When your trip to Los Angeles calls for an overnight stopover or even just a very long wait during the day, making use of an airport hotel such as the Hilton Los Angeles Airport can make a lot of sense compared to heading downtown.
For starters, its location makes for a longer sleep-in before early morning flights and doubles as being quick to reach after what would be a 12-14 hour journey for Australian travellers.
Location & Impressions
Located just slightly beyond the bounds of LAX, look for the red 'Hotel and Courtesy Shuttle' signs after exiting the terminal on the ground floor – if you're at TBIT, you'll spot these directly across the first of the many roads and to your right. From here you can catch a free courtesy bus to the hotel every 20-30 minutes, or if you don't want to wait the hotel is just a US$9 Uber ride away, including a new US$4 pick-up levy imposed by LAX Airport.
With access to the Executive Lounge we headed straight there on arrival to check-in (no lift key required), and were impressed to find everything we needed to know in our key folder, including service times and WiFi instructions. Finding our way around the hotel, however, was a different story – the signage is firstly relatively small and relies on heavily-bolded letters, which from a distance makes it hard to distinguish their shape as they're so close together... ... and from an angle almost impossible to read: Surely, legible signage isn't too much to ask for in a massive 1,234-room hotel which caters primarily to tired and weary travellers wanting the fastest route to their room and bed.
Once located, our King Bed Executive Floor room was particularly pleasant... ... and had all the amenities you'd expect of a Hilton hotel – bedside power, bottled water, an LCD TV, a coffee maker, a lounge chair, an iron and ironing board and a working desk. Some rooms provide airport runway views, although ours faced the city with the Hollywood sign visible in the distance during clearer weather: On the other hand, the bathroom wasn't nearly as expansive: feeling particularly 'cosy' and featuring a shower over the bath rather than a more stylish walk-in. Also in the negative, the entire hotel's TV system went down in the evening with all external channels disrupted for several hours... ... and when attempting to connect my iPhone to the radio for a little music instead, discovered the auxiliary plug was bent out of shape and unusable. At 10pm and with a 5am check-out, we gave up on the idea – but with so many other hotels packing Bluetooth and even Lightning chargers into their radios, we can all but wonder when Hilton will ditch this dinosaur for something more modern and user-friendly.
The room's desk and chair proved comfortable for several hours of work... ... with easy-reach desk-level outlets for power-hungry laptops and extra plugs attached to the light for smaller devices like iPhones and tablets. Otherwise, head to the hotel's business centre for computer and printer access... ... or set up in the Executive Lounge with work-like desks off to the side. Complimentary in-room WiFi is offered to all Hilton HHonors members with download speeds circling 5.2mbps and uploads of 2.9mbps during our stay, which is about what you'd expect from a basic home broadband connection.
The Executive Lounge serves up breakfast to guests staying in the Executive rooms and to all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members from 6am-10am with lovely fresh fruit joining the standard pastries, yoghurts and cereals: The evening dishes were also tasty... ... as was a light meal from room service. Tempted by a room service coffee or tea, though? Think again – a large cup sets you back a ridiculous US$12.50, or US$14.75 (A$20.50) with a customary 18% tip on top. I've encountered some really expensive coffees on my travels, but this one takes the cake.
Speaking of cake, it's much more reasonably priced as we found in The Bistro, open 24 hours a day in the hotel's lobby, as is a latte from The Cafe for a much more palatable US$5.50.
The hotel's Italian restaurant Andiamo – which translates into English as "Let's Go!" – is also open for dinner until 10pm daily, and the famed In-N-Out Burger is too close by.
Regardless of which time zone your body is following, there's no excuse to skip your workout with Hilton's 24-hour gym always ready for you... ... accompanied by an outdoor pool and four surrounding hot tubs... Guests with Executive Lounge access can also kick back in good company or to catch up on the news... ... or can simply glance out the window and watch the world fly by. With nightly room rates often sitting around US$175 for an Executive room, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel is an inexpensive solution for your next lengthy transit at LAX – and aside from a few minor signage and technical issues proved a comfortable way to spend the time.
Travelling through LA on business? Also read:
- Review: Virgin Australia 'The Business', Sydney-Los Angeles
- American to refurbish Los Angeles, New York lounges
- United B757 p.s. 'BusinessFirst' review: Los Angeles-Newark
- Korean Air, SkyTeam Los Angeles first class lounge review
- American Airlines A321T first class review: LAX-JFK
- 'Delta One' Boeing 767 business class review: LAX-JFK
Chris Chamberlin was a guest of the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT