Los Angeles is the second biggest city in the US. Also known as LA or LaLa Land, it’s a sprawling metropolis at the base of mountain ranges home to the legendary Beverley Hills and Hollywood and world-famous beaches at Venice and Santa Monica. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in the City of Angels with its star- studded streets, myriad bars and restaurants, and shiny designer shops. As we
From our luxurious base at The Pendry, set in the heart of West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, we are well-placed for some serious exploration. Our spacious suite is the perfect place to relax and get into that LA state of mind, with floor-to-ceiling windows making the most of the views of the dramatic city skyline. There’s a lounge area with comfy seating, an enormous marble bathroom with a separate bath and shower, and a large bedroom dominated by a giant luxury-linen-clad bed. It is the ultimate haven for some serious relaxation.
The hotel’s facilities are fabulous, too, starting with the lovely pool on its rooftop, where we spend peaceful and dreamy sunshine hours in between taking in the sights. Legendary chef Wolfgang Puck heads up the hotel’s restaurants. Ospero is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while Merois offers a delectable menu influenced by the flavours of Thailand, Japan, France and California (naturally). It’s a restaurant with a serious wow factor both design and food-wise, with stunning interiors and food and a
menu packed with dishes using indulgent ingredients like Japanese and Australian Wagyu, lobster, crab, steaks, and oysters. There are also two stylish bars. You’re not going to be deprived of refreshment if you’re staying at The Pendry, that’s for sure.
Our LA days start with sumptuous breakfasts on the sunny balcony at Ospero, where we watch the city come to life. Well-fed and rejuvenated (Americans certainly know how to do breakfast), we explore Sunset Boulevard, a surprisingly walkable area. Plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants are nearby, and the striking Chateau Marmont stands out proudly against the cerulean sky. We pop in for a drink, absorb the shabby- chic old-world glamour, and imagine the tales unfolding within its walls. After all, we are in the land of motion pictures and superstars, and people like Johnny Depp, Anthony Bourdain, and Courtney Love have lived here.
Speaking of stars, we also explore the nearby Hollywood Walk of Fame, with over 2,700 of them embedded into the pavement, which takes some reading. We also visit Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which opened in 1929 and has hosted many premieres and three Academy Awards ceremonies. Its forecourt is festooned with handprints, footprints and autographs set into the concrete – Herbie, the VW Beetle of movie fame has even left imprints of his tyres. Yes, LA is just a little bit crazy. The theatre
provides a valuable landmark, and from here, it’s easy to jump on the Hop-on Hop- off bus, organise a tour around the celebrity homes of Hollywood (gotta get a picture by the iconic Hollywood sign), or find out what other delights the city has to offer, such as Warner Brothers and Paramount studio tours.
Aside from all that celebrity LA is also known for its fabulous beachside lifestyle. We hop in an Uber (they’re surprisingly cheap here) and head for Venice Beach, known for its surfing, rollerblading, and beach culture. We walk the boardwalk channeling slo-mo Baywatch visions to Santa Monica along the vast beach sprinkled with volleyball courts, lifeguard huts, and beautiful people. Bustling Santa Monica Pier is filled with rides and activities, including the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world. Up from the beach, there’s a thriving restaurant scene and many bars.
When we head home from the sand and sea, we stop on Rodeo Drive, the city’s iconic palm tree and designer shop-lined luxury fashion street. Purely for some window shopping, of course. The windows here sparkle and shine, and even the pavement seems to have been polished. LA glitters at every turn.
On arrival back at The Pendry we’re told about an event in our neighbourhood (WeHo). It happens to be Halloween, and there will be a lavish parade down Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s close by, so we join the locals to celebrate with music, dancing, and extravagant fancy dress – Americans sure know how to do a parade. The dazzling sights to be seen, and meeting the friendly people complete our perfect LA idyll. And staying at The Pendry certainly turned out to be the perfect way to immerse ourselves in the incredible energy of this vibrant city. https://www.pendry.com/west-hollywood/
Words by Sandy Cadiz-Smith