Where did you stay?
The Orlando Hotel, on West 3rd St. in Los Angeles, is a boutique hotel with a prominent location around the corner from The Beverly Center. It is the kind of hotel that people drive by every day to work, and think, I wonder who stays there? We did! And it was great.
What’s the crowd like?
Fun hipster scene, meets European tourists looking for L.A. nightclubs that have bottle service at an affordable price. The mood is very low-key, and surprisingly friendly for L.A., which can be partly credited to the amazing hotel staff, who are efficient, attentive, and genuinely personable. They answer questions thoroughly before letting you continue on with your life. Again, that’s rare for L.A.
How was your room?
Rooms are notably big, lots of space to move, and are decorated in warm earth tones. The beds are firm, the sheets are soft. This hotel is right on West 3rd St., so rooms facing the street have fun views but street noise finds its way in, so visitors with sensitive ears should ask for a room facing the pool, on the other side of the building.
How about the amenities?
The star of The Orlando is the hotel’s sexy restaurant, Cleo, which attracts a mix of L.A. locals and hotel guests. The hotel’s front desk attendant described it as “really cool,” and it is. Think Mediterranean fare, shareable small plates, lots of delicious drinks with fresh juices. The opulent interior is a beautiful space, and the cozy bar has excellent people-watching potential.
The outdoor pool, which is open only in the summer, has the distinct advantage of not being overshadowed by super-tall buildings nearby, which is not always the case in L.A. Rooms with patios do not open directly to the pool, so there is still a level of privacy.
What about the neighborhood?
Location, location, location! West 3rd St. has cute shops and restaurants, and but that’s just the beginning. Several blocks north is the style mecca of Melrose Ave., featuring some of the world’s best indie fashion labels. Fans of Pretty Woman can take a short drive to Beverly Hills, where they will be ignored by the sales clerks on Rodeo Drive.
But wait! There’s more: The Farmer’s Market is less than a mile from the hotel, down West 3rd St., and it is a must-visit destination in L.A., even if just to get a donut at Bob’s. The Farmer’s Market is adjacent to the swanky shops of The Grove, and then just two blocks north are the CBS Television studios, where people line up on the sidewalk to get seats for game shows like The Price Is Right. Cheer them on as you drive by, and then take a moment to enjoy this moment that can only happen in L.A.
Closest gay bar?
Every flavor of nightlife is just five minutes from The Orlando, where they line the streets of West Hollywood, and have men in very little clothing dancing on the bars. The Abbey, the flagship of WeHo nightlife, is here, as is Fubar, a Best of GayCities finalist for “Best Dive Bar,” although Gold Coast, Mother Lode, and Revolver also have some serious dive bar cred.
Then the next day, cleanse your liver with a pressed juice at Kreation Organic Cafe. It’s another L.A. thing to do, and it is one short block from the hotel.
Final words of advice?
West Hollywood has a ban on electric scooters, so they can’t be parked within the WeHo city limits. Traffic is insane in L.A. anyway, so do like the locals do and take ride shares instead.
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