Hotel Erwin Rating: 3.0 Pearls

A July 2009 renovation has left the large (400- to 425-square-foot) and airy standard rooms (some with ocean views) well appointed with comfortable, brand-new mattresses and bedding, flat-panel TVs, and a lot of fun details, including a curved, stainless steel shower rod, a black, tiered table lamp with "The Erwin Est. 1975" printed on it, and lightweight, green, leopard-print robes from Boca Terry.

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Best Value Hotels in Los Angeles (42 of 42)

 A July 2009 renovation has left the large (400- to 425-square-foot) and airy standard rooms (some with ocean views) well appointed with comfortable, brand-new mattresses and bedding, flat-panel TVs, and a lot of fun details, including a curved, stainless steel shower rod, a black, tiered table lamp with "The Erwin Est. 1975" printed on it, and lightweight, green, leopard-print robes from Boca Terry.
This affordable, stylish hotel, where DJs spin in the lobby, has a convenient location on the nightlife-central Sunset Strip. When hotelier Andre Balazs opened this first Standard back in 1999, he tried to do for boutique hotels what Ikea did for furniture: offer style on a budget. The hiply designed lobby cheekily mixes vintage decor from the '50s, '60s, and '70s. The bright blue rooms with contrasting orange-tiled bathrooms are furnished in a '50s-meets-'60s style, with silver Austin Powers-like beanbag chairs and Warhol flower-print curtains. The hotel's outdoor pool with its hard-to-miss, bright blue Astroturf deck remains a huge draw for both guests and private events. It helps that the poolside wait service runs until midnight, turning the deck into a popular evening as well as daytime hangout. At the Standard Hollywood, casual and affordable American-style fare is available around the clock at the Standard's 24-hour, diner-style restaurant or through room service. It may not be fine dining, but entrees cost just $12 to $15 and snacks like macaroni and cheese, guacamole, and fries are $3 to $5. Thanks to its distinctive 17-story, spindle-shaped building, the Hotel Angeleno has been familiar site to anyone passing through Bel Air and Brentwood on the 405 freeway since 1970. But don't let the location inches from the freeway scare you. The 209-room Hotel Angeleno, a 10-minute drive from UCLA and the Getty, is one of L.A.'s best values. The building's curves show in the lobby. The hotel's cylindrical shape translates to relatively small 300-square-foot, pie-shaped rooms. Décor is nondescript, but with balconies, pillow-topped beds with 300-thread-count sheets, 30-inch flat-screen TVs, and no cleanliness problems, the rooms are a great value. Rooms, which all have balconies, have views of either the Santa Monica Mountains or the city. Hotel Angeleno has a heated pool with ample lounge chairs and even a fireplace. The 17th floor penthouse's West Restaurant and Lounge draws both locals and guests for its panoramic views, though the view is better than the pricey food. The 40-room lodging is a two-story, motel-like building adjacent to the Magic Castle (theater and headquarters of the Academy of Magical Arts) and tucked away from street view behind some nondescript hedges. The bedroom in a one-bedroom suite Rooms are large, most are about 500 square feet and come with full kitchens and pullout couches, but they're a little worse for wear. Guests may find chips in the paint or light switches that don't work, but rooms are still clean, comfortable, and spacious. All rooms are built around a 24-hour, small, heated pool. Free Popsicles and cold towels are delivered poolside on the hour in the afternoons. Perched on a steep hill one long block north of Hollywood Boulevard, the Magic Castle -- as in the actual chateau-style mansion next door to the hotel -- is an architectural Hollywood icon and the members-only headquarters of the Academy of Magical Arts. Only dues-paying members, their guests, and hotel guests can get into the magic shows here. The hotel brings in free, fresh pastries from well-regarded Susina Bakery every morning for its continental breakfast, and offers a free, all-you-can-eat minibar, but there's no restaurant affiliated with the hotel. However, guests of the Magic Castle get VIP treatment at Yamashiro, a Japanese restaurant located just behind the hotel. Just off the Sunset Strip, the London offers the highest levels of luxury and service at reasonable prices. The London is a revelation in a city where style often means pretense, service often means stuffiness, and a rooftop pool with divine views often means wading through a crowd. Interiors were designed by David Collins, a friend of Madonna's, who's best known for his work in some of London's most celebrated restaurants and bars. The London has been racking up the accolades fast -- and deservedly. It made Conde Nast Traveler's 2009 Hot List, and was also named the "best large city hotel" in the continental U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure in 2009. The London's 200 rooms start at a massive 750 square feet -- larger than any other hotel in L.A. -- and have enormous, gleaming-white modern bathrooms. The color scheme relies heavily on soothing colors like cool sage and beige, with inconspicuous accents like green marble-topped desks, and unexpected (but lovely) bright green lacquered closets. The hotel's rooftop pool, terrace, and fitness center are surrounded with glass walls that allow for panoramic views of the Los Angeles valley. Open from 8 a.m. to midnight, the pool area also has a firepit, a tiled waterfall, and soothing lounge music in the background (quiet, not distracting). Four poolside cabanas each have couches, chairs, and a flat-screen TV, and run $275 for six hours (no shorter time period). The food here, at Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood, is largely nouveau American, with an emphasis on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients -- and the prices reflect Ramsay's prestige. Fans of the reality-TV show Hell's Kitchen know Gordon Ramsay as a profanity-spewing, hard-driving boss. Diners know him for his 16 Michelin stars, 27 restaurants, and laser-like focus on classic French culinary technique. "Affordable" and "Rodeo Drive" are words that rarely go together, except in the case of this petite, 88-room boutique whose reasonably priced rooms overlook one of the ritziest shopping destinations in the world. What this tiny and elegant hotel lacks in stately size it makes up for in refined décor: The cozy, sophisticated lobby is done up in soothing shades of brown and beige, and a sunny mezzanine-level atrium has towel-draped lounge chairs shaded by oversize umbrellas. The narrow entrance of the hotel is lined with outdoor seating for the Cafe Rodeo restaurant. Rooms here are on the small side -- but come luxuriously outfitted with upscale linens and up-to-date electronics. Beds have Versai Egyptian cotton bedding that's quite comfortable topped with up to six down pillows and a feather duvet. Housed in the home of the former silent film star Lillian Gish, this intimate, 43-room boutique hotel off a quiet street in Beverly Hills does the stylish spirit of its previous inhabitant proud. Reworked as a French-meets-mandarin boutique, Maison 140 is a little like a 1920s Parisian inn mated with a lush Shanghai opium den -- and they had one brazen L.A. baby. The hotel's inimitable style starts with the stark black-and-white lobby. The management charmingly plays up the hotel's theme -- serving daily absinthe happy hours and French press coffee at the lobby lounge, Bar Noir, and issuing heavy antique-looking copper room keys on red silk string instead of the usual plastic key card. The stylish Bar Noir also serves a $14 continental breakfast. This Beverly Hills hotel doesn't have a pool or even a restaurant, but each of the cool rooms is uniquely decorated in a bold French-meets-mandarin style. No room looks like the next, although they all stick to a strict color scheme of red, black, and white, and occasionally yellow and green. Red pagoda-print wallpaper can line not only the wall but climb up the ceilings; plush yellow upholstered headboards can meet lime-green, pineapple-shaped lamps. Parisian Rooms (210 square feet), one of which is seen here, come with one king or two queen beds and sleep up to three; pricier, slightly more ornate Mandarin rooms (300 square feet) have just a king bed and sleep two. Even the smallest rooms boast giant windows, 14-foot desks, "show-all" glass showers, iPod docks, and queen-size beds with 100 percent Egyptian cotton bedding. Unfortunately, the rooms haven't been renovated (or well maintained) since the hotel opened in 2002, and what might have once appeared luxurious and innovative now just feels tired and partied out. Upon opening in 2002, the Standard immediately became a hipper-than-thou, international A-list nightlife destination, pioneering a return of cool to downtown Los Angeles with a potent cocktail of pool parties, DJs, and tawdry celebrity penthouse ballyhoo. Now past its prime, the hotel is overlooked by the city's cool crowd. Hotelier Andre Balaz and his design partners infused the building's historical elements (like the 15-time-zone clock and the iconic "S") with a Day-Glo modernist deco spin. Here, the lobby's pool table. The Standard's pool and rooftop bar is infamous for its parties and scandalous, after-hours swimming. The pool runs in one long, wide lane and is heated to what feels like bathwater. It's big by rooftop standards, and part of it alcoves off to face a lounge area, inviting dry-land-to-pool commingling. The views of downtown's skyscrapers are fantastic. While there are many alternatives for dining in the downtown area, the 24/7 Restaurant is still a fun and tasty option with very reasonable prices -- especially the late-night menu, where outrageous prices usually lie in wait. Dinner entrees are in the $20s. Hotel Erwin sits on Pacific Avenue, the main north-south drag in Venice. It's about two blocks inland from the well-known beach itself (surfer-dude central), a wide boardwalk chock-full of street performers and snack shops, and a path for bicyclists and rollerbladers. Entering the Erwin, you're likely to bump up against as many tattoos, piercings, skateboards, surfboards, and electric guitars as you are guests. L.A. tattoo artist Norm created the new mural in the refurbished semicircular driveway, and framed photos of '60s and '70s folk, rock, and R&B legends (Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder) line the hallways. Lobby-level Hash restaurant serves cooked-to-order breakfasts ($12.50 Venice Benedict, $11 green eggs and ham, $8 buckwheat pancakes) and dinners ($16 Wagyu beef burgers, $23 pork chops, market-price striped sea bass), but not lunch, in a small indoor-outdoor seating area. On the 7th floor, High outdoor rooftop lounge serves drinks and appetizers nightly and offers cushioned banquettes, heat lamps, and blankets. A July 2009 renovation has left the large (400- to 425-square-foot) and airy standard rooms (some with ocean views) well appointed with comfortable, brand-new mattresses and bedding, flat-panel TVs, and a lot of fun details, including a curved, stainless steel shower rod, a black, tiered table lamp with "The Erwin Est. 1975" printed on it, and lightweight, green, leopard-print robes from Boca Terry.
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