The city of angels is undoubtedly a place for dreamers, opportunities and slick hotspots
Where to stay
“In Los Angeles, you can have the city life and feel like you are on holiday at the same time” – Isabel Marant
The Hollywood Roosevelt, Hollywood Boulevard
This fashionably chic hotel sits in the heart of Hollywood near famous landmarks like the Chinese theatre and Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as shopping arcades, dining and entertainment spots. Resplendent with Hollywood history, The Hollywood Roosevelt hosted the first-ever Academy Awards almost a century ago and Marilyn Monroe also slept in a suite here back in the day. Its interiors are furnished with leather sofas, wrought-iron chandeliers and colourful tiled fountains. But for us the best vantage point is on the rooftop – where its pool boasts an underwater mural by David Hockney that has taken centre stage in many fashion shoots over the years. Some of the rooms have views of the Hollywood sign and have been fabulously renovated with hardwood floors, grey rugs, walk-in showers and four poster beds. The walls of the room are soundproof to ward off LA’s street life. It’s the perfect base to take refuge in if you’ve been hitting the streets all day long. You might find a celebrity partaking in some rest and recuperation too. thehollywoodroosevelt.com
The Standard, West Hollywood
Embrace the motel vibe. This is LA at its most primal and true to character – and it’s where New York honey Carrie Bradshaw stayed in Sex and the City when she finally ventured out of the Tri-state area and went west for a change, circa season three. A true original since day one, The Standard sits in the legendary Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. From the wavy mid-century modern facade to the blue AstroTurf pool deck to the floor-to-ceiling shagged lobby, the hotel abounds with curious, unexpected touches at every turn. The laid-back public spaces include the restaurant, the beloved top-top-secret nightclub mmhmmm, and the desert backdrop Cactus Lounge. standardhotels.com
Hollywood Proper Residences
If you’re going to be based in LA for a staycation period of time, then get used to your new zip code. The Hollywood Proper Residences is, in every sense of the phrase, your home away from home with a choice of furnished or unfurnished one, two and three bedroom residences. With floor-to-ceiling windows boasting killer views, kitchens fitted with top-of-the-line appliances, crisp linen, resort amenities and concierge services, this is high-class living at the tap of an app – yes, all is taken care of for you via their app. Just arrive and settle in. And that’s not all, find your way to the rooftop on the 22nd floor for some well-crafted beverages and light bites where you are sure to meet people from all over the world with a few interesting stories in them. Don’t even get us started on the dreamy sunsets. properhotel.com
The Beverly Hills Hotel, Sunset Boulevard
Lovingly called the ‘Pink Palace’, this iconic hideaway with its palm trees, bubblegum-pink walls, candy striped pool beds and lush gardens is the ultimate beacon of vintage Hollywood glamour. Known for its seamless service and privacy, it definitely suited the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, who was known to have had six of her eight honeymoons at the hotel; Faye Dunaway learnt how to swim in their pool; Fred Astaire used to lounge by the pool with a book and naturally, the cream of Hollywood’s crop has enjoyed much shut-eye here too. The moment you pass the iconic signage, you will feel like a celebrity. dorchestercollection.com
Where to shop
“Fashion that does not reach the street is not fashion” – Coco Chanel
“Where do I go for the clothes?” Julia Roberts famously asked her friend in Pretty Woman. “Rodeo Drive, baby.” That is where you go, as it is retail therapy at its very best. From Bvlgari, Burberry, Cartier, Celine, Chanel, Coach, Dior, Fendi, Gucci and many more – Rodeo Drive has it all and is every fashionista’s dream shopping haven. Just make sure to have very, very deep pockets and a sky-high credit limit.
Between La Cienega Boulevard and Fairfax lies West Third, a district of food and fashion that can be accomplished by foot (not usually the case in car-heavy LA). From well-known brands to under the radar finds like Parliament and Mom’s The Word as well as eateries like Matcha Box (premium scoops right here) and Sockerbit (Scandinavian candies and gifts), West Third opens you up to a world of thoughtfully designed stores for conscious shoppers who go by a live and be well ethos.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Known to be one of the trendiest blocks in America for its dozens of vintage and creative boutiques, antique furniture and fantastic restaurants, it’s the place to go if you want to grab a bite, hang out and of course shop. It also sits right next to the famous Venice Beach. Post retail dip, anyone?
It is almost unheard of to hit Melrose Avenue and leave without a purchase. Its array of swanky designer boutiques ensures that. Be sure to pop into Crossroads Trading Co. It’s where you can exchange clothing and find exclusive vintage wear and antique goods. The cool walls work for some legitimate Instagram shots too.
With a dancing fountain, fashion-forward clothing and ever-changing pop-up shops, this ultra-modern outdoor mall is a fashionista’s paradise. Think DVF, Topshop, J Crew, Michael Kors, Nike, Sephora, Anthropologie and more. Add to your experience with a leisurely stroll or even a ride on the vintage trolley car.
Where to eat
“Never be a food snob. Learn from every one you meet: the lady at the local diner, farmers, cheese makers. Ask questions, try everything and eat up” – Rachel Ray
If you don’t know Lisa Vanderpump, what rock have you been living under? The reality star of Vanderpump Rules and The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills opened up a swanky restaurant called TomTom with her Vanderpump Rules cast members, Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval. The décor is inspired by a mad scientist theme and has a largely romantic industrial vibe with a creatively curated menu that includes sections called Under Water, From The Farm and #PartyAnimals: think brioche kobe sliders. Drool.
Taverna Tony, Malibu
This beautifully rustic Greek taverna, with its large patio, smooth patina terra-cotta tiles and bougainvillea twined veranda, right in the heart of Malibu brings Mediterranean flavours right to your plate. It’s best to go at it with mezzes, with a delicious choice of kefalograviera (Greek sheep’s milk cheese spread on warm bread) or melintzanosalata dip (that’s baked eggplant, sesame oil, garlic and lemon). You cannot leave Taverna Tony without stuffing yourself with Taverna fries: crumbled kefalotiri cheese, oregano and cracked pepper are sprinkled on top. It’s no wonder this is Kourtney Kardashian’s favourite date-night spot.
Sometimes in life, all you need is a juicy burger and a large cut of fries. And nothing hits the spot quite like an In-N-Out burger. There’s nothing exceptionally fancy, just a perfectly concentric burger with a packet of oozing fries. Sit in your car in the drive through and savor every last bite. And, In-N-Out is only a California thing – it doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. One for the ‘Gram.
Another cult favourite which needs no introduction, really – Chef Nobu has created food vultures (in the most sophisticated way) in us all with his menu of top-rate sushi. And there is always a starry line-up of celebs. It’s on the pricey side so if you want an experience, we suggest you go for sunset drinks – you won’t be disappointed.
Located on Santa Monica Boulevard this tiny restaurant – named after bowls from which monks eat – has white walls, a communal table, a few stools and is easily one of LA’s best kept secret. It’s touted for its locally sourced Korean eats, cooked by the two owner chefs. And you definitely know it’s authentic when there is a fermentation wall…
What to see
“I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful” – Andy Warhol
Since 1976, the LA Louver gallery has mounted world-class exhibitions and represents renowned artists such as David Hockney, Ed Moses and Kenneth Price. Now housed in a spacious modern building designed by Frederick Fisher, the LA Louver has a timeless sense of artistic purpose enhanced by its varied roster of new and established talent.
Built in 1905 by Abbot Kinney, this vibrant district has canals which flow behind adorable Venice bungalows and is a perfect place to catch a breather between that LA hustle.
Beyond LA itself are some beautiful nature spots and trails. Eaton Canyon Falls, Vasquez Rocks, Sandstone Peak, Griffith Park Trails, Runyon Canyon Park are a few to try. And one of the iconic things to do is go tandem biking on Redondo Beach – pure comic gold.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Boasting masterpieces, contemporary works and traditional Japanese screens, this comprehensive art museum has to be on your must-visit list. While you’re there we are sure you won’t be able to resist a pose in front of the monumental Chris Burden creation, Urban Light (a maze of streetlights gathered from around LA and restored to working order). The sheer abundance of work gone into this museum is super impressive.
Nestled among the ultra-chic Hollywood Hills, the Griffith Observatory’s panoramic views of the LA landscapes are the stuff of dreams. Inside there are a bevy of exhibits which include a Foucault Pendulum. Give yourself plenty of time to walk around so you can gaze at the night sky through the 12-inch refracting telescope on the roof. One for the science savvy among you.
Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Easily one of the most enjoyable attractions of LA. Between the art, the library holdings and the vast outdoor spaces there’s plenty to see and do. Go for the green space and calm.
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