Family Travel Forum’s guide to some of the best kid-friendly lodging in the Hollywood and Beverly Hills neighborhoods of central Los Angeles, California.
We love the variety in central Los Angeles — from the La Brea-Fairfax area of thrift shops and traditional Jewish/Israeli restaurants to the glamor of Beverly Hills. It’s a great area to introduce the kids to the multi-cultural and economically diverse heart of Los Angeles. However, this area’s major downside is the traffic that stands between you and a freeway.
Why Families should stay in Hollywood or Beverly Hills
Within the city’s large central core you can enjoy hip Korean cafes run by young Asians, wonderful fossil displays at the Page Museum at La Brea Tarpits (323/934-7243; 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90036) and the fine Los Angeles County Museum of Art (323/857-6000; 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, 90036).
Nearby are the Peterson Automotive Museum (323/930-2277; 6060 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, 90036), small boutiques, the Deco-inspired Miracle Mile and the colorful Farmers’ Market bordered by the state-of-the-art The Grove (323/900-8080; 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, 90036) shopping mall.
North and west of these streets is the heart of Hollywood with its myriad attractions for movie-lovers: the Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills, areas famed for their shopping and guided Starline Tours (800/959-3131) of celebrity homes. Don’t miss a meal at one of the Poquito Mas Baja Taco Stand outlets; their Qids Meals for Ninos and Petito Burritos are terrific. Overall, we find central Los Angeles is a surprisingly fun and pedestrian-friendly area to explore.
Four Favorite, Kid Friendly LA Hotels We Like A Lot
Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills
9400 West Olympic Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
800/670-6183 or 310/277-5221
Rates: $$-$$$ for one-bedroom suite
Today it leads the pack in a breed of trendy boutique hotels in the quiet lanes of Beverly Hills, but the Avalon actually is just the latest incarnation of the ca.1949 Beverly Carlton, a long-time popular choice among Hollywood visitors. Back in the day, they added an apartment building on Canon and an office tower on Beverly to complement rooms in their main building on Olympic Blvd. The Avalon’s 83 rooms now include Jr. Suites (some with two doubles and a nice eating/work area and kitchenette, some adjoining) and petite, one-bedroom suites. Each is a little different, all are comfortable and well designed with baby blue leather furniture. The Canon rooms, with their tiny patios, are our favorite. The main building boasts a vintage hourglass-shaped pool surrounded by full service cabanas, fitness studio with the latest machines, and easy access to the free computer at the front desk (there’s a charge for in-room WiFi), morning coffee setup and comfy lobby. The chic Italian restaurant serves indoors and out year round, with firepits for hardy diners. We hear there’s free poolside yoga on Saturday mornings, and that it will all be handicap-accessible by 2013. See more of the Avalon in our video:
Le Montrose Suite Hotel
900 Hammond Street
West Hollywood, CA 90069
800/776-0666 or 310/855-1115
Rates: $$-$$$ for one-bedroom suite
Le Montrose is another one of those low-rise, West Hollywood, former-apartment buildings that have become stylish, long-stay and pet-welcoming hotels. Stocked with mineral water, fresh fruit and a helping of cookies, this is a good-value stopover. Almost all of the 132 attractively modern units with dark cherry paneling, chic furnishings and other mid-century accents, have a living room with fireplace, kitchenette, 52″ plasma TV with presentation capabilities, WiFi and one or two bedrooms with all the features of an apartment (smaller junior suites are available too). It’s especially accommodating for those traveling with infants and toddlers because its convenient location permits returning for a nap from almost any tourist attraction. Another plus: some of the city’s top supermarkets, café bars and bookstores are within a stroll away. The small kidney-shaped rooftop pool will only satisfy kids and avid sun worshipers, but the shaded cabanas and poolside dining, making it an even more pleasant space for the kids to chill.
The Loews Hollywood Hotel & Spa
1755 North Highland Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028
This 22-story, 600+ room luxury hotel opened as a Marriott in 2001 above the garish Hollywood and Highland Mall, and was taken over by the very family-friendly Loews Hotel chain in 2012. If you want to sleep atop the home of the annual Academy Awards ceremony (the Kodak Theatre is part of the ground-floor mall), and have views of the Hollywood sign, this is your pick. Refreshingly, the hotel has better taste than its surroundings, using blond woods, boldly colored fabrics, 50s style furnishings and amenities such as an iPod docking station, WiFi, coffeemaker and mini bar to make you feel fashionably at home. The Loews Loves Kids and Teens programs enable parents to take advantage of lending libraries of games and DVD players, baby-proofing kits, special healthy kids’ menus, music downloads, local tour information and more. You can’t promise the kids you’ll see any stars more lively than the ones along the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, but you’ll certainly meet a lot of families and conventioneers in love with movies. There is a rooftop pool (probably too chilly in winter to swim), free cribs or rollaways, and childcare service on request, for a fee and with advance reservations.
Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
300 South Doheny Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Nestled on the drive which divides the city of Los Angeles from the city of Beverly Hills, the newly renovated, beige-on-greige Four Seasons is one of this luxe chain’s showpieces. The 285 expansive, tastefully furnished and very posh rooms have tiny balconies overlooking the hills above Sunset Blvd and the busy LA flatlands. Kids will find mini bathrobes, great kids menus, child-proofing guards, lots of welcome amenities and dedicated concierge advice, but you’ve come for the service, after all. And they dish it out, from the Evian cooling spritz-mists at the 4th-floor pool deck — where the water is kept at 79–81ºF (26–27ºC) year round — to the lovely Culina outdoor cafe and tissue-stuffed laundry. What fun to have access to a full-service spa, gourmet cuisine, babysitting services, and the latest in fitness equipment at the open-air, climate-controlled gym. Big pluses include the Hollywood Who’s Who staying overnight or just visiting and the lush ambiance, which creates a “hideaway” feel in the big city.
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