"The Valley" may be the butt of many an L.A. joke, but it's rapidly developing its own cachet, as well as a small but notable collection of stylish hotels. Among them, BLVD Hotel & Spa offers a steal of a deal, given its level of luxury. The décor leans toward retro and is done in shades of blue and brown. The property is a small one, but it boasts an indoor swimming pool, house café and bar serving drinks named after famous Los Angeles boulevards. You can walk to Universal Studios (less than a mile away), and although the beach is a bit of a haul, you're well-located for visiting Hollywood attractions and downtown. We suggest booking a room with a view of the mountains — it's one of the perks of staying in this part of town.