My long-awaited return to hostel life. It came just a few weeks ago upon my return to the states after living and traveling through Central America for the winter. I rarely stay at hostels. In fact, it had been three years since I last stayed at one. I wanted to stay at a hostel, partly due to budget, and partly for kicks. I like to switch things up when traveling. Rarely will you see me staying at a major hotel brand, unless I’m using points. If given the option of a chain hotel or the family-run guest house, I’m going to pick the guest house every time. So as my first stop upon returning to the states, I had decided to stay at a hostel for a couple nights in Los Angeles. Nothing was really piquing my interest, as I didn’t just want the standard hostel experience. That’s when I came across a new hostel in Hollywood, called the StayON Beverly, which billed itself as a luxury hostel.

Let’s begin with what the StayON Beverly Hostel in Hollywood is NOT. It’s not your typical hostel experience by any means. Most of the typical hostel experiences aren’t found here. No parties until early in the morning, Internet cafes, or large shared dorm rooms with sheets draped over the bunks. There’s plenty of stereotypical hostels in Los Angeles, but this isn’t one of them.

The other side of this hostel is that it’s not a luxury hotel. Consider the term “luxury” on the hostel’s website, not as you may think of it as it relates to a Ritz Carlton, but as it relates to a hostel. There’s no turndown service or bell hops (Although you do get chocolate mints on your pillow) and the exterior is far from flashy. Features of the hostel include several private bathrooms with marble tiles and spacious showers and private bedrooms with comfortable beds with several pillows. Other room amenities include a flat screen TV, free wireless Internet access, personal refrigerator, and work desk. If anything, it has more of the feel of a small boutique hotel or inn.

The reason the StayON Beverly can offer an upgraded hostel experience, while maintaining reasonable prices in Hollywood, is because of its no frills accommodations, stripped down to the necessities and with very little staff. Guests can easily go their entire stay without seeing a staff member. Check-in is completely digital. After your reservation is booked, you’ll receive a code to enter the front door and your guest room. This serves as your key for the length of your trip, expiring at check-out on the day of your departure. There’s no check-in or customer service desk.

The StayON Beverly is a complete self-service lodging option. I recommend this for someone who will primarily be there first thing in the morning and late at evening to sleep. There’s a self-service kitchen area stocked with tea and coffee options, as well as a vending area. While there is public transportation nearby, it’ll be better if you have a car, which is typically the case wherever you stay in Los Angeles.

By now, you’ve either skipped all the way down to this paragraph or you’re thinking: “Spencer, let’s cut to it. How much are we talking about?” Rates at the StayON Beverly are $50 per night. Considering some of the bad hotels I’ve stayed at for more than $50, I definitely recommend the StayON Beverly. I had only the things I absolutely needed, and nothing more. If you travel anything like me, I hope you’ll find it preferable as well.

My weekend at the StayON Beverly was compliments of the hostel.

Photos courtesy of the StayON Beverly.