Quaint, quirky Hollywood

Los Angeles is the gateway for Aussies to the USA. And a few days here is an ideal way to catch up on some zzzz’s and gird your loins for the next flight. So where to stay?

We’ve stayed in many places from LAX airport hotels (great if you’re keen for a shower, sleep and … quickie spa treatment) to
Santa Monica for that glam beach stay (more next trip). Hollywood is always an area we visit — see below — but now we’ve discovered the coolest hotel to stay we’re smitten kittens.

Tired of one-room-fits-all chain hotels, we were thrilled to find the Magic Castle Hotel. It’s one block back from the main strip, so great for celeb spotting. Yesterday was the premiere of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ – red carpets and stars. And it’s 100 steps from the eponymous Magic Castle.

It’s notoriously difficult to get into the Magic Castle — a gothic mansion a la Psycho. You must be a member (magician or know one who can accompany you) or stay at the hotel. The Magic Castle is the club house of the Academy of Magical Arts.

It’s open from 5pm; you must eat here (the food’s really good too); and then visit the several (free) performances. The dress is strictly formal — men MUST wear jacket and tie; dresses ladies, or any pants suits at the very least. Who even owns a pants suit these days? Also be careful whom you sit beside at the bar — they probably will pull some cute sleight of hand. It’s a once in a lifetime night out. Expect to be there for several hours. Totes unique.

The hotel can organise this for you. In fact, the hotel organised everything for you. The ladies (and they are the epitome of politeness) and gentlemen staff take your stay with them personally. White-gloved, they deliver popsicles to you poolside — just pick up the Popsicle Emergency Hotline at the pool and put in your request. Seriously, there’s a phone!

Other freebies include lollies (Kit Kats, Sourpatch, Skittles), salty snacks (potato chips, nuts tortilla chips), soft serve ice cream, and soft drinks. Wi-fi. Breakfast. They’re ALL free! The biggest laugh is watching the adults trip back ‘n forth filling up ice cream cones and soft drink cups.

It’s not easy getting in, only 43 rooms (one, two and three bedroom suites; some have kitchens), so book in advance.

Pick your time of year for max fun — ask the hyper-attentive staff online; yep they respond to emails with uber efficiency (it must be in the popsicles). Jan/Feb is journalist-fuelled, they stay for the Oscars, Easter time is for sports (basketball and baseball are only a few Metro stops away). The Miracle Mile’s art galleries, museums and culture-are also on the Metro. And of course, Hollywood Bowl is close.

I hated writing this review because we’ve found a quiet haven in LA, but I can be too selfish. And I keep opening my big mouth about free-stuff. No one gives free stuff any more — wi-fi in hotels is about usd15 (plus tax).

For the discerning traveller with an appreciation for Melrose Place-style accommodation with old-fashioned personal attention, or someone with a love of magic and a penchant for a quirky night out, or maybe a Hollywood buff who wants to live like a starlet, or perhaps you want to splash some cash in an upmarket shopping mall (The Grove is an USD8 Uber ride) then the Magic Castle Hotel is your next LA stop.

The Magic Castle Hotel
7025 Franklin Avenue
Hollywood. 90028