Choosing the Perfect Los Angeles Hotel

January 7, 2020
by Paul Gamble

Los Angeles is a big city. If you have a large and varied set of interests to bemuse and locations to visit in LA, choosing your hotel or home base is a very important step in your planning. Ultimately I cannot give you the right answer without you giving us a call and walking us through your circumstances, but let’s jump right into it and start going over as many details as we can here in this article.

The Lay of the Land

Let’s start with Hollywood. There’s so much more to see, but this is usually on most people’s checklists somewhere. About 13 miles west of Hollywood is Santa Monica Beach, our HQ. Head south from Santa Monica and you’ll find the LAX Airport and El Segundo, or if you head north from Santa Monica you’ll be traveling up into Malibu. Lets backtrack to Hollywood again: head eastward from Hollywood and you will reach Downtown Los Angeles, and much further south-east from there you’ll find Anaheim and Disneyland. North of Hollywood is “The Valley” which consists of Glendale, Burbank, Van Nuys, and about a dozen other small areas.

So Where Should we Stay?

There are hotels all over the place, and Los Angeles county is huge, but if you are planning a tourist’s trip to Los Angeles and want to have a great time you are going to want to spend some time considering. Again, Los Angeles County is huge and you can find yourself with a hotel that you think was a steal, but all the money you saved ends up going towards travel if you want to get anywhere. We here at Surf City Tours want you to rest easy in LA, so we’re going to put together as complete of a guide as we can to land you in your dream hotel.

To jump straight to the point, we highly recommend staying in Santa Monica for all of the same reasons that we decided to plant our anchor right here beach-side in Santa Monica. The town is beautiful, spacious, quiet. The hotels are elegant, centralized, and plentiful. Santa Monica has more good eats than you can manage, endless built-in hours of fun for adults and kids of all ages, during the day or night. We don’t want to throw all of our eggs into one basket on this one because we want to be sure that we can recommend something that works for you, so we’re going to pick 4 main areas to ensure plenty of options for everyone.

The 4 areas we’ll cover in this article

  •  El Segundo Near LAX Airport
  • Santa Monica
  •  Hollywood
  • Downtown Los Angeles

 

Santa Monica

We feel this is the absolute best place to get your hotel when coming to visit Los Angeles. You get to retire by the beach at the end of the day -the restaurants are endless, plenty of cool beach stuff to do to fill in time, and you’re close to LAX & Hollywood. The hotels in Santa Monica are all beautiful as well. We would recommend the Le Meridian Delfina, The Wyndham Hotel, or The Loews Hotel Santa Monica.

 

El Segundo

Staying near the airport is convenient for obvious reasons. The two districts nearest the airport are El Segundo and Hawthorne. If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around the fact that LAX runs across two different cities, it’s only because LAX Airport spans 3,500 acres, the second largest airport in the USA. For those that just prefer to stay near the airport when traveling or for those that might only be in town for a night or two, snagging a hotel in El Segundo is a winning pick. You might be able to scrape out some extra tourism time when you consider the time saved on your ride to the airport, but do be warned that you may have to do some traveling via Uber or by bus/train if you are hoping to see some of LA’s favorite beaches, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and most of the other popular sights. Let’s take a look at some of the hotels available in the El Segundo area!

 

El Segundo/LAX Hotel Selections

 

Quality Inn & Suites LAX Airport - 2 Star Hotel

4922 W. Century Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90304

A smaller smoke-free hotel offering free breakfast, a seasonal pool, free wifi, and copy/printing services. If you’re looking for something near the airport that has the basic stuff without having to foot too large of a bill this might be the one for you. Many of the rooms in the hotel also have a hot-tub style bath with jets, so I’d definitely recommend requesting one. This is just about the cheapest and best value you’ll get in the area. Free airport shuttles also available, so take advantage and save the money for fun times!

Embassy Suites by Hilton LAX Airport North - 3 Star Hotel

9801 Airport Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

The Embassy Suites is a real classy joint. It’s a 3-star hotel with all the amenities you could ask for. Pool, hot tub, awesome breakfast, beautiful rooms and a very well-kept environment. This hotel is one of the more expensive hotels in the area, but if you want a good luxury hotel near the airport with all of the amenities this is a great pick. Amenities include gym, pool, hot tub & sauna, free made-to-order breakfast, complimentary evening reception and plenty of beautiful rooms, along with everything else necessary in a 3-star hotel like free wifi and a great concierge service, room service, and airport shuttle.

Aloft El Segundo - Los Angeles Airport - 3 Star Hotel

475 N Pacific Coast Hwy.
El Segundo, CA 90245

The Aloft Hotel is a relatively unique Art Deco building near the airport, offering a very sleek design and feel all the way through with dry cleaning services, restaurant with a bar/lounge, fitness center and outdoor pool. This hotel is actually a bit lighter in amenities than the Embassy Suites but you’ll be staying in a new, beautiful building with a vibrant social scene in WXYZ, the bar/lounge and restaurant down in the lobby. Just outside of the hotel you’ve got an In-n-Out burger, an IHOP, and a Ralph’s Grocery Store so that’s all pretty convenient. You also can count on the complimentary LAX shuttle services, but call ahead for all the details if you want to plan your trip around it!

Santa Monica

We feel this is the absolute best place to get your hotel when coming to visit Los Angeles. You get to retire by the beach at the end of the day -the restaurants are endless, plenty of cool beach stuff to do to fill in time, and you’re close to LAX & Hollywood. The hotels in Santa Monica are all beautiful as well. We would recommend the Le Meridian Delfina, The Wyndham Hotel, or The Loews Hotel Santa Monica.

Hollywood

Most people think the smartest thing to do if they want to have a good time is to stay in Hollywood. This might be great at first, but Hollywood is a very busy, touristy area. It can become exhausting, and usually an hour or two on the Walk of Fame is more than enough time to see everything. There are some historic hotels like the Roosevelt in Hollywood, and the Hollywood Loews hotel provides quick access to the Hollywood/Highland mall.

Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles is where Union Station is located. So, similar to LAX, the main convenience of staying in Downtown LA is the fact that you’ll be close to the train station. It also is at least heading in the right direction if you want to be in Los Angeles proper but still visit Disneyland, but I wouldn’t recommend staying in Downtown just to shave a bit of time off your trip to Disneyland. The Disney Music Hall (entirely separate from Disneyland) is a beautiful piece of architecture, but there isn’t a lot to see in Downtown beyond architecture.

 

So if you’re looking to be close to the airport, out of the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, by the beach and beautiful restaurants, and within reach of all the biggest attractions in Los Angeles, then you probably want to look for a nice hotel in Santa Monica. There’s a large selection of different hotels available in any price range. That’s where we’ve set up shop, and we recommend you consider doing the same for your time in Los Angeles.