The ongoing revitalization of L.A.'s downtown has made the area a destination for young tastemakers and international tourists, with new bars and restaurants alongside famed haunts, as well as attractions like Walt Disney Concert Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Grand Central Market. Here are the area's best value hotels, from a once-hip hotel that pioneered the return of cool to downtown, to a budget boutique with a very, very creepy past.
Though it is past its prime and now overlooked by the city's cool crowd, this 207-room hotel has a design that's still striking and decent prices. Even the smallest of its rooms boast giant windows, 14-foot desks, "show-all" glass showers, and queen-size beds. Unfortunately, the rooms haven't been renovated (or well maintained) since the hotel opened in 2002, and what might have once appeared as luxurious now just feels tired and partied out. But ultimately, it's still an excellent deal for young, low-budget travelers looking for a stellar downtown location, a nightlife scene, a rooftop swim with fantastic views of L.A. skyscrapers, and a late-night meal.
In the heart of downtown L.A. is the 116-room Kawada Hotel, with restaurants, the metro, bars, and shops within walking distance. Rooms are small and basic, with multicolor polyester bedspreads, and pale wood laminate furniture that blends in with the cream-colored walls and beige carpeting. Each room has a desk and flat-screen TV, and a dated kitchenette with two-burner stovetop, mini-fridge, metal sink, and coffeemaker. The windows are rather small but let in a good amount of light. Overall, though, the dated design is unappealing and unstylish. Additionally, guests complain about loud noise from the nightclub next door. Guests tend to be younger travelers on a budget, who don't mind the decidedly unglamorous vibe of the property.
When price is a priority, Stay on Main Hotel and Hostel delivers. Decor in the public spaces is attractive, particularly for the price. The 138-room high-rise offers a variety of accommodations from a single bed in a six-person dorm room to a private room either with either an en-suite or shared bathroom; most have colorful accents and quirky touches. But before checking in, know that this property has a history so dark, it inspired a season of "American Horror Story." Since its construction in 1927, the supposedly cursed hotel has housed two serial killers and been the scene of suicides and a recent mysterious death.