My husband and daughter (8 yrs old) and I stayed here for 10 days. We had an apartment for the first 4 days and then, as pre-arranged, once it became available, moved to an executive room so we'd be more comfortable. Both rooms were comfortable and very clean. The apartment (room 507) had a private balcony and nice view out across the street and to the ocean. There was a strong smell of cleaning agent in the room but, we quickly forgot about it once in the room. The kitchen was fully functional and we saved a lot by eating in most mornings and a few evenings. The only issue in this room, being tall (5'10") was the shower head was short for me and I had to get creative to get under it. The beds are very comfortable in this hotel -- this is the ONLY hotel bed (in my 20 years of going to hotels as an adult) that did not give me backache. The executive suite (room 501) was a much nicer layout and just as clean (although no smell this time) -- it had a separate bedroom and a kitchen (although no oven). We prefered this room for its look, bigger nicer bathroom and general comfort. There were even 3 TVs! There was no balcony but we didn't really care as we just left our door open to see outside from our comfy couch. Less of an ocean view from this room.
One recommendation I would make the hotel, which may or may not be possible, is to have a Ralph's membership card so us out-of-country people can benefit from the discount everyone else gets on groceries -- if using a room with a kitchen. We managed to get the sympathies of our clerk on our first visit and he gave it to us anyway (saving us $20) but, the second time we went, that did not happen and we had to pay the full price, quite a difference. It seems both grocery stores (Ralph's and Vons) had membership cards for US residents only. The hotel could collect the points and customers would benefit from borrowing the discount card. Just an idea!
As you will read in other reviews, this hotel is situated on Highland Ave and is 4 "hills" up from the beach. It's a nice walk down (and back up) and the boardwalk and beach are fantastic. Of all the neighbourhoods we visited in LA, this was by far our favourite in terms of: feel, look, cost, friendliness, safety, amenities available. Highland is busy but, we slept with our windows open and the noise died down and wasn't noticeable in the night. We did have some trouble with noisy neighbours above us. I had read the walls are thin but, it was more a case of the floors being thin. The first night, we had to actually complain and the desk must have called them because it did stop. If you're on the top floor, don't let your kids jump off the bed and couch and run round constantly and bounce balls and other toys!!
The Local Yolk is just a few doors down and does make a good breakfast. There is a little Cake Bakeshop across the road that makes cupcakes to die for -- not sure why it's not in the travel books!
The guys on the desk are GREAT! All friendly and very helpful. To be honest, this hotel really felt like home away from home, like staying at a relative's place. Comfortable and very relaxed. Loads of stuff to borrow for free (bikes, boogie boards, buckets and spades, chairs, umbrellas, towels, free internet -- I think (since I didn't use it)), free parking, a quiet pool to use, and a perfect location. We will definitely stay here again if we go back to LA.