Best hotels near the Hollywood Bowl and Universal Studios

From Universal Studios: 1.4 miles

From Hollywood Bowl: 3.8 miles

Now let us travel to the San Fernando Valley, circa 1972.

That’s when veteran TV and movie actress Beverly Garland (who played Fred MacMurray’s wife on “My Three Sons” in the early ‘70s) teamed with her husband, Fillmore Crank, to open this hotel on a spacious seven-acre plot near Universal Studios. (And because this is L.A., the former owner was Gene Autry.)

Garland and her husband are gone now, but the hotel has remained in the family, shedding a former affiliation with Holiday Inn. Nowadays it’s a more upscale space, leaning hard into its ‘70s roots (you’ll see a lot of orange) and very much family-focused.

Roaming the property, you’ll find a swimming pool (about 20 by 40 feet) neighbored by the hotel’s emblematic outdoor fireplace. The property has about 270 guest rooms, which begin at about 250 square feet. Near the pool, there’s a courtyard full of games like Foosball, Jenga and cornhole, a lobby bar, a well-curated shop full of souvenirs and housewares made in California and a lively main restaurant, the Front Yard, that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

By far, the Garland is the family-friendliest option on this list. And in the restaurant, poolside, in the shop, on a neighborhood tour and in the lobby, we got excellent service.

There’s daily yoga, “dive-in” movies in the pool on summer nights, two hot tubs (one adults only). On summer Tuesday mornings, staffers lead a two-mile neighborhood walk through several leafy residential blocks of Studio City (including the Brady Bunch House on Dilling Street).

A note: The hotel backs up to the 101, so if your room faces that direction, you’ll want to keep the window closed to avoid the dull roar of traffic.

Rates: Summer weekdays begin at about $305. AAA and AARP discounts available. (Dog fee: $75 per week for one dog up to 40 pounds.) Parking: $36 self-parking overnight or $39 by valet. A free shuttle runs frequently, taking guests to Universal Studios and the Universal City Metro station.

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