It's almost the new year, which can only mean one thing for sports fans: The college football championship in Los Angeles is just around the corner! The Texas Longhorns take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship Game on January 7, though not before Oregon takes on Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.
Both games will be played in the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, and fans are sure to flock to SoCal for the festivities. If you're traveling all the way to Los Angeles to cheer on your team, you may as well make a weekend out of it. Pasadena has it's own hotels, but to really explore and get the full West Coast vibe, we recommend booking at the following L.A. hotels that told us they still have space.
Vacant rooms are few, so don't delay!
Where to stay on Dec. 31 for the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day:
Hotel: Magic Castle Hotel Location: Hollywood/West Hollywood, Los Angeles Prices for the night: $194-$294 Located steps from Hollywood Boulevard, the Magic Castle is a quirky, unpretentious 40-room hotel with simple, spacious rooms, an exhaustive list of free perks (Wi-Fi, breakfast, minibar treats), access to the exclusive Magic Castle club next door, and exceptional service. Overall, it's a great value and one of L.A.'s hidden gems.
Hotel: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Location: Hollywood/West Hollywood, Los Angeles Prices for the night: $349-$429 This 300-room Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, literally an L.A. landmark, combines the shimmer of silver-screen history with a cutting-edge party scene centered around a massive pool and bar. A terrific casual restaurant is open 24 hours, and service is surprisingly good. The rooms, though well designed, are smaller than average for L.A.
Hotel: Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza Location: Downtown, Los Angeles Prices for the night: $329-$379 This 453-room luxury hotel caters largely to business travelers and other adults, but it's spacious standard rooms, heated lap pool, and proximity to attractions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art make it a sleeper choice for families who can afford it.
Hotel: Sunset Tower - Argyle Location: Hollywood/West Hollywood, Los Angeles Prices for the night: $275-$425 A rejuvenated Sunset Strip landmark with just 74 rooms, the Art Deco Sunset Tower draws A-list celebrities and treats everyday guests like stars with impeccable service and a vibe that channels the glamorous history of Hollywood. Despite its small pool, the Tower is still a great value.
Hotel: Wilshire Grand Los Angeles Location: Downtown, Los Angeles Prices for the night: $228-$278 A veteran goliath with hundreds of rooms, a small shopping mall, loads of event space, and a wing of business offices, the Wilshire Grand doesn't have the fanciest digs in Los Angeles, but it's newly renovated and friendly, and the price is right.
Where to stay on Jan. 6 for the BCS National Championship:
Hotel: Sunset Tower - Argyle Location: Hollywood/West Hollywood, Los Angeles Prices for the night: $225 See above.
Hotel: Wilshire Grand Los Angeles Location: Downtown, Los Angeles Prices for the night: $135-$234 See above.
Hotel: Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens Location: Downtown, Los Angeles Prices for the night: $299-$314 This 434-room behemoth with a starchy personality and a somewhat undesirable downtown location was, as of October 2009, undergoing a massive renovation. Spacious rooms, two good restaurants, a tranquil, half-acre garden, and charming vestiges of its former life as a Japanese-owned hotel are all promising features, but even after the renovation it won't have a pool or spa.