As you probably remember from my LA post, I recommended the Beverly Laurel Motor Hotel on Beverly Blvd and also promised a review. This was our second time staying here which I think says a lot…..well, it should say a lot because generally I’m a one-time stay girl unless I really feel at home and welcome in a place.
Initially when we were planning our LA/Vegas trip, we wanted to stay on Sunset. We knew we wanted to be in a central (for us) location with easy access to the places on our hit list to visit. However, within a few months of deliberating, the prices had hiked and we just couldn’t justify the outlay for some of the soulless hotels because although they may look pretty, they can sometimes feel a bit sterile. And let’s not forget, 99% of LA hotels charge for parking too, and boy do they charge. Then the Beverly Laurel appeared on my Hotels.com list for our dates and without a second thought, we rebooked and even decided to go for a cheeky upgrade to a corner room called the ‘Romantic Suite’ which had a city view……more on that later.
As you approach the Beverly Laurel, depending on which side of the road you’re on, you can easily pull in kerbside where one of the guys will be usually sat at the valet stand. If they’re not there, don’t worry, just pull up anyway and go to check in to the hotel, they won’t be far. If you’re on the opposite side of the road to the hotel however, I’d recommend taking the road just before the hotel and skirting around the back of it so you can simply slip around the corner by Swingers and pull up outside the hotel.
Check in was seamless and super-efficient. Parking is $22 per night (a bargain in LA!) and we were directed to our suite along with a map of the area and the Wi-Fi password – winning!
SIDE NOTE: The map they give you, whilst generally helpful, is slightly out with its walking times to attractions I feel, so bear that in mind.
The 1950s vibe of this unique hotel is one of the main things that appealed to me the first time around and still remains one of my favourite things about it today. If you’re looking for sleek, modern luxury then look somewhere else but I loved the heart and soul and retro style. Every day it made me smile as we came out of our room. The one negative about the retro vibe of the hotel however, is the lift. I feel like it genuinely comes from the 1950s and really needs updating. When two of you are in with your large cases it can feel quite claustrophobic so be warned.
Onto the suite. Now, the suite was spacious, the bathroom had a separate deep soak bathtub, large rainfall shower and two sinks which I love in a hotel and if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the brief room tour I did. However, the round bed probably wasn’t the best idea in hindsight because although I was fine (not being the tallest woman in the world), Scott’s feet did dangle out of the end slightly so if you are thinking of booking this room, just bear that in mind.
You should also be prepared for the fact that this suite is situated directly above Swingers which closes at 4am and reopens at 6am and I promise you, it is lively probably up until about 3am. And by lively, I mean there is music, so much music. Swingers also has bright blue signage so make sure you close those drapes because I laughed for a good fifteen minutes at the illuminous glow filling our room before we pulled the thick drapes on plunging us into darkness.
The ‘city view’ also leaves a lot to be desired if I’m being completely honest and is partially blocked by the slats/signage from Swingers but again, as long as it’s not your sole reason for booking this suite then you won’t be disappointed.
The pool area has been quiet both times we’ve visited (September and May) and we love it that way. No fighting for loungers, no feeling self-conscious as you sit there in your swimwear as a bronzed goddess floats past you. It just feels comfortable. An oasis in the middle of the city. Like you’re in your own back garden lazing on a sun lounger. Not that our back garden has a pool, obvs. I just love the fact that while you’re sat there, you actually feel like you’re living the old Hollywood movie dream.
There is an abundance of free towels by the entrance gate and some tables and chairs for those who want to relax with a book and a snack in a more shaded area. Our relaxing afternoon spent by the pool however was topped off with yet another Nicola mishap. I say mishap, more like another couldn’t-make-this-shht-up moment of which there were many on this trip.
I got stuck in the lift.
I decided I didn’t want to walk up the stairs with Scott and instantly regretted my decision when the lift came to a stop, on our floor (the second floor – I know, my laziness knows no bounds) and the doors failed to open. Queue hot sweat, shaky legs, deep breathing. Being stuck in a lift has always been one of my biggest fears and here I was, alone, living out that fear in an oversized coffin. To make matters worse, I’m not certain I had actually made it to our floor because after ringing the alarm bell, trying to have a discussion with the poor guys on the other side of the door somewhere wasn’t easy. They just couldn’t hear me properly. Scott told me later that it was almost impossible to hear me shouting back to them. But after what felt like the longest ten minutes of my life, and not daring to touch any buttons in case I plummeted to a dramatic death (not likely from the second floor but still), the lift moved an I appeared in front of one of the guys in the garage. I’ve never been so relieved to see a stranger’s face! He walkie talkied to another guy saying they’d got me and all in all, I think there was about three of them trying to rescue me because I passed each one as I ran up the stairs. And yet, even through the horror of living out one of my worst fears, I couldn’t be angry at anyone. It wasn’t their fault. And as we left the hotel that night for dinner, there were more apologies. Every single member of staff there are just so friendly, and I think that’s another reason I couldn’t get annoyed. They were just helpful guys doing their job and it was unfortunate the crazy British girl with a very jabby finger on the alarm got stuck in the lift. They even made a pretty large gesture of goodwill on checkout which was greatly appreciated and just confirmed my feelings that I would definitely stay there again.
SIDE NOTE: I didn’t use the lift after that during our stay – it just wasn’t worth the risk and I’m not a total glutton for punishment!
Valet service was smooth and efficient each and every time (with two of the guys being the lift heroes) and although we were told if we called reception ahead they could have the car waiting for us, we never minded the few minutes wait outside.
The location of this hotel is probably my favourite thing of all. Just a fifteen-minute walk up the prettiest residential street will bring you out near CBS and most importantly, The Grove.
The Grove is an outdoor mall with an abundance of shops (think Nordstrom, Topshop, Barnes & Noble) and eateries and is absolutely stunning. Not only that, it’s also right next to The Original Farmer’s Market, the home of some delicious fast food – and by fast, I don’t mean Maccy D’s, I mean speedy. From a pizza place to a BBQ smokehouse with fruit and cake stalls in between, this is the ultimate foodie’s hotspot. You will never go hungry that’s for sure.
Across the road from The Grove is a CVS and Whole Foods along with a Trader Joe’s so whatever your LA eating style, you’re certainly spoilt for choice and with such a short walk back to the Beverly Laurel, you could even grab a take-out from Whole Foods like we did one night and take it back to your room.
In the other direction from the hotel is The Beverly Centre, a shopping Mecca! Although it is undergoing some major inside work at the moment, the plans look amazing and I’m sure it will be even better than when we visited the first time in 2016.
Hand on heart, I can honestly say that if we came back to LA again in the future and didn’t want to just stay in Santa Monica, then I wouldn’t hesitate to rebook the Beverly Laurel. Would I book the same suite? No. Would I book a regular room like we had on our first trip? Absolutely. And in case you’re curious, I’d probably risk their lift again one day 😉
If you have any questions about our trip or the hotel I’m always happy to chat America!
For more of my travel pics you can find me over on the ‘gram at @girl_meets_passport