Culture+Travel presents a weekly series that allows the world’s leading luxury hotels, resorts, and boutiques to reveal some hidden secrets and hot new places to visit in the cities they are located, as well as offer some advice for travellers in general – Cue the Concierge!
Providing an Anglo-European ambience to the hills above Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, the glamorous London West Hollywood aims at nothing short of reclaiming the movie capital’s Golden Age. With 200 rooms over ten floors, the hotel is designed by London’s David Collins Studio, founded by the Irish luxury interior designer whose himself has been named GQ’s Inspirational Man Of The Year – an aspiration perhaps of many of the clientele at this chic establishment.
With clients like Fortnum & Mason, Harrods and the Victoria & Albert Museum, it’s no surprise that Collins has ensured that the LA hotel has a touch of English country about it. It’s still distinctly Californian though – suites are open floor-plan, the rooftop has a pool deck and private cabanas, and even the Gordon Ramsey Michelin-star restaurant blends the feel of LA and London. So with the stay option secure, Culture+Travel caught up with the hotel’s team to find out the latest places to see and be seen in in the City of Angels.
LES CLEFS D’OR CONCIERGE: SARAH DANDASHY
Tell us about the latest new hip and stylish restaurant in town?
One of my favorite new restaurants, The Church Key makes going out to eat fun again! The menu is Modern American, and they serve their small-plates, Dim-Sum style! Part regular menu and part rotating menu, the experience is always different. Cute waitresses dressed as Pan-Am Stewardesses add a little flare in an atmosphere that is both comfortable (think sofas), easy (mis-matching, vintage plates), and rustic (exposed brick walls). I’m slightly in love with their salt and vinegar popcorn served at the bar. Also their alcoholic otter-pops are delicious!
I’m jetlagged and its midnight. Where can I enjoy an alcoholic beverage with a view?
There are only a few rooftop bars in Los Angeles, but one of the best is located in the center of Downtown LA! Perch Los Angeles sits atop the 16th floor rooftop and boasts a beautiful 360 degree view of the city. They have delicious cocktails and a French inspired menu that perfectly complements the elegant atmosphere. With both indoor and outdoor seating, including two fireplaces, you can enjoy the balmy LA weather all year round. And as if this were not enough, they are open until 1 or 2 am every night. Perch Los Angeles is the perfect way to enjoy a nightcap, take in a stunning view, and cure your jetlag! Cheers to that!
Where can I find the work of local up-and-coming artists on display?
The second Thursday of every month, The Downtown LA Artwalk takes over the streets and is a festive celebration of current artists within the city. Starting at noon and lasting until 10 pm, Downtown LA is transformed into an eclectic art party complete with drinks, delicious food, and of course, art. The artwork on display spans many styles and mediums, from sculptures, paintings, to fashion. An urban style permeates this mixed-media Artwalk—truly representing LA culture.
I’m in need of a new, stylish hair cut. Who is the best in town at ensuring I turn heads when I walk out?
When it comes to a stylish new haircut, the Andy LeCompte Salon is a guaranteed winner! Their beautifully sleek and modern salon is always full, and their clientele is exclusive. Securing an appointment is not easy, but well worth it. Plus, you never know what celebrity will be sitting in the chair next to you! Get ready to walk out of the salon ready for the red carpet.
I need an outfit to match, by a local designer, who would you recommend for him and her?
For the ladies, my two favorite designers are Monique Lhuillier and Rachel Zoe. Lhuillier excels in bridal gowns and elegant evening wear, guaranteed to make an impression. Rachel Zoe captures the Boho-chic essence of LA in her styles, perfect to dress for a trendy night on the town. For men, I highly suggest Scott Sternberg’s Band of Outsiders. His style is dapper, marked by tailored suits and blazers. He feels a little retro, yet manages to keep a modern feel.
What’s the best new spot in the city for a coffee or tea for a quiet chat?
Alfred Coffee on Melrose Place is more than just great cup of joe, it’s got a cool vibe as well. Their sign says it all: “But first, coffee…” Trendy with a hipster undercurrent, you’ll find everyone from aspiring writers to young fashionistas sipping on various lattes. But it doesn’t end with the coffee! You can also grab a cold-pressed juice, a tasty sandwich, or one of their delicious brownies. Be sure to order an “Alfred Cone” from their secret menu! It is an espresso or macchiato served in a chocolate dipped sugar cone.
I fancy an afternoon stroll in a garden to escape the buzz of the city. Where should I head?
Just off Sunset Boulevard in the residential Pacific Palisades sits a glorious garden like no other. The Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple truly is a gem. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, people of all backgrounds are encouraged to visit the beautiful gardens, little lake, and their non-denominational temple. Silence is encouraged and speaking is kept to a minimum to allow for everyone to thoroughly enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the gardens. It is the best place to clear your mind, and take a moment for yourself.
What’s the most bizarre recommendation that a guest has asked you for?
I had a guest ask for a magician to present a private show in his suite. It was quite an interesting experience calling up several magicians, inquiring about their specialties, and reporting back to the guest. The best part was trying to obtain upper management approval to allow the magician to bring both a rabbit and a dove up to the guest’s room. It happened, and we created lasting memories not soon to be forgotten. But that was definitely the most unique request!
What’s your favorite forgotten tourist spot, one not at the top of the tourist route or that is often overlooked?
I am a huge fan of The Secret Stairs in Beachwood Canyon. Located in the foothills under the Hollywood sign, the series of old stairs wind through the original homes of Hollywoodland. You can take in the unique architecture, an uncrowded view of the Hollywood Sign, and even squeeze in a little work out—in true LA fashion!