Here are several airport-close options, culled from my 2012 report on the South Bay and Century Boulevard. Along Century Boulevard, the main drag for lodging near the airport, I had three favorites among many contenders. All three typically drop their rates well below $200 on Friday and Saturday nights, but tend to be much pricier on weeknights, when business travelers predominate.
Sheraton Gateway, 6101 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles; 802 rooms, affiliated with Starwood.
Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel, 9620 Airport Blvd., Los Angeles; 499 rooms, affiliated with Marriott.
Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel, 5400 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles; 740 rooms, affiliated with Starwood.
Another option slightly farther from the airport (with strong Trip Advisor reviews) is the Custom Hotel, 8639 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles. A massive renovation in 2011 gave it a '60s flair along with more modern conveniences. Part of the Joi de Vivre chain. Friday night rates usually start around $190.
Also, less than four miles from the airport and less than two miles from the waves at Manhattan Beach: Belamar Hotel, 3501 Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach; 127 rooms. Unfortunately, a representative said at 12:30 p.m. Friday that the Belamar was already sold out for the night.