After staying two nights at the Royal Pagoda motel just a block or two away, we moved to this hotel because we couldn't get anymore nights at the other one. Also, the rates were very good thru Expedia. Our stay was great. I was traveling with two of my friends, so we were three guys just vacationing in L.A.
The check-in (and check-out) were the worst experiences of the whole trip. There are a couple of kids working the desk that seem to just take their sweet time and don't acknowledge that another guest is waiting to be checked in. They're friendly enough, kind of quiet actually. But they are slow. Very slow. It took more than 15 minutes for the person in front of me to finish and then it took them at least 5 full minutes to check me in. They would always disappear to the back office and not reappear for several minutes. The check-out was almost as slow at the end of our stay. At check-in, the guy didn't give us the complimentary breakfast tickets as he gave to the other guest he checked in. That might be because we had a low rate thru Expedia, I don't know. When I asked, he only gave us one ticket each when we really needed two each for each day of our stay. A couple days later, when I needed a ticket, I went to the front desk and told them we had only gotten one each at check-in, and the person there gave me another ticket right away, so it wasn't that big a deal in the end; it was just unsettling at check-in to only get the one ticket each.
Aside from the slow and slightly unprofessional (but not very bad) check-in the hotel was a great place to stay. The hotel is in a small complex of shops and it is organized around a courtyard where the shops are. I thought this was a great arrangement. One of the shops in the courtyard serves the complimentary breakfast. They had good coffee, a few danishes, bagels, english muffins, some fruit, and the person at the counter would offer you a waffle when you hand in the ticket for the free breakfast. The waffle was good, nothing spectacular, but good. Same goes for everything else. I saw nothing that was "moldy" as another reviewer experienced. Everything seemed very fresh.
The room was a good size and had TV, a table with a couple chairs, a desk with its own chair, and free wireless internet. The internet was no problem, I just started up my laptop and was on the internet - no codes or passwords or anything. Worked great, too, helped us find a restaurant for dinner and a couple bars to hit afterwards.
The beds were good, bathroom was very good, no problems with shower or water pressure, no problems with drainage in the tub, everything was fine. It was very, very clean also. We even used the in-room coffee maker and that was great also. The sink was just outside the bathroom but still in a separated area and this was convenient as others could use the sink while someone else was showering.
The maids were very accommodating and they did a great job with the room, it was very clean. They were very friendly also. This hotel has all exterior corridors as others have mentioned; however, in this case, I found it to be a positive. It was nice to step outside and get some air (or for those who smoke, to smoke). All exterior corridors overlooked the courtyard which was nice. And, even though the hallways are outdoors, the elevator (which needs to be taken for any room) has a slide so that you must swipe your valid key card or else it won't go to your floor, so that added a level of security and helped put me a little more at ease.
The neighborhood is Chinatown. Even though it is part of downtown it is a very safe area. We never felt threatened or in danger at all. The people are nice and it's an interesting area. You can sightsee right in that neighborhood and there are interesting shops to visit and there is GREAT food. I'm used to Chinatown in NYC where we have great Chinese food, but L.A.'s chinatown is definitely just as good, if not better.
The parking is a weird situation. There is a parking garage under the hotel. The hotel will charge you $8 a night to park there, and from what I've heard they will require you "valet" park the car. My friends and I are not big on valets because we want to be able to just get in and go without waiting for some valet. So we didn't go with their parking. We parked on the street which was free and fine all weekend long. We parked overnight with no problems. During the day we were out and about so we didn't park there. On the Weekdays the meters kick in. Anyway, we parked for free at night every night on the street. On Monday morning when we were going to check out, I had to move the car by 8 AM. The garage that does the valet parking is open to the public and charges a flat $3 rate for the day, so I just moved the car there till we left later in the morning (no valet, it was self park).
Overall, it was a good stay. The room was much nicer than the Royal Pagoda nearby, and the rates were good but not as low as the Royal Pagoda.
Overall this is a simple hotel, and it's great for vacationers who aren't going to spend a ton of time in their hotel room.
If I traveled to L.A. on business I probably wouldn't stay here, at least not more than a night or two. I will definitely look to stay here again on my next vacation to L.A. though. Chinatown is a great location - it's safe, it's interesting, great food options (including bakeries that make awesome pastries for breakfast), and located near all the major freeways so you can easily get anywhere you want. Everywhere we wanted to go was only about 10 minutes away - Hollywood, Pasadena, Venice, etc.
I'd recommend this place to any of my friends and I will hopefully stay there again. The only thing is that I've noticed their rates to get pretty high, and at that point I'd considering staying in a nicer hotel like a Hilton or something. But for under $80 a night it's worth it.
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