Set back from the chaos of Hollywood Boulevard, the Highland Gardens hotel offers sleek mid-century digs to tourists and travelers who want to relax in style after a long day of sightseeing.
Situated on scenic Franklin drive, the Highland Gardens Hotel is a pleasing balance of Hollywood hubbub and hillside respite. The hotel is walking distance (or a short drive—come on, it’s L.A.) from the Walk of Fame and other tourism favorites, and boasts a star-studded past: Janis Joplin famously stayed in room 105, the closet of which is filled with Sharpie-scrawled messages from her fans. Despite its rock star history and proximity to tourist attractions, however, the Highland Gardens is surprisingly serene. The hotel’s decor is chic and welcoming, with airy glass-and- steel architecture and modernist design touches throughout the complex. Rooms are streamlined but comfortable, with amenities like free wifi, high-def TVs and complimentary toiletries. Suites offer fully equipped kitchens, and all guests have access to the Highland Gardens’ laundry facilities and outdoor pool. What makes this hotel especially rejuvenating is its namesake gardens: during summer, the property explodes with fragrant and colorful blooms, making this a unique and romantic spot that’s a few steps above your typical tourist trap.
Location: The Highland gardens is close to tourism must-sees like Mann’s Chinese Theater and Madame Tussaud’s, as well as hiking and relaxing in verdant Runyon Canyon park. If you want to explore beyond the neighborhood, head to the nearby Hollywood/Highland metro stop, where you can hop a train to Downtown, the beach and beyond.
Museum of Broken Relationships: This unique museum displays discarded relics of lost love that are alternately funny, tender, sad or all three. Whether you bring a date is up to you.
Hollywood Walk of Fame: If you’re booking here, there’s a good chance you were already planning on visiting the Walk of Fame. It’s a bit hokey (and incredibly crowded) but a stroll down the star-studded boulevard is palpable with glamour and history, too.
Musso & Frank Grill: No Hollywood best-of list would be complete without the neighborhood’s oldest and most famous steakhouse. Make like the stars of yore—Charlie Chaplin was a regular—and grab a martini, a steak and side of house-made sourdough bread.
Running Goose: This Cahuenga Boulevard restaurant serves up flavorful Central American small plates—think cactus salad, ricotta tamale dumplings, and a slew of tostadas—in a mellow garden set back from Hollywood’s hustle and bustle.
Good for: The Highland Garden Hotel’s location makes it a natural choice for tourists, while the hotel’s hillside views, artsy atmosphere and lush gardens make it a solid choice for a romantic weekend getaway. Full kitchens and self-service laundry provide booking incentive to extended stay travelers, as well.
Amenities: Pool, free wifi, concierge
Time Out tip: Book directly for the best rates possible—the hotel promises to beat the price of any other travel site if you plan your stay through their website or via phone.