Don't Break the Bank: L.A.'s Top Budget Hotels

In the huge, sprawling metropolis known as Los Angeles, there are hotels and motels of every sort, from posh five-star resorts where celebrities can be spotted just about every time you get on the elevator all the way to tiny, off-the-beaten-track bed-and-breakfast jewels. It can be a challenge to choose the one place that serves all your needs, especially if you are on a limited budget. That's why this guide to the best budget hotels in the City of Angels is essential reading, for whether you're looking for a home base in Southern California where you can roll out of bed and put your feet straight into the sand, a place that's right in the heart of the downtown hustle and bustle or a welcoming spot to sleep that's in the heart of Hollywood's action. So think the Hotel Erwin by the beach in Venice; the Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza downtown; or the Magic Castle Hotel, which is steps away from the famed TCL Chinese Theater IMAX and El Capitan Theater. Those are all excellent choices for reasonably priced hotels, as are the others included here. The main consideration for choosing a hotel in L.A. should always be location, however, for staying in the part of town you need (and want) to be in for most of your visit is key. For the traffic here truly is as bad as you've heard, so be sure your hotel's location is close to where you want and need to be.


Hotel Erwin
Photo courtesy of Hotel Erwin

Venice Beach's tallest boutique hotel is the Hotel Erwin, but that doesn't mean this is a towering skyscraper. For with strict zoning regulations in place, most of Venice is a low-slung beach community filled with quirky inhabitants and visitors; that is, except for the 8-story Erwin. So be sure to check in to this budget-friendly beach hotel before sunset and then head up to the outdoor penthouse where the High Rooftop Lounge awaits. There you'll gasp at the incredible views (and get a good grasp of exactly where everything is actually located in the City of Angels). Look north to Santa Monica and Malibu; northeast to see Brentwood, Bel-Air and Beverly Hills; due east for Century City's skyscrapers and further east for downtown L.A.; and south to Marina del Rey, LAX and the South Bay. It's amazing, as are the nice rooms to be had here at a reasonable price.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: An oasis of calm amid Venice Beach's always exciting oceanfront community, the Erwin is a special place. And don't miss the rooftop bar!

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Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills
Photo courtesy of Hotel Palomar Los Angeles

At the Hotel Palomar, there's plenty to enjoy. A prime location on Wilshire Boulevard near UCLA, well-appointed rooms featuring free wireless and daily newspapers and even a nightly wine tasting from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Add in room rates that won't break the bank, a fitness center, heated swimming pool and free bicycle rentals for guests and this may just become your go-to place when visiting the City of Angels. Discover Blvd 16 during your stay, the hotel's bar-restaurant that serves up food and drinks from early morning to late at night. The bar is open until midnight, so plan a nightcap here to finish off your daily L.A. adventure in style.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: The Hotel Palomar's Skyline View guest rooms will make you feel like you've got all of L.A. at your command.

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With a perfectly central location, the Farmer's Daughter Hotel is a fun, slightly kitschy place just across the street from The Grove shopping center and the Original Farmer's Market. It's in the mid-Wilshire/Fairfax area, which means getting anywhere from Hollywood to downtown to Beverly Hills is a reasonably easy drive. The hotel has been around for decades, but with a complete renovation, it is a comfortable spot with a slightly country feel. There are plenty of terrific restaurants just across the way (try the Gumbo Pot and the Whisper Lounge, for starters), but Tart Restaurant at the hotel is worth a visit, too.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: Located in an excellent spot for ranging to many parts of the L.A. area, this hotel is pretty much 20 minutes from everywhere!

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Hermosa Beach
Hotel Hermosa
Photo courtesy of Jen Robinson

If it is pure beach vacation that draws you to Southern California, then head straight from LAX to the Hotel Hermosa. For while it is not beachfront, this comfortable hotel is right on the main drag (Pacific Coast Highway) in the South Bay, allowing you to roam from Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes and even down to Disneyland for an easy day trip. Add in that your room rate includes breakfast, wireless, parking, a swimming pool and fitness center and we're sure you'll agree that this is a real deal. Be sure to visit the Hermosa Pier area while visiting, where lively clubs, restaurants and Jay Leno's favorite stand-up spot (the Hermosa Comedy and Magic Club) beckon. Add Saint Rocke to your list, too, where terrific live music happens just about every night of the week, just a few blocks south of the hotel.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: There's no better place to have a real L. A. beach experience in SoCal than the South Bay; this hotel is a real bargain there.

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Hotel Angeleno
Photo courtesy of Hotel Angeleno

If your visit to the City of Angels involves travel from beach to downtown, Westside to the Valley, then the Hotel Angeleno is the perfect place to call home. Located just off the busy 405 freeway at Sunset Boulevard, the Hotel Angeleno's comfortable setting allows easy travel to the beach, the valley (where many of the movie studios are located) or downtown. Plus, the Getty Center is a stone's throw away, if art and culture are on your agenda; and UCLA's campus is a quick drive south. Well-appointed rooms, free valet parking for hotel guests and complementary wireless make this an excellent choice. Don't miss the views (or the food) from West Restaurant, especially at sunset.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: Modern, comfortable and well priced, the Hotel Angeleno is an ideal place to stay if the Westside and the beach are your primary L.A. destinations.

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Cadillac Hotel
Photo courtesy of Cadillac Hotel

It has been 100 years since the Cadillac Hotel began serving travelers who want the real California beach experience, and they are still making sure that each person has a trip to remember. That's pretty simple, considering that this reasonably priced hotel sits right on the famous Strand (in this stretch known as the Venice Boardwalk). Step across that concrete bike path and you're on the sand; or take a stroll and you're in the heart of the Venice Beach experience. Take a moment or two and you'll find Muscle Beach and the famous basketball courts. Rent bikes or standup paddle boards from one of the many local shops, and you can range north to Malibu or south to Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo beaches. Just remember that you have to ride back! Book early during high season (July to October), when the weather is glorious.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: With rooms looking out onto the Pacific Ocean, the SoCal beach experience doesn't get much better than this, and at a great price, too.

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Hotel Figueroa Downtown Los Angeles
Photo courtesy of Hotel Figueroa

The exotic Hotel Figueroa is one of downtown Los Angeles' special spots, a Moroccan-themed hideaway in the heart of the city. Housed in what was once the YWCA (built in 1925), the hotel is literally across the street from L.A. Live, Staples Center, the Grammy Museum and the Convention Center, making it perfect for those with business or pleasure plans (Lakers game, anyone?) in this bustling district. Expect to find rooms furnished to look like the Casbah, with tones of burnt sienna, yellow and orange, but to be right up to date with amenities and modern touches. Many rooms have full bathtubs and canopy beds; all have refrigerators and ample closet space.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: There is no better location for the price in downtown Los Angeles than the Hotel Figueroa. Walk to everything!

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Magic Castle Hotel
Photo courtesy of Magic Castle Hotel

Reasonable prices, with a Continental breakfast included, and free snacks (think "soda, candies, salty treats,"as they explain) all day and night make the Magic Castle Hotel an excellent home away from home. The comfortable basic rooms feature free wireless, refrigerator, coffee maker, DVD player, and even robes and slippers, making the Magic Castle Hotel a cut above other budget offerings in Los Angeles. And it is located just above the bustling section of Hollywood, steps away from the famed TCL Chinese Theater IMAX, Hollywood & Highland shopping center and the Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards are handed out each year. Plus, there's a heated swimming pool, turn-down service and the place is very kid friendly, which explains why the hotel keeps winning awards like the 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: Free popsicles by the pool on a hot day and free cookies before you go to bed make the Magic Castle Hotel a real winner.

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Hollywood Hotel-The Hotel of Hollywood
Photo courtesy of Hollywood Hotel The Hotel of Hollywood

Located slightly off the beaten path, the Hollywood Hotel's 130 rooms feature a quiet oasis in the heart of the crazy scene that is Hollywood. Amenities at the hotel include a free American hot breakfast every morning, a refrigerator and microwave in every room, free wireless Internet, a swimming pool, sauna and fitness center. The 1160 Bar & Lounge is a nice place to unwind; on Monday and Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m., you'll find a free comedy stand-up show there, led by funnyman Jeff Hilliard. And while having a car is usually key to getting around Los Angeles, there is a Metro Red Line stop just steps from the hotel, so getting around the city is a snap.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: Proximity to Hollywood's famous sightseeing spots, a easy walk to the Metro and free breakfast make this centrally located hotel hard to beat for value.

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Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza
Photo courtesy of Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza

The recently renovated Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza boasts 452 guest rooms and suites, a heated outdoor lap pool, Noé, a lovely restaurant with an outdoor patio overlooking the city and more, all to be had for a very reasonable room rate. Located on the city's historic Bunker Hill, the Omni is within walking distance of some of L.A.'s top cultural landmarks, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Mark Taper and the Ahmanson theaters; and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is also nearby. Staples Center, the Nokia Theater and L.A. Live are close by, too, as are plenty of top-notch restaurants. The hotel has a 4-Diamond AAA rating.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: One of the most reasonably priced downtown Los Angeles hotels, the Omni also offers pool, spa and fitness center.

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Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny