This hotel is ugly on the outside but handsome within, especially the modern-Craftsman-furnished lobby and bar. The location is great—it’s on the edge of Old Town across Fair Oaks from Parsons, and you can even walk to the Rose Bowl. It’s not cheap—we’d rather spend a few bucks more to stay a couple blocks east at the nicer Westin—but if you want to be where the action is, the Marriott is a good choice. Request rooms on the north-facing side of the property if you want a mountain view or facing the pool courtyard if you want quiet.
180 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Old Pasadena
626 403.7600, marriott.com