in LA?

Melbourne, Australia
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Where to stay in LA?

Hi there

My partner and I (mid 20s) are coming to LA for 4 nights mid October 2012. Excluding disney land (because it is so far out of the way) we would like to visit universal studios, walk of fame, santa monica, malibu, the lifeguard thing from the OC and rodeo drive. Open to other suggestions of worthwhile attractions?

We will not have a car and have limited time, where are we best to stay? A travel agend recommended Rodeo Drive but it seems once we do the strip there isnt a great deal to do there. We would want to eat out each night, catch a movie and show perhaps. Please assist me with the best area you think would suit us, and a hotel that is less than $250 per night?

Anaheim, California
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1. Re: Where to stay in LA?

I would look at the Hollywood and Highland area, the Orchid Suites, the Magic Castle Hotel, the Holiday Inn Express Walk of Fame....

Lots in the area, and great access to Public Transit.

Rancho Santa...
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2. Re: Where to stay in LA?

Given your stated interests (beach & Hollywood) and your budget ($250/night) and plan to use public transit, you have a few options.

1) Stay in Santa Monica and day trip into Hollywood/Universal Studios. SM is very pedestrian friendly with excellent restaurants and retail. Your challenge would likely be finding affordable accomodations near the beach. SM is expensive.

2) Stay in Hollywood and day-trip into Santa Monica. Hollywood is cheaper and there's tons of night life.

3) Stay in West Hollywood and day-trip into Santa Monica and Hollywood/Universal Studios. West Hollywood has excellent restaurants and night clubs. It is also very walkable.


West Hollywood...
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3. Re: Where to stay in LA?

Welcome to the Los Angeles Forum!

A couple of things come to mind.

The greater L.A. metro area is very spread out so having a car is helpful in some cases. Your desire to visit Malibu is something that really isn't possible with public transit since Malibu is a long, narrow city, straddling the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). The attractions in Malibu are, largely, along PCH but they are spread out from one another (1, 2 or more miles / 1, 3 or more km) apart.

PCH is curvy and hilly (up and down) so it's not really practical to walk from place to place and much of sections between attractions are not very interesting PLUS PCH is packed with automobile traffic and much of the highway has no sidewalks (or very narrow ones). There is only one bus that runs along PCH so you'd be spending a lot of time 'waiting for the next bus' to take you to the next attraction.

So, perhaps, you might want to hire a car for your day in Malibu. It would be an easy drive since you're basically driving north/west on PCH and then turning around and driving south/east on it.

Similarly, the OC (Orange County) is far from L.A. -- especially via public transit. Even though you could reach Disneyland from L.A. in about an hour via public transit, it could take another hour (or 2) to reach the beach communities of the OC. So, again, a car would come in handy.

"Where to stay" is a popular question here on the Forum and attractions like Santa Monica, Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive and Universal are quite popular. Here's a map of those 4 areas (marked "A" through "D" and labeled to the left of the map:


"B" (Beverly Hills) is, perhaps, the most centrally-located area to these sites but as you've said, this neighborhood is really quiet at night. Because of the public transit routes, transferring from one end of your itinerary to the other (from A to D) takes a little over an hour and requires transferring between 2 buses.

One idea would be to stay just east of Beverly Hills in an area called Beverly Grove. The neighborhood is anchored by 3 malls (the Beverly Center -- upmarket, the Beverly Connection -- outlet, and the Grove -- mid-range, Southern California style apparel) within a stretch of about 1.2 miles / 2 km. Between the malls are dozens of dining options in all price ranges and in all cuisines.

The Grove (mid range mall) has a great, modern multi-screen cinema. Buses heading north from the Grove go to Hollywood (with connections to Universal). Buses heading west from the Grove go to Rodeo Drive with connections to Santa Monica. The neighborhood is 'up late' but not touristy.

Here's a link to the hotels in this area (note: Trip Advisor's 'hotel finder' section is being updated so it's not working at its best) but this link will get you to the right place. The hotels are listed in order of 'traveler preference' (first in the list is 'most preferred' and so on). Click on 'check prices' for competing bids for these hotels from online travel services:


(Link and scroll down for the map. Scroll further for a list of the hotels with numbers that are referenced on the map).

I'd look at the Sofitel or Elan (near the western end of the neighborhood) or the Orlando (closest to public transit buses to Hollywood/Universal) at the eastern end of the neighborhood. Btw, the neighborhood is only about a mile long and there are buses that span this distance.

Have fun!

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Where to stay in LA?

By mid 20's do you mean one of you is over 25 ? And on a full licence ? If so, I suggest you do hire/rent a car. With a car you have so much flexibility, not just in what you want to do, but in where you can stay.

I wouldn't stay Rodeo Drive. We liked staying in Hollywood. We wanted cheap and with parking, so stayed at Orchid Suites (liked it), but for you, consider the Roosevelt or Renaissance (now Loews). We didn't stay at either but popped in for a look and both seemed pretty good. Ironically, The Roosevelt had a younger crowd.

If hiring/renting a car, do it thru a third party agent like traveljigsaw, Argus or Driveaway. You get far better deals and insurance.

Edited: 30 July 2012, 14:11
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5. Re: Where to stay in LA?

Is it feasible to stay closer to farmer's market, grove area (about 5 mins drive) and drive to Disneyland, Six Flags and Universal Studio (in 3 different days). Not sure if we should change hotel (for disney) or just stay in the same and drive over to Disney instead. Any advises?

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Where to stay in LA?

Thanks for your help everyone. We are going to book a car, seems like the best option. We have chosen a hotel right next to the Hollywood/Highland Metro station so transport is there if we need it. Thanks everyone!!!

7. Re: Where to stay in LA?

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