Where to Stay in LA: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide
As the second most populated place in the US, Los Angeles is like the capital of the Western United States. Although it was first claimed by the Spanish in 1542, it was not officially named until 1835 with about 650 residents. Today, the city has close to 4 million inhabitants and lots of tourists.
It makes sense that Los Angeles is so popular with miles of sandy beaches on the Pacific coastline, gorgeous weather in the 70s all year long, and 186 days of sunshine every year. Not only that but Los Angeles is full of amazing attractions like the Walk of Fame, Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park.
The city also has some of the most popular neighborhoods in the US including Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, Westwood, Santa Monica, and Downtown LA. But with all of these fabulous things to take advantage of in LA, it can be difficult to find the right place to stay in Los Angeles with so many to choose from. We can help with that, from boutique hotels to luxury hotels and resorts. (And don't worry - we have our Los Angeles luggage storage spots in all of these neighborhoods, so you'll always be able to drop your bags somewhere if you arrive before check-in or have a while to wait for your flight after check out.)
So after you've done everything there is to do in LA at night, rest your weary head in one of the places to stay listed below!
Tucked between East and West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard with tons of Palm Trees, you can find Hollywood. Everyone in the world has heard of Hollywood so it just makes sense that it is the most popular tourist city in Los Angeles, as well as California. With so many famous attractions like the Hollywood Sign, Paramount Pictures, Disney, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame you will find the most hotels there as well.
However, the population of Hollywood is only 77 thousand which is a lot less than the most populated city in LA, Koreatown, with over 124 thousand. This may be due to all the hotels, motels, and resorts in the neighborhood as well as the sheer number of tourists every year.
The number one hotel in Hollywood is Dream Hollywood, which is about $550 per night. This posh palace is just steps away from the best attractions, has amazing views, and with so many amenities, you may not want to leave the hotel at all. They even have a rooftop pool with a bar.
If you are on a budget, Mama Shelter Los Angeles will put you up in a luxurious suite for under $200 and they are also close to the attractions. In fact, it is only a block from Hollywood Boulevard. The rooms are smaller, but they have a live DJ, a rooftop bar with stellar views, and a fantastic restaurant.
With palm trees everywhere, glamorous mansions, and stylish streets, Beverly Hills is one of the richest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Rodeo Drive is the major hangout for celebs who want to party all night and many of them live in the area too. You may get to party with the stars.
Although it is less populated than many of the neighborhoods in Los Angeles with a population of about 34,000, it is full of fancy hotels and shops on Sunset Strip as well as the best restaurants in LA. You can also find some historic monuments like the Greystone Mansion, Spadina House, and Misty Mountain.
Beverly Hills is also the place to go for those celebrity tours that are so popular. If you want to see the stars, Paparazzi Tours will do their best to make sure you see at least one of them on your trip. But you don’t want to miss the public art along Santa Monica Boulevard and Rodeo Drive the Sunset Strip, and the Hollywood Sign.
The number one luxury hotel in Beverly Hills is the Beverly Hills Hotel, which opened in 1912. It is a historic building on Sunset Boulevard surrounded by palm trees, Hollywood Hills, and shopping on Rodeo Drive. This is where the celebrities stay when they are in town so you will likely see some. And at about $1,600 per night, it is the best of the best with all the amenities.
Believe it or not, you can get a hotel room on Sunset Boulevard for less than $200! The Moment Hotel is within walking distance of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sunset Strip, and other attractions. And it has a rooftop pool and other amenities just like the expensive ones at a scaled-down price.
This seaside resort neighborhood has been around since 1905 and is famous for its Venice Canals. These iconic waterways were built by Abbot Kinney who got the idea after visiting Venice, Italy. The beach is also popular, of course, with 1.5 miles of sandy shoreline, a boardwalk, Muscle Beach, and lots of shops and eateries.
Whether you came for the sun or the water, just being on Venice Beach is a magnificent experience with the colorful Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower, Venice Beach Park, and a long pier to see the water from further out. It may not be as glamorous as the Santa Monica Pier, but it is pretty nice.
If you are looking for luxury at a decent price, you should stay in Venice. Surprisingly, a room at one of the best hotels on the beach is only about $300. Hotel Erwin is the most popular, right on the beach, and has a rooftop pool and lounge as well as ocean views from your room and amazing food.
The area also boasts lots of hotels under $100, with the best being the Samesun Venice Beach on Windward that has rooms for under $80. And it just happens to be right next door to the more expensive Hotel Erwin, so you know it is in a great location. They even have free breakfast and huge rooms.
Santa Monica is a popular town just north of Venice in Los Angeles with its own stretch of beach, almost four miles of it! In fact, Santa Monica Beach is a popular surfing spot for the locals so there is always something going on there, and has several lifeguard stations, beach houses, walkways, street performers, and restaurants to enjoy.
The Santa Monica Pier should have its own separate neighborhood with all that it offers. There is an amusement park (Pacific Park) with a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, and other rides, an arcade with 200+ games, an aquarium full of marine creatures, a trapeze school, and seven fantastic eateries.
Shutters on the Beach is the most popular hotel in Santa Monica and costs just under $700. The luxury hotel is just steps from Santa Monica Beach and the pier and has three restaurants with beachfront views, a huge pool, a fitness room, and a spa offering massages and more. This is a very classy spot on the beach.
For those on a budget, the Sea Blue Hotel is right across from Muscle Beach in Santa Monica and a block from the pier, all for less than $200. This place has a courtyard, garden, beachfront location, and it is in one of those historic buildings with a sea-themed décor. This one also has free breakfast as well as snacks all day long.
Between Brentwood, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and Rancho Park, Westwood is a busy neighborhood with both commercial and residential areas as well as plenty of attractions. There are several museums to enjoy including the Hammer Museum, the Fowler Museum, and the UCLA Meteorite Gallery. Is museum-hopping your thing? We've got the scoop on the best museums in LA just for you!
The iconic Fox Theater from 1930 is also in Westwood and continues to show film premiers every weekend. The Franklin Murphy Sculpture Garden is another fabulous place to visit. The greenspace has more than 70 sculptures by artists like Auguste Rodin, Hans Arp, and Barb Hepworth.
And you do not want to miss the Mildred Mathias Botanical Garden, which is described as an oasis around a creek with thousands of plants. On 7.5 acres, the garden is full of vibrant beauty. You can also get a guided tour to learn more about each individual collection of flora.
The West Hollywood Los Angeles Marriott is so close to the botanical garden, you can smell the floral fragrances from your balcony. And the pool is stunning with its cabanas, lounge chairs, and drink service. There are also several restaurants and bars. For about $600 per night, you can enjoy all that and more.
Within walking distance to the Hammer Museum and Wilshire Boulevard, the Royal Palace Westwood has rooms under $150 per night with all the comforts of home. As long as you are not counting on a pool, this place is perfect and is close to several theaters, shopping centers, and eateries.
Also known as DTLA, Downtown Los Angeles is right in the middle of the city, packed with attractions, museums, art, Chinatown, and Little Tokyo. It is the historic core of the city and boasts the Angels Flight Railway landmark, The Broad Modern Art Museum, and the Staples Center Arena.
You may have to go about 12 miles to get to the beach, but the downtown area is where you can find the most action, shopping, and dining options. Another great place to check out is the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Even when it is not hosting a concert, you can get a free tour and see the hidden garden.
Grand Central Market is another benefit of staying in DTLA. The food hall has been serving up fantastic food of all kinds since 1917. Located on the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building, the market boasts dozens of eateries and shops where you can buy handmade souvenirs.
The Ritz Carlton Los Angeles is where to go if you want to be pampered in DTLA. Right across from the Novo and the Grammy Museum, the Ritz lauds a five-star restaurant and an award-winning café as well as a couple of lounges, a rooftop pool with a bar, and stunning views of the city.
Downtown LA has quite a few hotels for around $100 but the best deal is the Millennium Biltmore, Los Angeles. The historic building from 1923 is decked out in Beaux-Arts, Renaissance, and Mediterranean Revival styles with frescos and murals, marble fountains and columns, and extraordinary chandeliers.
Whether you decide to stay in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, Westwood, Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, or some other part of Los Angeles, be sure to check out some of the famous attractions. Some of the most popular include The Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum, the iconic Hollywood Sign, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame to name a few.
If you have the kids with you and you are planning to visit Disneyland or Universal Studios, they have their own hotels and resorts on their property. They are very family-friendly and come with a lot of perks like free tickets to some of the attractions as well as visits from the Disney characters. Remember, there are lots of things to do with kids in LA, too!
Don't forget to take a trip up to Runyon Canyon in Hollywood Hills. Also, the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park has stunning views of the city. Wherever you end up, you are sure to be amazed at all of the things you can do in Los Angeles. You may have to add a few days to your trip or plan to come back soon. After all, it is impossible to see all that Los Angeles has to see and do in one or two days.