How to spend a day in LA

The seafront neighborhood of Venice is one of the most popular beach destinations in LA

The starry gateway to the California dream, Los Angeles has long been a magnet for free spirits and Hollywood hopefuls. As Oscars weekend takes over the city, here’s where to stay, what to see and where to let your hair down in the City of Angels. By DELILAH KHOMO



Imagine waking up in Elizabeth Taylor’s pink cottage at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she spent most of her honeymoons (with five of her seven husbands). The historic Bungalow 5 has recently been gloriously restored in iconic pink and green, and comes with a garden and pool that’s so private, you could swim naked – should you want to. For the full Hollywood experience, take breakfast in the Polo Lounge. Ask for a cabana at the back of the garden and order the pancakes with Tahitian vanilla butter – they are legendary, as is the attention to detail; the waiters even give you the choice of white or black napkins, so as not to get lint on your clothes.

Nicknamed the ‘Pink Palace’, the Beverly Hills Hotel remains a beacon of Old-World Hollywood glamour
Escape the city sprawl in Topanga State Park, where you can hike through wild canyons and sycamore forests


Drive out to Topanga State Park and hike through the largest wilderness area in the city, following winding trails that meander between the ocean and the San Fernando Valley. Stop by Topanga Fresh Market for a pressed juice and don’t miss Hidden Treasures, an amazing vintage store in Topanga Canyon, with rows of cowboy boots, racks of fringed suede jackets and slip dresses.


Take away grilled mahi mahi steaks and buttered king crab claws from the Malibu Seafood Shack before heading further up the coast to visit Paradise Cove and live out your own From Here to Eternity moment. Afterwards, head to Malibu Pier and browse Alice Bamford’s perfectly curated lifestyle store, Ranch at the Pier, which sells vintage surfboards, sage-scented candles and cashmere hoodies.

Malibu is renowned for its endless sandy beaches lined with celebrity homes
Outdoor pursuit
The Huntington’s extensive botanical gardens, which include the incredible Desert Garden, cover 120 acres


Explore the fantastical architecture that LA is famous for at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, a Mayan-style temple in Los Feliz, or visit the The Huntington Desert Garden, which has one of the largest selections of cacti and succulents in the world.


Stop by The Now, a holistic day spa with a no-booking policy – a Signature Massage (a mixture of acupressure, reflexology and Swedish massage) at this West Hollywood outpost is a must.

Situated on Sunset Boulevard, the Sunset Tower Hotel is an iconic West Hollywood landmark


Dine at chef Ludo Lefebvre’s Petit Trois, an intimate French bistro located on Highland and Melrose – the moules marinière and steak tartare are highlights. Finish the night at the Sunset Tower Hotel’s Tower Bar, where A-listers clamor for maître d’ Dimitri’s top table and the icy vodka martinis.

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