Bucket List Done Right
Some may think of Hollywood and think of The Oscars, paparazzi, or celebrity culture. But the truth is, there is a lot more than just stars on the sidewalk to see here. We’ll take you through the basics, for the first-timers, and then scratch below the surface for some of our favorite LA spots, locals-approved.
First off, land a home-base in the heart of LA, with neighboring areas like the iconic Capitol Records building, Hollywood Bowl, and Runyon Canyon.
Just for experience sake, visit the more tourist-heavy scenes like the Chinese Theater, Griffith Observatory (pictured), and the Hollywood Sign. The intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland is where the heavy tourism happens–think of it as the Times Square of Los Angeles. You’ll find plenty to bucket list items to check off your list.
Escape From Hollywood Boulevard
We dig West Hollywood. We favor it, in fact, over the more tourist-laden Hollywood areas. This neighborhood can be hectic at times, but it undeniably has a lot of character. Hop in a car to explore, and make stops on Sunset Boulevard, the Pacific Design Center, MOCA Pacific Design Center, the LACMA, Viper Room, and Canter’s Deli. All of those are musts in our book.
If you’re lucky enough to have a ride, we encourage you to get lost in the stunning sights of the Hollywood Hills. This place can be an alternative universe for a day–a universe where you live in a LA dream home drenched in sunlight and greenery. This neighborhood is where trails, architecture, and an air of secluded exclusivity converge to create that LA dreaminess.
The killer views off the lookout at Mulholland Drive are not to be missed:
Where to Stay
Now that we’ve covered some of Hollywood’s gems, it’s time to look at where to stay. From Hollywood glitz to low-key luxury to laid-back on Sunset, here’s some of our best rated hotels.
The Standard, Hollywood
The Standard of Hollywood is a true original that has kept its Sunset Boulevard coolness. Rooted in a strong connection to arts, culture, and music, the ultra-sleek structure is the epitome of mid-century modern LA. The Standard Hollywood is as playful as any of their other locations–from poolside to nighttime, there’s something for everyone, and then some. This city wouldn’t be the same without The Standard.
The Mondrian Los Angeles Hotel
The Mondrian Los Angeles is a very LA, very glam hotel. You can think of this spot as opulent, with views of the Hollywood Hills, thirty-foot mahogany doors, all-white-everything rooms, and that air of Hollywood lavishness. For those seeking a social scene, make sure to check out their Skybar, spend some time poolside, and enjoy the LA glitz.
The London West Hollywood
Hotels on Sunset have become beacons of upscale hospitality. The London is no exception, and is situated on the upper-echelons of fancy West Hollywood. We’re talking poolside martinis, white linens, valet parking, and champagne showers–ok maybe not those–but it probably could be made possible here. Our favorite thing about The London is the screening room. Check with the hotel for showings.
Petit Ermitage brings together the elements that made LA so interesting to explore: old glamour, a touch of Spanish culture, love for the outdoors, and entertainment. This gorgeous hotel is an escape, with a vine-covered façade, low lights and candles, rich colors, a beautiful rooftop pool, and spectacular views. And if you’re in the mood to indulge, dine in the private rooftop area beside their secret garden, filled with hummingbirds and butterflies. Don’t miss out on their gypsy-inspired Firedeck or Butterfly Bar.
Ah, Chateau Marmont, where should we begin? This location is a Los Angeles icon. Since it has been the backdrop to countless movies, music videos, and photo shoots, Chateau Marmont is the spot for anyone who’s someone. If bumping into famous people is your sort of thing, book a room here. The European estate-looking castle has a bar, restaurant, and countless amenities. Bar Marmont features great musical talent, and their restaurant is a perfect brunch spot. For the big spenders: book one of their bungalows.