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Los Angeles – Luxury travel in the big city
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It's the land of glittering swimming pools, movie stars and breath-taking scenery. Los Angeles is certainly a hectic destination, full of tourists and colourful characters, but the city of angels can also make for a cultural, gastronomical and exciting vacation. Although like most cities, LA is often incredibly crowded, there are ways to get around in style and  manage to have a luxurious vacation.

Getting there

Travelling on domestic flights within the USA can be uncomfortable, but by hiring a private jet you can avoid the scrum at the airport. Get driven directly to your aircraft, enjoy a stress-free journey, and arrive at your destination refreshed and ready for business or pleasure. 

American Airlines also offer a comfortable service on their New York to Los Angeles flights. First class seats transform into a 6'6” bed, and cosy bedtime amenities are included. Enjoy a five course meal on the way to your destination, watch a movie or just recline. You'll certainly need a break between these exciting cities. 

movie star private jet

Driving yourself

LA really is a drivers city. It's very difficult and uncomfortable to get around without your own car, so why not enjoy the convenience of hiring your own luxury vehicle? Convertibles are especially popular in California, many companies offer a wide range, and it's easy to arrange day car insurance. Go for something eye-catching like a Ferrari FF or Maserati GT to really turn heads. Many companies also offer rentals of classic cars such as the 1961 Lincoln Continental, or a Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster. These kind of cars are sure to be conversation starters, and are a comfortable and fun way to get around the city. It also gives you the freedom to choose your own schedule and live like a true LA native. 

You'll also notice a lot of SUVs cruising around town. These are ideal if you're used to more space and power in your vehicle. A luxury SUV such as the Cadillac Escalade can get you around in comfort, without sacrificing style.  

There are drawbacks of course. Finding parking can be difficult, but most luxury hotels offer valet parking, as do the majority of high class restaurants and shopping malls. 

Hire a chauffeur

Being driven around town is the best way to feel like a true LA celebrity. It means you can relax, get some work done or just enjoy the view. Choose from one of the many chauffeur services or arrange through your hotels concierge service. You won't have to worry about finding routes, as your chauffeur will already be an expert on the city. They will also know all the local traffic laws and idiosyncrasies of the area. Why not get them to take you shopping for the day? Hollywood and Highland has five levels of shopping and entertainment, including quality brands such as Louis Vuitton, Victoria's Secret, GUESS and many more. Or get dropped off along Robertson Boulevard for a range of boutique and branded stores, such as Chanel, Ted Baker and Fendi. 

ferrari beverly hills

Eating out

Hiring a chauffeur  is especially convenient when dining out, as you know someone will be waiting to pick you up. LA has some of the finest restaurants in the world, meaning every night can be a culinary adventure. Try Providence on Melrose Avenue, which has excellent reviews and an adventurous, yet understated menu. Seafood is a particular strong point here, and the menu includes fresh fish from around the USA. No trip to an American city is complete without visiting a cosy steakhouse, and Mastro's in Beverly Hills comes highly recommended, with all the classic cuts of steak you'd expect, served to perfection.

If you're in an international mood, then LA features fine dining from all kinds of countries. Try Fogo de Chão, which offers delicious authentic and elegant Brazilian cuisine. WP24 owned by Wolfgang Puck offers modern Chinese cuisine and a fantastic view, 24 floors up, of the Hollywood skyline. Sushi restaurants are everywhere, but for excellent service and a stylish atmosphere, try Katsuya on Hollywood Boulevard. With adventurous signature dishes, as well as perfectly prepared classics such as sashimi, make for an unforgettable experience. 

There are also plenty of European favourites to excite your tastebuds. Bouchon Bistro evokes the cosy atmosphere of a French bistro, and the menu is packed with rustic, traditional cuisine. They'll even pack you a picnic in the summer months for you to enjoy somewhere beautiful. Fresh, authentic Italian food can be found at Toscana. Choose between wood fired pizza, or seafood flown in daily from the Mediterranean. 

After dinner, head to the bar for a few drinks.  You won't want to miss out on some of the most exclusive bars in the world. Bar Centro offers experimental cocktails with ingredients from wasabi to cotton candy. The Abbey Bar offers cabana style seating and the cocktail menu is varied, yet classic. For truly special cocktails, try The Varnish. Voted the best cocktail bar in America in 2012,  it is hidden away in the fashion of a speakeasy bar. It has a cosy and sophisticated interior, and their handmade cocktails are individual works of art. 

Staying here

After a hard day in the city, the  Four Seasons in Beverly Hills is the perfect escape. Executive rooms feature French doors which step out onto your own balcony, so you can watch the world go by. Grand luxury suites are based on the 16th floor and offer panoramic views,  two bathrooms, a separate living room and a range of luxurious amenities. Their luxurious spa offers a range of rituals, and you can even choose to have them performed in a private cabana next to the pool, perfect for enjoying those sunny LA days. 

The iconic Beverly Hills Hotel is based on the lively Sunset Boulevard, but offers an oasis of calm and relaxation. The pool known as the 'pink palace' offers private cabanas, frozen towels and underwater music. After enjoying the California sun, treat yourself to a range of indulgent spa treatments, from a deep tissue massage to hot stone therapy, you're bound to leave looking, and feeling, fantastic. Retire to your bungalow, and enjoy your own private porch overlooking lush gardens, truly a world away from the stress of the city. 

As well as luxurious guest rooms, the Hotel Bel Air offers seven speciality suites, all with private patios, fireplaces and a range of comfortable amenities. Choose the Herb Garden Suite with private elevator, chef's kitchen and dining room for entertaining up to eight guests, or the Stone Canyon Suite with outdoor jacuzzi and gas fireplace, perfect for those chillier evenings. The hotel's uniquely shaped oval pool is a spot for some real relaxation, and guests can enjoy frozen treats and luxury skincare products as they recline. 

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See it from above

If you're pushed for time, don't spend it all in one of those infamous LA traffic jams. There are many helicopter tours available that let you see the city in a fraction of the usual time. Take a helicopter to one of the other gorgeous California cities, the Napa Valley, or even as far away as Las Vegas. Hiring a helicopter means there's so much more you can do on your vacation.

It can sometimes seem daunting to get around a city like LA, but by planning ahead we can all enjoy the sights and sounds of this eclectic city in comfort and style.

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Copyright First Class Around The World Gilles Malaisé 2021