By Patricia Doherty
Updated: April 26, 2019
iStockphoto/Getty Images

The Los Angeles area has much to offer vacationers, from beaches to mountains, hip urban locales to natural open spaces, and museums to theme parks, making it a challenge to answer the question, “Where should I stay in Los Angeles?” 

Are you seeking sunshine and beaches, Los Angeles nightlife, trendy restaurants, theme parks, romantic spots, museums, or sports events? With so many options and so much ground to cover, it can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s a visitor’s first time in Los Angeles.

L.A.’s reputation for traffic is well known, so many people want to know where to stay without a car. Others are planning a family vacation in Los Angeles, a couples’ getaway, or a solo trip. We’ve created a guide that will not only inspire a visit to the City of Angels, but will also help you figure out where to rest your head at night. 

Related: Why the Best Places to Hang Out in Los Angeles Are Its Hotels

Here's where to stay in Los Angeles, California. 

The Best L.A. Neighborhood to Stay in for Families: Hollywood

For many, Hollywood embodies Los Angeles, with its iconic Hollywood sign, movie studios, and entertainment history. A visit to Universal Studios, the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles Zoo, Paramount Studios, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame will make people of all ages happy. TV show tapings, double-decker tour buses, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and movies with stage shows at the El Capitan Theater are also popular attractions. For nature lovers, a hike in Runyan Canyon or horseback riding in Griffith Park will round out a trip to Hollywood.

Courtesy of The Kimpton Everly Hotel

The Best Hotels in the Hollywood Area

The Kimpton Everly Hotel

The Kimpton Everly Hotel is conveniently located near all of the attractions, but just distant enough to provide a respite from the day’s activities. Views of the L.A. skyline or Hollywood Hills, a 5th floor pool, inviting restaurant, and rooftop bar enhance the experience.

1800 Argyle Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, (213) 279-3532, everlyhotelhollywood.com

To book: expedia.com

Dream Hollywood

In the midst of Hollywood’s lively atmosphere, the Dream offers luxurious rooms, a penthouse suite, and a rooftop pool with cabanas, California fare and beverage service, and 360-degree views. The pet-friendly hotel welcomes your furry friend with a treats and toys.

6417 Selma Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028, (323) 844-6417, dreamhotels.com

To book: expedia.com

The Garland

The Garland offers 257 guest rooms, including Family Suites and Kids’ Rooms with bunk beds and kid-friendly amenities. Courtyard family games, poolside “dive-in” movies, and a complimentary trolley to Universal Studios, along with its Front Yard restaurant make this an ideal family hotel.

4222 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91602, (818) 980-8000, thegarland.com

To book: expedia.com

Sheraton Universal Hotel

The Sheraton Universal Hotel is convenient for visiting Universal Studios and Universal CityWalk with its shops, restaurants, and movie theaters. It’s a pet-friendly hotel and welcomes your favorite furry family members. The newly renovated outdoor pool and terrace offer a place to relax with a snack or beverage.

333 Universal Hollywood Dr, Universal City, CA 91608, (818)-980-1212, starwoodhotels.com

To book: expedia.com

The Best L.A. Neighborhood to Stay in for Sand, Sun, and Surf: South Bay

This beachfront area just south of LAX includes the cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach, all with expansive shorelines, restaurants, shops, and walkable downtown areas. Surfing, paddle-boarding, volleyball, swimming, sunbathing, and people-watching will keep everyone busy. A 22-mile oceanfront bike path begins at Torrance Beach in the south, winds through beach towns, passes the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, and ends at Will Rogers Beach in the north. Manhattan Beach boasts restaurant choices from upscale to casual, and its Pier includes the Roundhouse, a free aquarium.

Courtesy of westdrift Manhattan Beach

The Best Hotels in the South Bay Area

Westdrift Manhattan Beach

Just minutes from LAX, this hotel offers a casual beachy vibe with striking artwork and décor, blended with a cosmopolitan feel. A pool surrounded by comfy lounges, a nine-hole golf course, bicycles, lobby bar, restaurant, and inviting guestrooms make it a destination in itself.

1400 Parkview Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, (310) 546-7511, marriott.com

To book: expedia.com

Beach House

This all-studio suite hotel on the Strand in Hermosa Beach is steps from the sand and a short walk to restaurants, shops, bars, the Pier, and Hermosa’s Comedy & Magic Club where Jay Leno appears almost weekly. All rooms include a fireplace, balcony or patio, and continental breakfast.

1300 The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA. 90254, (310) 374-3001, beach-house.com

To book: expedia.com

Portofino Hotel and Marina

The Portofino Hotel and Marina in Redondo Beach — situuated on its own private peninsula — offers a nautical environment, heated pool, complimentary bicycles, restaurant, fitness center, and convenient location near Redondo’s walkable “Hollywood Riviera” downtown area for dining and shopping.

260 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, CA 90277, (310) 379-8481, hotelportofino.com

To book: expedia.com

The Best L.A. Neighborhood to Stay in for Solo Travelers: The Westside

Known for top restaurants, trendy boutiques, designer shops, and cultural attractions, L.A’s Westside is an ideal destination for the solo traveler. The Getty Center high atop a hill offers stunning views and a remarkable restaurant along with its popular art collections. Other museums catering to every taste include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, La Brea Tar Pits, Peterson Auto Museum, Craft & Folk Art Museum, Skirball Cultural Center, Museum of Tolerance, and Annenberg Space for Photography. Rodeo Drive, the newly renovated Westfield Mall, and the Beverly Center welcome both browsers and shoppers.

Courtesy of Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel

The Best Hotels in L.A.’s Westside area

The Beverly Wilshire

The Beverly Wilshire offers glamour and history along with stunning restaurants, including CUT, Wolfgang Puck’s Michelin-starred steakhouse, and The Blvd, overlooking Wilshire and Rodeo Drive. A visit to the hotel’s Spa would be a lovely vacation indulgence.

9500 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, (310) 275-5200, fourseasons.com

To book: expedia.com

Courtesy of InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

InterContinental Los Angeles Century City

Featuring spectacular views from its spacious guestrooms, an outdoor pool, fitness center, sparkling marble baths, and complimentary luxury car service to nearby sites, the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City is certainly a winner.

2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, (310) 284-6500, intercontinentallosangeles.com

To book: expedia.com

Hotel Bel-Air

Set among wooded hills in the canyons of Los Angeles, this hotel has attracted star-studded clientele for over seventy-five years and still feels like Hollywood glamour. It’s private, comfortable, and luxurious, with an outdoor pool where guests can enjoy ice cream, snacks, and food by Wolfgang Puck.

9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 276-2251, thedorcestercollection.com

To book: expedia.com

The Best L.A. Neighborhood to Stay in Without a Car: Downtown (DTLA)

Named the “Most Walkable” L.A neighborhood, DTLA no longer clears out at the end of the workday, with a growing number of residents, loft apartments, luxury condos, great bars, and creative restaurants. Entertainment opportunities abound, from the Disney Concert Hall, the Staples Center, the Grammy Museum, the Microsoft Theater, the L.A. Convention Center, and museums like The Broad, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The new Skyslide and OUE Skyspace provide a thrill ride along with the best views of the city. Dine at upscale restaurants in skyscraper hotels or choose your favorite counter at the Grand Central Market.

iStockphoto/Getty Images

The Best Hotels in Downtown L. A.

The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown Hotel

The tallest building west of Chicago boasts a 7th floor pool and several cocktail lounges, including Spire 73, its open-air rooftop bar. Breathtaking views, comfortable rooms, and a central location make it a great home base for exploring DTLA.

900 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017, (213) 688-7777, ihg.com

To book: expedia.com

The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles at L.A. Live

Set among restaurants, the Staples Center, and other entertainment venues, The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles at L.A. Live offers luxury accommodations, rooftop pool with panoramic views, spa services, and world-class cuisine right in the thick of the city.

900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015, (213) 743-8800, ritzcarlton.com

To book: expedia.com

Hotel Figueroa

Just emerging from a two-year restoration, the Hotel Figueroa was once a women’s hostelry and the site of Moroccan-themed soirees. Now this 14-story luxury hotel features 268 rooms and suites, a coffin-shaped pool, and two restaurants conceived by James Beard Award nominee Chef Casey Lane.

939 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015, (866) 734-6018, hotelfigueroa.com

To book: expedia.com

The Best L.A. Neighborhood to Stay in for Nightlife: West Hollywood

The Sunset Strip, a nearly two-mile section of Sunset Boulevard passing through West Hollywood, has been known for music, entertainment and nightlife for nearly a hundred years. Live music clubs like The Troubador, Roxy, Whisky a Go-Go, comedy clubs including Laugh Factory, Comedy Store, and The Groundlings, and small theaters like Largo at the Coronet were the starting point for many popular entertainers. There are nightclubs, bars, lounges, and glitzy rooftops featuring music from retro to jazz to hip-hop. This LGBT-friendly area includes venues from casual to fancy as well as restaurants and boutiques.

The Best Hotels in West Hollywood

The Mondrian

The Mondrian, a glamorous boutique hotel in the heart of West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip, boasts one of the most popular nightlife spots, Skybar, with stunning views, a poolside bar, and world-class DJ’s at night.

8440 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, (323) 650-8999, morganshotelgroup.com

To book: expedia.com

Courtesy of Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villa

Sunset Marquis Hotel

The Sunset Marquis Hotel offers suites and villas spread over three acres of gardens and private retreats, two heated pools, a recording studio, photography gallery, spa, and live music venue.

1200 Alta Loma Rd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, (310) 657-1333, sunsetmarquis.com

To book: expedia.com

La Peer Hotel

Located in West Hollywood’s Design District, this hotel is close to the action while offering a quiet escape on a small side street. The elegant lobby of this pet-friendly hotel opens to an outdoor pool and cocktail lounge.

627 N La Peer Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069, (213) 296-3038, lapeerhotel.com

To book: expedia.com

The Best L.A. Neighborhood to Stay in for First-Time Visitors: Santa Monica

First time visitors to L.A. have many options open to them. Are they interested in sightseeing, history, theater, music, beaches, or museums? Do they enjoy being in an urban or somewhere less crowded? Santa Monica has a bit of everything: beaches, a walkable downtown, shopping, parks, mountains, restaurants, an amusement park, art galleries, and an extraordinary weekly farmers’ market. From Santa Monica, visitors can explore the mountains or enjoy nearby Venice Beach. They can head downtown for the day and then back for sunset over the ocean.

The Best Hotels in Santa Monica:

Hotel Shangri-La

Views of the Pacific or downtown Santa Monica, plus lavishly appointed rooms make a stay at Hotel Shangri-La a great way to experience the city. The hotel’s maritime style is designed to emulate an ocean liner’s first-class staterooms.

1301 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310) 394-2791, shangrila-hotel.com

To book: expedia.com

Courtesy of Fairmont Miramar Hotels & Bungalows

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

Set on manicured grounds, this hotel offers 297 guestrooms, 54 of which are suites, and 31 modern bungalows. The hotel boasts the most ocean view rooms in Santa Monica and outstanding restaurant, FIG.

101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310 576 7777, fairmont.com

To book: expedia.com

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel boasts a heated ocean view pool, 347 luxurious guestrooms, including 21 suites, and a full-service spa as well as a popular seafood restaurant.

1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, (310) 458-6700, loewshotels.com

To book: expedia.com

Advertisement