Spent the last few years cooped up at home and want a luxurious travel experience? This month I was invited by the City of Beverly Hills and United Airlines to experience the best the city has to offer, and it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
So if you want to add a bit of luxury to your next trip to the US, here’s what I recommend!
Where to stay
There is no shortage of incredible hotels in Beverly Hills, but if you get the chance to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, you will not be disappointed – trust me.
The hotel is only six years old and has a beautiful, modern feel, and the service you experience is second-to-none. They also have a signature scent you will smell as soon as you enter the lobby by Air Aroma with notes of rose and amber – I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy it as a candle.
Getting off the flight into LAX at 6am (midnight Sydney time), it’s safe to say I was tired (despite being able to lay flat on my United Airlines business-class flight, that’s jet lag for you), but after arriving at the hotel, all of that tiredness quickly left me.
After checking in and being taken to my room, I was sure I could have stayed in the hotel for the whole trip and still been happy. The room was spacious and modern, with colourful accents – one of my favourite parts of the decor was actually the coffee table books on the bookshelf which added such a fun splash of colour to the room.
But one of the best parts of the room – other than the bed – was the ability to control the lights, curtains, music and even order room service through Amazon Alexa. Telling Alexa to close the curtains and turn off the lights from the bed was very satisfying.
After a shower, I resisted the urge to hop into bed and went straight to Espelette, the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant, for breakfast. My personal favourite breakfast dish throughout my stay was the pancakes. I was also pleasantly surprised to find the coffee in America had significantly improved since my last trip.
While Espelette is an excellent option for breakfast, at least one day of your trip, order room service and enjoy it on the balcony, it was a great experience and made my friends and family back home very jealous. For lunch or dinner, try the Rooftop by JG, where you can see the iconic Hollywood sign. Trust me, the Truffle Cheeseburger is a must-try here.
A great way to ditch your jetlag is by heading to the infrared sauna and cold plunge, also on the rooftop, and then treat yourself to a massage or facial at the La Prairie Spa afterwards. My therapist, Sydney, was incredible – it was such a treat after a long flight.
When it’s time to sleep, you will not be disappointed by the king-sized bed. I had a solid 10-hour sleep on my first night, and, to be honest, I still dream about this bed.
The hotel is only a ten-minute walk from Rodeo Drive, where there is no shortage of incredible designer shopping and funky restaurants and bars. You also have access to the hotel's two luxury town cars if travelling within a certain radius of Waldorf, simply book in a time and you're good to go! For larger groups you'll be whisked away in a Cadillac Escalade SUV, but smaller groups may have the opportunity to ride in a Rolls-Royce Ghost. I never got the opportunity to ride in the Ghost, but you better believe I tried!
Where to eat and drink?
There is no shortage of fantastic restaurants and bars in Beverly Hills. Here are some of my recommendations:
Cantina Frida – The space is gorgeous, and it will quickly become apparent that restaurants love an indoor tree moment in Beverly Hills. I had the best beef taco of my life here. If you go, please get the Arrachera Quesataco with crispy melted cheese, skirt steak, red onion, coriander and guacamole – just writing this makes my mouth water. Pair that with the Maracuy, a mescal-based cocktail with passionfruit, agave, fresh lime and chipotle-infused salt.
Steak 48 – Our group had one of the best nights of our trip here. It’s a new spot in Beverly Hills and, as you can likely guess from the name, a great place to go for steak. We also had some divine lobster rolls, which were so buttery and delicious. While we were there, we saw Sofia Vergara sitting next to us, and our waiter told us Lebron James, Magic Johnson and Eva Longoria are also known to frequent the restaurant.
Wally’s – A great place to stop for a drink and a meal, Wally’s is a popular spot with celebs, including stars like Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber, who is known to book the private dining room. You will find wine from all over the world here and fantastic food.
The Hideaway – Ryan Philippe and Evan Ross are investors in The Hideaway, and it has a great vibe, making it an excellent spot to spend the afternoon or evening. We loved the ceviche, the crispy rock shrimp and the steak. They also do a great margarita.
The Beverly Hills Hotel – Grab a drink at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to enjoy live music with a view of the glorious palm trees. As you walk through the lobby, soak up all the incredible Hollywood history through the photographs lining the walls.
Things to do
Shop – Seriously, there is no shortage of shops, even if you aren’t looking for designer items, you can still find some great pieces. But if you need some help, enlist the team at LaLaLuxe, who can take you on a tour of the best shops in Beverly Hills or provide personal shopper services. If you’ve got big bucks to spend on clothing, having the LaLaLuxe ladies help guide you in the right direction or source hard-to-come-by items is a real treat. They’ve helped all kinds of people, including CEOs and royalty, to source clothing and keep them looking stylish.
Mr Brainwash Museum - Thierry Guetta, aka Mr Brainwash, has created a vibrant exhibit of both his works and those of people he admires. This is a great way to spend the afternoon and something that both adults and kids will enjoy. We also saw none other than Chris Noth, AKA Sex and the City’s Mr Big, right outside when we went.
LA Food Tours – We had such a fun time learning about film, fashion and food on this tour with guide Brian Rodda which saw us visiting five different food locations and getting all the best tips on where to eat in Beverly Hills, while also learning where all of your favourite movies were shot, including Pretty Woman and Clueless.
Drive in style - Visit the Beverly Hills Car Rental team and either take one of their exotic cars for a spin yourself or get in touch about organising a driver to take you around. It just wouldn’t be a trip to Beverly Hills without a spin through the city in a convertible with the top down, would it?
How to get there?
United Airlines flies to LA daily from Sydney and Melbourne and three times a week from Brisbane, making it easy to get to Beverly Hills in around 14 hours.
Yahoo Lifestyle was a guest of Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, and United Airlines.
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