Close proximity to Hollywood isn’t the only selling point here: vibrant, mountain chalet-inspired rooms, a 1960s-themed diner, and a healthy dose of old Hollywood memorabilia help this humble chain win the stamp of approval from foodies, culture snobs, and design critics alike.
With an upbeat spirit and eye-catching old Hollywood decor, this Best Western Plus wins the award for budget hotel most likely to charm your pants off. On the side of the building, a bright mural depicting a giant turquoise coffee mug has the tagline “Last cappuccino before the 101,” and you’d be tempted to pull over just to see what all the fuss is about. Upon entering, over a hundred autographed portraits of famous Hollywood actors line the hallways, making the lobby pulse with Tinseltown lore. Rooms are surprisingly chic and full of character, with knotty pine walls, headboards wrapped in cow hide (with matching cow spotted armchairs), and granite-top bathroom sinks. Admittedly small, the themed rooms and suites all yield at least one conversation piece (a throw pillow embroidered with a dog, a pair of bull horns fastened to the wall), ensuring a modicum of entertainment even before you switch the TV on. Each unit has a kitchenette (sink, microwave, coffeemaker), AC, and iPod docking station. The courtyard pool in the center of the complex showcases the building’s bright exterior, which is painted in sunny shades of turquoise, yellow and gray.
Location: Slightly east of Hollywood, the Best Western Plus sits on Franklin Avenue, which bursts with funky coffeeshops, an ice cream parlor, and several good options for late-night activity. It’s two blocks from the 101 freeway, and half a mile from the nearest metro station, Hollywood/Vine.
Museum of Death: Intense and macabre, this Hollywood museum, which is an 8-minute walk from the hotel, doesn’t flinch at life’s inevitable end. There are grisly Charles Manson and Black Dahlia crime photos and actual death videos. Visitors pass out so regularly that owners have taken to calling it a “falling down ovation.”
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Franklin: Five blocks from the hotel, UCB offers three or four shows per night across a variety of disciplines: there’s stand up, improv, sketch and off-kilter comedy—not to mention the consistently star-studded Comedy Bang Bang (Tuesdays, 8:30pm), where you might find Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari and Patton Oswalt on the same bill.
Griffith Observatory: One of the city’s must-see attractions, this iconic mountainside viewing station sits 3.8 miles from the hotel. In addition to offering startling views over LA, its exhibits, planetarium shows, and heaving pendulum make it worth a visit.
Birds: A 5-minute walk from the hotel, this divey neighborhood bar has decent food, fun bartenders and regular events.
Good for: Design lovers will get a kick out of the rustic, mountain chalet-inspired rooms, which are pulled off with a playfulness usually seen in more exclusive boutique hotels. Whether you’re a couple or a group of friends, the hotel’s relaxed, colorful vibe goes a long way to put guests in the vacation mood.
Amenities: pool, free Wi-Fi, restaurant, bar, gym
Time Out tip: Though technically not managed by the hotel, the adjoining diner, 101 Coffee Shop, is definitely where you’ll want to start your morning. Dating back to the 1960s, the restaurant has a long wooden counter with maroon swivel chairs and a chunky, laminated, all-day menu that tempts with silver dollar buttermilk pancakes, Cajun catfish and eggs, and a waffle brownie sundae for dessert. The best part? It stays open until 3am. No wonder Playboy named it one of the best late-night eats in America!
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6141 Franklin Ave
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