Tuesday, December 30, 2014

On the Road: Hotel vs. Private Residence - Part 1

Photographed and uploaded by user:Geographer. ...
Photographed and uploaded by user:Geographer. Los Angeles Basin as seen from Mount Wilson at dawn, Dec 12, 2002 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I am staying in the Los Angeles area, I have a choice between a corporate hotel/apartment or a private residence. In this post I will discuss the hotel/apartment option, which is the one I have used most often in the past.

Los Angeles has thousands of hotel rooms, but I need one that has a microwave and refrigerator since I stay for several months. I found one place that gave me the option to rent on a month-to-month basis for the best rate I could find at the time. This hotel/corporate apartment complex had hundreds of rooms and suited my needs for many years. The property was beautiful and convenient, but also had bad aspects that I was willing to overlook at the time. However, after two years of significant rent increases, I decided I was no longer willing to pay more for a less-than-perfect situation.

A corporate place means vacationers will get their maintenance problems handled right away. Hotel staff are always around to help. In addition, many other people are living in the complex. Numerous opportunities exist to meet others and that can be important especially if a person is traveling alone. Since I always meet a lot of guests every year when I stay in hotels, I do not feel lonely when I travel.  In addition, having security personnel patrolling the property makes me feel safer.

On the bad side, this hotel is a favorite for college interns, and also for people who think they will be the next big star in Hollywood. Parents spend big money to send their children to Los Angeles to get the best intern experience, but what they do not know is these college kids spend a good deal of their time drunk or at the pool...or both. Sometimes I feel like I am living in a dorm when I stay at that complex. Loud parties and screaming are the norm and I get very little sleep sometimes.

Another group is the "showbiz kids" group, which is made up mainly of parents who think that the big break for their kid is just around the corner. Many families have a parent who has lived at the complex for years with the child while the other spouse remained at their home in another state working to get money to support the pipe dream. Some of these kids run wild with very little supervision from the parent. A favorite activity of this group is to run down the hotel hallways  and property yelling and screaming.

In addition to the noise problems, a hotel can have serious parking problems. Some hotels will charge guests a parking fee in addition to the cost of a room. Other hotels do not provide enough parking for their guests. Travelers would be wise to read the hotel reviews on as many sites as possible. These reviews provide insight into problems with location, noise factors, parking and other concerns. If I do not have time to read all the reviews, I read the negative ones so I have an idea of what I may encounter on the hotel property. In the end, one must research all options and pick the most comfortable one. Just know the pros and cons of each option.

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