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“Best deal in Los Angeles” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Magic Castle Hotel

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Magic Castle Hotel
Ranked #2 of 348 Hotels in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
Exeter, New Hampshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best deal in Los Angeles”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

I travel quite a bit to Los Angeles and have stayed at a variety of hotels. I've stayed at the Charlie, the W Hollywood, the Standard (both locations), Sofitel, Luxe on Sunset, the Hotel Amarano in Burbank and have rented three homes from VRBO.

By far, my favorite is the Magic Castle hotel on Franklin. I like this place so much that it's become my default spot for business trips and our favorite for trips with my two young kids.

Why is this nondescript "garden apartment" style hotel my favorite? A few reasons:

1) The location can't be beat. You're in the heart of Hollywood with easy access to the major freeways.

2) You get access to the Magic Castle. While the drinks are overpriced and the food is mediocre, it's an experience not to be missed.

3) The rooms at the hotel are HUGE. They are all one bedroom suites and perfect for the visiting family that needs a kitchen and room for kids to relax.

4) The services is fantastic. Unlike the major chains, the Magic Castle doesn't nickle & dime you at every turn. The wi-fi is free, the snacks are free, they even gave us a free postcard stamp! It's the little touches. The staff and General Manager are all very nice and overly accommodating.

Don't let the modest exterior fool you. This is by far the best hotel deal in Los Angeles.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the recently remodeled rooms.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DeluxoDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
40 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

Frankly, this is the very first time I have been disappointed in something so highly rated by TripAdvisor. Just quickly:

We booked for one night because of a meeting on Wednesday evening in LA, less than two miles from the hotel. We drove in six+ hours, and while it wasn't the easiest to find it was found quickly. I'll start with the positives because they started right away!

First off, the staff - wow. They are enthusiastic, helpful, friendly - heck, it's like the Boy Scout motto is part of their training! They offered a glass of sparkling lemonade while I was checking in and while I declined, they took it out to the car to give to my wife. They then directed me to the gated, underground (i.e. under the building) parking, which while not free was certainly both reasonable and unbelievably magnificent in Los Angeles. (Small note - the ceiling is not terribly high, therefore the pipes below the floor are fairly low, resulting in hatchback contact. Worth watching out for.)

Due to our meeting time, we could only just put our stuff in the room, wash our faces, and head out. It was at this point we noticed the very nice facial soap with an orange citrus scent. We also noticed that due to the design of the entryway, the door to the room does not open completely. There is some sort of weird panel near the floor behind where the door tries to open. There's a very antique wall heater of some kind just inside the door. There is a slightly musty smell. And when washing our faces, we saw the cracked basin in the sink, but with no time to talk to anyone about it we headed out.

We got back around 11:30pm, exhausted, and got undressed and into bed. On taking off my shoes and walking through the room, I found an area where it feels like there are cracks or holes, where the carpet sinks in, between the bedroom and the bathroom. On laying down in the bed, I realized the mattress is ... firm, to be kind. It's on a platform. We also took the time to read the small sign on the bed informing us that if we wanted a top sheet between ourselves and our duvet, we needed to have request it. Exhausted, I put my head down. At this point, I noticed the vinyl shutters in the room do not quite completely close. As our room was on the ground floor facing the street, I had to improvise some receipts stuffed underneath to keep them closed.

About the street - there is a window-style air conditioner built into the wall facing the street, which I could see to outside through (a small hole, granted, but it is still there). But that was nothing compared to the continuous and rather loud traffic. All ... night ... long! The windows looked to be single-pane and (upon further investigation of the inside of the shutters in the light of day) hardly sealed.

In the daylight, I found a few other interesting items. First, the shower - nice, serviceable, old, loads of hot water, and as is typical of someone my height (six foot one) excellent at cleaning my chest hairs. No matter, a great percentage of places are like this for me. But I also saw on the wall between the shower and the bathroom door, which is quite beat up by the way, some sort of yellowish runny stains on it with an exceptionally disturbing (in this day and age) red one on the (also very beat up) floorboard. Now the fact that the door opens physically ON to the toilet may be simply because of the age of the building and the plumbing design, but the oddly placed pedestal on the sink is quite modern.

There are two light switches in the bathroom, one for the light and fan and the other for ... well, I couldn't tell what it did. there is a heating element as well on the ceiling, which looks to be from a mid-50's electric stove top, but it never did a thing. And I feel fairly certain the fan was the prop from the airplane in the movie Casablanca, judging by both its age and surprising level of noise.

Throughout the room, the painting job is slapdash. The floorboards are really beat up. The clothes rod in the closet is scary looking, either badly painted and worn or honestly I don't know.

I'm surprised at how much I found, considering we had just enough time for me to grab some of the (very good and very plentiful) included continental breakfast and take it back to the room before we had to leave. Again, a truly friendly staff, I cannot say enough about them, but I just did not have the time to discuss it with them. I do honestly believe they would have done whatever they could to improve the situation, but this type of trip prevented me from being able to discuss it with them and frankly considering the reports everyone else seems to have made I was caught off guard by all of this stuff. I know things go wrong, but I don't expect a place rated as highly as this to require me to address this many shortcomings.

Had I noticed two other items when we arrived we would have been late to our meeting, as they passed beyond unpleasant to dangerous: the first was some sort of power cable coming from the bottom of one of the outlets, down into the carpet. I do not know where it went or what it was for but I cannot believe that type of rigging would pass code. The second was the fact that the smoke alarm had no battery and appeared to be inoperative (no light). I know that wouldn't pass code.

In conclusion, this is a very pretty, funky, cool place with excellent on-site underground parking, a heated outdoor pool, a staff that would make any Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons or wherever proud, in a really great location in Hollywood, but with what I found in my room I just can't come to grips with the fact this hotel is (as of 1 March 2012) the #2 rated hotel in Los Angeles on TripAdvisor. My experience really doesn't seem to match others'.

Please see my photos to get a better understanding of what I'm talking about in this review.

Room Tip: If you can, choose a room that doesn't face the street, the traffic is nonstop.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank TravelingCook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelManager, General Manager at Magic Castle Hotel, responded to this review, 2 March 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough review of your experience.
First off, I’m truly glad that you enjoyed the service from our staff. Yes, you are correct…had you brought any of this to our attention we most certainly would have fixed the problems beyond your satisfaction. It was a short stay and I completely understand not taking the time to let us know. Quite frankly, you shouldn’t have had to..the room should have been in better condition before we rented it out that night. You were in a “Single” room, of which we only have seven. No question, they are small rooms and better for short stays.…in addition, the particular room you had is one of the smaller “singles” at the hotel.

The fact that our housekeeper missed that spot on the base board is unacceptable, and that drip above the base board is sprayed on cleaner that wasn’t wiped off properly.

The smoke detector you took a picture of is inactive and we have another one on the wall right next to it that is hard wired in to the building. Fire safety if extremely important to us and we have strict programs in place to test our equipment…beyond what is required by law.

Our Duvets are Goose down and are substantial in weight. The cotton slip cover on the duvet is washed for every guest. Many hotels in warm environments do not have a top sheet, as many guests like to have only the duvet. Because not all guests prefer this, we’re happy to provide a top sheet. If you were to come back, this being your preference…your bed would be made for you with the top sheet based on your preference from your previous stay.

We will take a look at the slight dip in the floor as you enter the restroom, thank you for noticing this.

Again, thank you very much for your comments…I really do appreciate them.

Sincerely,
Darren Ross
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abington, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

Huge accomodations. Best night's sleep after wandering all over Hollywood. No need for a vehicle.Super clean. Super beautiful. Big thanks to our front desk man, Nick, who could not do enough for us!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dollybuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
67 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

We loved Magic Castle Hotel and their staff. We arrived a little after 9a to see about dropping off our bags, and they were super. They gave us our garage card (parking is under the hotel) and offered us to the breakfast. They were able to hold our bags and said they'd call when our room was ready. They had maps and reccomendations and spent the time with us to make sure we were comfortable. When we were able to check in at around 1p, our bags were already in our room and we were offered a glass of a sparkling citrus drink. Take advantage of their extensive snack and dvd list as well. The room was a good size and very quiet. The staff really went out of their way to make our stay amazing and it really was.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Off2Vaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

If Trip Advisor allowed 6 stars, I'd use them. In spite of the quite dated installations, the outstanding service really makes this one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in!

My family and I (5 people total) stayed there for three days during our trip to California. We stayed at a double bedroom apartment, which is really large, more than enough to accommodate 5, even 6 adults. It has its own kitchen, with microwave, coffee maker (complimentary coffee and tea) and full sized oven and refrigerator. The beds were very, very comfortable, just what we needed after a long touring LA.

One point that needs to be made is that if you're looking for modern, high tech installations, you should look elsewhere (although they did have an ipod dock and flat screen TV).

It's the little touches that really make this hotel, such as being greeted, upon arrival, with sparkling lemonade, then finding a big bag of cheddar popcorn and a large bottle of blueberry juice in our room (both delicious by the way). Or the free danish cookies, apple cider and cucumber water at the lobby. Or the huge list of free snacks, beverages and DVDs. Everything about the hotel shows that the staff goes many extra miles to guarantee that the guests leave the hotel with huge smiles on their faces (which we did).

All in all, I highly recommend this hotel and wish I could have the opportunity to stay there again in the future.

Room Tip: If you're concerned with privacy, you should book a room at the upper floor, which has a private...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravellingLucas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
81 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2012

We booked a 2 bedroom apartment for 2 nights in January. The apartment was very large and also very dated - which we were expecting after reading previous reviews. We were in the building next door to the main complex and not around the pool which looked much nicer. We were also at the front of the building so it was a little noisy.
The location is excellent very close to many attractions and to public transport. There is a fantastic farmers market on Sundays walking distance from the hotel.
Staff were helpful, breakfasts were good. Good option for families.

Room Tip: Ask for a room around the pool.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Maccyoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2012

Just as you said, we loved it hear. The service was outstanding and the staff made our stay very comfortable. The hotel was well located to Hollywood blvd. The hotel a bit old but very clean and comfortable. L have already recommended this hotel to my friends and would come back in a heart beat. Thanks trip advisor!

Room Tip: Trip advisor told me pool view, less noisey so that's what I booked, only 10 per night, would o...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MelissaMartin13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Magic Castle Hotel

Property: Magic Castle Hotel
Address: 7025 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 90028-8603
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Los Angeles > Central L.A
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Los Angeles
#2 Romantic Hotel in Los Angeles
#11 Business Hotel in Los Angeles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Magic Castle Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just one block from Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Hollywood/Highland Center. We feature mostly very large One-Bedroom Suites. We also have smaller "Single" rooms, which are great for short stays and we have Two-Bedroom suites that sleep up to six people. All suites have a full kitchen, dining area, living room with pull-out sofa, and either one or two private bedrooms. We don't just talk about amazing guest service...we live it. Come and experience a truly unique and independent hotel. Enjoy the complimentary snacks available 24 hours a day, complimentary breakfast, and complimentary WiFi. Turndown service every night, and a newspaper delivered to your door each morning. Also enjoy access to the private club, The Magic Castle. There are age and dress code restrictions, so please ask us about it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Magic Castle Los Angeles
Hotel Magic Castle

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