Ramada Wilshire Center

Front desk at the unremarkable Ramada Wilshire Center in Los Angeles.

My husband travels quite a bit and has often had good luck with Travelocity’s “Secret Hotels.”

Last month he picked up some last minute shoots for an upcoming show — a “day in the life of” series that profiles comics and performers, so he needed an affordable place to stay near where he would be trudging his gear around on location.

The caveat with Travelocity Secret Hotels is that they give the star rating and basic location, but not the name of the hotel until you plunk down the dinero and book the room.

Queen bed? Not quite.

According to his booking, Travelocity promised to deliver a “three-star” hotel. The Ramada Wilshire Center was decidedly not. Two stars for sure, and cheap at $69 per night. The current rate available on the website lists rates from $120.

Dan is a tall guy so he booked a room with at least one Queen-sized bed. When he arrived, he opened the room to twin beds. He called the front desk and they agreed to move him to a different room. Alas, the second room was also furnished with twin beds. At this point the front desk guy said that the computer didn’t tell him what size the beds were and essentially tried to convince him that those twins were, in fact, queens.

Onto the décor: Dan described it as drastically boring. Shabby chairs, low-slung beds, dull paint colors, disposable artwork. The shower had decaying and chipped fiberglass

Every floor seemed to be smoking floor or at least smelled like stale smoke. His view from the second floor was a rooftop littered with cigarette butts.

No pool, courtyard, or anyplace for kids. There is nothing to do at the Ramada Wilshire Center beyond sleeping. Basically, this is a dumpy, run-down hotel.

On a positive note, there is free, secure parking, free in-room wi-fi and central LA location that is more or less equidistant from Hollywood and the West Side, depending on traffic.

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A less then stellar bathing experience at the Ramada Wilshire in Los Angeles.

Insider Tip:

We would only recommend this hotel if one were seeing a show at the Wiltern Theatre a block away, didn’t want to drink and drive, and just needed a place close by to crash after. The beautiful Wiltern Theatre and adjacent 12-story Pellissier Building is a blue-green glazed terracotta architectural gem and is considered one of the finest examples of Art Deco style architecture in the United States. On nights when there are shows here, this area is hopping.

Ramada Wilshire Center
3900 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone: 213-736-5222

Contributed by Lisa Dion of Friscomama. Photos by Dan Dion.