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Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip to Beverly Hills

September 8, 2012 6:00 AM

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rodeo drive sign

If Los Angeles were a cupcake, Beverly Hills would be the icing. There’s no better place to catch a sweet dose of old Hollywood glamour, modern sophistication and the best of decadent shopping, pampering and dining than in Beverly Hills. From a rooftop film festival amid posh poolside cabanas, Bel-Air picnicking and globally-acclaimed spa treatments, this history-rich, celebrity-happy enclave of Los Angeles is a must-do for both locals and international visitors alike.

Getting There

To get to the heart of Beverly Hills from Orange County (approximately 45 miles) or South Los Angeles (approximately 18 miles), head north on the 405 freeway. Exit at CA-2/Santa Monica Boulevard and merge onto Cotner Avenue. Turn right onto Santa Monica Boulevard and keep left at the fork. Turn right onto North Rexford Drive and you have arrived.

What To Do

Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie
701 Stone Canyon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077
(310) 909-1681
hotelbelair.com/la-prairie-spa

For more than 65 years, Hotel Bel Air has indulged the most notable of guests: Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly, Britain’s Royal Family and renowned celebrities from Oprah to Angelina Jolie. For the first time since 1946, following an extensive, two-year renovation, Hotel Bel-Air opens it doors to spoil spa lovers in one of only four namesake La Prairie spas in the world. Another bonus: you don’t have to be a hotel guest to experience the hotel’s quintessence – the famous pool and 12-acres of majestic gardens. With the booking of just one 60-minute spa treatment, experience the finest in Swiss skincare while lounging poolside at the famous site of Monroe’s last photo shoot in 1962. Press the reset button on your skin and try the legendary 90-minute White Caviar Illuminating Facial. Complete with a take-home, full set of its renowned product – the White Illuminating Système collection – this treatment is perfect for brightening skin and diminishing age spots.

spa shelves Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Beverly Hills
(Shelves of products at Bel-Air Spa / Credit: Jessica Blotter)

Walking Tour: Walking in the Footsteps of Celebrities
Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau
239 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 248-1015
lovebeverlyhills.com

One of the best ways to get a seasoned taste of downtown Beverly Hills (along with a little exercise) is to stroll the streets. If you want to be sure not to miss anything noteworthy, download the free, self-guided walking tour from the Beverly Hills Visitors Bureau for a history-rich guide to the sights and hotspots where the famous shop, dine and play. Wear comfortable shoes and give yourself a few hours to discover and indulge in the city’s finest. Don’t miss The Paley Center for Media where guests have access to nearly 150,000 archived radio and television programs.

Caulfield’s Summer Film Festival

Thompson Hotel Beverly Hills
9360 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 273-1400

Only in Beverly Hills will you find a swanky rooftop bar hosting a weekly movie night serving classic movie candies – Dots, Milk Duds, Snocaps – and also caviar and Dom Perignon. Through September 25, head to Thompson Beverly Hill’s poolside rooftop on Tuesday nights to catch film classics – “When Harry Met Sally,” “Speed” and “Moulin Rouge” – while enjoying French-bistro style bites brought to you by Caulfield’s. Perfect after a day of exhaustive Beverly Hills shopping, there’s no better place to unravel and enjoy dazzling views of downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills. Benefiting the Motion Picture and Television Fund, rooftop tickets for general seating are $20 with snug cabanas and café tables available at VIP pricing.

Where To Eat

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
701 Stone Canyon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077
(310) 909-1644
hotelbelair.com/wolfgang-puck-bel-air

Stroll over to Wolfgang Puck’s whimsical indoor/outdoor garden terrace for the best in farmer-market fresh, organic and sustainable fare. Request a private alcove overlooking Swan Lake – perfect for social gatherings, a romantic meal or even an “afternoon tea” toast. Since the produce is handpicked daily from local farmer’s markets, the menu items will vary upon seasonal availability. If you’re really looking for a “wow” moment, call ahead and reserve “The Bel-Air Basket” and opt for a chic picnic nestled within the gardens or alongside Swan Lake. Packed with everything you need for the ultimate picnic, choose from dozens of a-la-carte items from a selection of artisanal cheeses, big-eye tuna “nicoise” salad or classic cupcakes. Picnic pricing averages at $60 per person for a three-course basket.

wolf gang Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Beverly Hills
(Wolfgang Puck restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air / Credit: Jessica Blotter)

Where To Stay

Beverly Wilshire – A Four Seasons Hotel
9500 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 275-5200
fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire

After a full day of Beverly Hills hobnobbing, nothing beats being able to meander just a few steps back to a hotel where five-star service awaits in the heart of the city. Just off of Rodeo Drive, there is something special for everyone at the Beverly Wilshire – whether you’re traveling with family and friends or just looking to escape solo. Rich in history, the hotel first opened its doors in 1928 and was the former temporary residency of Elvis Presley and Warren Beatty. Don’t miss the 2012 cabana packages that include necessities like kid’s spa treatments, poolside massages and Moët Ice champagne. Take advantage of an extra night when you book three nights and receive the fourth free.

Jessica Blotter has 10 years experience in the advertising industry and is founder of Publicly Loved – at the heart of brands, causes and events. As an author of two regional travel blogs with CBS Local and Examiner.com, she has produced more than 30 published articles covering regional getaway destinations and charitable events. Follow her onTwitter @publiclyloved.

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