Beverly Hills: Glitz, Glamour, and Hollywood-Style Romance

Sunset of the stars: Dusk settles over Beverly Hills  (PhotoDisc)

Grab your sunglasses, designer wear, tanning spray, and the key to that sexy little red convertible—Beverly Hills is all about living like a star. Even if those tourists on Rodeo Drive don't know who you two really are, stroll confidently out of Barneys, shopping bags in hand, and listen as they whisper, "Are they a couple?" Yes, this is your moment, so lounge, swim, shop, and canoodle to your heart's content in this six-square-mile enclave for the rich and (often) famous.

Only the weather reporters get bored with the weather in Beverly Hills: everyone else wakes up happily to another sunny, 75-degree day. The shops are always open (if exclusive) and the streets are cleaner than Brad Pitt's pearly whites. So seize the day and don't waste such a bikini-worthy opportunity: Make sure you book a hotel where the two of you can shop for the latest in swimwear and then get poolside to bronze the skin for the evening's festivities.

Mid-century modern design is so L.A., and at the new boutique Hotel Avalon (9400 West Olympic Blvd.) an hourglass-shaped turquoise pool is the centerpiece of the main courtyard. It's surrounded by the private cabanas and Lucite tables of Blue on Blue (the hotel's chic restaurant and lounge) and overlooked by guestroom balconies above. Inside, the décor riffs on the mid-century theme with designs by Nelson, Eames, and Noguchi. Its sister location, Maison 140 (140 Lasky Dr.), is equally chic, with red, Moulin Rouge-styled Parisian and sleek gray Mandarin rooms, accompanied by the sultry Bar Noir (310.281.4000). No pool, but guests can swim and sun at the nearby Avalon.

Or is your style more Sunset Boulevard than L.A. Confidential? The private bungalows dotting the manicured grounds of the Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Blvd.) have had their share of scandalous behavior since the hotel opened in 1912, catering to a clientele of royalty, both Hollywood and international. But the "Pink Palace" remains a serene and luxurious retreat, decked out with a pool, gym, spa, tennis courts, restaurants, and bars. Drop in for a cocktail at the Polo Lounge (310.276.2251)—in your sunglasses, of course—and eavesdrop on the gossip circulating among the power-lunching industry types.

After you've prowled through the chi-chi boutiques of Rodeo Drive, escape to a secret assignation among the lush landscaping of the Greystone Mansion and Park (905 Loma Vista Dr., 310.550.4654) or the Virgina Robinson Gardens (1008 Eden Way, 310.276.5367), where tall palm trees and exotic flowers mingle with cascading fountains and marble statues. In the evening, enjoy live jazz and cocktails at the Mosaic Hotel's Lounge (125 Spalding Dr., 310.278.0303) on Wednesday nights from 7 p.m. onward.

If you're still feeling spirited, hop back in the car and follow the Santa Monica Freeway west to the Pacific Coast Highway. At Santa Monica State Beach (1642 Promenade, 818.880.0350), loll on the sand or climb the stairway to Palisades Park to watch the sun do its nightly splash into the Pacific. Driving back, you can head for the candlelit outdoor patio at Il Cielo (9018 Burton Way, 310.276.9990, www.ilcielo.com), swoon over the exquisite sushi at Matsuhisa (129 North La Cienega Blvd., 310.659.9639, www.nobumatsuhisa.com), or go for the full 90210 treatment at Wolfgang Puck's Spago Beverly Hills (176 North Canon Drive, 310.385.0880, www.wolfgangpuck.com). You're a star, you deserve it.

Published: 24 Jun 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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