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Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City
Ranked #51 of 353 Hotels in Los Angeles
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed September 2, 2005

We really enjoyed staying at this hotel. My family and I were staying there because we were attending the Teen Choice Awards held at the Universal Citywalk. Check In went smoothly and the view from the room on the 19th floor was great. The pool was great and service superb. We went to the Hollywood attractions from there and it was easy to get there using a back way from the hotel. Also, I waited in line (6 AM) for Tonight Show tickets with success for that evening. NBC is not far from the hotel. One memory of the hotel would have to be when 20 Lamborghini's pulled up to the front of the hotel to eat lunch. They had a Lamborghini club.

7  Thank Tyvekmaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,255 - 3,261 of 3,754 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2005

We stayed at the Universal City/Los Angeles Hilton from March 14 till the 17th and on March 19th. From March 17th to March 19th we stayed at the Residence Inn San Diego. Please see my review on that hotel too.

Introduction/Location:

This Hilton property is located in the heart of the touristy Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Universal Studios area. The area is very nice and safe. This hotel attracts the more civilized (but not snobby) guests rather than the sloppy and messy people which are better suited for a cheap motel. You enter on Universal Hollywood Drive. There is also Sheraton property located on the same street and there is an elevator which takes you between the two hotels. There is a hotel shuttle which takes you to Universal Studios and City Walk. It runs about every 15 minutes and the trip takes no more than a minute or too. It is very convenient for travelers without a car or people who don’t want to pay the money to park at Universal. The hotel has 24 floors. We stayed on the 18th for the first part and on the 11th for the last part.

Features:

This hotel was built in 1986 and seems to have been renovated recently. When we were staying there I overheard one of the desk clerks telling one guest that they are replacing the carpet starting with the top floor. We were given room 1872 for the first part of our stay (March 14th-March 17th). This floor/room had newer looking carpeting which was clean and did not have any stains. The desk and night table also looked to be in good condition. There was also an armoire which contained the television, a mini bar drawer, a minibar fridge and a small safe with a key. The television had the basic US TV channels plus the standard hotel movies, internet, games, etc. Everything worked fine. There are also many banquet/meeting rooms which are used quite a bit. There were a lot of parties/conferences and functions are held at this hotel. All were kept at a reasonable level (the people here are civilized). On our last day after we returned from San Diego we were given a room on the 11th floor which was not in such a good shape. The carpet was older (but clean), the night-table/armoire was worn/scratched and the beds were quite soft and creaky. I believe this is because they had not yet replaced the carpets/beds in this room since they had been working from the top floor (24th) down. Luckily it was just for one night and we managed.


Amenities:

Standard Hilton amenities are present at this hotel. People who are HHonors members with high status usually get a gift of some sort. We are not members but we still received a nice fruit/snack/water tray. I believe all the guests get this, although I am not sure.
On the lobby level (Fourth floor) there is a nicely equipped fitness centre which has working and new machinery such as treadmills, stair climbers, bikes, etc. The place is split into two rooms which have difference types of equipment. One room had a TV and the other had a stereo with speakers on the wall. Also on the 3rd floor is a gift shop with travellers’ supplies and food/drink items. The prices are quite high for the drinks so I suggest you just pick up some from a local variety store.
The access door to the outdoor pool is on the first floor. You need to use your keycard to open the gate. This is to prevent non-guests from using the pool. The pool area has a large pool with shallow and deep ends as well as a smaller whirlpool which has an adjustable massage/bubble control. The whirlpool was nice and warm (actually HOT) but once you’re in for a few minutes you get adjusted to it. Both the pool and the whirlpool were clean and heated. There are towels provided for you on a table as well as a basket for used towels. Surrounding the pool are chairs for tanning and poolside resting.
You must pay to park at this hotel. Self Parking in one of their two underground garages is $11 per night and $16 for valet parking. Remember, to access the self parking you must take one of the elevators near the meeting rooms as the main ones do not service the garages.

Service:

Right from the start I was treated with care and attentive service. Upon pulling up to the door the attendants help you with unloading your luggage as well as holding the door open for you as you enter. Staff the front desk were incredible and helped us with driving directions as well as the locations of the different attractions in the area. The travel guide suggested tours for us and helped us choose the right one. Housekeeping came to make the beds daily and to replace towels, toiletries, etc. Everyone in the hotel was always there to help you.

Dining:

The hotel has a restaurant called “Café Sierra” which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each morning we ate the breakfast buffet there which cost $15 per person. The price was a bit steep but the breakfast buffet was so filling we didn’t eat until dinner. Some of the food included the normal breakfast food such as bacon, sausages, pancakes, eggs as well as a nice fresh fruit and 2 or 3 dim sum dishes such as shrimp dumplings and BBQ Pork buns. If you want to save yourself some money and spend your time touring the city, take the buffet for breakfast. It will keep you full until dinnertime. On Friday/Saturday/Sunday they had a very large seafood buffet complete with hot/cold crab/lobster/shrimp/fish as well as sushi, dim sum as well as roast lamb and beef. The dessert selection was also quite nice with fresh fruit, cakes and cookies. It cost $38 per adult which is worth it if you’re a big seafood lover (like us) but if you don’t eat seafood it is not worth it to eat at this buffet.
Also available Monday to Friday from 4pm-6pm is a happy hour snack in the lobby. A different hot hors d’oeurve was served each afternoon as well as a selection of cheeses, spreads and breads. Drinks were available for a nominal fee.

Value:

We paid $159USD per night which is a fantastic price for the quality and service we received at this hotel. This was for a standard guest room. The suites with whirlpools and the rooms on the executive floor were in the $200USD+ category.




Overall:

This hotel is an excellent choice for anyone who is going to be touring the Hollywood/Universal area that doesn’t have a car. Tours information is available from the concierge and there is a free shuttle that runs every 15 minutes between the Sheraton, the Hilton and Universal Studios.

Location: 10/10
Amenities: 9/10
Guestroom: 8/10
Dining: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Value: 9/10

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank JoshThePilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2005

This hotel is so close to Universal Studios that we walked back to the hotel for an afternoon swim. They left us a welcome basket with grapes, oranges, bananas, oreos, and bottled water. The hotel staff called us on our first night to welcome us and make sure we had everything we needed. The beds were super comfortable. The bathroom was quite large. The pool was great but not good for little ones. It gets deep very fast, our youngest happily hung out on the very long steps. We were on the 18th floor but never had to wait more than two minutes for an elevator. We only stayed here because of the proximity to Universal. We would definately stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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7  Thank PlymouthCards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2005

We stayed at this hotel late July/early August, 2005 It is conveniently located near the freeway, and is not a bad place However, it does have some problems, and we shall not use this hotel again

The entire hotel looks slightly run down and heavily used Some furniture is marred in the rooms I was surprised at the lackadaisical attitude of the hotel staff To say they are not very ambitious is an understatement The room next to ours had some very distracting, loud children who kept banging and laughing When I went to the understaffed front desk to complain, rather than offering an apology and a room change, I was asked if I had "called security" I demanded a room change and got one, although we did not receive any offer to help us move

Our first room had a small welcome fruit basket containing two apples, a rotten orange arranged so you could not see it was rotten, and two small bottles of water Why bother doing this if the fruit is rotten?

During our stay, our room was overlooked with several necessities that should have been replaced daily One evening, I tried calling the front desk and the operator I tried for one half hour and still the phone was not answered (Given how nobody here answers the phone, it is laughable to have been asked about calling security earlier!) Exasperated, I called the bellman to report the problem He said he would take care of it and call me back in ten minutes to make sure the problem was handled You can guess where this is going--nobody ever handled the problem and he never called back I sat on the phone another half hour until the operator answered, and she wanted to put me on hold! I told her absolutely not, explained the problems, and asked to speak to a manager I was given the voice mail of the manager, who spoke very poor English (There is no manager on duty? Or an assistant? Why is there no extension for "housekeeping?") I clearly stated the problems and gave my email address, telling the voice mail that I expected to be contacted It has been about a week and the hotel has never bothered to contact me

There is no concierge at this hotel

Additionally, do not waste your money eating in this hotel if you stay here The food is poor and way overpriced T here is a very nice Ralph's grocery store right around the corner which has a delicious deli and bakery You can buy food and take it out

It seems that the Hilton chain is slightly tarnished and is certainly not what it once was The staff at the Hilton Universal leaves a lot to be desired and certainly could benefit from some customer service training They also need more staff members Apparently, Marriott, generally spekaing, is the superior of the big three "better" hotel chains

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank Pennfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2005

I selected this hotel because of location, close to the Hollywood freeway, for easy access to the rest of the LA area. I read other reviews stating how guests received a complementary fruit basket. I too received my fruit....most of which was rotten. My big orange was cleverly arranged so the 1/3 rotten part was hidden. I chosed not to eat any of the fruit.

Upon arriving back to my room one day, I found that no soaps were left. The housekeeper removed the bar of soap that had been used only that morning. I discovered that there was no "housekeeping" selection on my room phone. I called the front desk and got NO ANSWER. I called the operator who transferred me to the BELL BOY phone.

The person who answered the bell boy phone assured that the front desk would call me within 5-10 minutes regarding my problem. Patiently waiting for over 1 HOUR I received no phone call from anyone. I re-called the operator and explained the problem and was assured AGAIN someone would bring me upon some soap. Within 5 minutes of this call I finally received my items. I also called the "manager on duty" but got voice mail. I barely could understand the message left on the voice mail.

I am all for diversity BUT having individuals who do not speak English in charge of hotel operation, as evident from the manager on duty's voice mail gives me reason to wonder what's in charge and why such a simple request took so long. After receiving my soap I went down to the front desk and saw little to no activity. The phones were ringing but the 2 individuals on duty chosed NOT TO ANSWER THEM! I've had better service staying at a Red Roof Inn or a Motel 6. I would guess that Conrad Hilton is rolling over in his grave if he could see how some of his hotels are being managed (or un-managed)!

There are many other hotels in the area. Use Trip Advisor to find another one but not this one!

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
8  Thank GMCOMAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Phoenix
15
Reviewed August 1, 2005

What brought me to use this Hilton was location, proximity to Universal Studios. After staying at the hotel, I'd have to say that is still the best thing about the hotel. I'm sure that the hotel chain doesn't use this particular hotel as their "Flagship".
For the cost, I'd say that there are a few things that are substandard. The following are included.

Hotel staff willingness to resolve problems. I found that the front desk and guest services to be too willing to "pass-the-buck". I had asked for resolution to problems and was informed that "I" needed to direct my queries to some other hotel section (I needed to track down the appropriate person). I guess the staff was busy helping other patrons with their problems. Thanks for your help, Hilton.

I was given a room that was not ready for use (i.e. dirty bathroom area).

Lengthy response time to room entrydoor lock problems.

I can't say that Hilton Hotels are high on my list. There are too many other hotels out there that are willing to help the patron.

Stayed: July 2005
5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2005

A good hotel with reasonable rooms at a reasonable price. You stay here BECAUSE it is very near to Universal City, in fact you can walk in ten mins but there is a bus for the lazy.

I did not eat the Hotel food, which may be a little overpiced, but there is plenty of options at Universal.

No complaints - ideal for the purpose.

  • Stayed: December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank TheLondonGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City

Address: 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Los Angeles, CA 91608-1001
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Los Angeles > Central L.A
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Green Hotel in Los Angeles
#28 Family Hotel in Los Angeles
#33 Romantic Hotel in Los Angeles
#54 Business Hotel in Los Angeles
Price Range: $224 - $421 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City 3.5*
Number of rooms: 495
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy AAA Four Diamond facility with over six acres of landscape in the Hollywood Hills and stunning views of glittering Los Angeles. The hotel provides a sophisticated experience combined with a superior level of service. A welcomed respite, each spacious guest room and suite is flavored with class and comfort, showcasing valued amenities for the well-traveled guest. Continually working toward greater sustainability, the property was also recently awarded the Gold level certified by Green Seal for environmental lodging, The Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City hotel is located steps from Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk Los Angeles. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City Hotel Los Angeles
Hilton Universal City
Universal Hilton
Los Angeles Hilton

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