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The Luxury Guide to LA

Soho WareHouse Downtown LA | Photo by Soho House
Soho WareHouse Downtown LA | Photo by Soho House

From famous places to stay and eat to exclusive experiences, here’s everything you need to plan a luxury holiday in the City of Angels

Los Angeles County’s sprawling expanse can be a daunting adventure for first timers and returning visitors alike, but know where to go and the rewards come thick and fast. Explore West Hollywood, venture out past the breakers of Marina del Rey or dine in one of the top restaurants in the City of Angels – and that’s just the beginning. Read on for some of the best luxury options for shopping, sleeping, relaxing and playing in the City of Angels.

STAY

Los Angeles is currently undergoing a hotel boom – specifically boutique-style properties. 11 new hotels are set to open in the next two years,  from the artsy district of Downtown Los Angeles to the revitalised, world-famous neighbourhood of Hollywood, set to reaffirm the city as one of luxury and style.

 

Soho Warehouse (Downtown LA)

Soho Warehouse is the third L.A. outpost for the London-based chain, which opened on the south side of the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles in August 2019. Soho Warehouse spans more than 10000 square metres, making it one of the biggest standalone Houses and the first with guest rooms on the West Coast. The property includes bedrooms, a gym, club spaces, a rooftop with a pool and some serious LA cool vibes.

 

Silver Lake Pool and Inn (Silver Lake)

In September 2019, Silver Lake Pool and Inn opened at Sunset Junction just south of the lively intersection of Santa Monica and Sunset. The 54-room boutique property run by Palisociety Hotels features an elevated pool deck and Marco Polo, a coastal Italian-inspired outdoor restaurant and bar.

 

The Hoxton, LA (Fashion District, Downtown)

Chic British brand Hoxton debuted The Hoxton, LA in September 2019 in a transformed 1925 building that was once the headquarters of the LA Railway Authority. Located in Downtown L.A.’s booming Fashion District at 11th and Broadway, the 10-storey hotel features 174 guest rooms, three restaurants including one on the roof, multiple bars and a rooftop pool.

 

Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel (Fashion District, Downtown)

Proper Hospitality, the new brand headed by former Viceroy Hotels Chief Brad Korzen, has opened their first Los Angeles hotel in Downtown L.A.’s Fashion District located at the site of the former Case Hotel. The 13-storry property, which was originally built in 1924, has 148 rooms. Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin – the legendary James Beard Award-winning L.A. restaurateurs known for a.o.c., Lucques, Tavern and The Larder – oversee the hotel’s first-floor restaurant, as well as the rooftop lounge.

EAT & DRINK

Yamashiro

In a private location in the Hills, Yamashiro is an Asian fusion restaurant. First completed in 1914 for the purpose of a private estate, Yamashiro was built to replicate a palace in China. In 1920 the hotel was sold to become a ‘400 club’, exclusive only to top celebrities. Today it is a famous location to film movies such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Blind Date, Playing God and Nocturnal Animals. The Asian Fusion restaurant features a sushi bar, robata grill and teppanyaki grill for those who want to have an interactive dining experience, or you can laze in the lounge and be waited on like the A-Lister that you are.

The menu ranges from $18 USD per dish, all the way up to $240 USD for their A5 blindly cut Wagyu steak.

 

The Providence L.A.

The Providence L.A. is a two-star Michelin-rated fine dining restaurant serving gourmet seafood. The private chef’s table is a small glass dining room just for your table, situated in the kitchen so you can watch Michelin magic unfold before your very own eyes. You will be able to interact with kitchen staff and get the chance to speak with Chef Michael Cimarusti when served each dish.

Seating starts at approximately $225 USD per person.

 

Somni

Opened in 2018 and situated inside SLS Beverly Hills, a Luxury Collection hotel, Somni, a two-Michelin-star restaurant, is dedicated to providing a truly exceptional dining experience. A 10-seat chef’s counter faces an exhibition kitchen, where a team of 12 chefs creates a 20-plus-course tasting menu. The restaurant is available for private events and bookings.

Chef’s Counter at Somni starts at $265 USD per head. Somni x Geist Collab dinner starts at $495 UDS per head.

GET AROUND

 

Black and White Car Rental

The licensed car rental provider offers standard, luxury, and exotic cars with three locations in the heart of Hollywood, LAX and Beverly Hills. Founded in 1994, they have been recognised for providing excellent customer service, competitive deals on standard cars, and for carrying the newest model luxury and exotic vehicles.

A Ferrari Spider costs approximately $2,200 USD per day.

 

Luxury Liners

The Luxury Liners Sun Coast is a 145-foot yacht that can hold up to 12 guests and features two main salons, a huge bow that’s perfect for partying or sunbathing, four staterooms, two indoor dining areas, three outdoor deck dining areas, multiple flat screen TVs, surround sound system, Jacuzzi, helipad, gym and more. To add to the experience, private chefs and bartenders are available to create custom food and drink menus. From its home harbour in Marina del Rey, the Sun Coast can be chartered to cruise within the bay or just outside the breakwater of Marina del Rey. She is also available to charter north towards Malibu or across to Catalina Island.

Sun Coast yacht starts at $15,293 USD per charter.

 

Orbic Air Helicopter flight

Orbit Air’s two-hour flights provide champagne for guests to sip as they take in aerial views of LA’s sights, from Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Bowl, and Dodger Stadium to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Downtown L.A. skyline, and coastal enclaves like Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades. Feeling bold? Opt for one-on-one ground instruction and the chance to fly the helicopter during the tour. Land on a rooftop helipad overlooking the city or a mountaintop above Malibu’s stunning beaches. Interesting fact: up until 2014, L.A. had a law in place for four decades whereby high-rise buildings had to have a mandatory helicopter landing pad. This was abolished in 2014, however there are many still there, providing landing opportunities right in the heart of the city!

Flights start at $249 USD and go up to $599 USD depending on the package.

 

The Private Suite at LAX

The Private Suite is a private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It typically takes 2,200 footsteps from car seat to plane seat, but for members of The Private Suite, it’s a mere 70 footsteps. Members of The Private Suite don’t have to wait in crowded lines because private TSA screening is done in the building, and The Private Suite team handles ticketing and luggage. Members spend their pre-flight time in a private suite, each with its own bathroom, food service pantry, a two-person daybed, and a runway view of aircraft landing and taking off. When it’s time to board, Private Suite members are driven in a BMW 7 Series sedan across the tarmac directly to their aircraft.

Annual membership fee starts at $4,500 USD.

PLAY

 

The Whaling Club

Exclusive parties in L.A. are a regular occurrence, but for regular folk who have this on their bucket list, we’ve found an exclusive invite-only cocktail party that you (might) be able to go to. The Whaling Club is one of LA’s most exclusive invite-only pop-up cocktail parties held monthly in the home of owner Dan Scott, GM of Son of a Gun (seafood restaurant in L.A.). To get on this exclusive invite-list is almost impossible unless you know someone. Each month, Dan serves his A-list guests with unique cocktails combined with ingredients that are (almost) impossible to even get in the US.

 

The Staples Centre Private Suite

The Staples Centre in L.A. is one of the most popular venues for basketball games where you can see A-listers front row cheering on their team. If you want to watch a basketball game in style, the Staples Centre offers private suites for those who want to impress and entertain their guests. Perks include VIP early access, your very own attendant, two preferred parking passes, and access to the exclusive San Manuel Club (where guests can experience a bar and buffet dining away from the crowds).

Private suites range between $2,500 – $6,000 USD depending on what game/concert is on and the desired package. Courtside seats start at $2,700 per game (price varies depending on teams playing).

 

Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles

Located in Carson, the Porsche Experience Center (PEC) is a 62-hectare venue with a 6.5 kilometre driver development track, state-of-the-art driving simulators, a retail store with exclusive PEC branded merchandise, and fine dining at Restaurant 917. Inside the 4500 square-metre building, which is also the new home of Porsche Motorsport North America, guests can get an insider’s look at historic Porsche race cars and the workshop team. Drivers can pilot the latest Porsche models through eight different driving modules.

Prices range from $235 for the one-hour Cayenne Off-Road experience to $2,500 for the Accelerated GT3 RS Program, a four-hour advanced car driving session that will push you to your limits.

 

VIP Experience – Universal Studios Hollywood

Take your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood to the next level with the VIP Experience. Tour the movie industry’s busiest sets in a special trolley (golf cart) and access areas not open to the general public. Visit actual sound stages where blockbuster movies and TV shows are filmed. Explore the Property Department, home to thousands of set pieces and decorative items used for film and television production. Enjoy VIP privileges with escorted priority access to all rides and attractions, including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Expert VIP guides will immerse you in the past, present and future of Universal’s world-famous Backlot, and your VIP guide will take you straight to the front of the line at all rides and find you the best seats at all shows. Other perks include valet parking and VIP entry to the park, a light breakfast in the exclusive VIP lounge, and a gourmet lunch in the private VIP dining room.

VIP Experience starts at $299 per person.

RELAX

 

The Ritz-Carlton Spa

Travellers can treat themselves to The Ritz-Carlton Spa, located within the glamorous hotel in Downtown L.A. It offers a variety of innovative therapies, including the Garden to Glamorous Seasonal Scrub, which incorporates ingredients harvested from the hotel’s rooftop garden. The luxury day spa is the largest in Downtown L.A. Spanning 750 square metres that include treatment rooms, a couple’s suite, a co-ed sanctuary, separate lounges with eucalyptus steam rooms and cold-plunge showers, a hair salon as well as a boutique.

Garden to Glamorous Seasonal Scrub is $260 USD for 80 minutes. Red Carpet Radiance is $305 USD for 80 minutes.

Spa by la Prairie

Hotel Bel-Air’s famous Spa by la Prairie is visited by stars such as Jennifer Aniston who swear by their treatments. You can spoil yourself with facials starting at $150, but if getting a real celebrity treatment is on your bucket list, the Signature Valmont Facial – Vitality of the Stars for a cool $1,000 will give you that celebrity glow.

Facials start at $150 USD and goes up to $1,000 USD.

 

Ciel Spa

Ciel Spa by Pearl Recovery Retreat and Wellness is a haven of tranquility, located within the elite SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. It provides guests with spa treatments from the best therapists in the world. Feel relaxed and at ease among the warm, white tones and billowing curtains throughout the 5,000 square foot space.

Hyperbaric treatment is $250 USD an hour. P50 Body Polish treatment is $225 USD.

SHOP

 

Westfield Shopping Concierge

The concierge at Westfield Century City (located across from Sephora) is on-call and ready to assist with transportation, restaurant reservations, and gifting needs. International travellers can use LanguageLine, a three-way video interpretation service in more than 200 languages, including Cantonese and Mandarin. For exclusive access there’s The Private Suite, dedicated to celebrity and VIP services, complete with a secure private entrance and elevator. The Private Suite provides direct entry to Century City’s restaurants, theatres, and Westfield’s retail experience of more than 200 boutiques. They even have a dedicated dog park for the pampered pooches!

 

The Beverly Center

Beverly Center is a monolithic eight-story shopping centre located at the edge of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, between La Cienega and San Vicente boulevards. Luxury stores include Balenciaga, Burberry, Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Versace, to name a few. After a few hours of shopping you can treat yourself to a luxury dining experience with restaurants such as Cal Mare and Akira Back Steak.

 

Melrose Place

On two blocks adjacent to West Hollywood’s Design District is a collection of luxury boutiques including Santa Maria Novella, Marni, Bottega Veneta, The Row, Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier, and Mansur Gavriel. Share a photo of a beloved pet (cat, dog, bunny—you name it) within the ivy-clad walls of Irene Neuwirth (ireneneuwirth.com), a fine jewellery boutique located across from the charming Alfred Tea Room, and the jeweller will create a hand-carved pet-portrait ring painted with crystal quartz and set with precious and semi-precious stones. A yellow-gold version of such a ring, with .15 diamond carats, is priced at $8,930.

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