Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Melrose Hostel – 3/5 Stars

Melrose Hostel
646 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004

I needed a place to stay on the cheap between subletting my studio in Hollywood and flying to my studio in Madrid. I called them up and I decided to stay here because the guy, possibly the owner, who I spoke with on the phone was incredibly friendly. He told me about a 5% discount on their website and bicycle parking on the roof. It is cheaper than any of the other rates offered on other websites. It was like $28 a night! It’s against their rules to be an Angelino and stay here, so I used proof of my travels and Spanish residence to create a loophole that I could jump through.

This hostel is small and it’s furnished like a Boba shop. They’re located in the middle of Koreatown’s furniture row and the decor looks like an amalgamation of leftover furniture of nearby stores that have gone out of business. They’ve basically got three rooms with 14 beds each: Men, Women, Unisex. There is a common room on the ground level with a television, a refrigerator, a communal table, and a couch. The Men’s room is a bit cheaper than the other rooms, and it was full every night. Since LA is synonymous with homelessness and a lack of affordable housing, it’s probably not surprising to find a share of older people who normally wouldn’t stay at hostels anywhere else in the world sharing bunk beds here. Each of the rooms has got lockers. They seem like repurposed high school or gym lockers from 40 years ago with lock mechanisms that you sort of have to wiggle the lock in and out of.

The breakfast is very delicious with fresh watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, bagels (prepackaged), bread, orange juice, and coffee. However it runs out at 8 am and depending on who’s working that morning, it takes a long time to refill. PARTICULARLY – the Asian woman who wears sandals absolutely hates refilling the breakfast. She gave me an attitude and raised the orange juice and milk cartons when I asked if she could refill the one small coffee maker that they use since it was empty for like the 15 minutes I was there from 7:45 – 8 am. Yeah, it’s unusual that one worker is in charge of checking people out, refilling breakfast, and basically everything – so get another person to keep an eye on it!

There are a few other bicyclists who stayed here too. They got a system of which you could lock up bikes at the top of the hostel. They’ve got an incredible rooftop that is mostly used as a smoking patio, sadly. But it is also used for lounging. And then the bikes. I’m saying this as someone who works out obsessively, it is tricky to get a bicycle up those steep steps to the rooftop! I can see a weaker person completely losing their grip. You not only have to walk up stairs, but maneuver the bicycle along a winding passageway and hunch where the ceiling gets low, while keeping the bike high enough to not hit the stairs. But I believe this is on whoever brings a bike, because you need to possess at least a semi-advanced level of competency to bicycle along any part of Melrose. Melrose is absolutely narrow and horrifying to bicycle, especially where the cars are pushing past you to get onto the 101 onramp, and Western, which is less crazy but doesn’t have a bike lane either.

Useful: 7  Funny: 6  Cool: 5