Question: I'm going to Los Angeles on business later this month and was wondering if you could recommend a gay-friendly, affordable hotel. My work is taking me mostly to West Hollywood, so that neighborhood would be cool.
Answer: Hi Kathy,
First, here's a link to my West Hollywood Hotel Guide, which includes gay-friendly options in a variety of price ranges.
WeHo has gotten a little pricey over the years, but there are some relatively reasonable options, and these are all gay-friendly and within walking distance or a short cab ride of the gay entertainment/retail strip along Santa Monica Boulevard. What you pay will vary greatly according to demand, but in West Hollywood you can generally expect to pay $300 to $500 a night for top-end properties, and easily over $200 at some of the merely upscale ones.Here are five reliable options, including a couple of particular favorites, that generally have rates under $250, and sometimes under $150 nightly:
Best Western Sunset Plaza (reliable standby with great location on Sunset Strip, and a nice pool).
Ramada Plaza Hotel (best location - literally just steps from many restaurants and gay-friendly shops; however, rooms could stand some updating).
The Standard (coolest scene, hippest vibe - and still not overly pricey - has a retro-cool ambience and is great for social butterflies but can be noisy if just wanting a place to sleep).
Grafton on Sunset (boutique-y, and usually a bit pricier, and also a strong in hip factor)
Petit L'Ermitage Hotel (rates may be slightly more, but on a quiet residential street, and each room is a full suite with kitchenette, lots of room to spread out) [NOTE: Prior to a major renovation and re-branding in 2008, this was known as the Valadon Hotel, it retains the same management now as Petit L'Ermitage Hotel]
There are a few little motels in WeHo, too, but they're truly pretty scruffy and grim. I would pay a bit extra and avoid these. If you're really finding rates higher than you'd like, another option is to stay just over the border to the east, in Hollywood proper, where you'll find more of the usual mid-range chain motels (Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, etc.). These won't have an especially gay following or exciting location, but you'll sometimes find rooms for under $100 in this area.