West Hollywood Guide

Cutting-edge with more than a dash of old-school glamour, West Hollywood is the beating heart of The Industry…

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Where to Stay in West Hollywood

High up on Sunset Boulevard, Chateau Marmont (8221 Sunset Blvd) is one of the city’s most iconic places to stay. It’s where everyone from James Dean to Robert De Niro has hung out at one time or another, where Greta Garbo, Keanu Reeves and Lindsay Lohan have lived, and where John Belushi died. And that’s only what we know about…

Another star-studded address is the Sunset Tower (8358 W Sunset Blvd), an Art Deco landmark building once dubbed ‘Hollywood's Most Distinguished Address’. It’s been home to Frank Sinatra, Errol Flyn, Zsa Zsa Gabor, John Wayne, Michael Caine and Roger Moore amongst others. Today the bar is still popular with the likes of Tom Cruise, David Beckham, J-Lo, Penelope Cruz and Jennifer Aniston. For something new with fantastic views, the Andaz (8401 Sunset Boulevard) oozes contemporary cool, from its ‘concept’ check-in to the minimalist designer bedrooms, with their floor-to-ceiling windows for views stretching out over LA's glittering skyline.

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Where to Eat in West Hollywood

For breakfast, don’t miss the Magnolia Bakery (8389 West 3rd Street), responsible for launching the global cupcake craze and a favourite of Katie Holmes. Another Hollywood morning hangout is Café Urth (8565 Melrose Avenue), which often pops up in Entourage. With regulars like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Mark Wahlberg, and Sienna Miller, it’s become a morning mecca for movie-makers and shakers in search of a good cappuccino.

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For lunch, head to Gordon Ramsey’s Boxwood Café at The London hotel on Sunset. Surprisingly affordable yet plush, there’s even a $20 three-course menu with great grilled octopus tagliatelle and beef risotto. Keep your eyes peeled for the Beckhams, Scarlett Johansson, Liv Tyler or J-Lo. To go totally LA, go macrobiotic at M Café on Melrose where Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Alba like to lunch.

At night cool carnivores should try BOA. Located on Sunset, on Soho House’s ground floor, it’s paparazzi central but the indoor/outdoor patio is dimly lit to give some much needed privacy. Nibble on small plate bites such as barbecued shrimp, gorgeous sushi and (not so) mini burgers.

For something chic with a touch of rustic, the Eveleigh (8752 W Sunset Boulevard) is a buzzing dining spot. Its covered patio-style room at the back is stuffed with Hollywood’s finest enjoying crispy seasoned squid, pork rillettes and truffle French fries by candlelight. To be guaranteed a celeb sighting, try Il Sole (8741 West Sunset Boulevard), a staple with the stars. Another hot new address is Fig & Olive on Melrose Place where beautiful people Liz Hurley, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosia have all been spotted since it opened in March.

Where to Go Out in West Hollywood

Renowned for its nightlife, West Hollywood is where the likes of Paris and Lindsay get papped nightly. For dancing, clubs Voyeur, Crown Bar and Mi6 (all on Santa Monica Boulevard) attract both A-listers and wannabees after nightfall. Alternatively, there are always the iconic hotpots on West Sunset Boulevard, like the infamous Viper Room, the House of Blues or the Whisky a Go-Go (scene of many of Jim Morrison’s wildest nights).

For civilised cocktails, try the snazzy terrace bars like Skybar at the Mondrian (8440 Sunset Boulevard) or the Standard’s Cactus Lounge (8300 Sunset Boulevard) with its twinkling LA light views, giant daybeds and live DJ. Alternatively, there’s the ‘secret’ patio at Dominick’s which serves delicious Southside and Pink Elephant cocktails to those in the know like Gwyneth Paltrow, Sofia Coppola, Drew Barrymore and Kirsten Dunst.

Where to Shop in West Hollywood

Why Melrose of course… The hottest place to shop in WeHo is on Melrose Avenue where LA’s finest come to spend their dollars. At The Avenues (where Melrose meets Beverly and Robertson), you’ll find designer flagships for Balenciaga and Alberta Ferretti, local ateliers and art galleries. Further along, North Robertson has been nicknamed the new Rodeo Drive with Armani, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Dolce & Gabbana. To spot a celeb loaded with shopping bags try Maxfield (8825 Melrose Avenue), a quintessential West Hollywood high-end boutique where you’ll find a large and eclectic selection clothing and accessories.

For something uniquely WeHo, head to J. Gerard Design Studio & Peace Gallery (8575 Melrose Avenue) where Julia Gerard sells her high-end couture with a rock-and-roll edge, along with reasonably priced peace-themed t-shirts, jewellery and accessories.

What to Wear in West Hollywood

You can go one of two ways: either super-polished or LA laid-back. Perfect nails, perfect hair, perfect tan and perfect body encased in some Herve Leger inspired by Eva Longoria in Desperate Housewives, or opt for all the above wrapped in the sporty, laid-back attire of tracksuit bottoms or skimpy shorts and vest top suggesting ‘off-duty model and I don’t care’. Mere mortals can’t go wrong in classic skinny jeans, white T and on-trend bag – but that healthy glow and perfect teeth are essential to go native.

Don't Leave Without…

…something cute from Kitson. Situated on Melrose Avenue, Kitson is a well-known hotspot for those who know their stuff. Even if you’re not buying, it’s worth popping in to see if you can spot Kitson fans Paris Hilton, the Olsen Twins or Halle Berry on a spree. Whether you want the latest ‘it bracelet’, the Energy Muse bracelet spotted on David Beckham’s arm or a distressed US flag bag – you’re bound to find something you fancy.

Beauty SOS – Where to Go for Pampering in West Hollywood

For some serious Hollywood-style pampering Ole Henriksen at the Sunset Plaza is the way forward. Sign up for the signature antioxidant African Red Tea Body Cocktail. For that Hollywood glow, try the facial at the low-key but still wildly popular, Spa at Sunset Marquis (1200 Alta Loma Road). Need a relaxed day spa? Try the unisex Voda (7700 Santa Monica Boulevard), which even has its own bar and smoking patio. Very LA. To complete the red carpet makeover with all important fake eyelashes try Makeup Mandy (8441 Melrose Ave) while for that shiny manicure Jessica’s Nail Clinic (8627 W Sunset Blvd) is the place to head for.

Prefer East Coast to West? Check out our New York guide. Or see all ELLE escapes’ travel guides.

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