This summer I’ve been traveling a lot to Southern California for my job. I’m working at UC Davis through the Climate Adaptation Program at the Policy Institute of Energy, Economy, and Environment. Anyway, my job has involved speaking with drinking water systems of different sizes and types (wholesale and retailer). More on that in another post– amazing experience and fantastic conversations!
For now though, I’ll focus on the travel side of it all! Recently, I drove down to Los Angeles (about 7 hours from Davis) for an interview. Just one night. I’ve stayed in hotels, campgrounds, VRBOs, and Airbnbs this summer– so I usually do some searching for a place that is decently priced (I’m working within the constraints of a University research grant budget after all) and funky and different if possible. Anyway, as I was scouring the Airbnb website, I stumbled upon a unique gem that I just have to mention: Rare! Guest Quarters near Hollywood.
This place can best be described as an exotic basement bungalow, although not in the strict definition of the word. It is located in the basement portion of a house in a residential area and is accessed down the driveway through a basement porch glass sliding door. The space is full of charm and a unique feeling of being transported into a whole other world. There are two bedrooms, a small kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, stove, and sink, a bathroom with a shower and full set of closets. There are 2-3 living room type areas- one close to one of the bedrooms which has a “night clubish” feeling to it, one with a fireplace and l-shaped couch, and one that is more of glassed-in porch. Coincidentally, this last room is the only room in the place with windows (and therefore, home to the majority of the light/only natural light in the place). There are two air conditioning units in the apartment (one in each bedroom). Perhaps the only thing this little gem of a place could have been improved in is the temperature. We stayed when it was pretty warm out and found the air conditioners to take a while to kick-in, but once they did, everything was pleasant! Another note on the uniqueness of the spot- there’s a sliding wall in one room that cuts off a living room from a bedroom and there’s another sliding bookcase in the first bedroom that will lead you to the kitchen.
As far as the hosts, we had a great experience. We were only there for one night and it was for business, so we didn’t have any specific needs- just wanted a cool place to stay. We received explicit directions from the hosts on contacting them once we parked on the street and they talked us through getting down to the “bungalow” and explained how the air conditioning units worked– one of which needed to be emptied when it turned itself off. Wifi is included and the host texted us the code as soon as we were settled. The area where the house is located is very close to the main area of the Atwater Village commercial district which has some great coffee shops and restaurants.
The last thing I’ll mention here (and reiterate) is that if you are someone who relies on a great deal of light, this is probably not the place for you. But, if you’re looking for a cool and unique spot to relax that really is unlike the majority of other places you’ve stayed- this makes the list! It’s a really funky spot and if you are flexible and not extremely high maintenance, this is a great spot. I tried to take some quick tour video while we were there with my iphone so you could see what it’s like– it’s not fantastic quality, so bear with it. There are also some photos. The better pictures are indeed included on the airbnb site.