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Where to stay, taking 18 yo niece to LA, mostly Hollywood

Where to stay, taking 18 yo niece to LA, mostly Hollywood

Old May 18, 2024, 3:19 am
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Where to stay, taking 18 yo niece to LA, mostly Hollywood

Hi all, I'm looking for neighborhood and hotel recommendations for trip to LA in mid-July.

As a high school graduation gift, I'm taking my 18 year old niece to LA for 4 nights. She's from a small town in PA, and aside from a 3 day trip to NYC with my sister, has never been to a big city. Much of what we'll be doing will be in or near Hollywood, and part of me would like to stay there, as my own experiences in LA have shown that you can spend more time in traffic than visiting the city. But safety is a big factor for me in hotel location, and based on my research, I'm thinking that West Hollywood will be a better location. I have been saving up for this trip, so I can afford a more expensive hotel than I would normally stay at.

We need a room with 2 beds, and I'd prefer to get a suite if that's available. My preferred hotel chain is Hyatt, and the Andez West Hollywood may be a good option. But I'm not wedded to Hyatt, or even West Hollywood. What's important is that we have a good experience. Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old May 18, 2024, 1:06 pm
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I have stayed at Hyatt Andaz and I believe it would be an excellent choice. Many options InW. Hollywood for dining and shopping.
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Old May 18, 2024, 1:11 pm
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The Andez West Hollywood is a good choice. I would also recommend the SLS or Four Seasons at Beverly Hills as they are both centrally located. You can walk to the Beverly Center, close proximity to the shops on Melrose, 2 miles from Sunset Strip, and 1 mile from the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Not to mention, there are fantastic restaurants in the area as well. Enjoy the trip!
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Old May 18, 2024, 11:37 pm
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Thanks to both!

I also started looking at Kimpton La Peer WH and Beverly Hilton. I'm partial to Hyatts generally speaking, but not wedded to them. tls
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Old May 20, 2024, 11:42 pm
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What a fun trip for her. I get not wanting to spend time in traffic but I am wondering what activities you will be doing in Hollywood. 18 yr old girls are shoppers & no shopping in Hollywood. It is actually a bit seedy so you are smart to look in Weho & elsewhere.
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Old May 21, 2024, 1:19 am
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My favorite place to stay in LA is The Shay, a Hyatt. Culver City is close to most of the attractions, much safer, and the hotel itself is very nice and comfortable.

Recommend The Getty, LACMA, check out Venice and Santa Monica, and a burger at The Apple Pan.
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Old May 21, 2024, 5:31 am
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Thanks all, my niece wants to see the movie studios, see the walk of fame, and go see the Hollywood sign. And other things too, but more are located in the Hollywood area than elsewhere. I've definitely decided not to stay in Hollywood itself, but West Hollywood is possible. Thanks for the recommendation the Shay, I will take a look. tls
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Old May 21, 2024, 11:57 am
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Looks like you have a typical first time visitor agendas so WeHo is a good spot. Andaz is right on Sunset which is cool but it maybe a bit noisy if you want a good night sleep. Kimpton La Peer is in a quieter part of town but either one is fine. The Shay is a relatively new hotel so I don't know much about it but it is right next to Metro station which is useful for visiting certain locations (e.g. Santa Monica or Science Center - see below). Generally speaking you have the right idea on where to stay.

Try to work these things into your plan if possible:
  • Griffith Observatory (you can see Hollywood sign)
  • Petersen Automotive Museum - it's not just for car people... they have cars from the movies and TV show and also put LA's car dependency culture in context
  • Science Center - to see the Space Shuttle and a reminder when we used to make stuff happen
  • The Getty - the art is ok but the view is the main reason to visit
  • Pick a beach, any beach. Santa Monica is the popular spot for first time visitors
  • Warner studio tour - this one is better than the fake tour you get at Universal with general admission
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Old May 22, 2024, 3:36 am
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Originally Posted by thelostshark
Thanks all, my niece wants to see the movie studios, see the walk of fame, and go see the Hollywood sign. And other things too, but more are located in the Hollywood area than elsewhere. I've definitely decided not to stay in Hollywood itself, but West Hollywood is possible. Thanks for the recommendation the Shay, I will take a look. tls
All of that can be in one day, or two days at the most.
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Old May 22, 2024, 5:33 am
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Since the original post (OP) says they will be there four nights, perhaps one of the suggestions above in Posts # 3, 6 & 8 will provide additional inspiration.

Which of these possibilities are physically closest to Hollywood? (Other than the last in Post # 8, of course.) Riding the Metro might also be a memorable experience.

Last edited by SPN Lifer; May 22, 2024 at 5:40 am
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Old May 23, 2024, 1:45 am
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Originally Posted by thelostshark
Thanks all, my niece wants to see the movie studios, see the walk of fame, and go see the Hollywood sign. And other things too, but more are located in the Hollywood area than elsewhere. I've definitely decided not to stay in Hollywood itself, but West Hollywood is possible. Thanks for the recommendation the Shay, I will take a look. tls
The walk of fame might be the second most underwhelming tourist attraction on earth, after the worlds largest ball of yarn. Or it might be first. Once you're in Hollywood you kind of see it by default, but it just becomes background pretty quickly. The sign is ok, just because Griffith Park is nice. Weho is a good call for where to stay - it's much more of a destination for locals to do things. I always recommend the Tar Pits/Page Museum. Hancock Park is very pleasant to wander around on a nice day, with patches of oil seeping up out of the ground in sort of random spots, which is just not what you expect coming from the midwest. The museum is small and you can get through it in an hour or two, but the stuff that's there is very cool and very local. LACMA is right next door and could take as much time as you want to spend in an art museum.

Depending on how much she's into alt stuff, the Museum of Jurassic Technology could be good. It's basically a big curated flea circus. Some family members took my mom there and she couldn't stop talking about it (and not because she thought it was great). But she'd been to a lot of big, well known art museums and exhibits, and never really talked about any of them for more than a few days or maybe a week after going. She'd go on about the Jurassic museum years later. So it had exactly the desired effect of a good museum.

And if she's into music, there are a lot of small music clubs and theaters that are generally not expensive, even for major acts, and there are lots of shows that are 18+ or even all ages. Every band that's ever existed and still has at least one living member still plays in LA occasionally, and shows tend not to run that late (and even less late post covid - shows are starting crazy early now). You'll get better bang for your buck for shows in Echo Park/Highland Park/Silverlake, but the Hollywood area venues don't have outrageous pricing, and it's still way less than you'd pay at a stadium show (or the Bowl) and you're a lot closer to the performance. (and it's also not weird for adults to go with their kids - I know families that go to shows together because they share tastes. Sometimes the kids will go up front to the mosh pit if there is one, while the parents hang back.)
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Old May 23, 2024, 7:06 am
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Beverley Hills is a very nice place to stay, and to walk around. I stayed at the Residence Inn, it was very good. Sign up for some TV shows. My wife loves The Price is. Right, she has been several times, we went together to Jimmy Kimmel. They are free, you just have to sign up and get picked. The Brea tar pits are a great place to visit, quite unusual in the middle of a big city.
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Old May 24, 2024, 1:13 am
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Just a warning---> the LA Art Museum (LACMA) is undergoing major reconstruction now. I would not recommend visiting it.

The La Brea tar pits are unique...a bubbling lake of tar in an urban area with tar even oozing out onto sidewalks. Great for archeology fans.

In that same area is the Motion Picture museum, which gets such poor reviews that we have not been inside. Eventually its displays will be completed and it may be worth a visit.

The Peterson car museum is one of the best in the world. Be sure to pay extra for the "vault" tour, a guided tour of the basement floor containing many interesting cars.

I would recommend staying at the beach in the summer in LA. The weather will be better than it will inland and there's lots to do. At 18, your niece can take in a comedy show at the famous Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. Jay Leno appears almost every Sunday. Get tickets well in advance.
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Old May 24, 2024, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by dlaue
Just a warning---> the LA Art Museum (LACMA) is undergoing major reconstruction now. I would not recommend visiting it.

The La Brea tar pits are unique...a bubbling lake of tar in an urban area with tar even oozing out onto sidewalks. Great for archeology fans.

In that same area is the Motion Picture museum, which gets such poor reviews that we have not been inside. Eventually its displays will be completed and it may be worth a visit.

The Peterson car museum is one of the best in the world. Be sure to pay extra for the "vault" tour, a guided tour of the basement floor containing many interesting cars.

I would recommend staying at the beach in the summer in LA. The weather will be better than it will inland and there's lots to do. At 18, your niece can take in a comedy show at the famous Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. Jay Leno appears almost every Sunday. Get tickets well in advance.
Actually we get a heavy marine layer here at the beach for most of the summer while a little bit inland is always clear. That's not to say it isn't a great place to stay. It is still warm and scenic and fun. Bikes can be rented for a ride along the beach bike paths.
I have been to the Motion Picture museum and was not impressed. I don't think an 18 year old would be interested at all. I have heard the Warner Brothers tour is decent although it might be a bit out of the way to get to.
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Old May 24, 2024, 8:00 pm
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I think Sunset Strip (i.e. Andaz or other hotels right there) are the best place to stay for a first time tourist.

La Peer, or the Beverly Hills options, or going down La Cienaga to the Sofitel or SLS are pretty central too -- but I think better for 2nd + visits. Same for the The Shay -- very central, on metro, and has several food options right there in Culver City but more a recommendation I would give a business traveler vs. a 1st time tourist.

La Brea tarpits are definitely worth a visit. Do make it out here to the Santa Monica pier! There are some cool downtown LA walking tours that might be of interest.
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