Here are some lodging options for our friends making the voyage to LAMAF from out of town. The festival dates (Aug 18-25) is during the peak season for Santa Monica / Venice tourism, making it impossible to negotiate rates. Group rates required a credit card to hold the block of rooms for the number of nights requested (about $10k). Being our first year hosting the festival, we decided against this option.
Below I organized a range of hotels I contacted with rates and contact info listed. While I can’t recommend these hotels, as I haven’t stayed in them before, I can assure you they are all in safe parts of the neighborhood. And based on my research, I only listed hotels I would be willing to stay in myself.
Please note these rates don’t include tax and are subject to change each day depending on demand. I encourage everyone to inquire about discounts when making your reservation (AAA, military, multiple night). Also, you can get a great deal on Priceline and Hotwire, but I would recommend keeping it 3-star or higher, in Santa Monica (because you never know what you’re gonna get!). See Clark Howard’s post about bidding for travel if you choose to go that route. Plus use TripAdvisor.com for planning your trip.
Less expensive hotels will probably be near the airport, which is about a 25-minute car ride to the gallery (rental car would most likely be needed). Santa Monica / Venice hotels are about a 10-minute car ride or less. You could also take a taxi ($10-$15) or public transportation (Big Blue Bus to SMC Bundy Campus, $1+50¢/transfer, or $4 day pass).
Shore Hotel (310) 458-1515 ask for Lori Harrison
$400 per night, mention LA Mobile Arts Festival
#1-2 highest rated on TripAdvisor.com, close to SM Pier, 3rd St. Promenade, SM beach
4-star luxury hotel. http://shorehotel.com/
Double Tree Suites by Hilton (310) 395-3322
average $270 per night – 1 king bed, 1 sleeper sofa
3.5-star, near 3rd St. Promenade Shopping Center
Travelodge Santa Monica, Pico (310) 450-5766
$135-$145 per night, 2 beds per room
ranked best value on TripAdvisor.com, but nothing fancy
2.5-star hotel, not super high end, close to gallery.
Other Lodging Options:
Anything in the Santa Monica, Venice, West LA area.
In my experience, Venice can be a little more diverse, wild, loud, rowdy, adventurous, and fun. Santa Monica is more quite, clean, chic, upscale, pricey. Venice is Indiana Jones, Santa Monica is James Bond. For what it’s worth, I would look for a good deal on a shared house w/ 4-5 (or 10?) friends on CL or AirBNB. I would go with Travelodge as a fallback. Maybe DoubleTree if it was for a night or two. Any hotel under 3-stars, read reviews and proceed with caution! Feel free to email me directly, I’m happy to help where I can. See you soon!