When it comes to choosing where to stay in Los Angeles, it’s a difficult decision – especially for first-timers. The city covers an area of over 500 square miles (1,295 km2) and is full of awesome neighborhoods! That is a lot of different areas, and hotels to wade through if you’re looking for the perfect place to stay.
This is where my guide is going to come in handy! This article is going to go through where to stay in LA, some of the best hotels in each area, and the best nearby attractions.
When it comes to choosing your accommodation in the city, there is a lot to think about. You’ll want to be close to one of LA’s metro stations, be within walking distance of some attractions, and have some great places to eat nearby.
However, it’s important to state that Los Angeles is not a cheap city, and you’ll need to factor in your budget too! So, let’s find the best place to stay in Los Angeles that’s suited to your needs.
*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*
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Overview of Where to Stay in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the largest city in California and is the second most populated city in the United States. It lies in a basin adjacent to the Pacific Ocean and stretches through the Santa Monica Mountains and San Fernando Valley.
It’s a popular city, and is known for its glamor, glitz, and of course Hollywood! There are endless tourist attractions to visit and of course, plenty of great American dishes to taste.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Los Angeles, you have a lot of choices. The city is split into 15 districts, and then into a further 87 neighborhoods.
This article is going to cover the 7 most popular areas of LA, and why they attract so many tourists. Each neighborhood offers something unique, and special, but there are several different things to consider.
One of the most important factors is your budget! Some of the areas on this list are way more budget-friendly than say the likes of Beverly Hills. Location plays a big part in the price of hotels within the city, so this needs to be taken into account.
Public transport is a great way to get around the city, and you can choose either the metro or the bus. Both are relatively cheap and you have the option to purchase a reloadable or weekly pass.
If you can find a hotel in an area with great public transport links, exploring LA will be a piece of cake! Hiring a car is also another amazing way to see the city, but if you plan on doing this you’ll need to find a hotel that has parking spaces available.
I need to be honest here, Los Angeles is not the cheapest of cities. Although there are a variety of accommodation options available, you’ll be very lucky to find somewhere decent for under $100 a night.
However, there are some amazing hotels available, and if you’re going to fork out for somewhere expensive anyway, you may as well go all out!
If you’re in a hurry, you can have a quick scan of this guide below. It will go through the best parts of LA to stay in, and what each one offers for travelers.
|AREA||BEST FOR||RECOMMENDED HOTEL||MORE HOTELS|
|Downtown LA||Budget-friendly, first-time visitors, nightlife, food||CitizenM Los Angeles Downtown||More hotels in Downtown LA
|Hollywood||First-time visitors, food, nightlife, sightseeing||Dream Hollywood||More hotels in Hollywood
|West Hollywood||LGBTQ+ friendly, nightlife, shopping, food||Andaz West Hollywood||More hotels in West Hollywood
|Santa Monica||Family-friendly, beach, fine-dining, sightseeing||Huntley Santa Monica Beach||More hotels in Santa Monica
|Venice||Budget-friendly, beach, culture, atmosphere||Inn at Venice Beach||More hotels in Venice Beach
|Beverly Hills||Luxury stays, fine-dining, designer shops, food||Sonder Beverly Terrace||More hotels in Beverly Hills
|Pasadena||Culture, history, shopping, sports||Residence Inn by Marriott||More hotels in Pasadena
Best Areas to Stay in Los Angeles
If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide on where to stay in Los Angeles, then I’ve got you covered. Los Angeles is full of great neighborhoods, and if you’ve not been before it can be a difficult decision when it comes to choosing where to stay.
Luckily, I’ve researched the best areas to stay in LA for every budget. Whether you’re traveling cheaply, looking for the hippest part of the city, or wanting a luxury stay fit for a king – this incredible city has it all.
The information below is going to tell you everything you need to know about each area, so you can make an informed decision. So let’s dive into each neighborhood, and see which one is for you!
1. Downtown LA
Downtown LA is located in the city center and is made up of smaller areas including the Arts District, Chinatown, and Little Tokyo.
If it’s your first time in the city, this area is one of the best places to stay with plenty of dining options, nightlife, and lots of public transport links. There are a couple of metro stations in the area, and bus links to other popular neighborhoods including Santa Monica.
Some of the most popular clubs and bars in the area include the Seven Bar Lounge, Exchange LA, and the Edison. Downtown LA also has plenty of rooftop bars in the area, where you can get amazing views of the city!
There are also a ton of tourist attractions within walking distance including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Grand Central Market, LA Live, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).
If you’re wondering where to stay in LA, then this area is a great choice. It’s also one of the most budget-friendly areas in the city, so is the place to go if you’re looking to save a few dollars.
Pros and cons of staying in Downtown LA
- Plenty of great places to eat including markets and cafes
- Great hub for public transport
- Traffic can get very busy in this area
- Adjacent to Skid Row, which isn’t the place you want to be at night
The best places to stay in Downtown LA
Hotel Figueroa is the only luxury, independently owned hotel in Downtown LA. With two restaurants and four bars on-site, it offers great facilities for guests. There is also the Alta Room which serves tasty cocktails. The hotel has an array of amenities including high-speed wifi, a smart TV, and an iPad with guest request technology.
MID-RANGE – citizenM Los Angeles Downtown
CitizenM is situated in a great location with metro access, and popular tourist attractions nearby. There is a daily breakfast buffet available at the hotel, as well as a fitness center, bar, and shared lounge. The hotel also provides free wifi and luggage storage space.
BUDGET – Miyako Hotel Los Angeles
The Miyako Hotel is only a 14-minute walk from Grand Central Market and Little Tokyo, so is in the perfect location. With spacious rooms, on-site dining options, and free wifi, it’s a great choice for a budget stay in Los Angeles. Some of the rooms even come with a refrigerator, coffee facilities, and ironing facilities.
The Hollywood neighborhood is one of the most popular places to stay in Los Angeles, and it’s no wonder why!
It’s home to some of the most iconic attractions that need to be on every Los Angeles itinerary including the famous Hollywood Sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios, and Grauman’s Chinese Theater. You can also take a wander along Hollywood Boulevard, or visit Hollywood Bowl.
Hollywood is one of the best places to stay in Los Angeles – especially for tourists visiting for the first time. With plenty of attractions to visit, great public transport links, and a great nightlife scene, this is one of the top places to be!
Some of the most popular bars and clubs in the area include Academy LA, Hotel Cafe, and Mama Shelter which is a funky rooftop bar and restaurant.
It’s also a favorite area with foodies as there is a wide variety of choices. Whether you’re looking for fine-dining options, authentic restaurants, or simply a street food truck – this area has something for everyone! Some of the top choices include In-N-Out burger, Katsuya Hollywood, and Musso & Frank Grill.
Although there are plenty of expensive accommodation options within Hollywood, you’ll still be able to find some cost-effective options.
Pros and cons of staying in Hollywood
- Plenty of tourist attractions within walking distance
- Foodie scene with plenty of options
- A very popular area so can get extremely busy
- Parking is incredibly difficult, so you may struggle if hiring a car
The best places to stay in Hollywood
LUXURY – Dream Hollywood
Dream Hollywood is located in the foreground of the famous Hollywood Sign, and some rooms offer superb views of the city with oversized windows. There is also a rooftop view where you can enjoy the scenic views, a sun terrace, and several dining options on-site.
MID-RANGE – Loews Hollywood Hotel
The Loews Hollywood hotel is in the perfect location and is only a 1-minute walk to the Hollywood Walk of Fame! With a rooftop pool, sun terrace, fitness center, and yoga room, this hotel has everything you could need for your trip to Los Angeles. There are also multiple restaurants and dining options available on-site.
BUDGET – Magic Castle Hotel
The Magic Castle Hotel is only 3 miles away from Universal Studios, and a 10-minute walk from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There is an outdoor pool and fitness center available on-site to use, as well as a continental breakfast that’s served daily. Each room also comes with wifi, a TV, and free snacks!
3. West Hollywood
If you love a good party scene and are wondering where to stay in Los Angeles then West Hollywood may be the place for you! Some of the top party spots in the area include Bootsy Bellows, Nightingale Plaza, and 1 OAK.
West Hollywood is also incredibly LGBTQ+ friendly with several gay bars and clubs located along Santa Monica Boulevard. You’ll be spoilt for choice, but some of the best gay bars include The Abbey, The Bayou, and Hi-Tops!
When it comes to tourist attractions, there may not be as many popular sights in this area but there is still plenty to do. You can take a walk along the Sunset Strip, visit Runyon Canyon Park, spend the evening at the Comedy Store, or visit the Urban Light art installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) which is one of the most Instagrammable places in LA.
West Hollywood is also home to some of the best shopping in Los Angeles with Sunset Plaza, Melrose Avenue, and Sunset Boulevard all located in this area. You’ll also come across plenty of vintage and boutique stores.
With fabulous nightlife, plenty of trendy restaurants, and endless shopping opportunities, West Hollywood is one of the best parts of LA to stay in.
Pros and cons of staying in West Hollywood
- Great area for nightlife and is LGBTQ+ friendly
- Incredibly easy to get around on foot
- Very loud and lively, so, not the area to stay for families
- Not located near a major highway, so traffic can get extremely busy
The best places to stay in West Hollywood
The London West Hollywood is a stunning boutique hotel with a restaurant on-site, a fitness center, and a rooftop with cabanas available to rent. The hotel is located close to Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills, meaning it’s in a great location. It’s also only a 10-minute drive to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Melrose Avenue.
MID-RANGE – Andaz West Hollywood-a concept by Hyatt
The Andaz West Hollywood is only a 5-minute walk from the Sunset Strip and 2 miles from Beverley Plaza. It has plenty of facilities including a rooftop pool, a fitness center, and on-site dining. The rooms also come with free wifi, and complimentary beverages and snacks.
BUDGET – Palihotel Melrose
Palihotel Melrose is located along the famous Melrose Avenue, so is in the perfect location for shopping! The hotel is also only a 5-minute drive from the Pacific Design Center. There is a restaurant called the Hart and the Hunter on-site, as well as the Pali Record Club which is a cozy bar serving handcrafted cocktails.
4. Santa Monica
Santa Monica is one of the most family-friendly areas in LA, and with a view like that – who wouldn’t want to stay here?
This area is world-famous due to the Santa Monica Pier, the beautiful beach, and of course, its laid-back atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to relax, take a wander along the beach, and spend some time with the family.
Santa Monica is also popular with foodies, as there are plenty of great restaurants, cheap eats, and fine-dining options. If you decide to stay here, make sure you head to Street Food Tuesday – where you’ll find an array of food trucks, stands, and stalls.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Los Angeles, then this area is a great option. Not only does it have a variety of food choices and relaxing vibes, but there are also plenty of attractions to visit.
Some of the most popular places to visit in this area include the Santa Monica Pier Museum, the Farmers Market, Tongva Park, and Camera Obscura. You also have the chance to watch the sunset from the Pacific Wheel and have a go on some of the fair rides along the pier!
Pros and cons of staying in Santa Monica
- Incredibly family-friendly
- Beachside location
- Very crowded, especially during summer
- It’s not the most central location, and in rush hour it can take up to an hour to get to the Hollywood area
The best places to stay in Santa Monica
LUXURY – Casa Del Mar
Casa Del Mar is only a 1-minute walk from the beach, a 5-minute walk from 3rd Street Promenade, and a 15-minute drive to Venice Beach. This luxury hotel boasts two on-site restaurants, an outdoor pool, a hot tub, and nightly music. Each room also comes with a hydrotherapy spa tub and floor-to-ceiling glass windows for the best views.
MID-RANGE – Huntley Santa Monica Beach
The Huntley Santa Monica Beach is located only a 3-minute walk from Santa Monica beach, so it’s in a great location! The Penthouse restaurant, bar, and lounge are located on-site and offer stunning rooftop views of the ocean and the coastline. Some rooms even have an ocean view and a spa bath making this hotel the epitome of luxury.
BUDGET – Bayside Hotel
The Bayside Hotel is only a 2-minute walk from the beach, and both the Pacific Park and Santa Monica Pier are within a 15-minute walk. There is a sun terrace located at the hotel, and rooms with an ocean view balcony are available. Each room also comes with a TV, free wifi, and a coffee machine.
5. Venice Beach
If you’re looking for the best areas to stay in Los Angeles, then you need to consider Venice Beach!
This area is situated along the Pacific Coast Highway south of Santa Monica. It’s famous for its iconic beaches, quirky stores, and an endless array of dining options. As well as funky restaurants and cafes, you’ll also find food vendors lining the streets.
There are also plenty of awesome places to visit in this part of Los Angeles. Some of the top spots include the famous Venice Beach, Muscle Beach, the Skate Plaza, and the Venice Beach boardwalk. If you simply fancy taking a stroll, make sure to wander along Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Main Street.
Not only is Venice Beach one of the best places to stay in LA, but it’s also one of the coolest areas in the whole city. However, that’s not the best part! Venice Beach is extremely budget-friendly, so if you’re strapped for cash this is the place you need to stay.
Many of the popular attractions are also located very close together, making this area of Los Angeles extremely walkable.
Pros and cons of staying in Venice Beach
- One of the more budget-friendly areas in LA
- Plenty of attractions to see
- Not much public transport
- Traffic congestion is very common
The best places to stay in Venice Beach
LUXURY – Hotel Erwin
Hotel Erwin is a 2-minute walk from the beach and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It’s also just down the street from the Venice Beach Boardwalk. With an open-air rooftop lounge, an on-site restaurant, and bike hire available, it has all the facilities you could need for the perfect stay.
MID-RANGE – Inn at Venice Beach
The Inn at Venice Beach is a 5-minute walk to the beach and is located a 3-minute drive from Venice Beach Park. The rooms are incredibly spacious and come with free wifi, a TV, and a refrigerator. There is also a cafe on-site.
BUDGET – The Kinney – Venice Beach
The Kinney is an 8-minute walk to the beach and offers an array of amenities. With an outdoor area and fire pit, ping pong tables, and an outdoor heated pool, this hotel has plenty to offer to guests. The hotel also offers bicycle hire, which is the perfect way to explore Venice Beach.
6. Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills is one of the most famous areas in LA and is known for its wealth, fame, and of course, the 90210 zip code.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Los Angeles, and have a bit of spare cash then opting for a luxury stay in Beverly Hills is truly something else!
There are plenty of incredible sights to see in the area including Sunset Boulevard, the Greystone Mansion & Gardens, and Franklin Canyon Park. Heading down Mulholland Drive is another popular activity, as it’s famous for being home to plenty of celebrities.
However, the most famous part of Beverly Hills is Rodeo Drive! It’s one of the best places in the city to spot Hollywood’s celebrities and is home to over 100 designer boutiques. If you’re looking for a bit of glitz and glamor, luxury jewelry stores are also found here.
If you want to do LA on a budget, this is not the area you want to stay in! Beverly Hills is extremely luxurious and is known for its world-class 5-star hotels. You’ll pay much more for hotels in this area than most other places in Los Angeles.
Pros and cons of staying in Beverly Hills
- Great place to go celeb-spotting
- Plenty of entertainment, shops, and dining options
- Accommodation is extremely expensive
- No metro station, so having a car would be beneficial
The best places to stay in Beverly Hills
If you want to be treated like a celebrity during your stay in LA, then the Beverly Wilshire hotel is where you need to stay! The hotel is located right across from Rodeo Drive and has plenty of amenities including a pool, hot tub, spa, fitness center, and various dining options. It even has a Michelin star-rated steakhouse on-site!
MID-RANGE – The Beverly Hilton
The Beverly Hilton is 2 miles from the Sunset Strip, and only 3 blocks away from Rodeo Drive. The hotel’s beautiful and spacious rooms are enough to convince anyone to stay here, but there are also several facilities available to guests. These include an outdoor pool with a movie screen, on-site dining, a beauty salon, and a fitness center.
BUDGET – Sonder Beverly Terrace
The Sonder Beverly Terrace is situated in the heart of Beverly Hills and is only 1.5 miles from Rodeo Drive. There is a restaurant on-site that serves up delicious Italian dishes, as well as a private patio with garden views. Each room comes with a refrigerator, free wifi, an en-suite bathroom.
When people are searching for where to stay in LA, Pasadena isn’t often an area that comes up. However, it has a lot to offer for people traveling to Los Angeles.
Pasadena is located about 12 miles away from Downtown LA and is a popular city known for its culture and history. With its brilliant architecture, culture, and variety of tourist attractions, it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of central Los Angeles.
The old town of Pasadena is well known for its shopping and dining options, but there are other sights to see too!
Popular attractions here include the Tournament House and Wrigley Gardens, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Pasadena Museum of History. However, the city is most popular for the Rose Bowl, and its New Year’s Day Rose Parade.
There are also plenty of outdoor activities available including hiking, cycling, and climbing. It’s the perfect way to relax after spending a day exploring Los Angeles and is a great place to stay if you don’t want to be in the center of the city.
Pros and cons of staying in Pasadena
- A quiet and peaceful area compared to other places in Los Angeles
- Plenty of attractions to visit
- Not very convenient for access to the city beyond Downtown LA
- Traffic in this area can get pretty bad
The best places to stay in Pasadena
LUXURY – The Langham Huntington
The Langham Huntington is surrounded by 23 acres of beautiful gardens and is only a 15-minute drive from central LA. With an on-site spa, heated outdoor pool, multiple dining options, and a fitness center, this luxury hotel has many state-of-the-art facilities. There are also tennis courts available if you fancy a friendly game of tennis!
MID-RANGE – The Westin Pasadena
The Westin Pasadena is only 1.7 miles away from the Rose Bowl Stadium, and a 5-minute walk from the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The hotel has several amenities including an outdoor heated pool, an on-site restaurant, a gym, and a hot tub.
BUDGET – Residence Inn by Marriott
The Residence Inn by Marriott is situated in a great area of Pasadena, with nearby attractions including Castle Green, the Norton Simon Museum, and the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. With an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, shared lounge area, and private parking, it has all you could need for the perfect stay. A continental or buffet breakfast is also included!
This concludes my guide on where to stay in LA. So which are the best neighborhoods to stay in Los Angeles? That all comes down to your budget, the area’s characteristics, and what you want out of this trip.
I hope this article has given you a good idea of the different characteristics of each area, and what each neighborhood offers. Hopefully taking a look through this article has saved you a lot of research time, and has now given you a rough idea of where you’d like to stay.
Have you visited Los Angeles before? If you have, please let me know where you stayed, and whether you would recommend it to other travelers. I’m always looking for hidden gems when it comes to accommodation!
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