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Orange Drive Manor Hostel (Hollywood, USA)

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1 Review

Address: 1764 North Orange Drive / Hollywood / California 90028 / USA

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      03.04.2009 12:01
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      When travelling last summer, I travelled the west coast of North America being Canada as well as California. I was having my birthday in Las Vegas so when booking put most of my money into hotels and travel to that location but in Los Angeles I still wanted a comfortable stay. I booked my whole trip online, but in Los Angeles it was quite pricey, I just wanted a twin room en suite for my friend and I in a good location which after searching for a while came across the Orange Drive Manor Hostel. I don't like to be snobby but with the word hostel I felt a bit uneasy so I looked into more depth at reviews on this accommodation to see what people said and it seemed to be good feedback.

      On arrival in Los Angeles, I was exhausted I'd been up most of the night travelling from Canada to America and then the taxi is easy enough to get outside of LAX. The trip seemed to take a while in the heat and I was in a hoodie, we dropped a few people off but we finally pulled up outside the hostel, it seemed to be in an ok location and looked like a house from the outside but quite nice.

      When getting into the hostel the reception area is easy to find but it is not 24 hour reception as I was told, it is 7am-12 or something like that. The staff were friendly enough, I paid my stay in cash otherwise there is a 10% or 5% card charge if paying by card which I didn't really want. Once we had paid the keys were handed over and we were shown to our room as well as them taking our bags up the stairs which was very kind. The stairs aren't steep at all and I was very happy with the room, ok so it is no 4-star hotel but the room was very big in size.

      The view from the window is nothing great but they have net over them so that no insects can get in but you can still keep the windows open all of the time which is very nice since the hostel had no air conditioning but I never found it difficult to get to sleep here anyway.

      First with the negatives, the bathroom 'en suite' was not the best as it was quite small and looked dirty, they gave us towels and always put more toilet roll in and you had to put bins out yourself. The shower didn't run powerfully but it was ok for what I paid and did my fine it had a sink and a toilet and unlike the others staying we didn't have to share which was good. The staff were quite nice but very young and a lot seemed to love partying and drinking with the guests but some were a bit too overfriendly which made me a bit uneasy.

      Outside at night you can hear a lot of the guests making noise with their drinking or singing, a lot loved to go up the Hollywood Hills and get 'trashed' but I just wanted to see what LA had to offer, although if you're up for that kind of thing the option is there as they do invite everyone.

      There is no dining room here they have a drinks machine and a lounge area to sit and watch TV which is small but ok, there is a kitchen to cook breakfast but you had to write your name on everything so it didn't get stolen even though a lot seemed to use everyone else's milk and things. It felt like being back at university but I used to eat out a lot so didn't really use this kitchen as again it wasn't the cleanest.

      When entering the hostel there are a lot of leaflets on nearby attractions and if you asked any member of staff they would always spend a lot of time giving you the best directions possible on where to go or how to get there.

      The internet charge is $5 a day for wireless but you are just given a code she showed it to us and then we had to type it in but I just typed it into my laptop when she wasn't looking and got internet the whole time as I refused to pay $5 a day in a hostel for internet. The payphone was very old fashioned in a small booth. When the door opened the light would go on and then there was a list of useful numbers, a yellow pages. It was $1 to phone international for a few minutes and a quarter for local calls, it was quite cheap and private to use. Although if people needed to use the phone they would hang about waiting for you to finish your call.

      The location of this hostel is the main thing I liked, you are right in Hollywood, a 5 minute walk off of Hollywood Boulevard which is where the Chinese Theatre is where the Kodak theatre is, also nearby the Metro a 10 minute walk. There is a supermarket, pharmacy about 10 minutes away as well as a selection of restaurants and a shopping centre. It is also next to the El Capitan Theatre where they film the chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live so I saw a few celebrities while there. There are lots of people on Hollywood Blvd giving away flyers for free TV show audience tickets as well as people dressed as characters but watch if getting a photo with these people as they are not employed by the attractions and want a tip for a photo, they are not free.

      The comfort of the room was fine for me, it was spacious, I felt safe with my room and the beds were ok, I slept well every night and never felt too hot as the air circulated well. The main room felt clean enough it was just the bathroom and the shutter didn't close right in there so I was worried about getting changed in there.

      Another thing when leaving was that with the hostel reception opening at 7am a few wanted to check out and she was late and I needed to give the keys personally and get my $50 back because you pay it for security on your keys and they give it back if everything is fine or something like that I can't exactly remember. Anyway so it's not like I could just leave my keys as some did obviously they had money to throw away. So with her coming in late I then got onto the Metro late and ended up missing my connecting flight to Las Vegas but luckily was put on the next one easily. The reception could be open earlier with a lot of people leaving in the morning.

      As I have said overall I did have a good stay I was rarely in the hostel because I was too busy exploring what Los Angeles had to offer and I had a great stay. I loved the sun, the transport is easy enough to us, and it is nice to sometimes walk places as well though. I would stay here again if I got the big room but I wouldn't share with anyone as I did like the location and prices otherwise.

      I booked my stay on http://www.hostelworld.com it cost me about $28 a night I'm sure as at the time we weren't in the recession but rates have increased now to $38 a night for the twin ensuite. You only have to pay the 10% deposit upfront and the rest you pay upon arrival which is annoying if like me you kept having to keep money aside to cover the costs. For 13 nights we paid in total $459 after the deposit which is brilliant working out at only about $220 each which is very cheap for what it is. The website shows photos and mixed reviews.

      You can also go onto the official website at http://www.orangedrivehostel.com which is the official website and has more detail as well as a contact telephone number.

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