Yes, there are cheap hotels in Los Angeles worth a stay—plenty of them, actually, and with plenty of personality.
The Best Cheap Hotels in Los Angeles
From retired cruise ships to trendy residences in prime tourist locations, the best afforable hotels in L.A. are real and they’re spectacular.
Freehand Los Angeles
The reigning king of cheap hotels in L.A., downtown’s hostel-style Freehand offers rooms that are either private or shared, each with tidy decor by Roman & Williams. Staffers are friendly and helpful, and the views of the Los Angeles skyline are spectacular.
Amenities: A rooftop pool with an inviting James Beard-nominated bar (called Broken Shaker), free Wi-Fi, a daily happy hour, room service, to-go breakfast, bellman and concierge service, a 24-hour front desk, the trendy Exchange restaurant, Rudolph’s lobby bar, the Cafe Integral coffee bar, and curated special events.
Check Prices for Freehand Los Angeles in Los Angeles
Magic Castle Hotel
Among the best cheap hotels in Los Angeles is one that’s adjacent to a real-life magic castle. Hollywood’s Magic Castle is a private club and, as with many aspects of L.A., you need to know someone to get in. That is, unless you book the Magic Castle Hotel directly or via a travel agent. That gets you access to the upscale pre-show dinner, plus the intimate theater show put on by some of the world’s very best magicians. The motel-style property offers single rooms as well as suites, many with balconies overlooking the swimming pool.
Amenities: Free 24-hour snack bar, free laundry service (including folding and delivery), free continental breakfast, free soft serve ice cream and popsicles (requested via a poolside phone), a lending library of more than 100 DVDs, in-room DVD player, free Wi-Fi, kitchenettes in some rooms,
Tarocco toiletries, nightly turndown service, pillow-top mattress, in-room slippers and robes, and 24-hour concierge service.
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The Queen Mary Hotel
When you’re looking for cheap places to stay in Los Angeles, you might not think to look at the legendary Queen Mary—but you should. Cunard’s historic ocean liner launched from her native England in 1936 to carry celebrities and dignitaries back and forth across the Atlantic. Today, she’s permanently docked in the Long Beach Marina, a floating Art Deco-style hotel with 346 nautical staterooms, no two of which are exactly alike.
Amenities: Original 1930s artwork in each room, working porthole windows, 32-inch LCD flat-screen TVs, Serta pillow-top mattresses, three restaurants, shops, a gym, a 4D movie theater, a business center, the Queen Mary Spa, frequent special events, museum-style exhibits, educational tours, pet-friendly policies, and room service.
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If you’re looking for cheap hotels in L.A., consider Koreatown’s lovely Hotel Normandie, which was built in 1926 but meticulously restored in 2010. It manages to be charming and nostalgic but also hip and interesting, with beautifully appointed public spaces featuring grand chandeliers and pianos, and 91 guestrooms that serve as relaxing retreats.
Amenities: Complimentary daily breakfast and afternoon wine reception, C.O. Bigelow Apothecary bath amenities, free bottled water, 42-inch LG TV, laundry service, business services, concierge and bell services, amenities for dogs, fitness center, free virtual copies of the Los Angeles Times and USA Today, Le Comptoir restaurant, Cassell’s Hamburgers, the Normandie Club bar, and the Walker Inn bar.
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Mama Shelter, Los Angeles
Mama Shelter is one of the most fun affordable hotels in Los Angeles. The newish French-owned property, designed by Thierry Gaugain (a Philippe Starck protege) is vibrant and colorful, with spunky touches and whimsical art throughout. Seventy reasonably priced rooms span six stories, with a popular restaurant on the bottom floor, plus a rooftop bar offering views of the Hollywood sign.
Amenities: Comfy king beds, in-room iMac, free Wi-Fi, concierge services, a business nook, and a quirky selection of vending machines.
Check Prices for Mama Shelter Los Angeles in Los Angeles
You wouldn’t expect a Westin to be on a list of cheap places to stay in Los Angeles, and yet here it is. In a prime Pasadena location, this 350-room Starwood hotel has a prime Pasadena location, a palette of warm tones, and very comfortable rooms with understated decor.
Amenities: Westin Heavenly beds, plush bathrobes, 42-inch flat screen TV, in-room spa treatments and fitness equipment available, fitness center overlooking the mountains, heated outdoor pool, laundry and dry cleaning service, gift bag for kids, in-room babysitting, pet-friendly policies, free shuttle service within a mile, gift shop, business center, concierge services, and the Ventanas restaurant and bar.
Check Prices for The Westin Pasadena in Pasadena
Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles
In its Roaring Twenties heyday, you’d never guess that the Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles would eventually become one of the more affordable hotels in Los Angeles. Downstairs, its ornate elegance is right out of an epic movie. Upstairs, the 683 guestrooms have been renovated to a more modern style. The historic hotel, which has played host to eight Academy Awards ceremonies (in fact, the Academy was founded right in the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom), is centrally located in downtown’s Pershing Square.
Amenities: Smart TVs, a fitness center with sauna and steam room, a Roman-style swimming pool, a children’s program, dry cleaning and laundry service, two restaurants, and a cognac bar.
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Sea Shore Motel, Santa Monica
There aren’t many cheap hotels in Los Angeles near the beach, but the Sea Shore Motel is affordable and a two-block walk from the sand. Owned and run by the same family since 1972, staffers are friendly and welcoming, rooms are extremely clean, and the digs are comfortable and laid-back.
Amenities: Free parking and Wi-Fi, some rooms have full kitchen and balconies, beach gear to borrow, laundry service, and pet-friendly policies.
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Immediately identifiable by its tall, cylindrical exterior right off the freeway, Hotel Angeleno literally stands out amid the affordable hotels in Los Angeles. With modern stylings, newly renovated rooms enhanced with mood lighting, and a no-gratuity policy that lets you “skip the tip,” this is one of the most inviting cheap hotels in L.A.
Amenities: Each guest room has a private balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows, Bluetooth streaming media hubs, Lather brand toiletries, plush bathrobes, and free Wi-Fi. Rates also include a daily wine hour, access to the outdoor pool and cocktail lounge, gym, 24-hour business center, 24-hour room service, lobby cafe, penthouse-level restaurant and bar, and car service within a three-mile radius (including to the UCLA campus)—or you can charge an Uber directly to your room.
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– Original reporting by Avital Andrews