W.When my son decided to attend colleges and universities in the Los Angeles, California area, I decided to make the most of it and fulfilled my imagination of driving a convertible down Rodeo Drive. (What if it was a rental car or we just stayed for the weekend?) Read on for my Beverly Hills travel discoveries and how to plan a weekend under the stars for yourself.
With easy, affordable direct flights to LAX, now may be the time to indulge your inner Kim Kardashian.
WHERE TO SLEEP
The so-called “Pink Palace” is an icon of Los Angeles. From my moments in the cozy Polo Lounge (with a great cheeseburger … for $ 45) to morning coffee in the Fountain Coffee Room to strolling the landscaped paths along the hotel’s 12 acres, I loved every moment. (I even met Pete Davidson, who is as tall and tattooed and cute as I always dreamed of!)
I spent a heavenly day by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Katherine Hepburn once dived fully clothed, the Beatles had a party and Leonard Bernstein came up with the idea for Westside story.
The private poolside cabanas have just been redesigned by Champalimaud Design, with white and bright candy pink striped awnings, wicker chairs, and a pink Martinique banana leaf wallpaper by CW Stockwell with large bright leaves and waving banana palms. (The pink is a new color scheme of the 1940 print that was reintroduced from the archives to complement the original green of the hotel’s interiors.)
The Eagles were right when they wrote in their song: Hotel California (based on the Beverly Hills Hotel) “You can never go.” To be honest, it sounds good to me to stay at this property forever.
Are you allowed to pretend to be a guest at the Golden Globes when you whiz from the front door through the huge lobby in the direction of the International Ballroom? And when you’re preparing for an impressive wedding, is it okay to hover in the door for a moment and dream of holding your wedding in a magical room even though you got married over twenty years ago? Let’s hope so.
The Beverly Hilton also features the Aqua Star, the largest heated outdoor pool in Los Angeles. It’s a beautiful area flanked by Circa 55 café.
WHAT TO EAT
When a concierge told us that Wally’s Beverly Hills was Drake’s favorite place for dinner, we rushed over. (It’s true: Drake’s “Diplomatic Immunity” has the text:“I booked a private room with Wally, the waiter turns the cork / of course I have multicolored rings like at the Olympic Games.”) Wally’s is a gourmet wine and cheese market and restaurant; We loved the truffle pizza and the sausages.
Plan ahead – at least a month in advance – to dine at the Gucci Osteria California outpost. (The other two locations are in Florence, Italy and Tokyo, Japan.) The modern Italian restaurant is above the Gucci store on Rodeo Drive.
For more of a simple meal, head to Nosh, a charming outdoor seating restaurant that has been open since 1975. The in-house bakery produces over 40 items every day. Be sure to try the famous Matzo Ball Soup or a famous hand-rolled, cauldron-cooked and fire-baked bagel. Open seven days a week from morning to evening.
If you want to dance on the Sunset Strip, go nearby Sa’Moto, a restaurant and Night club. The new pan-Asian gourmet restaurant concept by Masaharu Morimoto serves beautiful sushi platters, fun taco concepts and fabulous drinks. Once you’re fed up, head upstairs to dance the night away. (The hip-hop version of Adele’s “Hello” got me on my feet.)
SPAS & BEAUTY
Beverly Hills has something that inspires indulgence. Fortunately, there are many innovative wellness offers in the area:
The Peninsula Spa Beverly Hills: This stunning spa within the five-star hotel has just reopened after a complete redesign. I tried the Biologique Recherche Seconde Peau Facial, which used some form of electrospun hyaluronic acid and made me glow.
I had heard of Rodeo Drive (and watched the Kardashians there on their reality TV show) but honestly I didn’t know what to expect. Although I didn’t buy anything, I had fun strolling the glittering street lined with luxury shops and bright lines of light.
My teenage son wanted to shop on Fairfax Avenue (the newly crowned one) Streetwear Mecca) at Supreme, RIPNDIP, The Hundreds and Golf Wang. We loved visiting all of the stores along Fairfax including the Shine Marketplace which has brands from China, Korea and Japan.
Bottom line: I always miss Texas when I’m away, but there’s nothing like a sunny weekend in Beverly Hills to get away from it all and be a star – just for a weekend.