First time in LA with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Feb 25, 2013 9:19 AM Last Post By: smartcookiee
Feb 21, 2013 12:47 PM
First time in LA with family - WHERE DO WE STAY?!?!We have never been to Los Angeles before. We want to show our kids (ages 6 and 8) the beach, Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, and Disneyland. Also my wife really wants to see Brad Pitt's star on the sidewalk. We are going to be there March 27 - April 3rd. It's so overwhelming looking at the hotel websites. We have budgeted about $150/night for one room for all of us. thanks for the help!!
Feb 21, 2013 2:35 PM
1Welcome to Thorn Tree.
I presume you intend to rent a car.
For simplicity's sake, I'd suggest staying near the Airport. The Travel Lodge on Century just east of LAX is fine and inexpensive. None of your destinations are particularly close to each other and the Airport is as close to all of them as anywhere else.
Don't expect to do much swimming in the Pacific in late March unless you are a polar bear or bring wet suits.
Have a great time.
Feb 21, 2013 6:16 PM
2We are staying at the Super 8 Culver City ... it reviews quite well, but it's certainly nothing flash (about $US90.00 per night for two double beds). It is quite reasonably located between LAX Airport, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Universal/Paramount/Sony studios. You could consider spending say four nights there, then three nights out at Anaheim, for the theme parks.
We use the Wyndham Group to find budget motels in most places in North America ... it's an easy-to-use website, and I expect their offerings are as good as any (with a lot of chains, and a range of prices). Free cancellation policies apply, which is very useful for planning and then changing things.
Yes - the water will be pretty cold ... I wouldn't include swimming as one of your priorities.
Feb 21, 2013 7:21 PM
3$150 is a pretty low price for anywhere in a nice walkable area. Airport hotels are relatively inexpensive, but you will be in an industrial area where you'll have to get in your car to do anything, including eating anything outside the hotel. Downtown LA hotels are also pretty inexpensive besides the area gets sort of deserted after work hours. You'll also likely have to pay for parking there.
The things you're looking to do are all over the place. I hope you're going to rent a car. Disneyland is not in LA. It's at least 1 hour away depending on where in LA you stay. The best thing to do is to stay somewhere in a walkable area, but that tends to be more expensive.
I would recommend check out Seashore Motel on Main Street in Santa Monica. It should be in your price range and it's a fantastic location and value.
Some other options based on prices for your specific dates that are in good walkable areas:
Marina Del Rey Hotel - $160/night (next to Venice Beach)
Comfort Inn Universal Studios - $153/night (near Hollywood and Universal Studios)
If you're going to go for an airport hotel or a downtown hotel, I would book via Hotwire.com so you can get a cheaper rate. Just book anything 3 stars and up and you'll get a Sheraton or similar.
Feb 21, 2013 10:47 PM
Feb 22, 2013 7:13 AM
5I'd stay in Anaheim for the day(s) you will visit Disneyland, plenty of places within your budget that are easy walking distance to Disney. That way you can get there right when the park opens and there are less lines for the first few hours. If you buy a 3 day and up Parkhopper, you get one Magic Morning where you get into the park one hour before official opening.
For LA, I agree your budget is a bit low, keep in mind there is a 15% per night room tax and many places charge for parking as well. I'd probably look at Hollywood, or if you have a car, look at Sea View Inn in Manhattan Beach, they start at $135/night and include parking. Hopefully you will have a car, transit is doable but a pain and very time consuming without one.
Feb 22, 2013 11:18 AM
6Ian, I'm curious what specifically puts you off Hotwire. I don't recommend Priceline to first timers since you have to bid there yourself and newbies don't know how to come up with a good bid. But Hotwire is pretty straightforward. It lists the neighborhood, star rating, reviews, and price. Then you find out the exact name of the hotel after you buy.
I always recommend to check specials on Travelzoo as well: http://www.travelzoo.com/hotels/los-angeles/
Feb 22, 2013 11:19 AM
7There is a Sea View Hotel in Santa Monica as well - well more of a motel. Great location and cheap budget place. http://www.seaviewhotel.com/
Feb 22, 2013 11:51 AM
8I think Hotwire is fine for the regular domestic traveller, who just needs a night or two near LAX, but for the leisurely overseas traveller (well - this one at least) I like to have a real good look at a place and its reviews, precise location, and its facilities, before I buy. Also, Hotwire takes the full amount straight away - no refund, cancellations, or amendments.
Wyndham doesn't take any money at all, and there is free cancel and amend up to the day (very handy), plus on TA there have been reports that Hotwire (and Priceline?) customers get the crappiest rooms in the participating hotels - but this might not be everyone's experience.
Feb 22, 2013 12:00 PM
Feb 22, 2013 12:02 PM
10I've only had good experiences. I think Hotwire makes sense for someone like this where they're not too concerned with location given the price they're willing to pay. It's good for someone who wants a 3-star for a 1-star price and isn't concerned with exact amenities and location. Now that Hotwire includes ratings of hotels, I think it's a pretty safe bet the majority of the time.
Feb 22, 2013 1:56 PM
11I vote for Santa Monica. I stayed there once in a hotel near the beach. Great location. Here's an idea:
Cadillac Hotel. This historic Art Deco hotel is situated only steps from the beautiful beaches of Venice, California and features easy access to popular sites and offers spacious accommodations and state-of-the-art amenities.
The area surrounding the Cadillac Hotel is filled with a number of restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Guests at the hotel can also enjoy stunning views of the Santa Monica Bay from the hotel's rooftop courtyard.
Along with easy access to downtown Los Angeles and Malibu Beach, the Cadillac offers many modern conveniences, including iPod compatible radios and flat-screen TVs. The hotel also offers Wi-Fi internet access and 24-hour concierge services.
Feb 22, 2013 2:05 PM
Feb 24, 2013 2:21 AM
13We did it this way. To see stuff in L.A., we stayed in Studio City. Some friends who live there recommended this.
The Sortsmens Lodge is not fancy but the rooms were big. You can easily sleep 4. The location can't be beat for convenience. The pool is again, not fancy but very nice.
They also have a shuttle to Universal Studios and have a special offer for guests. We were also able to visit the other sites rather easily from there.
To spend time at a beach, we headed further south to Huntington Beach. Much cheaper and more kid-friendly than Santa Monica. Better beach too. It's not that far and especially suits if you're on your way to San Diego. The idea is to relax and enjoy the beach for less. Skip it if you're planning beach stops elsewhere or aren't into the beach.
We were able to sleep 4 at the Hilton no problem.
Feb 25, 2013 9:19 AM
14You don't go to Santa Monica or Venice for the beach. You go for the atmosphere. It's arguably the most pleasant part of LA to explore by foot.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$179.00 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$11.59 per night