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The best budget hotels in Los Angeles

Book a stay at one of L.A.'s budget hotels for that perfect range between cheap and chewing a hole in your wallet

Photograph: Courtesy Hotel Beverly Terrace

Hotels can run from uber expensive to super cheap—but even some of the best hotels in Los Angeles are easily affordable. These budget-friendly options will let you save your cash for touring by day and nights on the town.

Budget hotels in L.A.

Mama Shelter LA

"Just like how mama used to make it" is the sentiment behind the restaurant at this Hollywood hotel's restaurant, and it's a theme that runs throughout the building. It's centrally located without being caught in the Walk of Fame's overwhelming mess. If you're going to stay in Hollywood, stay here—that it's budget-friendly is an added bonus.

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Hollywood

The Line

With floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an expansive view of the city, food and drink by L.A.'s Roy Choi and a lounge by natives Mark and Jonnie Houston, The Line Hotel lives and breathes Los Angeles. With modern furnishings, numerous restaurants (including one in a greenhouse), a lifestyle boutiqute and free yoga on Saturdays, we don't blame you for never leaving.

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Koreatown
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The Garland

Stepping in front of a roaring fire in the wood-paneled lobby at The Garland is a welcome treat indeed. The 7-acre former Howard Johnson property has lived through its share of remakes, though current owners have embraced, rather than disparaged, the hotel’s schmaltzy Tinseltown vibe (that’s no accident, either—the name references Beverly Garland, a small-time TV actress who also happens to be the owner’s son). Make a beeline to late-night happy hour (10-midnight on weekdays; 10pm-1am Friday and Saturday) for tuna tartare and $4 beers, served alfresco at the intimate Front Yard bar. Ride the free shuttle to Universal Studios. Or just unwind in your room—the bright, 70s-style design perfectly frames the garden views from your private patio or balcony.

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Studio City

Farmer's Daughter

Recommended

You can tell instantly that this was once a basic motel. It's a credit to the new owners of the gingham-giddy Farmer's Daughter that it feels pretty fresh. The rooms have been duded up in blue and yellow checks and denim bedspreads; farm and barnyard humour abounds. Other amenities include a DVD library at the front desk, a small pool and Tart, which serves good ol' country cooking for breakfast and lunch. The rates are higher than they should be given the amenities. However, you could say the same about countless other hotels in the city, including many with far worse locations: this one is right by the Farmers Market and the Grove.

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Fairfax District
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Bayside Hotel

This unpretentious hotel underwent decorative renovations recently. Although it's still modestly furnished, it offers something most other Santa Monica hotels don't: free parking. Rates are reasonable, and advance reservations will secure a clean, comfortable room with an ocean view. One appealing feature is the retro blade sign on the corner, which harks back to the days when Santa Monica truly was a laid-back beach town at the end of Route 66.

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Santa Monica

Hilton Los Angeles Universal City

It’s easy to spot this silvery Hilton; it sits directly across from the entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood. In fact, with close to 500 rooms and a massive buffet-style restaurant built inside the soaring atrium, there’s nothing inconspicuous about this place. Rooms are tastefully done in cream and mahogany (many have stunning views), and suites add extra comforts like a parlor and a chaise lounge. The hotel's many ammenities include a gym, pool, sight-seeing tours and more—plus, it's pet-friendly, meaning you can bring Fido along on vacation. Have a couple kids in tow (of course you do, you're staying near Universal)? Family packages are offered as well, along with cribs, a children's menu and weekly children's activities.

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Universal City
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The Orlando

The $5 million renovation brought a tasteful, straightforward aesthetic and cultured amenities. Done out in crisp white linens, with clutter conspicuous by its absence, the rooms aren't massive but they're not poky either; standout features include comfortable beds and iPod speaker systems (the latter in some rooms only). The property also boasts a sparkling saltwater rooftop pool and an adjacent trendy gastropub, the Churchill. And the location is excellent too, slap on pedestrian-friendly W 3rd St, lined with independent shops and restaurants, and within walking distance of the Farmers Market and the Grove.

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West Third Street

Venice Breeze Suites

Unostentatious yet fully modern, this affordable beachfront property functions more like an extended-stay boutique hotel. The handsome interiors, with exposed brick and plenty of natural light, perfectly compliment the kind of lazy-day-at-the-beach agenda that most travelers are here for (the hotel even supplies beach towels at no extra cost). And since every unit comes with a full kitchen (fridges, ovens, coffeemakers)—not to mention on-site washer and dryer machines—you’ll have the freedom to plan meals on your own schedule. The rooftop terrace, which has grills available for guest use, is another major perk, though you’ll have to supply your own meat and booze, so be sure to stop by the local grocery store on your way in.

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Venice
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Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills

You probably know 101 Coffee Shop as a cool, retro hangout that is open till 3am, but did you know that it's connected to the equally as cool and retro Best Western? The hotel is in a prime Hollywood location, minutes away from the Walk of Fame, Pantages, plenty of bars/restaurants and the very quaint Franklin Village. The lobby and rooms are adorned with photos of Old Hollywood, and there's an outdoor pool where you can get plenty of sunshine.

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Hollywood

Hotel Beverly Terrace

The rooms at the Beverly Terrace are smaller and less luxurious than other Beverly Hills hotels, but this mid-century spot does offer one of the best deals to be found in the area. Teak furniture and planted palms hint playfully towards a tropical getaway, while the decor in the rooms themselves (which aren't huge) is retro and minimal. Continental breakfast is included in the rates; Trattoria Amici, the hotel's restaurant, offers Cal-Italian cooking. There's also a small garden and a nice little pool.

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Beverly Hills
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Hilton Los Angeles North/Glendale

Glendale may not be known for its scenic vistas, but the mountain view from this hotel's top floor lounge is remarkable. The hotel is definitely geared more toward business travelers, but the golden-hued rooms are still inviting. Unfortunately, you'll have to pay for internet and breakfast, as well as $18 for parking.

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Glendale

Venice on the Beach Hotel

This oceanfront spot proves that staying on the beach doesn't have to come at a premium and saving a few bucks doesn't have to mean slumming it. Rooms are bright, clean and comfortable—which is all you really need when the sand is just a few steps away. Consider reserving one of the hotel's limited number of parking spots, lest you have to trek halfway across Venice to find a spot.

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Venice
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