Alhambra got its start when the San Gabriel Mission was founded in 1771. The land that would become Alhambra changed hands several times, eventually making its way to wealthy developer Benjamin Davis Wilson. Wilson's daughter Ruth persuaded her father to name the land after a book she was reading: Washington Irving's “Tales of Alhambra.” The city was established as a Los Angeles suburb, but it remained unincorporated until 1903. Many of Alhambra's homes have historical significance thanks to the city's early promotion as a “city of homes.”
Today, Alhambra is a vibrant, diverse community with a mosaic of sights, sounds, and tastes for both residents and visitors. Recent revitalization efforts have brought new restaurants and mixed-use buildings to the downtown area, providing new opportunities for businesses. Whatever your reason for visiting Alhambra, we're here to help you find the right accommodation that allows you to enjoy everything the Gateway to San Gabriel Valley has to offer.
When to Visit Alhambra, CA
The best time to visit Alhambra is during the off-peak shoulder seasons from March to May and again from September to November. As with any Los Angeles suburb, Alhambra is plagued by oppressive crowds and pollution in the summer, which can make walking around outdoor attractions uncomfortable.
Heavy smog levels coupled with average highs in the mid-80s tend to drive people indoors or to the already crowded oceanside communities. If you must plan a trip during peak tourist season, try to plan your trip several weeks in advance and book your room early. The trade-off, however, is that summer ushers in a number of festivals like LA Pride, Outfest, the DTLA Film Festival, and Nisei Week Japanese Festival.
Fewer crowds make spring a great time to visit. Average temperatures rest in the low to mid-70s without the summer smog or winter rain. You'll also find discounted accommodations from March through May. Key events happening in Greater Los Angeles in the spring include the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Fiesta Broadway, and the Jazz Reggae Festival.
Similarly, fall offers cool weather and fewer crowds that make Los Angeles a much more manageable destination for relaxing and sightseeing. Be sure to book your flight and hotel in advance, however, as events like the Emmy Awards, the LA County Fair, and Dia de los Muertos Festival draw a lot of attention.
Despite the fact that winter comes with a lot of rain, you can't beat a trip to Alhambra from December through February. Hotel rates in Greater Los Angeles are at their lowest during the low season, so you're more likely to score online deals on both accommodations and airfare. You also don't have to put up with freezing cold temperatures like in much of the U.S., as Los Angeles winter highs average in the upper 60s.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Alhambra, CA:
Alhambra by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean price trends by star rating class in Alhambra, CA. You can use these illustrations to determine the best dates to book a room in Alhambra throughout the year.
Luxury Hotels in Alhambra, CA
4 Star Average Prices: $180.71
Visitors who prefer more upscale accommodations should consider Langham Huntington Pasadena Los Angeles. This five-star resort hotel boasts impeccably decorated guest rooms, suites, and cottages designed to reflect the beauty and grace of Southern California. Langham Huntington Pasadena Los Angeles offers multiple dining experiences, including afternoon tea, an award-winning spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center with heated outdoor pool, historic ballrooms, lush gardens, event spaces, and private boardrooms. Guests who book The Langham Club levels have premier access to The Langham Club Lounge with complimentary privileges, including concierge services, a selection of magazines and newspapers, and all-day refreshments.
If you prefer a more modern aesthetic, check out Astro Pasadena Hotel near the Huntington Library. The accommodation was completely renovated in 2016 to restore its original Googie architecture with a modern twist. Each guest room and suite features chic decor with premium bedding, a 55-inch LED television, a refrigerator, microwave, hairdryer, ironing facilities, quality furnishings, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Another classy option is Hilton Los Angeles/San Gabriel. Perfect for both business and leisure travelers, this Hilton hotel offers a fitness center, full-service business center with audio/visual equipment rental, an on-site gift shop, a bar area, room service, an outdoor pool, and a lounge. Rooms include lounge chairs, work desks, two-line speaker phones, ironing facilities, hairdryers, coffee makers, and flat-screen TVs with on-screen internet access and extended movie channels. Suites boast separate living spaces.
Affordable Hotels in Alhambra, CA
3 Star Average Prices: $129.62
Finding an affordable hotel in Alhambra is easy if you know where to look.
M Motel in nearby El Monte is a no-fuss accommodation with a 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi internet access. The rooms feel a bit dated but feature work desks, hairdryers, cable television, alarm clock radios, and free toiletries. Free parking is also available on-site. Staying at M Motel places you less than 4 miles from Alhambra Golf Course, the Arcadia Historical Society, and the Santa Anita Park racetrack.
Motel 6 Los Angeles Rosemead places you near the San Gabriel Mission and Citadel Outlets. This affordable accommodation offers an outdoor pool with loungers and patio tables. Rooms are on the smaller side, and guests have reported issues with internet connectivity, but the property provides easy access to nearby shopping areas and major attractions. Each updated guest room features a flat-screen, wall-mounted TV, a modern workspace, and wood-effect floors.
A similar option is Motel 6 Los Angeles El Monte, which is located about 5.8 miles from Alhambra's city center. Walk to nearby restaurants and shops, enjoy the outdoor pool, or catch up on emails with the property's free Wi-Fi access. Additional amenities include free local calls, pet-friendly rooms, free expanded cable, complimentary morning coffee, and an outdoor pool.
2 Star Average Prices: $91.16
Which Alhambra hotels have real discounts?
Most accommodations in Greater Los Angeles offer discounts for AAA members, military families, seniors, and hotel rewards members, which can help you save an average of 15 percent off the cost of your stay.
For instance, AAA members can book a discounted rate at Days Inn By Wyndham Alhambra CA and enjoy great access to neighborhood bars, restaurants, and shopping. Located just off I-10, this hotel offers a 24-hour reception desk, guest laundry facilities, elevators, and a complimentary breakfast. Guest rooms include free Wi-Fi access, ergonomic workspaces, bathroom amenities, alarm clock radios, irons, ironing boards, closed-caption TVs, DVD players, hairdryers, and coffee and tea-making facilities.
Seniors can save big on rooms at Comfort Inn Monterey Park. This conveniently located accommodation offers a number of free amenities, including on-site parking, coffee, Wi-Fi access, and a hot breakfast with the brand's famous waffles. Guest rooms feature microwaves, refrigerators, flat-screen TVs, separate work areas, premium bedding, and coffee makers. Valet cleaning services are available for an additional cost, and business travelers can take advantage of the hotel's copy and fax machine as needed.
Military families and government personnel can reserve discounted rates at The Westin Pasadena. Situated just minutes from the Pasadena Museum of California Art, The Westin Pasadena offers signature wellness programs that include nutrient-packed juices and smoothies, all-natural cocktails, a 24-hour fitness studio, a heated outdoor pool, workout gear rentals, and in-room massage services. Guest rooms are decorated in subtle shades of tan and green with crisp white accents and contemporary art. Enjoy a 42-inch flat-screen TV, ergonomic work chair, dual-line speakerphone, high-speed internet access, and Starbucks coffee.
Best Value Options in Alhambra, CA
Alhambra offers a variety of mid-range hotels that give you extra value for your dollar.
Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel boasts sleek, modern guest rooms with dark wood furnishings, flat-screen TVs, workspaces, lounge chairs, and premium bathroom amenities. Sheraton dog beds are also available for those traveling with their furry companions. The property boasts a beautiful terrace, heated outdoor pool, spa, paid self and valet parking, concierge services, dry cleaning services, accessible facilities, a business center, a local shuttle service, and complimentary MLB.TV access. Wi-Fi is available in your guest room for an additional surcharge, although you can access the internet for free in public areas.
Business travelers may want to check into the Vagabond Inn Hotel Executive, which is located in downtown Pasadena's business district. The recently renovated hotel features free parking, complimentary Wi-Fi, a free hot breakfast, business center, and on-site coin laundry service. Rooms include 40-inch LCD TVs, hairdryers, ironing facilities, microwaves, and mini refrigerators.
Top Attractions in Alhambra, CA
It wouldn't be a trip to Alhambra without visiting the San Gabriel Mission. Also known as Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, this fully functioning Roman Catholic mission is a historic landmark in San Gabriel. Be sure to tour the Mission Museum and take home a souvenir from the gift shop.
Alhambra Park is a notable green space offering public recreation, including basketball, swimming, and tennis. View the Veterans Memorial and let the kids enjoy the water park and pool on a hot summer day.
No matter your reasons for visiting Alhambra, you'll find a lively city brimming with history. Whether you're looking for luxury accommodations or a budget-friendly lodging, you'll find it all in the San Gabriel Valley.
'Much can be said about life of peace and harmony without leaving one's couch. But to do that in reality, you need to have a big heart that can take a pounding and still come out a winner.
These are the words of Clive Cussler, a famous novelist from Alhambra, California. Without bearing any semblance of pretence whatsoever, Cussler tries to strike a chord with his readers in simple words and a gem of an idea. What's more striking is the fact that he actually succeeds in doing so!
Come to think of it, Cussler was not and is not the only famous face from Alhambra. From politicians to civil servants and stage actors to movie stars “ not to mention a host of footballs, baseball and car racing legends, a number of residents born, brought up or raised by Alhambra have gone on to enrich the society they live in, which, in the words of Aristotle, the only acid test of a harmonic people.
Talking about harmony, another facet of Alhambra's societal structure is worth not only noting but also admiring and adopting. A significant part of Alhambra's population is made up of immigrants from the far orient, in particular China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Because of their presence in this otherwise quintessentially Californian city, a peculiar flavor is added to the melting pot of society. So, what results out of all this potpourri of life is nothing but highly delightful and visit-worthy!
The bottom line is, you won't regret visiting a city like Alhambra where culture and life go hand in hand together. Make your plans right away, for we've got no time to fritter. And to help you speed things up a tad, we are providing a quick-fix of Alhambra hotels guide!
Cheap Hotels and Lodges in Alhambra
As it turns out, not being one of the many mainstream holiday destinations in California has somehow helped Alhambra in a strange way. The San Gabriel Valley in which this city is located is not too far from Los Angeles “ the most popular tourism destination in the whole wide world. That indeed does take some sheen off the tourism offered by Alhambra, making everything around here a bit cheaper in the process.
This may come as a good news for travelers who like to travel light and keep their pockets heavy. Without burning glaring holes in their bank accounts and credit card statements, they can hope to find a handful of cheap hotels here that are good enough for short stays.
However, one thing must be noted by tourists planning on choosing one of these cheap hotels that they are not, in most cases, equipped with state of the art facilities or amenities. What you get is exactly worth what you pay for, and that, we think, is a fair deal.
Among a few budget hotels in Alhambra that we reviewed, two came out to clear-cut list toppers.
The Raymond Hotel and the Alhambra Inn are the picks that we are referring to. While you can't expect to get top-notch hospitality here, these score pretty heavily in terms of basic amenities and affordability.
Looking for Luxury Hotels in Alhambra? We've Got 'em!
Very many tourists prefer to choose luxury resorts over cheap inns, and for such tourists who comprise a part of our readership, here's a round-up of luxury hotels in Alhambra.
The best of these are found not too far from the city “ only about 6 miles “ in Los Angeles. But if you are sick of commuting already, you can find world-class comfort and lavish style in Ambassador Inn Alhambra and Days Inn Alhambra. While both of these are renowned for their fair prices, their luxury is certainly put on display in these two properties!
Independent and Boutique Hotels in Alhambra
This category seems to be virtually non-existent in Alhambra, unless you care to look beneath the surface. And when you do, you are guaranteed to find some stupendous deals.
The best way to bypass the hotel-sickness that many tourists develop when they are on the road is to choose a boutique hotel. Holiday rentals and apartments for hire fulfil that criteria quite well, presenting tourists with an option that is definitely cost effective in the long run.
These options are usually located on the outskirts of the city. If you want to stay nearby the downtown area, you would be better of choosing one of many regular Alhambra hotels.
Things to Do and See in Alhambra
The best thing that Alhambra can offer her visitors is some peace of mind from the crazy chaos of a city like LA. Apart that though, sightseeing options in Alhambra are really limited, and to expect her to open a Pandora's Box for you in terms of sightseeing would be quite uncalled for.
If you are a connoisseur of performing arts, there is only one place you should visit first up while staying in Alhambra “ the Lizard Theater Company. It is a traditional stage theater where the best of plays, musicals and other performance acts are regularly staged, throughout the year. With a special Chinese flavor of the local art scene, this theater transforms into a grand stage where rich cultures present the best they've got to put on display!
From cultural, let's move to a less cerebral sense “ intoxication! While California is famous for its wines, brewing of traditional kind is often looked over. That's why, a trip to Ohana Brewing Company can be of great interest to many tourists. Here, you can actually witness various brews being transformed into highest quality of drinks from simple malt.
Getting Around in Alhambra
Alhambra is not really a large city, per se. So, getting around here is not much of a hassle. It would be much easier if you have a car of your own, and if not, you can always rent one.
Public transport is rather inadequate in Alhambra, and so, heavy reliance on cab and taxi services is often observed among tourist circles.