Date : 19 to 22 November 2015 (3 nights)
Price : SGD $899 (including tax)
Type of room : Studio Suite
Inclusive : Breakfast
Residence Inn in Downtown LA is located at one of the newest part of downtown, named L.A. Live. The hotel building is actually 2 hotels in 1 (i.e. Residence Inn and Courtyard, both under Marriott Group). I booked this hotel via Expedia (for the 6 miles per dollar under Citibank promo) as it was cheaper than booking with Marriott directly.
The hotel is located at West Olympic Boulevard, within walking distance to Staples Centre (expect some noise during game night), Regal cinema (with 14 screens), Grammy Museum and Microsoft Theatre (formerly Nokia Theatre). Metro (7th street station) is within walking distance (about 300 to 400 metres) and there are shopping centres and supermarkets nearby. This part of downtown is pretty safe (with regular LAPD patrol). However, do avoid the other side of Highway 110 which can get quite rowdy after sunset. One can reach Little Tokyo and Chinatown via Metro (walking is also possible but it is about 2.5 to 3.0 km to both destination). Union Station is about 3 km from the hotel, hence a short taxi (or Uber ride) shouldn’t cost too much. Los Angeles International Airport is about 45 minutes away (and cost $46.50 flat fare before gratuities). As downtown L.A. is more of a financial district, there isn’t much thing to do or see at night. Hollywood may be a better option for those looking for night activities. Using the red line metro, one can reach Universal Studio in less than 30 minutes.
The hotel looks newer and nicer than the Residence Inn in Times Square. The lobby looked more spacious and grander. The breakfast lounge is located at level 2 while an outdoor pool and a gym is located at level 3. I did not managed to try out the pool. Gym on the other hand is small but adequate. It has thread mills, stationary bikes, resistance machines and free weights. Access is via room card and there are towels provided.
The room looks new and spacious (easily 400+ sq. feet). The kitchenette came equipped with a fridge and a large microwave oven. Dining wares and cutleries were provided and the room is equipped with a coffee maker too. The living room consist of an L shaped sofa facing a wall mounted LCD TV (which can be rotated to face the bed). We had a comfortable king sized bed. The room came equipped with a Bluetooth speaker which one can pair with their smartphone.
The bathroom was spacious and well kept. There is no light switch however as the lighting system is controlled by motion sensor (which can get quite annoying at night as the bathroom door had a frosted glass which allowed light to pass through).
The room is generally good but for one flaw, the air-conditioning system can get extremely loud and noisy at times. I wasn’t sure if this was due to the air-conditioning system in my room. It shouldn’t be an issue for heavy sleepers but for light sleeper like myself, it can be quite annoying.
Breakfast is provided free for hotel guests. There were hot items (scrambled eggs, sausages, potatoes etc.) and cold items, pre-brewed coffee and tea bags and juices. Just like in Times Square, this hotel had a DIY waffles maker too. The dining room is spacious but it gets crowded after 8:30 am (especially on a weekend).
Residence Inn L.A. Live is a very good hotel at an affordable price (especially with free breakfast). It is well located within downtown for easy access to supermarkets, metro and some attractions. It is recommended for those who will be continuing their journey on train (due to proximity to Union Station). For those who prefer more night life, Hollywood may be a better option.
Comfort: 4* (would have been 5* if not for the noisy air con)