Los Angeles, Leisurely
There is no place like Los Angeles, and there are ways to experience the area’s signature glam without sacrificing repose. We travel to L.A. frequently, but we always look forward to prioritizing relaxation and peacefulness in addition to experiencing the city’s quintessential allure. You can have both—the splendor of Hollywood, as well as seclusion and relaxation.
Checking in to The Beverly Hills Hotel, a Dorchester Collection five-star property, which is fondly nicknamed the “Pink Palace”, is an experience akin to walking the red carpet. This iconic property is renowned for its signature take on high-end service and its impressive roster of guests, including the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin. Still a popular spot for Hollywood A-listers, the hotel boasts acres of gardens providing an air of seclusion, despite its location in the heart of Beverly Hills. It is at once contemporary and vintage, and that much of its original architecture has been preserved just adds to its charm.
We spent nearly every morning at the oasis that is The Beverly Hills Hotel’s signature pool. You could easily spend your whole trip there, hiding out under a sunhat and glasses in the shade of palm trees, while the attentive staff take care of your every need. We also sipped and supped at the hotel’s famed Polo Lounge, which has catered to generations of stars. It is forever in vogue, thanks to its classic décor, echoing Hollywood’s golden ages, and delectable cuisine.
After an afternoon shopping on Rodeo Drive, we dined at Spago, Chef Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant, which has earned two Michelin Stars. The food is authentic California, fresh and locally-sourced. Each element of the menu is thoughtful, and the well-timed service and pleasant ambience made for a meal that was more than just dinner—it was an exemplary dining experience.
For one of the best panoramic views of the city, including the legendary Hollywood sign, we hiked to the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park, located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood. Here you feel removed from the city, but also—closer to it than ever before.
Not to be missed is an afternoon tea at The Peninsula Beverly Hills, a AAA Five Diamond- and Forbes Five Star-rated hotel, primly located in walking distance to the neighborhood’s highlights. It cultivates an aura of celebrity—but also escape. The hum of the lobby fades away as you enter the Living Room. It is a place to see and be seen but feels profoundly private. We sipped Imperial tea and Champagne Deutz and nibbled on finger sandwiches and caviar amuse-bouche from the Caspian Sea as we listened to the soothing sounds of the resident harpist.
The five-star luxury accommodations of Montage Beverly Hills Hotel and Resort mingle European design with vintage Hollywood sentiment. It is purposely designed to be at ease with its surrounding architecture and manages to seem both fresh and historic. Its location in the heart of the Golden Triangle, Beverly Hill’s high-end shopping district, will also add to your stay. We spent a memorable evening at £10, the hotel’s tucked-away speakeasy that specializes in fine whiskey. The discreet lounge’s decor is exotic and alluring. The bartender took time to discuss our drink preferences and crafted a unique cocktail based on our preferred flavor profile. It was a truly personalized experience, right down to the type of ice we wanted in our cocktail.
We dined at Avec Nous, the recently opened French restaurant at L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, another luxurious hotel just minutes from Rodeo Drive. The restaurant’s exquisite design pays homage to classic Hollywood and implores tasteful indulgence. The meal was as fun as it was refined, and the table-side steak carving stations and Champagne carts added to the unique ambiance.
It is always enjoyable to spend an afternoon strolling the Santa Monica pier, reveling in its eccentric energy. We watched with amusement as performers at Muscle Beach catered to the crowd, impressing with acrobatic feats. A perfect counterpoint after taking in the sites, is a visit to Shutters on the Beach Hotel, less than half a mile from the pier but utterly different in atmosphere. Designed by Michael S. Smith, the Obama White House interior designer, it balances feeling both laid-back and elegant. It is sophisticated and calm, an interesting way to follow the bustle of the pier. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at its beachside restaurant, One Pico, where we sipped glasses of rosé Champagne as we took in the California sunset.
For an oasis in the heart of Beverly Hills, stay at the sanctuary that is Hotel Bel-Air, another five-star Dorchester Collection property. This is where you go to hide away, to escape in luxury. Take in the spectacular homes and canyon views as you make your way to this secluded gem. Here we found total privacy without sacrificing L.A.’s signature approach to luxury. Be sure to take time to explore the grounds, traipsing the gardens and gazing at the famed Swan Lake. The hotel takes pains to see to every modern comfort, but it is also at ease with its naturalistic splendor and facilitates calmness and Zen. Within its peaceful environs you almost forget that you are in one of the world’s unique travel destinations—a place where luxury finds new meaning.
Looking to plan an unforgettable travel experience? Contact The Accomplished Traveler today at 212.586.2020.
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