From the glitz and glamor of Hollywood and Beverly Hills to the golden sands of Santa Monica and Venice Beach, choosing where to stay in Los Angeles is rarely easy. As the largest city in California and the second-biggest city in the United States, L.A. is packed with interesting areas & neighborhoods, each showing off a different side of this wildly exciting and diverse city.
For most first-time visitors, Hollywood and Downtown L.A. are the obvious places to start searching for accommodations. These popular districts are home to many of the best hotels in Los Angeles, along with a bulk of the city’s top attractions. Or, if you’re visiting SoCal for its seaside vibes, base yourself along the coastline in cities like Santa Monica or Venice Beach.
Not sure where to begin your lodgings search? Find the perfect L.A. accommodation for your vacation with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Los Angeles, CA, including the top areas, neighborhoods, and hotels!
Best places to stay in Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities in the United States, not just based on population but in pure size. The city covers land to the far north and south, well beyond what most would consider LA proper.
Unfortunately, L.A.’s public transport isn’t amazing for vacationers. And while you can use it, we wouldn’t recommend planning your entire trip around it. Instead, you’ll want to work out what you’d like to experience while you’re in town and base yourself close by.
If it’s your first time in Los Angeles, staying in Hollywood is a solid choice. The area is filled with famous and fun attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is close to other top-notch destinations like Griffith Park.
More of a culture seeker? Set your sights on Downtown Los Angeles. The city center is jam-packed with art museums, concert halls, and interesting neighborhoods and communities like Little Tokyo and Chinatown.
Got the Pacific Coast on your mind? Expand your search to the seaside communities of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Staying in these two coastal towns, you’ll dig deeper into L.A.’s famed Pacific Ocean shoreline, with gems like Santa Monica State Beach and the Venice Beach Boardwalk at your disposal.
Or, for indulging in some of the city’s party scene and glitz & glamor, check out West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Dig into the nightlife of the Sunset Strip or break the bank with some luxury shopping along world-famous Rodeo Drive.
The best areas to stay in Los Angeles are:
✓ Best place to stay in Los Angeles for sightseeing and first-timers
If you’re a first-time visitor to Los Angeles, there’s hardly a better place to lay your head than Hollywood. Not only are you close to all the sites, such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but you’re also close to some of the other top neighborhoods.
Those staying in Hollywood will have an easy time getting to Griffith Park for a picnic, enjoying hikes at Runyon Canyon Park, and getting their big-screen thrills at Universal Studios Hollywood. It also won’t take long to get to the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood or the high-end shopping areas in Beverly Hills.
Hollywood does feel over-touristy, but that all becomes a part of the experience. Travelers will also find a nice balance between budget and upscale accommodations here.
Within walking distance of the top sights in Hollywood, Elaine’s Hollywood Bed & Breakfast offers some of the comfiest accommodations in Los Angeles. The homely furnishings will help you feel right at home. Each room comes with a seating area or patio with garden views.
Loews Hollywood Hotel boasts a beautiful rooftop pool that bathes in the SoCal sun. The hotel is right next to the famous TCL Chinese Theater and Dolby Theater and offers guests upscale rooms with cable TV and on-site dining. Some rooms even have views of the Hollywood Hills!
For the ultimate stay in Hollywood, feel the glitz and glamour of the world’s movie capital at the Kimpton Everly Hotel. Featuring an outdoor pool and a spacious terrace with views of the Hollywood sign, along with on-site dining and bar, the hotel lets enjoy the LA atmosphere without stepping outside.
Downtown Los Angeles
✓ Top-rated neighborhood in Los Angeles for culture and food
While L.A. isn’t known for its public transport, those staying in Downtown Los Angeles will have the most convenient access to trains and buses for trips around the city. The sprawling downtown area is packed with many of the best things to do in Los Angeles. It’s even family-friendly during the day before the night owls take over after dark.
Hop-on hop-off buses are a great way to see this part of Los Angeles, especially if you only have one day in LA. Many hotels also come with a handful of sights within walking distance. These include the Grammy Museum, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. For the sports enthusiasts among us, the Lakers, Dodgers, and Kings are all based in & around the downtown core.
With a hotel restaurant, fitness center, and picturesque bar, guests can enjoy all the top amenities at citizenM. Guests will have cable TV, luxurious linen, and beautiful bathrooms to come home to after taking in the nearby downtown sites like LA Live and the Staples Center.
The InterContinental rewards guests with spectacular downtown views. After enjoying your morning breakfast, freshen up in your upscale rooms and take in the vistas pouring through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Afterward, check out the rooftop bar, the tallest of its kind in the United States, before having lunch at the farm-to-table Dekkadance restaurant.
Hotel Figueroa presents the sunny charm of southern California to all its guests. At the tranquil outdoor pool, enjoy city views and the sun bouncing off the enveloping yucca trees. The pet-friendly hotel comes with two on-site restaurants, rich decor in each room, and a lobby inspired by early Spanish architecture.
Have all the major downtown sites within walking distance with a stay at the JW Marriott. Each room boasts a modern interior, iPod docking, and room service. There are four on-site restaurants and bars to suit all times of the day. When you aren’t relaxing by the outdoor pool, check out the Nokia Theatre or the Grammy Museum.
It’s not a big call to say that the Ritz-Carlton LA is one of the finest hotels in Los Angeles. Each opulent room comes with sparkling marble floors, smart TV, and iPod docking. It gets even better once you see the city and mountain views from the rooftop pool and hot tub.
✓ Best area to stay in Los Angeles for budget travelers
For families and budget travelers scooting through Los Angeles, Venice Beach is one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods. Here, you’ll never be too far from the golden sands that flow down to the Pacific Ocean, not to mention the beachfront bars, restaurants, and famous boardwalks.
Venice Beach is essentially Santa Monica without the inflated costs. The neighborhood is a trendy, kaleidoscopic area with vibrant architecture, vintage shops, and endless palms hovering over the Venice Beach Boardwalk. The boardwalk and adjacent bike path run up the coast, passing Muscle Beach.
Away from the coast, travelers can explore the Venice Canals that inspired the city’s name or indulge in the eclectic shopping along Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
For budget travelers wondering where to stay in Los Angeles, Samesun Venice Beach may be the answer. The clean and modern hostel is steps from the famous beach and the path that runs north to Santa Monica. Grab a free boogie board or rent a bike to explore all the nearby sites.
Under ten minutes from the iconic Venice Beach, The Kinney has everything you need. Each room comes with a work desk, cable TV, fridge, and microwave. Outside you’ll find a swimming pool, fitness center, fire pit, and ping-pong tables. You can also rent bicycles to explore further afield.
For more grandeur, check out the sun-soaked Venice V Hotel. It’s the only lifestyle hotel on the waterfront and caters to digital nomads. Your room comes with a blend of early 20th-century design and modern decor. Enjoy the beach views that pour into your room.
Set a block back from the Pacific Ocean, Hotel Erwin grants guests vast beach views and, of course, unforgettable sunsets. Watch it from your private balcony or kick back on the rooftop lounge, cocktail in hand. Guests can rent bicycles, dine at the on-site restaurants, or pick a place to eat on the adjacent Venice Beach Boardwalk.
✓ Top-rated neighborhood in Los Angeles for beach-bums
If you love the beach, then it’ll be hard to pass up an opportunity to stay in Santa Monica. As the seaside city is home to the Santa Monica Pier—featuring the exhilarating amusement park, Pacific Park, and endless golden sand—your time here will revolve around the exciting beachfront scene.
Santa Monica State Beach and its neighboring beaches run towards Malibu in the north and then all the way down to Venice Beach. Either lap up the excitement and crowds near the pier or find your own patch of sand to the north or south. You can even kick back at the beachfront Palisades Park, one of the coolest places to see in Santa Monica.
For more adventure, Santa Monica is the perfect starting point for a drive north along the Pacific Coast Highway. From here, you can tackle other top-rated day trips from Los Angeles, including Santa Barbara.
HI Los Angeles is just a few steps from Santa Monica Beach and its famous pier. This hostel is a great option for budget travelers, who can also indulge in all the fun of Santa Monica while being a short ride from Hollywood. Opt for a modern dorm room that includes access to the well-appointed communal areas.
Ambrose Hotel presents guests with boutique accommodations and great value for money. Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, come home to peace and quiet, room service, and cozy furnishings. There’s on-site dining, family rooms, a fitness center, and free bike hire. You can also make use of complimentary transportation to the beach.
With intimate decor, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a rooftop pool, prepare to be pampered at this LA hotel. Set within a classic 1928 landmark building, your room comes with fine linen, Italian comforters, and a separate seating area. There’s an on-site fitness center, three restaurants, and a spa facility.
✓ Top area to stay in Los Angeles for nightlife
Boasting Sunset Boulevard and the revered Sunset Strip, West Hollywood is a great alternative to staying in Hollywood. While it still has some of the glitz and glamor, it showcases more of the true LA vibe, granting guests a more authentic experience.
Away from the Sunset Strip, you’ll quickly find yourself in a more local neighborhood with the humdrum of daily activity. It’s a far cry from the nightlife hotspot along the boulevard that features some of the most famous bars, music venues, and nightclubs in LA.
After a night on the town, take part in a local tradition and wander down the trendy Melrose Avenue or take Santa Monica Boulevard all the way to the ocean.
The Charlie was once the home of the iconic Charlie Chaplin, and now it’s one of the most popular places to stay in LA. Your luxury suite comes with a full kitchen and private patio, along with a spacious living area and cable TV. This boutique hotel is a short walk from Sunset Boulevard and many local restaurants.
Perched in the foothills, Andaz West Hollywood has modern amenities with beautiful views streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s an on-site restaurant, RH, with a chic bar. Later, enjoy the sunset from the Sundeck complete with a dip in the pool, appetizers, and fruity cocktail. Andaz also offers fitness and business centers.
Just south of the Sunset Strip, Hotel SVB provides guests with sun-soaked decor, well-appointed furnishings, separate bathrooms, and a cable TV. It’s a beautiful place to return to after a day of adventures. Enjoy the outdoor terrace and benefit from the private parking for those who’ve hired a car.
It’s fitting that the high-end suites at The London are just steps from the famous shopping on Rodeo Drive. Guests will receive the celebrity treatment here, with a grandiose rooftop fitted with cabanas and a restaurant. Your room comes with a private balcony, mirrored closets, and walk-in showers.
✓ Recommended district in Los Angeles for luxury travelers and shoppers
Featuring some of the most famous Los Angeles hotels, Beverly Hills is the perfect choice for luxury travelers and those wishing to indulge in some serious retail therapy. This is a far cry from the more budget-friendly neighborhoods and features mostly luxurious hotels where you’ll be pampered to the extreme.
In Beverly Hills, you’ll be walking the same paths as many celebrities. The roads are as grand as the hotels, with rows of palms and gleaming stores showcasing international brands. For some luxury shopping, wander down the renowned Rodeo Drive.
After dropping off your purchases back at your suite, bask in the sun in the scenic Beverly Gardens Park.
The Four Seasons is an opulent, full-service hotel with a resident spa house and a stunning outdoor pool. Here, the French doors in your room open out to show expansive views from your private balcony. See the hills or the city before chilling in the living area. There’s also on-site dining, where you can enjoy craft cocktails in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Opposite Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Wilshire puts you in the heart of the grand neighborhood of Beverly Hills. The space comes with a Mediterranean-inspired pool, lined with private cabanas. Your gorgeous room comes with cable TV, and pets are allowed. You’ll also have a spa house and fitness center at your disposal.
The Peninsula is a five-star hotel that’s steps from Santa Monica Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. The hotel boasts a full-service spa, and multiple on-site restaurants, with an outdoor terrace that shimmers under the stars. Fancy a swim? Head to the outdoor pool on the hotel’s rooftop before checking out the fitness center.
Guests at the Waldorf Astoria can enjoy upscale accommodations with city views that can be seen from the bed, private balcony, or separate seating area. Wake up with the sun before heading to the outdoor swimming pool or sun-soaked terrace.