Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Lavish interiors, but primarily a respite for business people and airline crews
At first glance, this 173-room, five-year-old construction, part of a family-owned chain of hotels, is just another cheerless stopover on the way to the airport, which is why its majestic interiors come as a welcome surprise. The Ayres family, multigenerational local real estate developers since the early 1900s, invested significantly in what they dub a "European boutique hotel," and it shows. They draped a 17th-century Belgian tapestry behind the front desk; embellished the courtyard terrace with stone statues; and installed a 400-year-old, stone fireplace from France in the lobby.
Among the opulent crystal chandeliers, hand-stenciled ceilings, and grand staircase, you'll also find a few surprising 21st-century perks: free Wi-Fi, a small, heated pool, a hot tub, a fitness center, an on-site Continental restaurant, free daily breakfast, and great beds with pillow-top mattresses.
You may be fooled by the facade, but don't be duped by the Manhattan Beach address; the four-story hotel is a less-than-inspired, 15-minute drive to the ocean past one sprawling shopping center after another. And while you'll get more space -- unusually large standard rooms are 435 square feet -- they have outdated, staid decor. The extra features for such an inexpensive rate are welcome, but unless you're a flight attendant or need a decent pit stop close to the airport, there's no compelling reason to stay here. For just a bit more per night, you'll be closer to Manhattan Beach at the Belamar. It has smaller standard rooms (340 square feet), but similar amenities, and sits on the edge of a residential neighborhood just a five-minute drive from the water.
Near Manhattan Beach, a few miles from LAX
Despite its moniker, the Ayres is a disappointingly unscenic, 15-minute drive to Manhattan Beach; other hotels, including the Belamar, are much closer to the water. The hotel is, however, very convenient to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
This 173-room family-run chain hotel a few miles from LAX has surprisingly ornate interiors, extra-spacious rooms, and free perks (parking, breakfast, Wi-Fi), but its drab location 15 minutes from Manhattan Beach near strip malls and next to the 405 freeway makes it less-than-ideal for all except those with an early flight out.