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Hotels in Los Angeles

Los Angeles might be called the City of Angels or La La Land, but it is perhaps best known around the world as Hollywood, a tag that refers to its most famous neighbourhood, and reputation for film making. And its true, Los Angeles is indeed one of the largest movie making factories in the world, and as such, it blends bohemian creative neighbourhoods with hotshot yuppie districts and gorgeous leafy avenues lined with mansions.

But Los Angeles is more than just its film industry; it is a centre for all arts, from music to painting, and a mecca for scientists due to its world-class universities and research centres like Cal Tech. It is a home of surfers and sunbathers that gather along its golden shores, and of course, of the descendent generations of pioneers that once came to California in search of gold.

Los Angeles is a city that you have to work to discover, and you should make the time to do so. Staying in one of its many varied neighbourhoods will give you a chance to see the different personalities that come with each district of this weird and wonderful city.

Where should you stay in Los Angeles?

Hollywood

Though Hollywood has a reputation for being rundown, especially in comparison to its 1930s heyday, this area has been seeing a revitalisation of late. It is a quirky neighbourhood that gets increasingly fancy the more west or north you go. The iconic sign dominates the hills above, and below you can see the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. There are affordable hotels and luxury ones depending on where in the greater Hollywood area you choose to stay, but this is a fun neighbourhood and typical of Los Angelean incongruities.

Loz Feliz

One of the most popular neighbourhoods for residents of the city, the charming area of Loz Feliz comprises of a mix of giant Palladian style mansions, Spanish style villas, faux English Tudors and little fairytale thatches. It is one of the strangest looking places in Los Angeles, but with it comes loads of eateries, most of which are terribly trendy, a great variety of shops, and bags and bags of character.

Downtown

Downtown Los Angeles is a conglomeration of neighbourhoods that include Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Broadway, the Jewellery District and the Civic Centre. It is a lot livelier than it used to be with occasional arts evenings and events, and it is known in town for having loads of great ethnic eateries.

Downtown is the main business district of the city, so whilst it is fairly vibrant during the day, this district is pretty dead when night falls. However, if you do decide to stay here, there are lots of affordable options and a few great things to see, like the Plaza Church, the California Science Centre and the famed USC campus, where portions of The Graduate were filmed.

Pasadena

Away from downtown, in the east, you will find the beautiful area of Pasadena. This well preserved and delightful district feels like stepping back into old Los Angeles. This is more for people after a quieter scene, and who want to be somewhere a little more walkable than other areas of Los Angeles.

You won’t find the big nightclubs here, but you will find wonderful cafes, trendy restaurants and a great shopping scene.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is the most popular neighbourhood on the coast for visitors flying into L.A. It has the high-class restaurants, the popular diners, quaint cinemas and all the major high street brands. It has the lively Santa Monica pier and isn’t too far from the renowned people-watching venue of Venice Beach.

North of Santa Monica you will also find the very plush and beautiful Malibu, where most people go if they want to swim, as there are less crowded beaches up that way. Staying in this glittering neighbourhood comes with a price, and you will find most of the hotels are more upmarket than the ones that are further inland, but the location is unbeatable.  

Beverly Hills

Synonymous with luxury, Beverly Hills doesn’t disappoint, from its pristine streets lined with palm trees, its enormous houses, and the sparkling Rodeo Drive filled with designer boutiques, this is the place to stay if you want to splash some cash.

It’s very central, so getting to and from the major hotspots in the city is a cinch, especially if you’ve hired a plush car to take you around. However, not all the hotels in this area are exorbitant and you can find some bargains if you want to stay in this area and rub shoulders with the rich and famous.

Transportation in Los Angeles

Whilst Los Angeles does have an underground rail called the Metro, which is steadily improving, and a pretty extensive bus system, these both really fall short of being convenient and efficient. The Metro’s network is skeletal, and the buses are very slow.

Most people opt to rent a car in this city, and generally it is recommended if you want to visit several different parts of it. There are lots of car hire options all over the city and at LAX, but you can also sort a vehicle before you even step of the plane with our car hire search tool.