A Luxury Weekend Getaway in Tinseltown

One of the world’s most renowned destination spots filled with glitz n’ glamour, entertainment, culture, architecture and technology, its no surprise that Los Angeles has earned a well-deserved global status.  And, there’s just something about sunny L.A. that makes people want to retreat into a picture-perfect fantasy world.  

The epitome of big, bold and beautiful, its easy to see why celebs choose LaLa Land as their permanent abode and why it also happens to be one of the most visited cities in the world! 

Renowned for redefining opulence and providing the most “Googled” about entertainment industries, L.A. is a mecca to some of the world’s hippest hotels, hottest restaurants, trendiest shopping districts and fabulous attractions. Chinatown, the Coliseum, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Staples Center, Kodak Theatre and Dodger Stadium all call L.A. home. All of which just give us more reason to visit.

In L.A., it’s easy to find trendy boutiques, cutting-edge essentials and the latest and greatest in fashion.  Some of our favorite spots include Melrose Avenue, Robertson Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, Third Street, Westwood Village, Promenade in Santa Monica and The Grove – all great destinations to find the latest runway look, designer accessories, vintage essentials and shiny must-haves. 

journeyPod recently had a chance to visit Cali, and here’s just a little taste of our hottest picks – perfect for a quick weekend getaway and what awaits you: 








Petit Ermitage (Beverly Hills/West Hollywood): A fashionable alternative to the Chateau Marmont, Petit Ermitage is hands-down, our favorite hotel in Los Angeles. From the moment you step foot into what feels like an exclusive French Bohemian Manor House, you’re greeted by a gracious staff (with fresh baked cookies at check-in), an extensive private art collection which lines the walls of each floor (including selections from Dali, Miro, De Kooning and Erte), and an understated fusion of bohemian and decadence. 








Featuring 80 suites, the eclectic space also boasts a bit of a whimsy feel, with furniture and décor personally selected by the owner from his travels around the world.  Some of these include:  custom railings from India, handwoven rugs from Turkey, mosaic tiles from Italy, and more.  Each room also feature European antiques, along with cozy in-room fireplaces and handcrafted mantels.  The amenities don’t disappoint either!  Petit Ermitage features impressive custom-crafted Thermo-pedic and bamboo mattresses, 618 thread count sheets, and signature candles – all of which we wanted to bring home!

A cozy respite from the mundane, and one that’s located in an unassuming street off of the infamous Sunset Drive (at 8822 Cynthia Street), Petit Ermitage also boasts one of the most beautiful 360 degree panoramic views and private rooftop spaces in all of the city. 

An awesome amenity for hotel guests and a privilege afforded by membership only, the Private Rooftop Club offers a breathtaking space, which is also recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as a butterfly and hummingbird sanctuary and includes a Butterfly Bar, garden, saltwater pool, cabana and lounge area, and a gorgeous fireplace.

Owner Stefan Ashkenazy (or “Master of the House” as he prefers to be called) said:   “The dream for me was to create a place that would transport a guest. And the philosophy was based on the idea of guiding one through their 5 senses…Sight (warm, exotic, rich colors, hand trowled Venetian plaster walls, authentic antiques and museum quality art), Sound (the music or even the placement of the fountains), Smell (our signature fragrance, flowers and herbs), Touch (textiles, fabrics, tiles, linens, towels, the feel of woven carpet or milled wood on the bare foot or salt water on the skin) and Taste (fresh, worldly, exotic cuisine).

From our personal experience, he’s delivered just that (and more!)!  So, it should be no wonder why our heart in the City of Angels belongs to this place.  And no surprise that folks like Robert De Niro, Reese Witherspoon, Leonardo Dicaprio and Eva Longoria are fans too!

For more, check out our Chef’s Corner with the hotel’s in-house Executive Chef Joseph Antonishek here.

Other properties we happily recommend include: 





Chamberlain West Hollywood – A boutique hotel located in the middle of another unassuming residential street (on 1000 Westmount Drive) between the famed Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards, Chamberlain fuses the comfort and ambiance of a residential apartment building with the luxurious décor and design of a modern hotel. 

Featuring amenities like flatscreen TV’s and DVD players, the sizeable guestrooms also boast floor-to-ceiling windows and charming furnishings.  For those who visit, don’t forget to checkout the sexy swimming pool with panoramic views of the city atop the hotel and the Chamberlain Bistro and Bar – which serves traditional fare with a seasonal and signature twist one would expect in LA.  Psst martini lovers – the libations here do not disappoint! 






Sofitel LA (Beverly Hills) – Blending European elegance and Hollywood glamour, Sofitel Los Angeles features stunning interiors, first class dining, impeccable service and dazzling nightlife. Located at 8555 Beverly Boulevard, the hotel sits on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard, opposite the Beverly Center. 

It is here you could also enjoy Modern American comfort food created by Rock n’ Roll Chef Kerry Simon (the Truffled Mac & Cheese is where it’s at…), sip on a fusion cocktail at Randy Gerber’s Stone Rose Lounge or indulge in a revitalizing spa treatment at Le Spa. With the “SO You” treatment, guests can create their own, unique treatment under the instruction “If you can dream it, we can do it.” Sofitel LA’s deliciously decadent guestrooms include: flat screens, rainfall/peek-a-boo showers and the signature SO Bed (from which you won’t want to wake!). For all you pooch lovers, the hotel also honors guests with pets – providing complimentary amenities like sleeping cushions, bowls and treats.

The Standard (West Hollywood) – Minutes from Beverly Hills, Century City and the Hollywood Hills, The Standard is situated in the heart of the Sunset Strip (at 8300 Sunset Blvd.) and has become one of leaders in modern, boutique luxury in this city.

Not surprising, since its one of André Balazs’ – the renowned hotelier and residential developer. 

Perfect for the hip and trendy crowd, The Standard is a chic and hi-tech spot that features shag carpets, a live DJ at the front desk, live performance art and a 24-hour restaurant.  The hotel’s guestrooms and offerings are also as impressive as the artsy design and décor – from cordless phones and mini-bars stocked with interesting surprises (sake and licorice whips are just some of those) to an onsite barbershop and gift shop – which is anything, but typical.

Renaissance Hotel (Hollywood) – Situated at the intersection of the Hollywood and Highland entertainment complex, the Renaissance Hotel is just steps away from the famed Walk of Fame, Hollywood Wax Museum, Kodak Theatre and Grauman’s Chinese Theater and a stylish hot spot, perfect for anyone looking to stay amidst the heart of Tinseltown.

Infused with Hollywood personality, the hotel captures the legendary glamour of the city’s past throughout the lobby and guestrooms.  The hotel also boasts impressive panoramic views (of the ocean, downtown LA and the Hollywood Hills) from its floor-to-ceiling windows in each guestroom.  For a really special view, check out the hotel’s outdoor rooftop pool.  Oh, and here’s a fun fact:  The hotel serves as Oscar-night headquarters for many who attend the Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre next door.  The Renaissance Hotel is located at 1755 Highland Avenue. 

Read on to learn about our favorite Los Angeles Spas & Restaurants


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