Chic, Modern Hotel near Manhattan Beach and LAX
Custom Hotel is so close to Los Angeles International Airport that you can see the runways from some of the guest rooms. However, the hotel’s stylish feel redefines the typical airport hotel. Its six themed lounges are decked out with everything from gaming systems and 55-inch TVs to local artwork and massage chairs, and staff members all wear retro-chic 1960s-era airline uniforms. Custom Hotel also puts you within reach of top LA attractions such as Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Marina del Rey.
At night, the windows of Custom Hotel light up in bold teal, violet, and orange. The vibrant hues come from inside the guest rooms, where you can adjust color-changing LED lights to suit your mood. The ultra-chic rooms come equipped with 37-inch flat-screen TVs and free WiFi.
The menu at Deck33, the onsite restaurant and lounge, features classic American fare and fresh seafood with exotic Pacific Rim flavors. The black spaghetti comes with calamari, shrimp, scallops, and lobster tossed in a garlic white-wine sauce. There are also some vegetarian and vegan options, such as spinach ravioli filled with Asian mushrooms.
West Los Angeles: Surfing Mecca, Mansions on the Beach, and Venice Beach Boardwalk
West Los Angeles has pristine beaches and mansions perched on ocean-side bluffs. Manhattan Beach, once a popular hangout of the Beach Boys, has "some of the best surfing around,” according to Frommer's. Fishers frequently post themselves at the end of the beach's 928-foot-long pier, where it's fishing season year-round. The pier is also home to Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium. Admission is free here; there’s a living-reef exhibit, and you can get up close to sea creatures at the tide-pool touch tank.
Less than 15 minutes from Custom Hotel is Venice Beach. Fodor's describes Venice Beach's famous boardwalk as "a cosmos all its own.” It’s lined with street performers and eclectic shops selling art and handmade jewelry. It’s also a place where fashion knows no bounds: on a typical day, you might see a tanned bodybuilder in a speedo pass by a man wearing a metallic suit walking on stilts.