What We Love
- Historic digs in star-studded Studio City, with the largest pool in the San Fernando ValleyThe mid-century hotel’s history of celebrity guests, like John Wayne and Lauren Bacall
- The vintage restaurant and bars, serving fresh plates and craft cocktails
- The pool, the largest in the San Fernando Valley
What To Know
- A 10-minute drive to Universal Studios
- This is a refurbished motel; don't come expecting a resort
- The historic hotel first opened in the 1880s
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Reading like an award-winning film script, the history of the Sportsmen’s Lodge is impressive, beginning with the hotel’s opening in the 1880s, predating the film industry itself. What started as a rural retreat became a popular hangout in the middle of Studio City; Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne and Bette Davis were just a few of the 20th-century regulars. What exists now is an updated version of this legendary escape, catering to travelers who enjoy the finer things, with a touch of the mid-century experience.
The backdrop for this story is a high-design landmark, every detail – from the furnishings to the art to the color palette – referencing Hollywood glamour and modern style. A balcony per room overlooks the city, gardens or pool, the largest in the San Fernando Valley, and three chic eating-and-drinking spots keep the dining as hip as it was in the Golden Age. In fact, it’s not too hard to imagine your stay here as a vintage movie – the lodge as the set, and you as the star.
The Sportsmen’s Lodge guest rooms pair the sleek lines of 1950s design with the luxury touches of today. Modern extras, like a 27-in. flat-screen TV, complement mid-century modern accents, like pops of color and retro textiles. Another classic touch is the balcony, which overlooks either the city, the gardens or largest pool in the San Fernando Valley. You’ll have a choice between one king or two double beds in the City View rooms, whereas the identical-in-size-and-style Pool and Garden options come with either one king, one queen, or two queens or doubles, subject to availability.
Start your day at the Patio Café, with breakfast and lunch menus that feature specialties and favorites like huevos rancheros and country-fried steak. River Rock is a historic brunch and dinner spot, frequented by celebrities and locals alike, its delicious plates including alligator bites, ahi tuna burger and an unusual grilled-shrimp salad. For some serious leisure, enjoy Pool Bar, next to the largest pool in the San Fernando Valley, where inventive cocktails and snacks are always on the menu.
Los Angeles. Tinseltown. City of Angels. La La Land. No matter what you call it, this town is legendary for being home to the rich and famous. Stargaze on studio tours or at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, museums, Universal Studios, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre or the Hollywood sign. There’s also more to L.A. than the glitz and the glamour, so spend some time on the iconic coastline, with towering cliffs and pristine beaches.
How to Get There
I went with two friends to hang out by the pool and just spend the day there. The pool scene was very relaxed. It was family and adult friendly. I didn't feel like I needed to be overdone like in some other Los Angeles area hangouts. Our room was on the patio level and we could just walk right out poolside from our sliding glass doors. I could see this place being great for families on vacation as it's very close to Universal Studios and Hollywood. The room was kind of retro but clean and well appointed for being the kind of place you go in and out of with wet swimsuits on.
The only reason I would not give this hotel four stars is because the early morning noise level of everyone getting ready for their day and clamoring down the hallways was LOUD. You could hear doors slamming, hair dryers, families bickering ... and on all sides of the room. The property is older and the walls paper thin. We were there for fun and not to rest, so we didn't really care. But if I wanted a solid nights rest or a quiet morning, I would not stay here.
Spent 5 nights here during our trip to LA for vacation - booked thru Hotels.com and got a good rate.
Was not told that it was $20/day for parking when we arrived - so was a little caught off guard by the extra $100 charged to us.
We were there during a heat wave - and the air conditioners in the hotel were slow to cool the room. But, I don’t think it would have been any different anywhere else.
Ordered room service one night and breakfast one morning from the Patio Cafe - and the food was awesome!
Very convenient to most anything you want to do while you are in LA.
This is a wonderful little hotel in the heart of Studio City. It is not exceptionally fancy like other hotels in the area, but it has a quaint charm. It was remodeled in the common areas, but some parts of it look a bit dated, but I don't mind that at all! The rooms are spacious. There are great places to eat within walking distance if you don't want to drive everywhere, all the time. AND it is right across the street from Ralph's, a great grocery store that has everything you can imagine. They have a great organic selection! Now, back to the hotel....they have refrigerators for rent for your stay. So, if you do go to Ralph's to buy your organic produce for the duration of your stay, you can keep it cold.
There is also a beautiful pool and an outdoor bar. Some of the room's patio doors open up around the pool area. One of the best things about the Sportsmen's Lodge is the wonderful staff people that work there. They are attentive and courteous. And yes, that can be said of most hotels, but they seem to go the extra mile to honor your requests.
There are meeting rooms and a restaurant on the premises that serves a good breakfast and lunch, if you don't want to go out. There is also an event space on the property for weddings, gatherings, reunions, parties, etc.
I was here several years ago and the place was really adorable, so when we had the chance to visit again, I was looking forward to coming back. Well, I guess I was here when it was just redecorated bc the place is a mess. What started as a cool, moderately priced hotel is now a run down dump w outlets that don't work, peeling painted bathtubs and surrounds, dripping faucets, dust bunnies on the ceiling and just a dirty feeling on the carpets and the hotel in general. Only 1 elevator was working for the entire hotel and that was also on the blink...management needs to step up or I can see this place becoming a "short stay" motel. Such a shame
We enjoyed our family's recent stay for several days at the historic Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel. This is one of Universal Studios Hollywood's "preferred hotels", so if you book it through the Universal Studios Hollywood website as part of a package with tickets, you'll receive early park admission and get to tour The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for an hour before the park opens to other guests. To get this option, make sure you book through Universal Studios Hollywood's website.
The hotel does did not make a great first impression. The elevators are jittery and one has several buttons lit up at all times, the hall carpet looked dirty and tired and the room had no refrigerator. However during our multi day stay, we were won over by the large, clean, heated pool, comfortable beds, lovely landscaping which provides a sense of being in a garden oasis in the midst of busy Studio City's Ventura Boulevard, clean bathroom with nice toiletries, the easy ten minute drive to Universal Studios Hollywood, the great staff at the pool bar and cafe and the close proximity to fabulous Jerry's Deli.
Ask for a pool view room - it is worth the extra cost - otherwise you'll may be looking at a parking lot. Better yet, get one of the rooms that open up directly to the pool deck.
The hotel has an interesting history and definitely has a fun, retro vibe and we would stay there again, despite the carpet and the elevators that had my family asking to always take the stairs.