Hotels I've Loved: The Garland, Los Angeles

I was back in LA this month to speak at a conference and meet with a few clients. Since most of my work was downtown, I opted to rent an AirBnB in that neighborhood for most of the trip. But for the last day, I switched over to a cute hotel in North Hollywood called The Garland.

Combining an AirBnB with a hotel is actually one of my favorite travel tips for longer stays. Apartment rentals are amazing because they are generally more affordable and give you access to things like kitchens and other home-like amenities, which are particularly useful during longer stays or work trips.

But the check-in/check-out process can sometimes be tricky. A little bit of coordination is usually required to get the keys in the first place. And apartments usually can't hold your luggage for you the way a hotel can, which is a problem when you get in much earlier or leave much later than the typical check-in/out time. (I have spent hours sitting around with my luggage in coffee shops everywhere from Miami to Sevilla to Edinburgh waiting for a key--trust me, it is NOT fun!)

This is why I like to switch over to a hotel for the last day. It allows me to be a little more relaxed and secure in the knowledge that my bags will be safe. This way I also have access to things like bathrooms for changing, showers, pool or fitness center, etc. which I can use until I'm ready to head to the airport.

My last day in LA was spent at The Garland, a retro-style hotel resort located near Universal Studios (and the Brady Bunch house!). An absolutely gorgeous space with that super cool classic Hollywood glamour vibe. I kept saying it felt like the sort of place where Don Draper would bring one of his mistresses for a weekend rendezvous.

Pops of orange fill the space from the hotel lobby to the rooms. There is a gorgeous pool (with a bar, obviously), a garden space, a fitness center, and a beautiful outdoor restaurant.

A complimentary trolley shuttles guests back and forth between the hotel and nearby attractions, and the staff are absolutely lovely. Throughout the day, staff would come around with little complementary treats like cold cucumber slices for your eyes, free ice pops for kids AND grown-ups, and small cups of frozen fruit.

They also have outdoor movie screenings and daily events like local walking tours, patio games, and yoga classes. Check out the schedule for their options at check-in.

The room rates are affordable (I snagged a deal at around $200 a night), as are the menu items. There were no additional resort fees or charges for internet which I especially appreciated.

Insider Tips:
  • The hotel was a little more family-friendly than I anticipated, which you may love or not. There were a lot of kids splashing around in the pool later in the afternoon/evening, though it was quieter during the day when the families were off at the nearby theme parks. I was a little annoyed by the splashing kids, but I know that if I were a parent (or a kid!) I would have loved it.
  • Dogs are also welcome! They offer treats and other goodies for dogs, and even have a special area where they can run around unleashed. (There is a nonrefundable deposit to bring along a dog, though that's pretty standard.)
  • A daily happy hour knocks the price of house wine and beer options to about $4 or $5 a glass, which is a fabulous deal.

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