Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The rooms, though small, are affordable. But the design often seems to win out over guest needs and comfort.
The 250-room, 12-story Custom Hotel could appeal to many types of travelers, at least in theory. Business travelers can appreciate a very low room rate, free Wi-Fi, and a two-minute trip to Los Angeles International Airport. Hip-hotel-design aficionados may be intrigued by the kitschy, colorful design of a building by Welton Becket, a notable mid-20th century L.A. architect who also designed the Beverly Hilton.
For the business traveler looking for a cheap, clean room extremely close to the airport, the Custom Hotel delivers and, thanks to 2011 renovations to all guestrooms, design doesn't get in the way of functionality. The queen-size bed in the small Custom Level Room (about 260 square feet) has European-style bedding -- a fitted sheet and sheet-covered comforter only. Furniture is new, featuring more functional desks (in some rooms only), and an overall more spacious layout. The bathrooms are clean, but the shower is small.
DECK33 restaurant and lounge is located adjacent to the pool, serving Pacific Rim-influenced cuisine and California wines, microbrews, and cocktails. Layover Lounge, located in the lobby, serves coffee and tea, as well as a full American Breakfast Buffet. But the hotel has no room service. Want to use the 24-hour gym? Go to the green one for running, the pink one for working out, and try to ignore the seizure-inducing fluorescent lights. The equipment has seen better days, though. One meeting room is a circle of stainless steel rocking chairs.
Ultimately, the hotel is still next to LAX, far from any other part of sprawling Los Angeles (except nearby Loyola Marymount University and Otis College of Art and Design). Meaning the pool at the Custom has jet engines for a soundtrack and landing planes for a view.
Just half a mile from the runways of LAX and a two-minute drive to the airport's entrance, the Custom Hotel is extremely convenient for fliers (the hotel offer free shuttles to and from the airport too). Unlike most of the airport hotels, including the Marriott, Sheraton, Embassy Suites, Hilton, and Radison that line Century Boulevard, the Custom hotel is not on a road leading right up to the airport, making it a bit more out of the way.
The kitschy colorful decor says stylish boutique, the airport location says business hotel. But with an over-the-top design that might not register will all guests, this 250-room Joie de Vivre property struggles to define its clientele. With a 2011 renovation to all guestrooms, functionality in the stylish rooms means an even more solid choice for business travelers. But this 21-and-up-only hotel still retains its energetic pool parties and unique, entertaining amenities, appealing to a more whimsical, youthful demographic -- a demographic that would not enjoy the out-of-the-way location. Overall, it's a solid choice, but it is a confusing little property.