So, your friends and family want to come visit you in “Hollywood” – but they're not exactly your typical travelers. They love everything weird and under-the-radar, and want an authentic L.A. experience. Your futon isn't an option, and the Holiday Inn just won't cut it.
Luckily, there are plenty of cool places to lay your head down in L.A. – if you know where to look. And because the weirdness factor will deter some travelers, we've found places for as low as 50 bucks a night (and most are under $100).
Here's our handy guide to ten of the weirdest, coolest places to stay in L.A. (in no particular order), for when you want the accommodations themselves to be part of the adventure.
10. The Pod People
PodShare Hollywood isn't quite as pod-y as Japan's famous capsule hotels – but maybe that's a good thing since those look straight out of The Matrix. The “pods” are actually large (90 inches long by 50 inches wide and 5 feet high) open-air cupboards just big enough for your mattress, some shelving and a flat-screen TV. Like in a hostel, Podestrians share bathrooms and a kitchen. Unlike in a hostel, they share the pod hotel with just nine other guests, mostly young foreigners confused by America's lack of habitable hostels. PodShare Hollywood, 1617 Cosmo St., Hollywood; From $50/night; (213) 973-7741; thepodshare.com.
9. The Artist's Den
Plenty of Airbnb listings claim to be an artist's loft, whatever that means (we think it just means dirty loft). NOMAD is a real-deal, operating print studio and gallery in the heart of one of L.A.'s hippest neighborhoods — Frogtown. The guest rooms, decorated with original artworks and luchador pillows, just happen to be plopped in the midst of all this arty activity (including a zine shop!). An ideal spot for the art-lover or that one friend who says L.A. doesn't have any culture. NOMAD Art Compound,1993 Blake Ave, Frogtown; From $99/night; firstname.lastname@example.org; nomadlosangeles.com.
See also: Top 10 Weirdest Stores in Los Angeles
8. You're on a Boat
Like many Brits before her, the Queen Mary left England and decided to stay in sunnier shores. Now permanently docked in the Port of Long Beach, the ocean liner, originally launched in 1936, is home to 346 guest rooms, several restaurants (including the classy Observation Bar and the Tea Room) and a museum. Overlooking the ocean and retaining much of its original, wood-paneled design (including some great art deco murals and portholes in some rooms), the Queen Mary feels like a step back in time. Rife with L.A. history — Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor, and Audrey Hepburn were all passengers — and considered one of the “top 10 most haunted places in America” (Time magazine, 2008), the Queen Mary is the perfect place to live out your Titanic fantasies. The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach; From $65/night; (877) 342-0738; queenmary.com.
7. Tree Hugger
So you never got around to building that treehouse in the backyard. Maybe there never even was a tree. But there's still time to live out your fantasy of spending the night in a treehouse — kind of. Located in the Brewery Arts Complex, Treehouse Inside Groovy Artist Loft is a lofted guest room designed to look and feel like a tree house. So, it's not technically in a tree — but when you're snug in that little wooden box, it'll be easy to pretend. For those looking for an actual tree, try Artsy and Rustic 1927 Tree House (pictured). A patio wraps around a large tree clearly visible from the California King bed. Additional amenities include a view of the Silver Lake reservoir, a flight of 31 stairs, a vintage stove and two cats. Treehouse Inside Groovy Artist Loft, 1920 N. Main St., Lincoln Heights; From $46/night; airbnb.com/rooms/726331. Artsy and Rustic 1927 Tree House, Silver Lake; From $105/night; airbnb.com/rooms/704727.
6. Moroccan Oasis
A Moroccan palace in the heart of downtown, Hotel Figueroa has long been the scene of choice for adventurous travelers — and lots and lots of after-parties. Just steps away from the Metro and everything else gentrifying DTLA has to offer, the Fig is a great alternative to the pricy — and decidedly less weird — Ace Hotel that's been getting all that attention lately. Marvel at the opulent yet quirky decor, which continues into every guest room (no lazy decorating here). Your traveling friends will feel like they're on the set of a Hollywood movie — especially if they stumble into one of the many events hosted here. Hotel Figueroa, 939 S. Figueroa Street, Downtown; From $149/night; (213) 627-8971; figueroahotel.com.
5. Camping in the City
Yurts, traditionally home to Central Asian nomads, are now popular with a new class of travelers — glampers. A definite step up from a tent, but typically cheaper than a hotel or apartment stay, these canvas-coated circular living spaces have become popular even in urban Los Angeles. There are tons on Airbnb (just search “yurt”) but here are a few of our favorites.
The Cazador Yurt in Glassel Park comes complete with a vintage piano and wood-burning stove. A fire pit and outhouse add to the camp-like atmosphere. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Malibu Yurt Retreat on Organic Farm (pictured), a large space with a lofted bed, private kitchen, TV and a swimming pool. Somewhere in between is Mt. Washington Yurt, which guests praise for its cleanliness and privacy. Any of these yurts would be a great option for travelers looking to explore L.A. and connect with nature. The Cazador Yurt, Glassel Park; From $65/night; airbnb.com/rooms/1688018. Malibu Yurt Retreat on Organic Farm, Malibu; From $145/night; airbnb.com/rooms/900456. Mt. Washington Yurt, Mount Washington; From $90/night; airbnb.com/rooms/3788288.
4. Out on the Range
Across the street from the Grove and, even better, the Original Farmers Market, Farmer's Daughter takes its cue from that venerable food mecca. Kitschy-chic farm decor abounds at this converted motel. Replete with rag rugs, gingham and mason jars, Farmer's Daughter is the epitome of the barnyard hipster aesthetic. Amenities include a rubber-duck filled swimming pool and the hotel's restaurant, Tart. The Farmer's Daughter, 115 S. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove; From $169/night; (323) 937-3930, farmersdaughterhotel.com.
3. Trailer Park
Always wanted your own Airstream? Spend the night in a trailer to see just how, uh, cozy the accommodations really are. Mobile homes have been the mainstay of Americans on a budget, and now they're all the rage on Airbnb (just like yurts!). Here are a few of our favorites, for the traveler who wants to pretend she's road tripping across the county. Tall folks beware: sometimes these retro trailers have custom beds too short for long legs! Check before you book.
Mountain View from Cozy Trailer is a vintage Wilderness camper in Echo Park with a great view and a fire pit. The interior is wood-panneled with kitschy wallpaper and a blue bathroom. Vintage Trailer in Huge Loft has a cool 50s fridge and stove, but it's parked inside in an ultramodern Downtown loft — for the traveler who wants it all. In Venice Beach, make like the surfers do and stay in the Cozy Venice Vintage Camper (pictured). The space is tiny, but has been lovingly restored with cute orange accents. Plus, there's a nice little astroturf patio! Your Very Own Airstream is a modern-looking silver bullet in Mid-Wilshire, surrounded by a beautiful outdoor space – including lush gardens and groovy outdoor bathroom. Mountain View from Cozy Trailer, Echo Park; From $70/night; airbnb.com/rooms/2357781. Vintage Trailer in Huge Loft, Arts District; From $65/night; airbnb.com/rooms/774999. Cozy Venice Vintage Camper, Venice; From $95/night; airbnb.com/rooms/1503756. Your Very Own Airstream, Mid-Wilshire; From $87/night; airbnb.com/rooms/335213.
2. The WTF Option
This Secret Airplane Hangar in Del Rey might be the weirdest place to stay in L.A. While the rooms themselves (there are three) are unremarkable, their location — MiSSiON Performance Space — is totally wacky. First of all, it's a converted airplane hangar. But even crazier are the parties and performances (cirque, aerial, hula hooping) that take place on the regular. Sign up for a cirque class, or just chill under the five-foot disco ball. Secret Airplane Hangar, Del Rey; From $55/night; airbnb.com/rooms/2096486.
1. Live like the Tramp
Want your accomodations served with a dash of Hollywood History? The Charlie Hotel, an “English bungalow hideaway,” was once home to Charlie Chaplin. For the discerning traveler with money to spend, you can stay in a flower-covered fairytale village, in the heart of West Hollywood. Stained glass, window seats and private kitchens…book an extended stay at the Charlie and soak up Hollywood's beautiful eccentricity. The Charlie Hotel, 819 N Sweetzer Ave, West Hollywood; From $270/night; (323) 988-9000; thecharliehotel.com.
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