Featured Hotels in Los Angeles
Luxury Los Angeles Holidays
Welcome to the City of Angels, the entertainment capital of the world, and California's liveliest city. Los Angeles must be the only place on earth where you can sunbathe on a golden sun-kissed Pacific beach, come face-to-face with your favourite celebrity, dance to the latest indie band, and take a tram ride through Jurassic Park, all on the same day. However extravagant your dreams, nothing is impossible on Los Angeles holidays.
Los Angeles is of course synonymous with Hollywood in many people's minds, but when you get there you realise how much more to the city there actually is. In fact, Los Angeles is not so much a city as a sprawling metropolis of neighbourhoods and mini-cities, of which Hollywood is just one. From Malibu to Anaheim, from Pasadena to Long Beach, Los Angeles holidays are as much about art and culture, sunshine beaches and family theme parks, as they are about movie history.
That being said, it probably wouldn't make sense to spend time in Los Angeles without actually visiting Tinseltown -- there's no denying its attractions are legendary and spectacular, starting with the colossal Hollywood sign in the hills, which can't fail to raise a tingle of excitement in even the most blasé, as the entrance to the land of dreams. Beyond the sign there's the Hollywood Boulevard containing the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where more than 2,400 fabled stars of the big and small screen are immortalised in pink terrazzo, with their names in gold. One of the most memorable sights along here is the TCL Chinese Theatre, known by its former name of Grauman's Theatre, a monument to the lavish design of Hollywood's Golden Age, with its astonishing pagoda structure, and nearly 200 celebrity handprints and footprints embedded in its forecourt.
Running between Hollywood and Beverly Hills is the equally legendary Sunset Boulevard, evoking the highest point of Hollywood's most glamorous era, with its most famous section, Sunset Strip, now a popular night-life spot. Not far away, the celebrated Universal Studios Hollywood invites you to experience some of the most famous scenes from film and TV, in the world's biggest movie studio. You can take the renowned tram ride through Jurassic Park, explore the creepy Bates Motel, and thrill to the hair-raising Transformers: The Ride 3D.
The Magic of Disney
If you're travelling with a family -- or even if you're not -- the fabulous Disneyland may prove an irresistible attraction. Disneyland Park is 85 acres of everything everyone loves about Disney, with Main Street leading to the castle, plus seven lands including Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, while the next-door California Adventure theme park has fantastic rides like Soarin' Over California. Together with three Disney hotels, plus Downtown Disney, which is an outdoor restaurant, retail and entertainment district, the two theme parks form the enormous complex that is known as the Disneyland Resort.
Surf, Sun and Sand
Once you've had your fill of the tinselly glitz of Hollywood, you may feel the need of some relaxation, and Los Angeles has 75 miles of coastline where you can escape for some sun, sand and surf. Santa Monica, just 15 miles west of downtown LA, has some of the most fabulous beaches in California, as well as its famous pier, which features lively street performances, plus the coastal thrill rides of Pacific Park. There are plenty more beautiful public beaches along the Malibu coast, the entrance gates often being almost hidden between the billionaires' opulent beachfront mansions.
Further south is the family resort of Long Beach, where you can find the ferry to the beautiful island of Catalina, just an hour's boat trip off-shore, but seeming like a world away. There are no cars -- you can only explore on foot or by bicycle, or by zip-lining through the virgin forest of the interior. Around the coast you can experience the rich marine life in glass-bottomed boats, semi-submersibles or by diving and snorkelling.
Gorgeous Scenic Drives
Because of its well-known network of freeways connecting its different neighbourhoods, the car is very important in Los Angeles, though you don't actually need a car to get around -- there is an excellent transport system with subways, buses and light railways. However, if you do use a car, you can enjoy some of the amazing scenic drives, the most iconic being the Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH, from Santa Monica to Zuma, with golden beaches on one side, and rugged cliffs and mountains on the other. Another famous route is Mulholland Drive, which takes you along the ridge of the Santa Monica mountains, offering breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hills and the San Fernando Valley, as well as glimpses of the fabulous homes along the way, showcasing the ultimate LA lifestyle.
With all these wonders, the really amazing thing about Los Angeles holidays is the sheer variety of things to do. If you feel the need of retail therapy, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is a must, as much for the celebrity clientele as for the upscale stores and boutiques, while Robertson Boulevard on the west side of the city is one of the city's trendiest shopping streets, where there's an excellent chance of spotting one of your favourite stars. Meanwhile, if it's culture you're after, the Getty Centre, with its stunning architecture, enchanting gardens and exquisite art collection, offers one of the country's finest cultural destinations. And when the sun goes down, the city comes to life in a whole new way, with searchlights illuminating the sky, and buzzing bars, pools and rooftop restaurants providing a sparkling finale to another perfect day.