Sports fans take note: Where to stay to see your favorite L.A. teams

A view of Downtown LA, where the famous Staples Center is located
A view of Downtown LA, where the famous Staples Center is located

Sports are everywhere you look this time of year: football is just starting, baseball and MLS soccer are going into playoff mode, and before we know it, basketball and hockey will be in full swing, too. As a New York fan and resident, it pains me to suggest escaping to the warm weather of the Southern California to get your sports fix, but there's no denying the convenience of having so many great arenas centrally located in or near downtown. And whether you're traveling just to see your team or you're hoping to catch a game as part of a larger trip, these are the hotels you'll find most convenient.

USC Trojans: Millenium Biltmore Hotel

The Lobby at The Milennium Biltmore
The Lobby at The Milennium Biltmore

The Biltmore, built in 1923, is a true piece of Los Angeles history -- the hotel hosted the Oscars in the 1930s and 40s -- and is the perfect hotel for any Trojan fanatic. The Biltmore is only 4 miles away from the University of Southern California and its iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home of the USC Trojan football team. With all that red and gold in the lobby and coliseum-esque architecture, how could a true Trojan fan not feel right at home? FIGHT ON! Read the full Millenium Biltmore Hotel review.

UCLA Bruins: W Los Angeles Westwood

A neighbor to high class Beverly Hills, the Westwood neighborhood is the home of the University of California Los Angeles and the W Los Angeles Westood hotel. Although UCLA has a very large campus, the W Westwood resides right on the edge of it, putting you within walking distance of the whole campus, including Pauley Pavillion, home to the school's perennial top-25 men's basketball team. The hotel, staying true to its swank location, boasts more than 140 suites, excellent service, and amenities including a pool, spa, and free limo service. Though most of UCLA's sports facilities are within a stone's throw of the hotel, the Bruins football team plays at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena which is a minimum 30 minute drive from Westwood. But staying so close to campus will get you in the mood, and few would complain about staying at the stylish W hotel. Read the full W Los Angeles Westwood hotel review.

LA Dodgers:Omni Los Angeles Hotel At California Plaza

The bar at Noe
The bar at Noe

Only a mile and a half away from Dodgers Stadium, the Omni is the best and closest bet for any Dodgers fans looking to stay in L.A. for a game. The Omni boasts huge rooms, great workout facility and spa, excellent city views, and a very prime downtown location (within walking distance of The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Disney Concert hall, and The Staples Center). Also, if you want to save some money on ballpark food and fill up before the game, try Omni's fabulous California fare at restaurant Noe. Read the full Omni Los Angeles Hotel review.

LA Kings, Lakers, Clippers, and the Summer X Games: The Standard, Downtown Los Angeles

The Staples Center is the home of the L.A. Kings hockey team, a large portion of the Summer X Games, and the city's two basketball teams, including the most successful professional sports franchise in the last ten years -- the L.A. Lakers. This downtown arena is without a doubt the mecca of Los Angeles sports, and The Standard hotel is a staple of the L.A. party scene. With nightly DJs in the lobby, an unbeatable poolside party scene (with awesome views), and a great location less than 10 blocks from the Staples Center, this place is perfect for a traveler with a conservative budget who wants to be in a central location with excellent nightlife. Read the full Standard, Downtown Los Angeles hotel review.

LA Galaxy: Terranea Resort

Beach view at The Terranea
Beach view at The Terranea

While the MLS will never be for the U.S. what The Premier League is for the U.K., with stars like Landon Donovan and David Beckham, the LA Galaxy are as good as it gets in the States. The Home Depot Center, where the Galaxy play, is in Carson, about 15 miles from Downtown L.A., but only about half that distance from Southern California's mega-resort Terranea. This 100-acre, 582-room beauty is in Ranchos Palos Verdes and offers a top-tier spa, nine holes of golf, five restaurants, three pools, and beautiful grounds featuring incredible ocean views. If you're headed to L.A. to see the Galaxy play, make a vacation out of it and stay at here. Bonus: Rooms are 40% off for the weekends of the Galaxy's last two October home games. Book now for the weekends of October 16 and October 23, 2010. Read the full Terranea Resort hotel review.

LA Marathon: Shutters On The Beach

View of the beach at Shutters On The Beach
View of the beach at Shutters On The Beach

It's appropriate that the great city of Los Angeles has a great marathon event: the L.A. Marathon in March. The marathon starts in Dodgers stadium north of downtown, but finishes right on the Santa Monica Pier, and Shutters On The Beach could not be more convenient -- whether you're waiting for a loved one at the finish line or you need a posh place to collapse after your run. A fantastic resort right on the beach (just like the name says), this hotel has a great pool, spa, and restaurant, One Pico. Plus keep your eyes peeled -- you may just spot a few celebrities on their own L.A. vacations. Read the full Shutters On The Beach hotel review

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