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“Hilton Checkers; a Dreadful Experience” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Checkers Los Angeles

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Hilton Checkers Los Angeles
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   535 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #53 of 324 Hotels in Los Angeles
GreenLeadersSilver level
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“Hilton Checkers; a Dreadful Experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2006

In December of 2005, we were booked into the Hilton Checkers Hotel in Los Angeles. Everything in this report is absolutely true and has not been exaggerated. We can see why our travel agent thought the hotel would be terrific. After we got home, we went to the hotel website and saw what she must have seen when she looked at it. The place looks gorgeous on the website. The actual hotel, however, is quite different from what is on the website. The exterior views on the website don't show the ground and the sidewalk outside the hotel. This is because there are drunks and vagrants sitting or sleeping on the sidewalk. The photo of the hotel lobby has been shot with a wide-angle lens to make the actual small, narrow room appear larger. The lobby shot has also been Photo Shopped to make it appear bright and well lighted and to make the marble floor look highly polished. The actual lobby is dark and dreary and has a marble floor that is dull and scuffed. There is even a cheap burgundy colored curtain on one side of the lobby to close off the bar, which is on the other side of the curtain. Is it perhaps against the law to be serving alcohol in a room where there will be children? This might account for the curtain. The mirror in the lobby that looks so bright and well polished is actually in need of having the back re-silvered and the frame is chipped and in need of a paint job. Most of the other photos on the website appear to have been shot with a wide-angle lens, too. If the lobby photo is any indication, the meeting rooms, bar, swimming pool, and restaurant probably don't look like the photos either. The room that we were given was dark, dreary, and not clean. Some time or other (probably not recently) someone had tried to dust the place. This was done with some sort of less than clean damp cloth. The streaks from the cloth were on all of the glass surfaces in the bedroom and bathroom. A film of dust was covering the streaks. The bathroom floor was downright dirty, as was the tub. The linens on the bed had seen better days. The curtains were absolutely filthy, with repulsive looking stains on them. There were also smudges of some sort of black colored stuff on the curtains. The furniture in the room was shabby and consisted of mismatched pieces. The desk chair was particularly old and cheap. Again, all of this differs radically from what is shown of the rooms on the hotel's website. The suite shown on the website looks lovely...and perhaps this suite actually exists at the hotel. Of course, it may have been Photo Shopped, too. The old, worn carpet in our room had stains on it. We wouldn't have wanted to walk on either the carpet or the bathroom floor in our bare feet. The dust in our room was terrible. I have allergies to dust and mold, so I was having trouble breathing within a couple of minutes after entering the room. Even my friend who was with me, who has no allergies, was having trouble breathing after we had been in there awhile. I'm sure that, even though we never ventured up to the rooftop bar, it doesn't look anything like the photo on the website either. The Checkers really has presented an incredibly false impression of the hotel on the website.

We called our travel agent from our room and told her what was going on. She found us a room at the downtown Marriott and we left the Checkers less than an hour after we checked in. Our travel agent also called the Checkers and told the desk clerk that we were checking out and why. We left less than an hour after we got there. At least we weren't charged any money.

We loved the downtown Marriott, on Figueroa Street, and stay there all the time now when we go to Los Angeles.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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699 reviews from our community

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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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claremont, california
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2006

Hilton Checkers is an unimposing hotel with a terrific location. My husband and I spent a weekend there, and found it not lacking in anything. The service (both front desk and doormen)were pleasant and helpful. The room was immaculatly clean... better than I have seen in more expensive hotels. All ammenities were as listed (Evelyn and Crabtree), had a hair dryer, coffee maker, iron, etc. The beds were the most comfortable I have ever slept in, in a hotel. We wanted a late check out, which they happily granted us.
We did not go to the rooftop pool, as we walked to the Bonaventure Hotel instead (about one block) and had a cocktail on the top floor revolving lounge and restaurant,(takes about 60 minutes for the full 360 degrees) with a beautiful view of the city. Also at the Bonaventure there are nearly two full floors of various restaurants, from quick Thai or Morrocan food to sit down Italian restaurants. The Los Angeles Public Library is next door to Checkers, and is well worth a visit. The "Dash" public bus takes you to the Fashion District (aka, Garmet District), and many other places, all for only 25 cents! The hotel is only a block from the jewelry district. Also, if travelling by train, the hotel is only a block from the Pershing Square exit on the Red Line. All in all, it was a pleasurable experience, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anybody.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2005

I stayed here for two nights and I was surprised that this hotel is a four star hotel. The lobby is very tiny and so was the room. The bathroom was pretty decent size and I liked it. The service was fine. I didn't feel it's a special place at all. Surprisingly they had a gov rate so I stayed there for $108/day (and I needed to stay in downtown) otherwise I wouldn't have stayed.

  • Stayed December 2005, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, CA
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2005

My wife and I stayed there on a Friday of the Thanksgiving weekend. This was our second visit, the first about a month prior in October. In our first visit we were pleased with the service. Our $129 a night room was a bit small but the bathroom was spacious and the bed was VERY comfy. When we found out they charge $26 bucks a day for parking our jaws dropped a bit. But I guess that's L.A. prices for you. I found the bar intimate and the server friendly.

On our second visit over Thanksgiving, $129 per night got us a bigger room this time but a smaller bathroom. This room had carpet dirt spots in the entry way. The staff wasn't as friendly has the first visit but they were still helpful in time of need. The room service was timely and the food was ok. I was dissapointed as with the 1st visit that the bar up on the roof was not open to serve us drinks, so we simply took our own drinks up there to enjoy the view.

I would probably stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2005

I stayed at the Hilton Checkers in October and found the carpets to be filthy and the service to be poor. The bar closed very early and I was directed to the Biltmore across the street, which is where I will be staying on my next visit to LA.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsauken, New Jersey
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2005

This was the first of 3 hotels that my friend at I stayed in during our recent / first trip to California. While shopping around for good deals and a nice place to stay, I had noticed that people are way more likely to write negative reviews than they are to point out the positives. So I knew that regardless of the quality of my stay in CA, I was going to review each hotel once I got back. That being said, we really enjoyed our stay here. We got there a few hours before check in time but the staff was very accomodating and they were able to let us check in early. Our bags were promptly brought up to our room and we were very pleased with all aspects of the room. The beds were probably more comfortable than in any other hotel that I've ever stayed in. The room was spotless and everything was in working order. We ordered room service one night and the food was excellent. There was a billing error with our bill for the food, but it was promptly corrected. My only major complaint would be the location, which has nothing to do with the quality of the hotel. The hotel is located in downtown LA, in the financial district. So if you happen to be there on a weekend, as we were, don't expect to find anything open nearby. We walked several miles hoping to find a restaurant, shop, or really just anything that was open, with no luck. And as with any downtown area, the homeless population was extensive. But still, we felt very safe once inside the hotel. Also, the hotel has a chauffered car service who they use, which really came in handy getting to the airport, for not much more money than a cab. I would defintiely recommend this hotel, as long as you have activities/plans of things to do outside the downtown area.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2005

It was the day before our end-of-summer trip to Los Angeles, and I still had no idea where we would be staying. So, I decided Priceline was the way to go. Each bid request kept bringing back rejections, so I kept upping the ante and adding $5 to my nightly rate plus adding a new location. Finally, the magic words appeared: "Your bid has been accepted!" Hilton Checkers, Downtown Los Angeles.

Whoops! Did I really check yes to downtown L.A.?

Well, I had. So, visions of a 4-star hotel on the beach quickly disappeared.

What we did get was a 4-star hotel with 4-star service, albeit a few wrinkles. Details are below.

Parking: Beware the parking charge: 26 bucks a day with unlimited in-and-out privileges. Yes, the unlimited in-and-out is nice, but of course we felt obligated to tip each time. So, by the end of our four-night stay, we had shelled out $120-plus in parking. Also, how long it took to get the car was very inconsistent. Sometimes, it only took a couple of minutes. Other times, we waited close to 20 minutes.There are parking lots nearby, but most do not have in-and-out privileges, and most of the safe-looking ones were close to $20 a day.

The room: Spacious. When we checked in, the man at the desk was very accommodating and did his best to find us a larger, corner room when he saw our very active toddler in tow. The room was also very clean. One morning when we returned after breakfast, we surprised the maid, who was on her hands and knees scrubbing the tub. I was pretty impressed. That night, I felt none of the trepidation I usually have venturing into hotel tubs. The bathroom was spacious and a great place to make phone calls while our 18-month-old took her naps in the room. The room also had high-speed Internet access for about $10 a day. It was very easy to connect and seemed noticeably faster than my home DSL connection. (There is also a free Internet terminal in the hotel's lobby for guests to use.) One thing that was missing was a mini fridge. When I had inquired about them on the phone before our arrival, I was told that I could request a room with one when we arrived. No one mentioned that there would be a $10 a day charge and that it would have to be delivered. It would have been a nice touch for keeping our daughter's milk chilled.

The pool and fitness room: This is the reason why I gave the hotel above average reviews rather than excellent. A summer family vacation in Los Angeles inevitably includes time poolside, and we were excited for that until we saw the rooftop pool. The view was nice, but the pool itself feels like an extended hot tub. It is tiny by four star hotel standards, even by motel standards. It was fine when we were the only ones using it, but add a few more people in, and it quickly became decidedly crowded. The hot tub is nice and has a great view. You can order drinks and/or snacks from room service, and they will be delivered there. One other problem with the pool is that the roof is also used for hotel functions at which point a wooden platform is placed over the pool and it becomes inaccessible to guests. One afternoon we arrived at the pool only to find it covered up. What happened next made me feel much better. I inquired at the front desk as to when it would reopen. After a few minutes on hold, I was told that we could go use the pool across the street at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel without any charge. This turned out to be a stroke of luck. The pool there is tiled from the 1920s and worth a visit. It is also much larger than the pool at the Hilton, so everyone was happy, especially my daughter, who didn't need sunblock, since the pool is indoors.

On the night we arrived at Checkers, there was a welcome happy hour poolside. Free appetizers were passed around, and you could order drinks. A screwdriver and a glass of wine came to about 20 bucks.
My husband was very happy with the fitness room as there was a LifeFitness eliptical machine in it. Fresh water and towels were also available.

The neighborhood: The good part of it is that there are lots of historical buildings to tour (the Bradbury Building would have to be the highlight) and lots of Monday through Friday cafes. L.A.'s impressive library is literally next door. The bad part is that the place becomes a virtual ghost town on weekends. To get milk for my daughter on a Sunday morning, I had to drive to Little Tokyo, 10 minutes away. I combed the streets surrounding the hotel, but nothing was open. Even RiteAid didn't open until 10 AM.

All in all, the Hilton Checkers is a great place to stay if you want to be downtown, comfortable, and don't care about the size of the pool.

Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Checkers Los Angeles

Address: 535 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Los Angeles > Downtown
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Green Hotel in Los Angeles
#18 Luxury Hotel in Los Angeles
#20 Business Hotel in Los Angeles
#32 Family Hotel in Los Angeles
#54 Romantic Hotel in Los Angeles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Checkers Los Angeles 4*
Number of rooms: 193
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hilton Checkers Los Angeles Hotel is an historic hotel in Los Angeles that dates back to the 1920s, fully restored to its original splendor. The full service Hilton Checkers Los Angeles Hotel in downtown Los Angeles offers extensive hotel luxuries combined with an intimate ambiance and personalized service unlike any other Los Angeles hotel. One feature not to be overlooked: A stunning rooftop deck showcasing a breathtaking view of the Los Angeles skyline, a perfect setting for receptions or romantic getaways. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Hotel Los Angeles
Hilton Los Angeles
Los Angeles Hilton

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