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Although I have a base in LA, I still find myself using the hotels at LAX when I have very early flights to catch or when I’m just passing through for a few hours. On a recent trip, I found myself booked into the Hilton on West Century Boulevard, a short shuttle ride from the airport terminals.
I was only staying at the Hilton overnight so I didn’t really have a chance to avail myself of all that the property offers (that’s why this isn’t going to be a full review), but the information on the room and the Executive Lounge should still be of use if you’re considering booking this property.
At the time I was making my booking I had the choice between paying $171 + taxes or 40,000 Hilton Honors points for a King room at the Hilton Los Angeles airport.
Once the taxes were factored into the cash rate the total room cost came to a little under $200…
…so, I chose to pay with points.
On this occasion I was only getting around 0.5 cents of value out of each point I was using but, as that’s about 0.1 cents/point more than my valuation of Hilton’s currency and as I rarely get to use what few Hilton points I have, I was more than happy to keep $200 in my wallet and part with my points.
The Hilton LAX runs a frequent shuttle service between the various terminals of Los Angeles International airport and the hotel so, as long as you’re lucky enough to catch LAX on a day where the traffic situation isn’t horrendous (admittedly those days seem to be few and far between right now) you should be able to get to the front desk within 15 – 20 minutes of walking out of your terminal.
The entrance to the Hilton at Los Angeles Airport doesn’t look like much when you’re disembarking the hotel shuttle, but the lobby area looks pretty good…
…and not just for an airport hotel. The lobby/foyer would look good in a lot of more expensive 4* properties.
I have Hilton Honors Gold status thanks to a recent upgrade to the AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass credit card (once called the Ascend card) so I used one of the priority check-in lanes to circumvent the sizeable line for non-elites (the first bonus of Gold status) and, as I presented the agent at the desk with my credit card and ID, I was told I’d been upgraded to a room on an Executive floor (the second bonus of Gold status).
On such as short stay, and as I would be departing before the Executive Lounge opened for breakfast, lounge access didn’t really have a significant monetary value to me on this visit…but I knew it would be useful for the purposes of this post.
King Room Executive Floor
The elevators at the Hilton LAX are among the more high-tech I’ve seen as, to call them, you’re required to enter the floor number you’d like to go to…
…and, after a suitable elevator has been called (there are at least 6 elevators at this property), you can see what floors you’ll be calling at once you’re inside.
At first this seemed a little unnecessary, but then I realized that the system helped minimize the number of floors that each elevator had to stop at and when you have a property as busy as this one can get, that’s a very good thing.
The communal areas on the Executive Floors are what you’d expect from an airport Hilton – non-descript and functional…
…but they’re clean and well maintained and that’s really all that matters at a property such as this one.
My king room was well-located on the 17th floor (just far enough from the elevators to be away from any noise but close enough to the elevators to mean that I didn’t have a 10-minute hike to get to them every time I left my room) and was a very good size.
Unsurprisingly, the large bed is what draws the eye as soon as you enter the room…
…but the space is still big enough to house an armchair and side table…
…a cabinet (with TV perched on top) and a desk & chair pairing without making it feel like there’s little room for anything else.
The feeling of space in the main part of the room is very nice indeed and, combined with the ample light that streams in through the large window, that makes this a pleasant room in which to spend some time and work.
Another strong point of the room is that there’s no shortage of power outlets wherever you look.
Most of the lamps in the room have at least two power outlets built into them…
…and even the normally pointless bedside alarm clock comes with a USB port from which guests can charge a mobile device.
On the amenity front, the room comes equipped with a Cuisinart coffee maker,…
…the cabinet at the foot of the bed has a built-in safe (which is just about big enough to take a 15” MacBook)…
…and the room’s closet comes with an ironing board and iron for those times when your packing skills have let you down and your crumpled clothes are likely to embarrass you when you go outside.
Compared to the rest of the room, the ensuite bathroom can appear a little small…
…and the bathtub is certainly not of the kind which will encourage anyone to enjoy a long and relaxing soak…
…but the shower is perfectly acceptable (and suitably powerful) and, considering who this property is aimed at, that’s probably the more important feature to focus on.
The Executive Lounge
The Executive Lounge at the Hilton Los Angeles airport is located on the 16th floor of the property and comes with a check-in desk which guests (with lounge access) can use to check-in if the lines in the lobby are getting out of hand.
The lounge is set out in the shape of a letter “L” with a few alcoves thrown in for good measure.
Also, as you’d probably expect from a lounge on a high floor of an airport hotel, there are views of the airport and at least one of its runways.
Before the lounge sets out its evening selection the food and drink offering is pretty sparse but there are tea and coffee making facilities on offer…
…as well as a few bottles of water and cans of soda on the side…
…and some granola bars and dried snacks to keep hunger at bay.
Once the evening service starts up, the bar (which you have to pay for) opens up…
…and a few hot and cold food items are laid out.
If you’re expecting to have a satisfying meal you’re going to be sorely disappointed, and if you’re trying to stay healthy you can forget about any of the hot options on offer – the limited selection of fruit and salad items are your only choice.
Overall, the lounge is a nice enough place to enjoy a comfortable seat and even to get some work done (when the crowds aren’t trying to get at the food), but it’s definitely not somewhere on which you should rely for your evening meal.
As I didn’t need a meal on the evening I arrived at the Hilton (and as I left the property exceedingly early), I didn’t get to try out any of the dining/drinking establishments on offer.
However, for the sake of completeness, this is what the property offers.
There’s “the Cafe” to the right of the entrance lobby which serves a breakfast buffet and lunch:
Thre’s an Italian restaurant (“Andiamo”) which is open between 17:00 and 22:00 daily and which offers “authentic recipes from northern Italy paired with a well-chosen selection of international wines”
There’s a coffee shop, the Bistro, which is open 24-hours and which offers table service as well as takeaway options:
And there’s a large (enough) bar (“Landings”) which serves the usual bar fare until midnight every day.
- If you’re used to the type of hotel lounges you’ll find in Asia, Oceania and parts of Europe and South America the Executive lounge at the Hilton LAX will be a disappointment – the food offering is pretty poor and you have to pay for drinks.
- The location close to LAX combined with the good shuttle service makes this a very convenient property if you’re in town on a layover or if you just need easy access to the airport.
- The King rooms on the Executive floors (and possibly even on other floors) are a great size and are a nice place to relax and to work.
- The wi-fi (which I forgot to mention above) is a very good speed
This is probably the third or fourth time I’ve used the Hilton at Los Angeles airport and I keep coming back because I like the convenient location, I like the efficient airport shuttle and I like the quality of the rooms – I don’t really need much more than that in an airport hotel and, unless for some reason you’re staying more than one or two nights, I doubt you will either.
The Hilton LAX is a very solid airport hotel and one of the better value hotels with easy access to Los Angeles International airport…especially if you have Hilton Honors status.