In my search for budget lodging in Los Angeles, I couldn’t have done much better than the PodShare in Hollywood.
Designed by Elvina Beck and opened in January 2012, the PodShare takes the hostel concept into the modern world with amenities that make it especially traveler-friendly, like free computer usage and an almost unlimited supply of electrical outlets.
Oh, and it’s also located right in the middle of Hollywood. You’re going to check out Hollywood during your L.A. visit anyway, so wouldn’t it make sense to stay right in the heart of the action? I stopped in to the PodShare to see for myself.
The site consists of ten pods, eight singles and two doubles, meaning that only a dozen folks will be staying each night (though sometimes they’ll bring out an air mattress for an additional traveler.) Single beds currently run $50 per night, while a double costs $70. Be sure to check their website for any promotions that may be going on.
Guests – sorry, podestrians – write their names above their beds and put inspirational quotes on their personal whiteboards to encourage a friendly atmosphere. Some folks introduce themselves and hang out together, but it’s also fine to chill in your “pod” and do your own thing.
There are free computers for checking email or looking up neighborhood hotspots. If you bring your own laptop, you can use the PodShare’s wifi. And while I was happy to enjoy a thin-slice dinner at the pizza shop down the street, for those who want to do their own cooking, a full kitchen is available.
About the pods
The ten beds are grouped together in one main room on two levels, and each pod has more room than you’d get in a hostel. There’s no battling your bunkmates for the right to recharge your phones or cameras, because each pod has its own set of electrical outlets. Now that is a luxury you don’t see in typical dorm-style lodging.
Each pod comes with a flat-screen tv with Netflix, Hulu and Pandora and a set of headphones so everyone can entertain themselves without disturbing other guests. Now you don’t have to miss the latest episodes of Community and Family Guy even while you’re traveling!
Then there are the little touches, like the PodShare slippers.
Every pod contains a small storage space, though lockers are available if desired. At night, the entrance is locked for security and guests are given a code to allow them to come back as late as necessary.
The only constructive advice I have for the PodShare is to add more bathrooms. One private bath/shower room is insufficient for 10 people, since all it takes is one person taking a 20-minute shower to make things very uncomfortable for others on the receiving end of nature’s call. Elvina has said there are more bathrooms upstairs that are sometimes opened, and I would recommend putting those into use full-time.
Aside from that, which shouldn’t be a major issue since you’ll probably be out seeing the city most of the time instead of hanging around inside, there’s not much to complain about.
Located very close to the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the PodShare is easily accessible via the red line subway train and numerous buses, which is how I got around during my stay.
It’s a short walk to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre and all the other touristy stuff in the ‘hood that you have to see at least once. It’s also a five minute walk to iconic record store Amoeba Music and a couple blocks to Frolic Room, one of the best dive bars in the city. On Sundays, there’s a large farmer’s market at the end of the block.
You don’t have to walk far to find some sweet Hollywood views.
The neighborhood can be loud on weekends due to the awesome nightlife in the area. But if for some reason you to want to turn in early on a Saturday night, the Podshare provides earplugs. I slept like a log – though that may have had something to do with my exhausting hike to the Hollywood sign that afternoon.
The concept is creative, the youthful atmosphere is enjoyable, and the location is excellent. Overall, if you’re looking for budget lodging in Los Angeles, the PodShare is one of your best options.
Note: I received a comped stay at the Podshare and, as always, have provided an honest recap of my experience. For more information or to make a reservation, check out the PodShare website.