LAX airport hotels are generally located in two area: hotels catering towards business travelers tend to be just outside the airport grounds on or near West Century Boulevard, hotels catering more towards vacationers are in the Marina del Rey region. Almost no LAX airport hotels offer free parking — if you are driving a rental car you might want to turn it in before your morning flight.
Overall Best Los Angeles Airport Hotel:
Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles
We hesitate giving an airport hotel without free internet our top honors, but we’ll make an exception for the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles. The property feels more like a resort than your typical airport hotel. The scenic heated pool is open late, as is the jacuzzi. The service, especially that which brings one poolside drinks, is attentive and the food near-stellar. The feel of the whole place is more like a hip boutique inn than a stale business hotel, the Starbucks in the lobby not withstanding. Best of all, the Sheraton Gateway is the most convenient hotel for LAX travelers — the property is as close as any to the terminals and the hotel’s complimentary airport shuttle runs every 15 or 20 minutes, around-the-clock. We prefer their rooms with the airport runway views, though some low rumblings from airplanes taking off do manage to penetrate the double-plated windows; if you are an especially light sleeper choose one of the front rooms.
Honorable Mention Best Hotel:
The Inn At Venice Beach
Like our Most Luxurious selection, The Ritz-Carlton, The Inn At Venice Beach barely meets our qualifications for an airport hotel — there is no complimentary airport shuttle and we timed the airport taxi ride exactly at our eight minute threshold. Good thing we are able to include it though because this little hotel is a gem. The atmosphere is very-L.A., with its bright air-brushed colors and cheery atmosphere. The hotel has a near perfect location, a few minutes walk from the Pacific Ocean and the Venice beach boardwalk. The rooms are large and modern; the rate includes complimentary wi-fi and a surprisingly hearty continental breakfast. Guests here uniformly rave about the friendly and easy-going staff. Choose the Sheraton Gateway for the convenience. Choose The Inn At Venice Beach for the fun.
Closest Accommodations to the Los Angeles Airport:
Technically, the perfectly adequate Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Airport is the closest to the airport. However, the much-better-than-adequate Sheraton Gateway (see above) is literally on the same block and runs a more frequent airport shuttle service.
Cheapest Los Angeles Airport Hotel:
LA Backpackers Paradise Hostel
Some youth hostels are “youth” only in name. The LA Backpackers Paradise Hotel is not one of those. If you are over 25 you’ll feel ancient staying in this hostel-meet-fraternity house. The LA Backpackers Paradise boasts a free daily “Champagne and Appetizer Party” from 5pm to 6pm, at which point the free “Homemade Cake Party” kicks in until 7pm, after which hostelers take extensive advantage of the 99 cent beer and wine offerings. Guests also receive a free breakfast, free coffee and tea, and access to free shuttles to both the airport and Manhattan Beach. All that for $16 for a dorm bed and $22.50 for your own room with shared bath. Those prices are low enough to make anyone want to party.
If you are looking for someplace cheap but less raucous we suggest the Econo Hotel LAX. Rooms at this former Econolodge are $39 a night, a rate that includes wi-fi and an airport shuttle.
The cheapest “normal” hotel is the Travelodge Los Angeles Airport South. It is, well, not terrible. Unless you are really wanting to stay on the cheap we suggest splurging the extra $20 to stay at the La Quinta (see below).
The Most Luxurious Los Angeles Airport Hotel:
Ritz-Carlton-Marina Del Rey
The Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey barely meets our qualifications for an airport hotel. There’s no complimentary airport van, and the hotel is within our required eight minutes from the airport only in favorable traffic. Like all Ritz-Carlton properties, their Del Rey incarnation charges a significant extra fee for seemingly everything they can (an internet connection will set you back an extra $30!). However, none of those drawbacks keep the Ritz-Carlton from being our runaway Most Luxurious winner. The extravagance starts with the hotel’s location, set directly on a sparkling marina within walking distance of restaurants and shops (as if you would walk anywhere — this is LA). The breakfast buffet can rival any airport hotel anywhere, as can the spa. The rooms are outstandingly appointed, filled with wooden touches, classic furniture, large TVs and balconies; the suites have grand pianos. The pool is open 24 hours and the attentive service is world-class. Recommended if you want your airport hotel stay to feel like a pampered vacation.
The Best Value Los Angeles Airport Hotel:
The best value accommodations are unquestionably at the LA Backpackers Paradise Hostel (see above). For the best value at a “real” hotel . . .
La Quinta Inn & Suites LAX
In general we are not fans of the La Quinta chain and suspect we wouldn’t have thought much of their LAX property either before a recent $7.5 million renovation. These days, this particular La Quinta is of such value that it nearly made our Best Overall selection. The rooms are spacious and well appointed, with large TVs and comfortable beds, and a pool now awaits guests on the roof. It seems the hotel building wasn’t the only thing renovated either — the service is now attentive and the check-in procedures streamlined. We might have never checked into any place faster than we did last we stayed here. There’s free internet and a free shuttle running every half hour, 24 hours a day. The one downside is that the hotel isn’t in nice section of town, though the hotel itself is safe and secure. If you are cost conscious and staying for only one night, this La Quinta is highly recommended.
Los Angeles Airport Info:
Los Angeles International Airport
This sprawling, soulless airport is one of our least favorite. It is particularly inefficient when transferring between a domestic and international flights. If you don’t have much time between such connections, you might end up staying in an airport hotel even if you don’t want to.
For live updates on flight arrivals and departures click here.