LA Hotels Where There's More Than Meets the Eye

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Beverly Laurel Hotel | Photo courtesy of Chris Yarzab, Flickr

Although there are many luxury hotels in Los Angeles, as well as trendy LA boutique hotels, there are also plenty of options for travelers on a budget. These five value hotels are not only inexpensive and family-friendly, but they offer surprising perks and unique features, too.

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Mikado Hotel



Located adjacent to the 101 Freeway in North Hollywood, the Best Western Plus Mikado Hotel is only five miles from Universal Studios Hollywood, and minutes from the pedestrian-friendly action on Ventura Boulevard. From the outside, it appears as a simple two-story motel, but there are indeed pleasant surprises to be found. The lobby not only has unexpected Asian accents, but is also the home of Old Western bronze statuary by Frederic Remington. Gardens enliven the grounds, as does a picturesque red bridge, a koi pond and the remains of a rickshaw. Rates include a hot breakfast buffet, overnight parking and WiFi, and all rooms come standard with a fridge and microwave.

The Dixie Hollywood Hotel



Formerly a Days Inn, the Dixie is whistlin’ a whole different tune in its latest incarnation. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, it has retained its vintage, roadside lodging appeal, but is now spruced up with Hollywood scenes painted along the exterior walls, and white lights spiraling all the way up the palm trees in the parking lot. Guest room doors may even be decorated with animated film characters, and the mural-happy theme is continued along the shaded pool. Parking is free, as is WiFi, and rooms have a fridge and microwave, as well as modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, high thread-count sheets and even alpaca headboards.

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Jolly Roger Hotel



This motor lodge in Marina del Rey has been a favorite for international travelers since it opened in 1970. From the outside, it is recognizable by its slightly Scandinavian look and a rock waterfall bearing the hotel’s name. Among the many perks offered to guests include free parking, a complimentary continental breakfast served in the courtyard and free WiFi. For those traveling without a computer, access to one in the lobby allows for the printing of boarding passes and email access—also free of charge. Rooms include a microwave and refrigerator, and laundry facilities are located onsite. The pool is heated, and there is a Jacuzzi as well.

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The Metric Hotel



Located between MacArthur Park and Downtown LA, this family-run property has been in business since 1947. Its sign boasts the tagline, “where you feel at home,” and given its proximity to area apartments, the 10-unit building has an almost residential feel. Rooms have been updated with large flat screens and DirectTV, with more than 300 channels. There are compact fridges and microwaves, too. WiFi, local phone calls, and parking are all free. The staff has a great reputation for assisting with directions, and even printing out maps and boarding passes.

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Beverly Laurel Motor Hotel



Built in 1965, this motor lodge maintains its hip retro feel, while still keeping up to date with modern amenities. All of the rooms are located on several floors around the perimeter of the pool, and are stylishly decorated with glamorous photos of Old Hollywood and rock and roll memorabilia. Ten have full kitchens, and function like studio apartments, and all include a microwave and fridge. Parking is only $5 per night, and the location is about as central as one can get. Even many locals mistakenly believe that hipster diner Swingers is connected to the hotel, but it’s actually independently owned. Still, it’s convenient for a super-cheap breakfast—whether that’s first thing in the morning or at 2 a.m.