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United States

Welcome to Los Angeles

City description  

How fantastic life seems beneath the palm trees dotted along the pavements of Beverly Hills. And how healthy it seems too, amidst the joggers and muscled athletes working out in the sunshine of Venice Beach... There’s no doubt about it, Los Angeles is enormous – the second largest city in the United States with almost 4 million inhabitants – stretching along the Pacific Ocean for over 100 kilometres. And it’s incredibly diverse as well: the “urban” difference between West Hollywood and South Central is striking. But it also rivals the world’s greatest capitals in terms of power and magic, thanks to its casual beauty, its old-fashioned exoticism and its diverse architecture, combining cultivated nostalgia with the breathtakingly avant-garde. Countless filmmakers, including Robert Altman, Michael Mann and David Lynch, have taken up the challenge to illustrate its diversity. Los Angeles, the home of cinema, with Hollywood devouring talent from all over the world like a cyclone, never fails to produce the most beautiful, light-drenched and promotional lifestyle you can imagine.

But reducing Los Angeles to its studios and budding actors detracts from its many other charms and treasures. Film buffs will want to admire the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, visit Universal Studios Hollywood or take to the hills to get a picture of themselves next to the Hollywood Sign. Foodies will fall in love with US media darlings, chefs Ludo Lefebvre, Philippe Blanchet and his Champs-Elysées Café, Romuald Guiot and his inspired patisseries... Because many French chefs have set up their kitchens in LA, a hotspot for international gastronomy. A melting pot of different influences, the cuisine here reflects this multifaceted city. You can choose between sophisticated Chinese and Italian nouvelle cuisine, between classic French dishes and a spicy Haitian treat or a burger with a purist organic twist…

Music-lovers will be in heaven at the Hollywood Bowl, whose amphitheatre can be seen on countless record sleeves. Sinatra, Dylan, The Beatles, The Doors... all the greats have played here. Art is also one of the city’s biggest draw cards. At the LACMA, a large art museum that sits in the shadow of the tower of the Variety Magazine building, you can see works by Picasso, Lichtenstein and Giacometti, to name but a few. There is a plethora of visual wonders to marvel at here, as well as pavilions dedicated to cultures from around the world. The MOCA is the city’s centre for modern art. Another landmark not to be missed is the Getty Center, with its architecture inspired by an Italian village, and there is also the California Science Center.
Make your way along the coast to experience the Californian Way of Life to the fullest: the beautiful bathers of Malibu, bronzing themselves on the beach or at one of the area's trendy bars; the peaceful atmosphere of Santa Monica and its villas by the sea; the attractions of the Santa Monica Pier and its legendary big wheel; or Venice Beach and its atmosphere combining an obsession with body image and hippyish peace and love. The city is no stranger to contradictions. Even more so in terms of its landscape, with the Griffith Park and the Griffith Observatory, locations for Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean, offering delighted visitors a touch of greenery and finesse. Young and old alike flock to Disneyland, the theme park dedicated to the famous Mickey Mouse and his creator, the incredible Walt Disney.
The City of Angels is also about luxury, bling and a sometimes an exorbitant level of extravagance. In West Hollywood – a famous gay-friendly district – the windows of garages selling vintage racing cars attract the eyes of envious passers-by. On the renowned Rodeo Drive, the biggest American labels rub shoulders with their international counterparts. Giorgio Beverly Hills, an iconic address, might well have disappeared, but its replacements are champing at the bit, each one coming up with more inventive ways than the last to satisfy the most demanding clients. On Melrose Avenue, affluent fashionistas can shop ‘til they drop, or at The Grove and its pedestrian streets, or the Farmers Market, a “right-on” market selling organic vegetables and environmentally-friendly products. Los Angeles offers plenty of opportunities to fill your mind with memories and your suitcase with souvenirs.

Top things to do in Los Angeles

Enjoy our selection of finest attractions

  • All
  • Highlight
  • Art & design
  • Shopping

Where to Eat

  • Café
  • Restaurants

Providence

Chef Michael Cimarusti offers an exquisite fine dining experience at Providence in West Hollywood. The restaurant is renowned for its light and refined seafood-inspired cuisine, where heavy sauces and flavours are notably absent.

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Tavern

Run by talented local chefs Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin, Tavern is a buzzing all-day dining food emporium set within a magnificent glass conservatory in West Hollywood. Discover the variety of restaurant and lounge bar spaces on offer here.

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The Ivy

With two glamorous restaurants in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, The Ivy is a romantic, upscale alfresco dining spot serving soul-satisfying classic American, Italian and regional dishes.

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The Bazaar by José Andrés

Acclaimed Spanish chef, José Andrés and celebrated French designer, Philippe Starck joined forces to create this smash-hit dining and nightlife concept, The Bazaar by José Andrés. Start the evening with a molecular cocktail in the lounge bar, then move on to the restaurant and feast upon inventive, modern Spanish tapas.

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Bar Marmont

A famous Los Angeles hideaway for famous movie stars and musicians for over 80 years, the Chateau Marmont is home to Bar Marmont, an excellent restaurant and lounge bar which is the ideal place to enjoy a light snack, an indulgent feast or late-night drinks with friends.

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Sky Bar

Settle into its open air, ivy-covered pavilion and enjoy sunset cocktails and some of the finest panoramic Los Angeles views at SkyBar, one of the city’s most glamorous lounge bars. Later in the evening, dance to the sounds of cutting-edge DJ beats.

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Gjelina

Known for its heavenly wood-fired pizza and modern Italian dishes, Gjelina is a fun and funky local eatery in the hip Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach. Don’t be surprised if you see a famous face or two in the crowd of models, hipsters and fashionable locals.

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Blue Bottle Coffee

The famous Blue Bottle Coffee roasters and cafe chain boasts five outposts in Los Angeles, including the Beverly Boulevard location with its Art Deco influence, minimalist interiors and wholesome menu of waffles, baked sandwiches and avocado toast. Try the single-origin pour-over and join the local crowd at the shared outdoor table, or enjoy the buzzing atmosphere in the airy, light-filled interiors.

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Alfred Coffee

With six funky locations throughout Los Angeles, Alfred Coffee first opened in the stylish Melrose Place neighbourhood with unique vintage interiors and top specialty coffee. Opened by local resident Joshua Zad in 2013, the cafe is the ideal place to snap a photo of the now iconic “But first, Coffee” wall while sipping Zad’s renowned coffee creations, which are best enjoyed with a freshly baked pastry.

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Intelligentsia Coffee

With outposts in Chicago, New York and LA, Intelligentsia Coffee is the place to mingle with locals while enjoying expertly-crafted speciality coffee. Whether you visit their Sunset Boulevard or Venice Beach cafes, expect meticulously sourced beans from around the world, a buzzing atmosphere and some of the top coffee brews in LA.

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Practical information

  • where to stay
  • when to go
  • Travel transportation
  • event calendar

Los Angeles • United States

Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is a stunning hotel in LA, offering elegant...

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When to go

Los Angeles is great to visit all year around, known for its Mediterranean-like climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
The best time to visit LA is from June to September, when the temperatures are warmer with a minimum of 20° Celsius.
The months with the heaviest rainfall tends to be from December to March

Los Angeles annual calendar

  • Jan

    LA Art Show and Art Los Angeles Contemporary, late January

  • Fev

    Academy Awards Ceremony, late February to early March

  • Mar

    LA Marathon, mid-March

  • Apr

    Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, mid-April

  • May

    Los Angeles Modernism Show, mid-May

  • Jun

    Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, mid-June

  • Jul

    July 4th Independence Day Events in LA and Orange County

  • Aug

    Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival, late August

  • Sep

    Sunset Strip Music Festival, West Hollywood, mid-September

  • Oct

    Halloween Carnival, late October

  • Nov

    Hollywood Christmas Parade, late November

  • Dec

    Christmas celebrations and parades, late December

Travel transportation

Transportation

Transportation is not as easy to organise in Los Angeles compared to other major cities, since it is one of the largest cities in the world with a tentacular system of highways.
However, there are several options to travel around Los Angeles, including: local cabs, private drivers, rental cars, subway trains and buses.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) operates an extensive system of bus lines, and limited subway and light rail lines across Los Angeles. The metro rail network hosts six light rail lines and two subway lines.
The Red Line light rail is a convenient option for tourists going from Downtown to North Hollywood.
Single tickets ($1.75) and day passes ($7) for all forms of transportation are available from bus drivers and vending machines at train stations.
Keep in mind that when driving in Los Angeles, you must drive on the right side of the road.

Taxis

There are nine franchise taxi operators in the City of Los Angeles who operate more than 2,300 taxis. Taxis are quite expensive due to the distances and the traffic you may face in Los Angeles.
The base taxi fare is $2.85 and each additional mile is $2.70. Some additional charges may apply. A tip of 10-15% is not included.
Between LAX and downtown, expect to a pay a flat fare of $46.50.
You can hail a taxi in the street, find them at a taxi rank or book them through one of Los Angeles's taxi firms.

getting to & from the airport

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of the busiest airports in the world.
LAX is located 23 km from downtown Los Angeles. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes according to the traffic and will cost around $50 + charge and tips.
Metered taxis are available and private transfers can be arranged at the airport.
Buses and shuttle services are also available from the airport to Downtown Los Angeles.

Getting around

Other destinations

* Prices start from. Offer subject to the hotel's conditions and availability. See the sales conditions for the rate. Depending on the country, these prices may not include taxes, may include VAT only or may include all taxes (VAT and city tax). When prices do not include all taxes, the relevant taxes (VAT and/or city tax) will be stated in the following stages of the reservation process. The price is only guaranteed at the time of reservation.

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