Odds are you’ve stayed at your fair share of run-of-the-mill hotels. There are generic inns on every main road in the United States, along with chain properties that promise you the usual reliable amenities and creature comforts of home. If you crave something different, however, you may be intrigued by the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast. These are the locations that are as much worth the visit as many of the region’s most historic and beloved sites. Here are 10 that you can’t miss.
1. Thornewood Castle
Whether or not you lay claim to any royal ties, you’ll certainly feel the part once you step onto the grounds of Thornewood Castle. The property is Tudor Gothic elegance at its best. The handsome home is resplendent in its beauty, boasting the types of old-world luxuries you would expect of a place so quaint and historic. Shaded by abundant fir trees, the hotel consists of pieces of a 400-year-old Elizabethan manor purchased in England shipped to Tacoma in the early 1900s. Exquisite grounds include a lakefront, plush green grass, and even a charming English garden where you can enjoy a quiet break after a good night’s sleep inside your beautifully appointed suite filled with opulent furnishings reminiscent of Victorian-era glamour.
2. The Charlie Hotel
Once owned by Charlie Chaplin, The Charlie Hotel is worth a visit for its dramatic architecture and intriguing history alone. Beyond the iron gates lies a veritable step back in time: lush greenery, the sound of water crisply falling from fountains, the spacious deck dotted with cozy lounge chairs. It was built in 1924 and taken over by Chaplin some years later. The actor eventually sold the property, and it wasn’t until 2002 that it was restored. Today, it’s home to several decadent cottages that feel as posh as their Hollywood namesakes —it’s worth a stay in the inviting Marilyn suite if you want to enjoy a homey stay. You may be in Hollywood, but you would never know it by your surroundings here.
3. Hotel Figueroa
Los Angeles, CA
It’s humbling to step inside the Hotel Figueroa downtown. It’s a place of deep history and empowerment — it opened in 1926 as a YWCA. At the time, this was an enormous step in a considerably unusual direction. It’s “quirky” for its place in innovation history. It’s essentially a snapshot of a time when such progress was considered heresy — yet it stands today as a model example of what is possible with effort and hard work. It’s as creative as it ever was, and it earns accolades for its artfully decorated rooms, dynamic courtyard, and the area’s only ground-floor pool. The on-site restaurants take culinary art to an entirely new level: masterfully designed interiors vie for the spotlight, but it’s ultimately the creative dishes crafted from local ingredients that rule the dining experience.
4. Mama Shelter
Los Angeles, CA
If mega quirk is what you’re after, you’ll find it in droves at Mama Shelter. Set in Los Angeles, the offbeat property, designed by Thierry Gaugin, earns rave reviews as one of the hippest spots in town. There’s a lot happening here, from the outrageous colors to the lively accents to the killer views from the rooftop bar. The rooms range from compact to jumbo, all sized just right for a stay in the city, complete with all of the amenities you expect of the perfect place to stay. Enjoy a bite to eat, chill on the roof, have a drink or two, or just marvel at your surroundings from up high, where you can see everything from the iconic Hollywood sign to the activity below on Hollywood Boulevard.
5. McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel
Among the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast, this is one you can definitely file under “I can’t believe it’s actually real.” McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel was founded in 1915, but at the time it was an actual elementary school. Fast forward many years, and today it’s a hip boutique hotel that many people specifically visit Portland for. And why not? The interior is dramatic and fun, where former classrooms now serve as guestrooms, and where old-school artwork sets the tone for a vintage-ready stay. Many of the rooms are even equipped with the original cloakrooms and chalkboards. The school’s former boiler room even serves as a vibrant, multistory bar.
6. Hotel Zeppelin
San Francisco, CA
Escape to an edgy hideout that’s equal parts urban-chic, industrial, and contemporary. Whether you’re a creative type, a wallflower, or somewhere in between, you’ll find a home for yourself in the Hotel Zeppelin, whose bohemian roots are evident in its laid-back, welcoming ambiance.
7. The Inn at El Gaucho
In a fast-paced world where everything seems in need of an upgrade, it’s hard to believe a place like The Inn at El Gaucho exists. Yet it does, and it’s inside this retro-inspired haunt that you can enjoy a stay in a dramatic guestroom and a cocktail bar that exudes 1950s charm.
8. Madonna Inn
San Luis Obispo, CA
It’s tough to compete with the eclectic charm that the Madonna Inn brings to San Luis Obispo. Boulders are built into the construction, and there are 110 themed rooms with out-of-this-world amenities, like rock showers and stone fireplaces.
9. Out’n’About Treehouses Treesort
The serene Out’n’About Treehouses Treesort is quite literally a village of treehouses. There’s a scenic, rustic vibe here that anyone with an appreciation for the great outdoors will absolutely love. Each abode is equipped with a kitchenette and a bathroom to lend it a truly homey feel.
10. Inn at Northrup Station
There are few places more quintessentially Portland than the bright and lively all-suite Inn at Northrup Station. The rooms are obsessively fun, with vibrant pops everywhere you turn. No detail is spared here, and odds are you’ll quickly grow to love the place for its electrifying personality.
Book Your Getaway Today
If you’re intrigued by the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast, it’s a good time to get away from it all and book your trip today. Visit BusTickets.com to find affordable transportation to your destination of choice!