LA in style

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Practically every celebrity worth their weight in Prada lives in LA and, if we're not reading about their exploits at some bar or club in the chic and sunny city, then we're lusting over the glorious views of Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, the Hollywood sign and the trendy clubs on 90210 or The Hills.

LA in style
LA is probably one of the most glamorous holiday destinations in the world and whether you're venturing out there to party, shop or get one helluva tan, it won't disappoint.

Beverly Hills

LA is often portrayed as little more than a party destination, but look a little closer and you'll see there's much more to it than meets the eye. People looking for the ultimate relaxation break with a little shopping and fine dining thrown in should head straight to The Avalon in Beverly Hills. A favourite among the fashion crowd worldwide, The Avalon used to be where Marilyn Monroe called home back when it was called the Beverly Carlton. Fifty years on and this hotel has all the charm of an incredibly well-preserved 1950s building with the original hour-glass pool and overlooking balconies still taking centre stage.

Lay back and relax

In LA to relax means to work out, so incorporate a little light exercise with some sightseeing on a 'running from the paparazzi' tour. The tour involves jogging along with your guide while taking in the sights of Rodeo Drive, the hills and several attractions. It's not all hard work though, as a reward for your effort you'll be treated to the biggest cupcake you've ever laid eyes on. After a quick shower head on down to the most famous shopping street in the world; Rodeo Drive. Pristine and full of women so chic it makes your eyes hurt, Rodeo Drive is lined with boutiques to send your credit card into meltdown. If the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada are a little out of your league though, don't worry you can still go home swinging your most coveted 'it' bag thanks to an incredibly shop called fashionphile. Fashionphile is lined, wall to wall with every 'It' bag ever made, all second hand but in pristine condition. The women of LA flock through its doors to hunt down a rare limited edition Louis or buy the latest must-have Chanel for a fraction of the cost, knowing that they'll only wear it a handful of times before they get bored and then think about re-selling it back.

After all that shopping and running relax with a quick treatment and lounge in the jacuzzi at the Spa Montage, Beverly Hills' most famous spa. After an hour-long massage and some downtime laying back in one of the spa's nooks and crannies we can guarantee you'll float back to your hotel a different woman.

Wine and dine

Situated in the heart of Beverly Hills you can venture out for dinner at the Ivy, Maple Drive or the newly opened and über trendy Villa Blanca. If you really can't muster up the energy to leave the confines of the Avalon's cabanas and poolside bars though stay local and dine at the hotel's renowned Oliverio restaurant, which is apparently a favourite among the cast of The Hills. After a sumptuous dinner head on out for cocktails and dessert at the Beverly Wilshire, made famous after its opulent decor was featured in Pretty Woman and one of its many rooms was chosen for Heidi and Spencer's wedding reception. We feasted on the dessert platter (what else?) and dangerously strong cocktails, what better way to finish off a night?

What to wear?

Time to style it up! Think pretty summer dressers with plenty of accessories, the dressier and flashier, the better, and don't even think about stepping out without a fresh blow-dry and new layer of fake tan.

West Hollywood

West Hollywood, or WeHo as the locals call it, is the place to go if you want to experience the Hollywood we see on television. The streets are lined with boutiques, bars, trendy hotels and salons, basically everything you could possibly to need to have a holiday and night out worth remembering. Located at the base of the Hollywood Hills and home to the world famous Sunset Strip, Santa Monica Boulevard and the Avenues of Art & Design District which includes Melrose Avenue and Beverly and Robertson Boulevards, WeHo is home to the stars, the A-list parties and some of the most famous and notorious hotels in the world. Perhaps one of the most famous hotels, due to its central location on the Strip and regular crash pad to many a rock star, celebrity and film crew, The Standard is the place to stay if you want to be in the thick of things while still having an opportunity to lay back and relax before a night out.

Created specifically for a younger clientele, the hotel is full of surprises and is anything but ordinary. Walk into the lobby and you'll see a semi-naked, well-oiled man or woman sprawled behind reception in a long glass box as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Look to your right and your ears will be greeting with the sounds of a resident DJ playing house tunes to anyone lounging by the pool or gearing up for a night out in the hotel's infamous Purple Lounge bar and club. Despite the hotel's strong party ethos, the rooms in the hotel have been designed specifically for rest and relaxation. Spacious and contemporary, most rooms boast balconies, which offer sprawling views over Hollywood and, with huge mirrors and a beanbag thrown in the corner. it's the perfect place to relax before making the most of what WeHo has to offer.

Lay back and relax

A trip to LA wouldn't be complete without a blow-dry or fresh cut and colour at one of the incredible salons on offer near to the Strip. Whether the blonde, glamourous women have inspired you to go for a complete style overhaul or you just want a blow-out before dinner, Marco Pelusi's salon will completely transform your look. Swamped by glitzy clientele and glowing reviews by the likes of Elle magazine and Us Weekly, Marco's straightforward approach to styles and wearable cuts will leave you contemplating whether it would be worthwhile to fly back for another cut in six months' time.

Wine and dine

Full of Americans either desperate to remain a size zero or eager to tuck into a steak the size of a house the Strip has plenty of restaurants to suit all tastes and appetites. For an all-American belly-busting breakfast the Saddle ranch is the place to go. Expect plates piled high with hash browns, pancakes and bacon (even if you didn't order them, they come with), great for a hangover, even better for pre-shopping energy. If you don't want to experience the bloat before going for a dip in the pool pop on down to Cecconi's for an incredibly stylish lunch on Melrose Avenue. Full of glamorous women carrying the latest Chloe bag, this place is unmissable for a real taste of what the elite get up to while the rest of us are working hard.

After a blissful day of shopping and lounging round the pool head to Tony's for a relaxed dinner and plenty of mouth-watering Italian food. If the food alone doesn't tempt you in then the $5 martinis will which taste divine and are guaranteed to give you a night you won't forget. For people-watching and the best sushi outside Tokyo go to Katana's. As well as serving up impeccable food by even tastier waiters and chefs, Katana also has the added benefit of being a stone's throw away from the infamous Sky bar, aptly named due to its panoramic views over Hollywood and floor to ceiling glass windows.

What to wear?

Anything goes as long as it shows off all of your best bits so think plenty of flesh on show and heels that would make a drag queen weep. One thing to bear in mind is that LA has a strict over-21 drinking policy and, even if you're on the wrong side of your twenties or thirties, don't leave without your passport otherwise you might struggle to get in anywhere.

Virgin Holidays Hip Hotels packages:

4 nights in California from £875pp

Four nights in Hollywood, including scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London direct to Los Angeles, two nights accommodation at The Standard, Hollywood on a room only basis, and two nights at Avalon, Beverly Hills on a room only basis with private transfers starts from £875 Prices are per person based on 2 adults travelling and sharing, price includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Prices are based on departures for selected dates in November & December.

www.vhiphotels.co.uk or call 0844 573 2460
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