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“Perfect Base Camp” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Alta Cienega Motel

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Alta Cienega Motel
1005 North La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 17 hotels in West Hollywood
zagora Morocco
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Perfect Base Camp”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

I came into Lax from Manchester UK and took the bus to West Hollywood . Met a charming and beautiful guy who got on , the blackest skin I have ever seen We walked along Santa Monica Blvd, and he pointed out the Motel, He carried on home to North La Cienega. I have stayed at many motels in USA and the room was what I would expect for the price. I intended to stay a couple of nights and rent a car. I stayed two weeks and used the buses to travel all over Los Angeles County. Yes, the Police arrive, the Rent Boys work, you can get hot take out meals from the market, liquor stores handy, TV Air, Heat , My finances have improved so I now fly First, but I will still be staying at La Cienega on my next trip to California.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    4
    6
    15
    5
    22
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4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Miami
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2011

The folks that leave horrible reviews arent incorrect but they are snobs. The hotel is humble and is in the traditional 'classic motel' motif with an almost wild-west second level catwalk facing the southern sun. I had to purchase a space heater from CVS to keep myself warm on these cold autumn nights and the towels are cheap and scratchy but its inexpensive, clean, quiet and centrally located. I've been here for almost ten days and there are rarely more than two cars in the lot making the place feel very private. Its been a sanctuary for me to write a book without distraction and to meet with clients. Maria the cleaning lady is a sweet-heart. I tipped her $20 on Thanksgiving and she's treated me like gold for a week, nurturing me like my mom. Yes, there's an occasional siren or tranny sighting but hey, its like spotting a rare animal on safari. If you can get over the fact that the style is 'home depot' and there are no fancy shampoo samples you'll enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: Second Level, North Side gets lots of light and is far enough from the main street as to keep most n...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Rogue River, Oregon
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2011

It was fantastic! If I was a person that didn't have any sort of interest in Jim Morrison or the Doors, this place probably wouldn't be first on my list...or on my list at all, but since I am...
I Stayed there with my boyfriend for 3 nights and paid $267.00... a little more than we had expected, but I didn't even care...I had a grand time! I liked being able to watch the street below from the window of room 32, and for some reason this room was strangely comfortable! It's kind of small but was clean! The staff was really nice too! The cleaning lady would always say "Hello" every time and seemed extremely genuine. I also never felt unsafe at any point. The bathroom wasn't bad either, I liked the shower too, it was kind of dark with no light inside of it but I liked how it felt like a hole in the wall. The writing all over the walls was quite enjoyable too. Never ran out of stuff to read! After waking up, I was always able to find something new that I hadn't read before. Take a sharpie or other media and add your own contribution! I did! Overall, great expirience! hope to stay there again someday!

Room Tip: If your a Jim Morrison/ Doors fan, stay in Room 32!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Levelland, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

The police came as soon as we got there because of gun fire and possible drugs in the room next to ours. On the other side of us was transgender call girls doing their jobs with the men. When my brother-in-law came to pick us up there was a giant cricket in the bed. and burn marks in a non smoking room , a gas heater which had to be lit and a nassty bath room. It will never be forgoten

Room Tip: very gross and don't
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Prague, Czech Republic
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2011

We stayed there for 6 nights and i must say i expected something really worse. The room was not so bad, no bed bugs tho as other reviews say. Bed was small but quite comfortable, the room was cleaned every day. It is not a 5 star hotel but if you dont want to pay a fortune for hotel and rather spend money for shopping and sighseeing thats a place where you want to stay really. The location is very good santa monica blvd just 1 minute from metro which gets you everywhere. I would stay there again no problem

Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, California
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2011

My husband and I stayed here on June 19 and 20. We requested room 32 where Jim Morrison had lived part of the time. The room is great! There is writing all over the walls, honoring him with his own lyrics and other praises. The room had new carpet put in a few months back and it was very clean. We loved the feel of the place. If you are a Jim Morrison fan this place is a must. The price is right! I would have never thought I could find a hotel located in such a perfect spot for such little $. The hotel is located at a busy intersection but it is fun to watch out the window as I imagined Jim did at times with a big bottle of jack Daniels. I felt completely safe and the place was quiet. Great location! We walked to the Rainbow for some excellent pizza and star gazing and to the House of Blues to watch Steel Panther, they totally rocked!! We also walked to Barney's Beanery which is a couple of blocks away and Jim Morrison used to hang out there and drink. There is a plaque on the counter with his name on it. Oh, and have their home brewed beer, yum! You are within walking distance of all the places that you want to see on the Sunset. The Roxy, Viper Room, Rainbow, House of Blues etc...

Room Tip: you have to call the motel to get reservation.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

I booked into this seedy dive for one reason only, and that was to spend an afternoon in Jim Morrison's room, Number 32.

It truly is a disgusting little hole in-the-wall, and I am surprised that anyone besides drug dealers and Doors fans actually frequent the place....that being said, it is a piece of Los Angeles history and I truly hope that the hotel, and Jim's room do not get knocked down to make way for something new.

The hotel leaves Jim's room as it is, and for this reason, it is absolutely covered from floor to ceiling with some amazing, and some disgusting, graffiti. Every SINGLE INCH of the room is covered. Even the inside of the shower and inside the little cupboard in the bathroom. Every light switch, and even the ceiling is plasted with lyrics and poetry.

We spent a few hours here just reading it all, taking photos, and visiting a few local Jim hangouts, such as Barney's Beanery.

If you are a Jim fan, I would definately recommend a visit.....I don't kno if I would want to spend a night in this hotel, but it was OK for a day. You do have to book and pay for the whole night, but I tjought the US$90 was worth it to spend some time in the last place Jim lived before moving to paris and passing away in 1971.

Definately visit Barney's Beanery just about 100m away at 8447 Santa Monica Blvd. Jim drank here almost daily while they recorded LA woman at the "Doors Workshop" accross the road. Barney's also saw a lot of drinking done by Janis Joplin, and was actually the last place she drank on the night she died. Quentin Tarantino wrote Pulp Fiction while sitting at one of the front tables here, and the staff will point out his booth if you ask. He wrote almost teh whole thing in there. The bar here was also featured in the Doors movie, where Val Kilmer is drinking with Billy Idol, and he urinates on the floor at the bar. This apparently did happen, according to the staff, and there is now a plaque on the bar which marks Jim's favourite seat in the house.

Accross the street is the Mexican restaurant, funnily enough, called "Mexico"! It is at 8512 Santa Monica Blvd. "Mexico" resides in what was the doors final recording studio, known as the "Doors Workshop". This is where they recorded LA Woman, and if you visit the restaurant, make sure you take a look in the downstairs bathroom, as this was the room Jim used for his vocals on LA Woman. He apparently liked the accoustics in this little room, and the management have kept it as-is, and have added some frame Doors albums and photos of Jim to the walls. There were candles burning when I went in, and it was quite amazing really! On the front wall of the restaurant is a plaque that recognises that this was the doors workshop. Jim had his office here and spent most of his time here in the last year he had in LA.

Jim would move around West Hollywood between his room at the Alta Cienega, Barney's, the Doors Workshop and would also pay regular visits to a liquor store called Monaco liquors, which is still there and you can visit it at 8513 Santa Monica Blvd.

Before you visit Jim's place, make sure you watch his arthouse film HWY. In one of the final scenes, Jim's room at the Alta Cienega is featured, where he is urinating in the toilet of room 32.

All in all, I would say.....If you are a Doors or Jim Morrison fan, DEFINATELY spend a day ithis little corner of LA. You will have to book the room specifically asking for Room 32, and it can be booked up well in advance so make sre you arrange it ahead of time.

If you are NOT a doors fan and have no interest, I would say you will really find nothing favourable about this hotel!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Alta Cienega Motel

Address: 1005 North La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069
Location: United States > California > West Hollywood
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 17 hotels in West Hollywood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Alta Cienega Hotel West Hollywood

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