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Where to Crash After a Late Night Downtown

By Michael F. Robleto
Published: Wednesday, October 06, 2010, at 04:09PM
O Hotel Lobby Michael F. Robleto

Inside the lobby and bar of the O Hotel

One of the great moments of Downtown L.A. pride is having friends, distant or not so distant, join in your exploration of our city’s nightlife. Traipsing from bar to bar, having friends see Downtown living through your eyes--as goggled as they may be as the night wears on. One of the great pleasures of living in Downtown L.A. is the fact that we can have a unhindered night out of drinking sans the worry of getting behind the wheel. Out-of-towners can end the night to begin sobering up for the haul home, continue cocktail exploration and crash on your couch/floor/bathtub, or they can venture into the costly expense of a hotel room.

High-end hotels like the gorgeous new JW Marriott or the Biltmore don’t make a lot of sense for a late-night, last-minute crash pad, but the not as well-known Downtown locations listed below do. All of the following rooms came in under $150 for a Friday one-night stay.

Cecil Hotel

Hands down the most ‘divey’ of the hotels you will find in this list. Situated in a historic building, this hotel could be considered truly a last choice when sleeping in the back of your Prius is not an option.

The hotel is part extended housing, so the crowd can be a bit sketchy. Rooms are bare bones, including ceiling fans instead of A/C and the minimum in bedding. Some rooms are based on communal bathrooms/showers so be sure to inquire before booking. Standard Queen room is $55. 640 S. Main, 213-624-4545

Hotel Figueroa

This historic landmark dates back to 1925 when it first opened as a YWCA. Much hasn’t changed since its conversion in the depression era to a hotel. The rooms are spacious, yet modern amenities are not present. The overwhelming Moroccan design is ever-present, so much that it feels a bit kitschy, but sometimes that can be fun. The back of the hotel features a massive pool that is generally reserved for guests as well as a poolside bar, making an ideal hangover cure. The super-close proximity to the Staples Center and Nokia Live makes this a solid choice if our guests’ night out involves a concert or a show. However be prepared for their complaints about the noisy old-school A/C units. King bed room rate starts at $148. 909 S. Figueroa, 213-627-8971

Kawada Hotel

One of the recommended hotels for those serving on jury duty, the Kawada has very modest rooms that tend to be on the smaller side. But, being that this is a guide on where to crash out late at night, and not a guide for honeymoon rooms, it is an ideal suggestion. The staff is friendly and the hotel is only a block away from Disney Hall. Rooms include kitchenettes, but one best hangover cure would be a quick stroll to Grand Central Market for some traditional Mexican soup called pasole. Request a room with a balcony for some historic charm and cool Downtown views. Room rates $109.00 200 S. Hill, 213-621-4455

L.A. Athletic Club

Another hidden gem of Downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Athletic Club features a full-blown hotel that might slip past your radar. This historic building features 72 hotel rooms along with a massive gym packed with modern equipment and an Olympic size lap pool.

The hotel rooms have been recently updated and earn high praise for being extremely comfortable and high class. Rooms feature many amenities including a large flat screen TV, mini fridge, safe, and an alarm clock with an iPod dock. Roaming the hotel you will definitely experience the old-school vibe through the extensive wood paneling and historic portraits of former club members. In fact, it’s so old-school that it was recently a setting for a recent episode of Mad Men.

Best of all, the Athletic Club is a stone’s throw from Seven Grand ,which could well be the reason for your impromptu overnight stay. Stay includes complimentary breakfast. Queen rooms specials start at $145.00. 431 W. 7th, 213-625-2211

Miyako Grand

This Japanese-owned hotel features many of the traditional cultural elements one would think of: friendly and very professional staff, immaculate hotel upkeep and very sanitary rooms. Rooms feature modern flat screen TV’s, down pillows, bidets in the bathrooms as well as a stock of high-end Aveda products (your female guests will love this). Located in the heart of Little Tokyo, the Miyako is the highest-rated hotel in this story. Standard king bed room start at $149.00 per night. 328 E. 1st, 213-617-2000

O Hotel

This boutique hotel scores high points with locals for the chic décor, free WIFI and the cool bar/restaurant in the lobby. Rooms are cozy, very clean and reminiscent of something you would see in Manhattan. An ideal hotel choice for those snobby friends that think Downtown is “sketchy.” Tip: ask for a room on the Flower Street side of the hotel for cools views of Downtown. If having guests is a regular thing for you, look into the Stash rewards program the hotel offers for even deeper deals. Room rate: Deluxe room with one queen size bed: $143.00, but the O Hotel is willing to match some online prices. If you see something cheaper, just call when making the reservation. 819 S. Flower, 213-623-9904

Ritz Milner Hotel

Next door to the O Hotel sits the historic Ritz Milner. While it shares no resemblance to Downtown’s other Ritz, this boutique hotel is a regular choice by locals due to the extreme value. Rooms are very affordable, yet on the smaller and no frills side. The hotel features a cool dive bar in the back (affectionately called the Back Door Pub). Hotel offers free WIFI and gets high marks for being clean. Rooms start at $68. 813 S. Flower, 213-627-6981


Stay is a newer hotel concept tucked inside the Hotel Cecil that melds the affordability of hostels with the modern appeal of a boutique hotel. Depending on how much money you have left from boozing in Downtown, you can opt for communal rooms with shared showers/toilets for a very low price or you can move up the menu to a full private room and private bath. Rooms feature small screen TVs (think slightly larger than iPad size) and a décor that is straight out of IKEA. Flexible pricing and close proximity to the bars earn high points in this guide. Tip: Opt for rooms away from communal showers to lessen traffic noise. Private queen bedroom with private bath is $75. 636 S. Main, 213-213-7829

Have your own guest stay tips? Share them in the comments.


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