This article is also available in print: Quaker Campus, Volume 19 — Issue 9, dated April 28, 2022, on the Whittier College campus.
The Whittier College Class of 2022’s Graduation Ceremony is on May 24 — less than a month away! You may not have anywhere to stay yet, whether this is due to the College’s quickly-coming move-out dates of May 20 (for non-seniors) and May 25 (for seniors), or the need for extra housing accommodations for family and friends. To make it worse, you may simultaneously know nothing about the city of Whittier and the great stays it offers. Whittier has a lot of cozy, affordable options near the College to stay in-between the bustle of commencement, graduation parties, and spending time with loved ones. Here is a guide of the best places to stay while you are visiting to support the graduates of 2022. In no particular order . . .
The DoubleTree by Hilton
Here, you are greeted by the smell of warm cookies wafting in from the lobby — and they are free, waiting for you at the front desk! The staff is always friendly as you walk into the swanky, dimly lit lobby. Straight ahead, you can see the bright blue pool and bubbling hot tub, with low-hanging palm trees wrapped with lights to act as lamps. To your right is a bar and restaurant lounge area where they serve breakfast — which is, unfortunately, not free. Despite not getting the luxury of a free breakfast, The DoubleTree in Whittier is rated 3.5/5 stars and is ranked the second-best hotel in the city, according to tripadvisor.com. This honor is deserved, as the rooms are very spacious, modern, and sleek. There are amenities such as the pool, fitness center, lounge, and snack bar that justify the $150 – $175 per night hotel room. The price is equally justified because Whittier College is only a short distance of 0.4 miles away; meaning a two-minute drive and an eight-minute walk. The DoubleTree is also conveniently located right up the street from the various food options and activities in Uptown Whittier. Overall, this hotel is unbeatable in its proximity to both the College and Uptown Whittier because everything is walkable or a short drive away. This can make it easier for you and your loved ones to gather during the upcoming graduation.
The Friendly Hills Inn
While the Friendly Hills Inn has blaring sign on the side of the road that looks as if it’s begging people to come in to the rust orange establishment, this hotel is actually rated the #1 hotel in Whittier from Tripadvisor. This hotel is easy to look past because it looks like a rundown motel with a small parking lot from the outside, but inside it offers spacious apartment-like rooms which have been newly remodeled. Hotel reviewers on Tripadvisor have also cited the immense cleanliness of every space throughout the inn, duly noting that the pool was immaculately clean even while shut down during the no-swim COVID period. The staff is very friendly, even over the phone. In hearing the reviews, the friendliness is reflected in the staff’s accommodation to guest requests. Not only are the rooms modern and spacious, the price per night is to die for. In looking at staying from Sunday, May 22 to Wednesday, May 25, the price per night is only $99. Paying $99 per night is unbeatable for the area, as the Friendly Hills Inn is only a four-minute drive from the College. Additionally, there are many food options around — for example, a Dunkin’ Donuts right around the corner. Because of the niceties of the staff and rooms, the cleanliness of the hotel, paired with the price being on the cheaper side, this hotel is a great option for your stay for Whittier Graduation.
Airbnb in Whittier
Renting an Airbnb might be the way to go if you 1.) have a lot of family flying in, requiring more room; 2.) want more privacy; or 3.) want your residence to double as a graduation party venue. The beauty of Airbnb is that you can choose your location as you see fit. Anyone could rent an Airbnb centrally located near Greenleaf Avenue or even in the neighborhoods surrounding Whittier College for an average of $200 – $300 per night for houses that can sleep four people. Airbnb’s around this area seem to have less space, less privacy i.e. renting private rooms or back houses, and the cost does not equate to the space. On the plus side, the houses are usually historic, so it is a great scene for a graduation party. Additionally, homes in this area would be much closer to the school. If you’re willing to pay a price for being closer to the school and having more privacy, this may be the way to go. But, as you zoom out from the Uptown Whittier area, the prices drop by about $50, and you definitely get more space for what you pay for. For example, you can rent an entire home that accommodates five people for $181 per night. In comparison to the DoubleTree Hotel, you can rent an entire house for the cost of one room. If you’re wanting to have family gatherings during this time of celebration, or simply want more space than a hotel room, an Airbnb in Whittier may be the option for you!
Cheaper prices often mean stays that are further away from the school, but the space and privacy these cheaper prices offer are the main selling points. There is a place to stay for everyone attending WC’s Class of 2022’s Graduation — but book your rooms quickly, as the date is closing in!
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