I Never Pay Full Price for Hotel Rooms—This Is Where I Book

Updated 02/13/18

While we've spilled a lot of proverbial ink on the best flight search engines for finding the lowest fares, we have yet to reveal one of our more closely guarded travel secrets—the best place to book a hotel room without paying full price. Whether you're a frequent traveler or a serial staycationer, you should download the HotelTonight app stat. This easy-to-use app lets you search unsold rooms at hip hotels at seriously deep discounts.

The only catch is that you can't book a room too far in advance (up to 100 days in select cities), but if you're looking to score a great deal, it's worth the wait. If you're in need of some inspiration to put this new-found knowledge to good use, keep scrolling for the perfect itinerary for a downtown Los Angeles getaway. Inspired by the latest staycation I booked using the aforementioned HotelTonight app, here's how to make the most of a 21-hour stay in DTLA, from a 3 p.m. check-in to a noon checkout.

All that's left to do is make a dinner reservation.

Saturday, 3 P.M

hotel tonight app
Megan Beauchamp

Check in at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, located in the historic 1927 United Artists Building. While the exterior is dripping in ornamental Spanish Gothic details, the rooms veer toward industrial-modern design sensibilities. The beds boast graphic quilts, and the showers are stocked with Rudy's bath products.

4 P.M

rooftop bar
Megan Beauchamp

Once you've settled into your room, take the elevator up to the rooftop bar aptly named Upstairs. Sip on a craft beer (like the Modern Times Fruitlands pictured here), or order a signature cocktail (like the Spicy Hawaiian made with serrano-infused mezcal and pineapple juice). Snag a table on the patio and enjoy the sunset.

5:30 P.M

broken spanish
Megan Beauchamp

If you've worked up an appetite, Broken Spanish is just a short 10-minute walk away. Chef Ray Garcia serves up delicious dishes that fuse the traditional Latin flavors with the modern techniques of a contemporary kitchen. Order the queso fundido, chochyotes (pictured), and chile relleno. If you have room for dessert, the arroz con leche is to die for.

7 P.M

mumford brewing
Megan Beauchamp

After you've had your fill of queso fundido at Broken Spanish, take a Lyft to Mumford Brewing to try locally brewed Los Angeles craft beer. At the counter, snap a photo of their Instagram-worthy "enjoy beer" neon sign and order a tester flight to taste several brews (they're known for their sour IPAs). If you find something you like, you can order a crowler (aka a can version of a growler) to take home with you as a souvenir.

9 P.M

upstairs at the ace hotel
Megan Beauchamp

Drop your crowler off in your room, and then take the elevator back up to the rooftop bar. I know what you're thinking: But I already had a drink here in the afternoon. Hear me out because it really is worth checking out Upstairs long after the sun has set. The Ace Hotel's rooftop bar is always a happening spot come nightfall.

Sunday, 9 A.M

best girl los angeles
Megan Beauchamp

Head downstairs for breakfast at Best Girl, the hip bistro located on the first floor of the Ace Hotel. Alternatively, you can fill out the convenient breakfast order form in your room, place it on your doorknob, and have breakfast delivered to you in the a.m. without having to get out of bed. I highly recommend ordering the overnight oats made with coconut milk and topped with açaí butter, nuts, and fresh fruit.

10 A.M

rooftop pool at the ace hotel dtla
Megan Beauchamp

You'd be remiss if you didn't take a dip in the jacuzzi-like rooftop pool before checking out—just don't forget to grab your robe before you hop on the elevator. Take in the scenic view of Los Angeles from above one last time as you soak in the splendor of the hotel's signature ornate Spanish Gothic architecture.

Noon

dtla ace hotel
Megan Beauchamp

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but it's time to bid that comfortable bathrobe goodbye. If you can't get a late checkout (or if you just want to keep exploring the city beyond noon), the front desk will gladly hold your bags. Faith & Flower and Preux & Proper are great places to grab lunch within walking distance from the Ace Hotel.

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