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Little Tokyo Hotel in Los Angeles, CA

Little Tokyo Hotel in Los Angeles, CA

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Company Info:

Rating: 3.71

Address: 327 1/2 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA, 90012

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    Comments (21):

    1. Mina K.
    at $60 per night for a couple, this is probably the cheapest hotel you'll find in los angeles that you won't get shot at.

    the manager was very sweet and made sure we knew what we were getting into before taking our cash. it's more like a hostel, with one bathroom for each gender on each floor and a communal kitchen and tv room. upon check-in, you're given a set of keys so you can stumble in at any hour. as vance h. has mentioned, most of the tenants are japanese and long-term. the building is located conveniently close to the japanese village plaza and therefore good eats. :D

    okay, now for my gripes... the air conditioning wasn't working, but it was only an issue on the first day (which was hot). after that, the weather was rainy so no one minded. overnight parking was $15+ in the structure across the street, depending when you get your car out. there's no lift in the hotel, but there aren't that many floors.

    our two nights here were well spent, loading up on great sushi during the day and crawling home drunk at night. i felt safe here and it's in the best part of little tokyo. if the boy gets in the mood for a mad sushi fest again, we'll probably come back here. (:

    05/06/08 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    2. Dave C.
    Japanese Hostel. U share the bathroom/shower with the whole floor. Ask for a room with an air freshner inside. Wifi can be slow and weak. Hard to stream porn sites with a weak wifi. Wifi is stronger on 2nd level rooms.

    16/05/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    3. John C.
    Very affordable, quiet. In a good location. Metro Gold line is very close by, making travel by public transportion easy, I'm a big fan and plan on staying there any time I am in the Los Angeles area,

    01/03/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    4. Angela L.
    OMG Way nicer than I was expecting!

    Room #38
    1.) 2 towels provided
    2.) 2 soap bars provided
    3.) 2 drawers
    4.) Nightstand
    5.) Full size bed
    6.) Large full length sliding closet door mirror!
    7.) Yet another mirror
    8.) Lots of power outlets
    9.) Ceiling fan!
    10.) A nice chair
    11.) Very clean
    12.) Smells good, there's air freshener in the room
    13.) Only $40 a night. What a steal.
    14.) Closet space with 6 hangers provided

    The Hotel
    *It's really more like a hostel
    1.) Sinks and mirror in the out door balcony. Pretty cool, makes me feel like I'm in Asia
    2.) 2 Unisex showers across the hall (no showerning after 12am)
    3.) Men & Women bathroom with sink mirror
    4.) Kitchen! With like 3 fridges, a tv, all the cooking utensils. Provided sticker dots and pen so we can write our name on our food.
    5.) They provide filtered drinking water!!!
    6.) Free Wi-Fi
    7.) 2 computers in the computer room that anyone can use for free up until 10pm
    8.) No guests between 8pm - 8am
    9.) Outdoor gate that I was given a key to, so not just anyone can walk into the building
    10.) Smack dab in the semi-bustly Japantown. I was worried the neighborhood would be sketchy, but it looks totally clean and feel completely safe. Lots of restaurants around ^_^ Even a boba place.
    11.) There's no huge sign in the front. It's just a stairway up. Right next to a busy Ramen house.
    12.)  It's kinda loud at the back end of the hotel, people dragging out the garbage bin, dumping glass bottles into the bins... in the middle of the night too. Like 3am.
    13.) Lot of the other residents are Japanese people, which made me feel right at home ^____^ Or better yet! It made me feel like I got to watch a Japanese show in 4-D! Just no subtitles. But still. It's nice listening to Japanese chattering ^__^
    14.) This place is heckuva clean. The lady cleans the bathrooms every day, and dries and puts away all the dishes in the kitchen every morning. Aww... yup Feels just like home ^_^

    SERVICE:
    - The managers are a cute older Japanese man and woman. At first I wasn't sure about this place because I didn't feel I could completely communicate with them. Like when I called to make a reservation, they didn't ask me for any of my information other than my name. haha.
    - They don't accept credit card, cash only

    14/11/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    5. Alfa S.
    My sister and I stayed here for 18 - 22 April 2011.

    I really don't have anything negative to say about this little hotel. It's right by the Red Line Metro thingy, in Little Tokyo, downtown is well within walking distance, and the surrounding areas are well lit and always busy.

    There isn't anyway you can go wrong with staying here if you like some aspect of Japanese culture.

    LTH offers three refrigerators for your storing food convenience, a full kitchen, computer room with Internet access/WiFi. The only thing you (not me) may not like is shared toilet and shower rooms.
    The hotel is very clean and everything in the room functions well.
    There isn't any cable but they have the digital converters on the TV, so you can at least watch local channels that way.

    I definitely would not mind staying here again.

    18/05/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    6. Josh G.
    Owner saved our ass.
    1AM, car locked away.
    He opened his door.

    24/08/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    7. Lalaine G.
    My experience with the Little Tokyo Hotel was not at all like the previous reviews. It was dirty, uncomfortable, hot, old, scary, and just all in all- a BAD experience.

    Let me elaborate.
    This is not a hotel, it is a hostel.  There are long-term residents that live here.  I saw a man peeing in the bathroom (they are community bathrooms) with the door open and proceed to walk back to his room only wearing his underwear.  Then give me a look that said "WTF are you looking at?"  Yikes!  Ok, so we paid 60 some dollars per night (we booked a two night stay)- but if I had known that Little Tokyo would have been like that, I would have opted to stay at Best Western or some other piece of crap place.  It smelled funny, there was no airconditioning at all (it was cooler outside in 91 degree September weather), and there were mysterious stains everywhere in the room.  

    The pictures that were provided by other yelp writers are not at all an accurate depiction of what the place actually looks like.  The room I stayed in looked nothing like the pictures I saw.  The bathrooms were not clean!  I didn't want to step barefoot on the floors.  JUST YUCK YUCK YUCK.

    I was so uncomfortable the first night that we checked out a day early.  I couldn't deal with it.

    I decided to stay there because of these great reviews against my better judgement.  Next time I am in Los Angeles I will pay more and stay at the better, cleaner, nicer place.

    Never again.

    15/09/11 | Link | Rating: 1.0
    8. Dan W.
    3 and 1/2 stars. When I stayed here two years ago, I paid a weekly rate of $35 / night. The location is great - nice and centrally located on the outskirts of downtown L.A., close to union station.  
    Its a very basic 'hotel' and hostel (I had a private room so for me it was not a hostel but an SRO - single room occupancy). You'll have to share bathrooms and showers with random people either way, so hopefully you won't get athlete's foot or some other type of infection.

    16/01/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    9. Richele A.
    I stayed here some moths ago.  It was awesome for the price and location. If you want luxury pay for it.  This was clean and cozy.  May I add it my first stay is a hostel.

    06/01/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    10. Kendy H.
    A friend of mine stayed here. Amazing place. Amazing service. Owners good Christian people. I feel safe here as a female. Will totally come here if I ever need too.

    08/01/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    11. Sami S.
    This is no luxury hotel, so anyone expecting that is surely going to be disappointed. But I am not a picky person, I just need somewhere safe to lay my head at night and I'll be fine. For $40 a night this place was a bargain! The room was impeccably clean, the sheets were comfortable, and the owners were extraordinarily kind and helpful. From the outside it looks a little shady and hidden, but I assure you that the inside is very comfortable. It honestly feels more like a home and boarding house than a hotel. There's a computer office room, a coin op washer and dryer onsite (office can provide change), and a spacious kitchen where you can store food in the fridges or cook, plus free filtered water (hot or cold). So inviting that I would only consider staying here when I come to LA next.

    Now the cons, just so you know what to expect:

    - The wifi is spotty, but I can stream videos just fine
    - No air conditioning. I came from a much warmer climate, so the LA heat is nice and cool to my senses. As long as you leave the fan on, it should be fine.
    - Shared bathrooms. I didn't have any issue in terms of waiting for bathroom/shower times. In fact, I never saw anyone else even using the rooms. Someone said that you can't shower after midnight. That's only true of the upstairs bathrooms, the bottom floor one is 24 hours.
    - The bathrooms seem kind of messy and industrial looking. I just kept my clothes off the floor. I didn't have any issues not using shower shoes and going barefoot, but YMMV. Oh, and the owners like to do that asian thing with toilet paper where you throw it away, not flush it
    - cash only

    Like I said, I'm not a picky person. You shouldn't even be staying in your hotel much anyways!

    06/07/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    12. Kelsy W.
    Clean. This place is SO clean! It is an old building, but it's kept in top notch condition. I highly recommend this place should you be looking for a bargain and don't mind simple over extravagant.

    The staff that runs the place are VERY kind and welcoming. They will even do their best to work something out should you have an early arrival flight or late departing flight. I'd call ahead though just for courtesy sake. I have also never seen them stop cleaning. As mentioned before, I don't think I ever stayed in a cleaner hostel/B&B. They even have neatly folded "cleaning" towels around all the sink areas including the bathrooms and kitchen. The idea is to give a quick wipe down after you are finished using the sink. Never felt uncomfortable touching them.

    You have the option of booking a private single or double room that ranges from $45-$65/night and must be fully paid in CASH ONLY when you check in. Be an extra clean and courteous guest and you MIGHT get a deeper discount next time you stay, but DO NOT expect it! You are also charged a $5 deposit for the one set of keys you receive. You'll get your $5 back once you return the keys. You'll get three: one for the front door, one for your room, and one for the back door (for the guests with cars I'm assuming). A couple of towels and a mini bar of soap were waiting on each of our beds upon checking in. The double room we stayed in had a mini fridge and TV, but I am unsure if this is true with every room. The TV wasn't working for us, but we didn't bother asking about it since we rarely stayed in our room anyway. Wi-Fi is free and worked completely fine with my laptop.

    A small public computer and laundry room was also available but we didn't need to use either. I think they had two computers for use so I suggest bringing your own laptop like we did. Their public kitchen was fully stocked with all sorts of utensils including cutting boards, vegetable peelers, chef and parring knives, sushi rollers, one or two measuring cups, and of course pots and pans. I don't think they allowed guests to use the oven but they did have a stove, microwave, toaster, toaster oven, and I think a rice cooker. The stove was a bit finicky and one or two burners wouldn't work correctly. I also unfortunately had trouble finding eating utensils beyond chopsticks. From observing the other guests, I believe you're allowed to bring back dishes and mugs back into your room. So either they don't bring them back very often or there weren't enough to spare, even looking in the drying rack. Oh, and you'll have to clean *everything* you used ASAP once you're done cooking/eating. No biggie for me since I'm generally a clean person. There are two showers and 2-3 bathrooms (not sure about this since I only used the one nearby me, but I know there was more than one). The shower and bathroom upstairs close at 10:30pm if I recall, but the ones on the bottom floor is 24hrs. I can attest that these (on the bottom floor) are private, allowing only one person at a time to use them. Due to the language barrier on the signs, I was unsure if you could flush toilet paper down the toilet, but I used the trash bin they provided anyway to be on the safe side.

    The location is probably the best you'll come by. There is a convenience store next door and once you cross the street you'll be in the Japanese Village Plaza for delicious restaurants/cafes and cool retail stores. Get a TAP pass and utilize the 24hr Lyft app (or Taxi Magic) for getting around and you'll be golden. It is also one metro line away from Union Station, which is where one of the shuttle services drop you off at from LAX.

    My only gripes are the kitchen not being 24hrs (though closing it at 11:30PM is quite generous), the stove not working correctly, and the room being a little chilly at times during the winter months in L.A. (but I heard you can request a small space heater, cannot confirm). Overall, very minor setbacks, I'd totally stay here again. It can be pretty damn cozy!

    TL;DR: If you're on a budget, not looking for all the frills, and don't mind sharing a bathroom and shower, stay here. You won't be sorry.

    09/02/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    13. Lee A.
    This was a nice/simple place. It's very old but VERY well maintained and by this I mean clean, meticulously clean. I also liked the location. It's close to Union station, Olvera street, and Chinatown. All walking distance. Little tokyo village is just across the street. It's very cute. My husband and I had a small private room (no private bathrooms) for $56. There are bathrooms and showers on both floors. Again, very clean. This is a no frills place. I think I would have been a little happier to pay 45-50 dollars but if you are sharing 56 is still not bad. Owners are very friendly and nice. I don't think they ever stop cleaning. This was the first night in several days that I fell asleep early and slept late (10:30), the bed was incredibly comfortable and bedding very clean. In fact, they iron the sheets.

    28/12/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
    14. Allie Y.
    The staff is very kind and friendly, and everything is always clean, from the bathrooms (which are shared by the way) to the cute little kitchen. They have a filtered water machine and you can help yourself to as much as you'd like! The hotel is right next to Daikokuya, and if you walk down the street a little, Marukai Market is very close, and it has delicious food and toiletries that you can bring back to the hotel. You pay a fair price to stay here.

    03/07/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    15. Iven Y.
    5/5... no, 10/5!!!! The service is absurdly good for a budget hotel. You know how there is a Japanese stereotype of extreme formality and hospitality? It's right here.

    First I get there and the front desk clerk shows me two rooms and gives me a choice. He gives me a tour of the place. He explains everything the hotel offers (multiple bathrooms, stocked kitchen). But that's not what made me fall in love with this place. It wasn't the 12 pm checkout time or the absolute cleanliness of the place. No, it was the phone call I got 10 minutes after checking out saying that I left my phone charger there. I came back to get it and it was WRAPPED UP AND ZIP TIED! That is service that I have never gotten before at hotels or resorts that cost 3 times more.

    Location is safe and convenient. Bathrooms are clean and plentiful. Bed was comfy and the pillow may or may not have been down. Stay here even if you're picky and ready to splurge.

    03/09/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    16. Domi H.
    Poor service I recently took  trip to Los Angeles. I booked a month in advance. Talked to the woman she said for two people the room for a day a be 50$. , so I said ok there cheap. My day finally came , which was yesterday I came to the hotel. The hotel was dirty and rinky dinky. And had the nerves to stare at me and my boyfriend and cousin. In a racism way. Like he thought we were suppose to be Asian. Were African American.  And we felt not wanted than he had the nerves to say we don't have three beds. Ok what made you,  wanna say that maybe my cousin was planning to get his own room the guy is rude and rasis and judgemental I was diguisted , me and my boyfriend are a couple why pay for two beds when were gonna sleep with each other of course! I do not balme the woman every Time I called she was polite and helped me out period.. The guy on the other hand whoooo! He is a Handful. This is a dirty hotel. They don't even have a Ac/Heater , and everyone has to share one bathroom in that hotel let alone. Disgusting man. But anyway despite that the address isn't really a address the Google maps or map quest kept sending us the wrong way. Because the address doesn't make since. Just look at it. We talk to a security that was cacuasain and said he has been working that little Tokoyo area for about some Years and NEVER IN HIS LIFE HEARD OF "Little Tokoyo Hotel". At that time me and my boyfriend and my cousin all looked at each other like wow. Are you serious. The owner literally is waiting outside like just lookin tacky than he acted like he didn't even wanna open the door for us. I said I have reservations , I staring getting pissed off let alone can't even speak clear English sad. Very sad. At the end of the day . do not waste your money. Good thing I only booked it , I never payd just yet ....

    21/01/15 | Link | Rating: 1.0
    17. Gabriel R.
    Horrible. The prices were horrendous for NOT including: TV, Ac, heat, bathroom (including shower and toilet)

    29/10/14 | Link | Rating: 1.0
    18. Love X.
    First of all, I think one thing needs to be spelled out clearly: This hotel is NOT owned or managed by Japanese people. Yes, it's called the Little Tokyo hotel because it is in Little Tokyo, and yes, there are a FEW Japanese guests who live there. There are also a couple staff members who are Japanese though to be honest their attitude is anything BUT "the Japanese stereotype of extreme formality and hospitality" that was mentioned in the previous review. Then again, they've lived in the States for 30+ years; they're Americans as far as I'm concerned.

    The hotel is owned and managed by a rather rude Korean lady. I came to L.A. on a trip to visit as I currently live overseas but am a U.S. citizen and my length of stay was undetermined, so I was extending by the day. Every other day, the Korean manager would tell me the hotel would be full the next day and I couldn't extend. Then I would ask the Japanese housekeeper if this was true and she would say it was a lie and that she would "talk to the manager" about it. I always managed to extend due to a "cancellation". At some point, a very rude, Japanese male staff member told me that the reason the Korean lady didn't like me was because I was neither working nor a student in the States and so she doubted my ability to pay. This makes NO SENSE. So you only want shady people who live and work (or study) in the area and who for SOME REASON (can't pass background check due to crimes? Eviction history? Working under the table due to irregular immigration status?) can't get a REAL APARTMENT? Hotels aren't meant for people who live here! I never paid late and in the end was only there for 6 days, but he was rambling on about how if I were to become a resident after staying for 30 nights it would be hard to kick me out if I were to stop paying. WTF?

    In the end, the Korean lady came to literally beat my door down at 9 in the morning (check out is at 11am and I was all paid up) to let me know that I could not extend the next day . Why she had to wake me up at 9am to tell me this I do not know, since I was staying that night and had already paid for it, but when I pointed out that it was unacceptable behavior she told me that everyone in the hotel was up at 9am and that therefore I should be up as well. She never apologized and actually told me she was doing me a favor to wake me up because I SHOULD be awake. Psycho.

    When I first checked in and for the first 24 hours the internet was NOT working. My phone is on a plan from abroad since I no longer live in the States and I had to use roaming just to contact my family and friends and tell them I got in safely. It cost me 30 dollars to use roaming for one day thanks to the hotel. To make matters worse, the manager was "too busy" sitting on her ass to resolve the problem so I had to call  the AT&T hotline myself to find out what was wrong. Apparently other guests had had to do this in the past so there was a file with the manager's details and I had to lie and pretend I was her to get the info. When I saw the error message when trying to connect I knew it was due to an unpaid bill but she denied it but guess what? She had a 160 dollar outstanding balance with AT&T so they shut off the internet. Classy.

    As for the hotel itself....it's old. It's *not* clean. The shower was always full of hair and goo. The water that comes out goes from scalding hot to icy cold, pressure sucks. Most of the rooms face the street and are very loud and reek of burn meat from the Yakiniku downstairs. The kitchen closes at 11pm so if you want food or to get cold drinks out of the fridge after that, too bad. Everything in the kitchen is sticky and old. The room I got was a nice size but 90% of the rooms are the size of a closet. Walking around barefoot, my feet were black in minutes. The bed was old and caved in. There is NO air conditioning here and the fan rattles; it shakes so hard that I was afraid it would fall down on me as it's right above the bed. The manager knew about the problem but told me she didn't want to waste money fixing it. My next door neighbor had overnight shifts and was only awake at night and slept all day (funny, I thought everyone was up at 9am?) and he would go in and out of his room at night about 80 billion times, slamming his door in the process, which kept me up. This place sucks but for the price and the location and the fact that you don't need a credit card to check in, I put up with all of it. It's too bad the staff is craycray and don't't actually want travelers, only people who live here and can't get a real apartment.

    Speaking of this hotel's dwellers there are a few mentally insane people who spend all day in the kitchen. One younger fellow is constantly talking to himself and will accost you and talk at you for hours. But I guess he's not a traveler so he's OK to stay at Little Tokyo hotel!

    01/11/14 | Link | Rating: 1.0
    19. Jarrett J.
    This was a great stay. The location is really great,  Every person we came into contact with was really friendly and helpful. The room was very clean, and while it wasn't luxurious, everything was nice, and worked, with lots of light and space. The beds were so comfortable. It was such a pleasure to stay here, we will definately do it again.

    24/03/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    20. D P.
    CASH ONLY FOLKS. To make reservations you have to call, there is no email or anything, they're old fashioned in that way. Wonderful people- both those running the place and the more permanent guests! I fell in love with this place the minute we walked up the stairs!

    Great place to stay, very basic, nothing fancy- but very well cared for and very clean. Right across the street from the main plaza as well as a big parking garage and just down the street from the Koban (tourism bureau). Popular ramen shop is right downstairs, and within a block walk are the East-West Players, the Japanese-American History Museum and the LA tram system. Chinatown and Little Mexico are also within walking distance!

    There's a kitchen if you want to save money and eat in, computer lab and laundry room, bathrooms and showers are shared by all guests.

    [Edit: apparently "Little Mexico" is not a thing according to someone who sent me a message. I'm really not sure what the area is actually called, I just went off of what I was told- and I invoke my right as a tourist to be somewhat ignorant on proper names.]

    23/03/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    21. Jon B.
    Great spot! Very welcoming, and polite staff!

    Very basic, nothing fancy- but very well cared for and very clean. Right across the street from the main plaza as well as a big parking garage and just down the street from the Koban (tourism bureau). Popular ramen shop is right downstairs, and within a block walk are the East-West Players, the Japanese-American History Museum and the LA tram system. Chinatown and Little Mexico are also within walking distance!

    24/11/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0