Palihotel Westwood Village
1044 Tiverton Ave
As its name implies, this Palihotel is in Westwood, near UCLA and Beverly Hills.
LAX airport is 30 minutes' drive from the hotel, depending on traffic. Direct flights are available from throughout the country and the world. Contact Smith24 for travel and transfer arrangements.
Los Angeles is an expansive, car-centric city, so you’re best hiring one to cover the must-sees – or budgeting for daily Ubers, if you’d rather leave navigating the traffic to someone else. The hotel’s proximity to the 405 freeway and the east-west thoroughfares of Wilshire and Sunset boulevards makes it fairly easy to get around. (Valet parking is available for US$38 a night.)
Worth getting out of bed for
There are few better places to conjure the glamour of vintage silver-screen Hollywood than Palihotel Westwood Village. Set in a 1930s art deco building on a quiet side street, the hotel radiates vintage Los Angeles vibes. The surrounding neighborhood is home to some of the city’s best movie-centric landmarks, including the storied Fox Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, a popular venue for film premieres, as well as the campus for UCLA, one of the country’s best universities, with a roster of alumni that includes James Dean, Francis Ford Coppola and countless other Hollywood A-listers. Join the queue at beloved (and notoriously cheap) student favourite bakery Diddy Riese and grab six fresh-baked cookies for $2.50 or a towering ice cream sandwich for $3, then set off to explore the rambling neighbourhood. The Hammer Museum showcases cool, of-the-moment art exhibitions and installations, often aimed at inspiring social change. Nearby, tucked-away cemetery Westwood Village Memorial Park is home to Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, Rodney Dangerfield, and dozens of other stars. Keep the celeb-centric theme going with a chauffeured tour of star homes. Starline Tours has been at it since the 1930s, offering hop-on, hop-off trips past Beverly Hills mansions and iconic Hollywood hotspots.
In lieu of shopping the tourist-clogged Rodeo Drive, head west along Sunset Boulevard to quaint Pacific Palisades, above the Pacific Coast Highway. Browse high-end boutiques like Elyse Walker, Veronica Beard and Tamara Mellon, ideally while sipping a spinach-laced green lemonade from Cafe Vida. Or continue down to PCH and north to Malibu, where the sun-soaked Malibu Country Mart holds boho-chic boutiques and casual cafes with giant patios.
Westwood has a nice combination of student-budget-friendly dives and hipper destination restaurants. Kick off the day with breakfast from legendary bakery Stan’s Donuts. Around since 1965, the corner spot serves hulking apple-dotted fritters and puffy maple bars that are best with coffee. For cheap, filling lunch, head to Falafel King on Broxton for its namesake sandwich, topped with homemade crisps, or head for the local outpost of cult-beloved burger chain In-N-Out, on Gayley. Inside the Hammer Museum, Audrey is a bright, peppy space with comfortable booths and a crowd-pleasing California-leaning menu that still includes steak and pasta, with a lively bar. Head across the 405 to Brentwood for the city’s best Italian restaurants. Along San Vicente Boulevard, Vincenti is a laidback Italian trattoria with a wood-burning oven turning out rustic meats and fabulous pastas, all ideal with a spritz. Down the block, Pizzana turns out inventive takes on classic Neapolitan pies from a massive custom oven.
Tucked next to buzzy Vietnamese-inspired Casia, Esters Wine Shop in Santa Monica is both a wine bar and a retail outlet to buy what you've enjoyed sipping. Bring a few bottles back to enjoy on the hotel patio. Book a table for classic cocktails at intimate art deco-inspired Bibo Ergo Sum, tucked into the ground floor of an office building on Robertson.