the absolute advantage of this accommodation is its location. it's smack down in the middle of venice beach, it's where it's all at: promenade, artists, green doctors, bars, sport courts, "artists", weirdos, skateboarders, surfers - all the local specific. this also makes it a very busy place, and it can be noisy at night due to the neighborhood. you can meet a bunch of new people or just hang around - you'll be in the middle of all the action.
the single room i stayed in was very spartan, had its own sink, a (good) bed and and a closet - not much, but bear in mind that accommodation in LA is *very* expensive - i was looking for something decently-priced, in santa monica or venice beach area, so a clean hostel was a good choice for a few nights. the bathroom was shared, fairly clean, no frills. you can store your drinks and food in the common kitchen, there are some convenience stores nearby (not much to offer and quite overpriced). for food you can venture to the cafes nearby where you can get a decent breakfast for instance, or dinner. you can also head down to santa monica for cleaner-looking restaurants.
safety - you get buzzed in, always say you name and room number. as there are many bars nearby, people might be standing in the doorway as well, but don't get discouraged by that. the thing i needed time to get accustomed to, was the nature and the safety of the neighborhood - it has lots of very strange characters, can be well above one’s personal level of tolerance. after a while though, you'll see that they are part of the local specific and they're harmless - but that situation needs some time to digest, depending on your "weirdness/readiness" level. the hostel is safe though and the staff are doing their best to keep it that way - stick to the house rules while you're there.
the hosts are nice and friendly, sometimes tense, but ok overall, they organize welcome get-together nights for new guests, take you around, answer your questions, help with directions, and so on. they can also arrange transportation, although i found out that by negotiating with the taxi drives outside you can get better fares.
i think the place offers a classic hostel-stay experience, and, due to its location it spices it up with that venice beach specific. for those of you not ready for this, you should find accommodation in santa monica but definitely spend a day or at least an afternoon in venice beach.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Samesun Venice Beach is the best place to stay in Los Angeles. Located in beautiful Venice Beach, California, our hostel is friendly and affordable, perfect for international travelers. Swim, party, and live it up while you're in LA.Located in the St. Charles Hotel building, the oldest hotel in Venice, Samesun focuses on meeting new people, interacting with other backpackers, and lots of fun. Our vibrant atmosphere brings people together from all over the world and you can expect good times and new friends to come out of your experience. Our friendly staff, including many who are travelers themselves, work hard to make sure your stay is as easy and perfect as possible. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Venice Beach Cotel Hotel Los Angeles