Thanks to movies, TV dramas and reality shows, chances are you might feel like you have a fairly good idea of what Beverly Hills is all about even if you’ve never been there. Some of that could be true; from Rodeo Drive to the iconic Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the city is full of recognisable landmarks from your favourite films and series, all just as glamorous as they seem. But alongside the time-honoured favourites, there are also plenty of hidden gems to discover (as well as celebrities to spot), and the best way to experience Beverly Hills is to get a mixture of the two.
If you’re planning a trip, here’s what you don’t want to miss in 90210.
Travel via The Private Suite
If you’re looking for the ultimate A-list getaway, then let the luxury begin the second you land. LAX Airport is home to The Private Suite, a private terminal that allows guests the service, exclusivity and – of course – privacy that typically only comes with flying via private jet. Created to try and discourage the use of environmentally damaging private planes, the Private Suite allows for a seamless airport travel experience, whereby guests are greeted from the door of the plane and driven directly to the terminal, without ever having to see another passenger. Guests are then given their own suite – complete with all the mod-cons you could possibly require – from which they can order food or beauty treatments, or enjoy a glass (or bottle) of champagne. Each client can bring up to three guests, making it particularly popular for celebrities travelling with their families, team or glam squad. The exclusive terminal features an entirely private passport control and security, ensuring absolute privacy from arrival to departure. Gwyneth Paltrow, Chrissy Teigen and the Kardashians are fans.
For more visit theprivatesuite.com
Pay a visit to Upgrade Labs
Los Angeles has one of the most prolific wellness scenes in the world, but a visit to Upgrade Labs takes it to the next level. With two sites – one at the Beverly Hilton hotel and another in Santa Monica – the state-of-the-art facility uses personalised testing and unique treatments to optimise the health of your body, mind, and spirit. The brainchild of “father of biohacking”, Dave Asprey, Upgrade Labs uses the latest technology used by top athletes to make peak performance accessible and achievable in the most efficient way possible – think AI-boosted spinning bikes that learn as you ride, or the adaptive resistance technology “Cheat Machine”, which gives you a week’s worth of weight-training in under 15 minutes. For a more restorative experience, opt for the detoxifying and collagen-boosting infrared sauna, or step into the -220°F Cryotherapy chamber for a fat-burning, endorphin-releasing hit.
For more visit upgradelabs.com
Stay at the Beverly Wilshire
Of course, Beverly Hills is home to many a hotel, restaurant and home made famous on the Hollywood silver screen, and this is part of its appeal; you never quite know when you’re going to wander onto a previous film set, or suddenly recognise a location from your favourite movie. The Beverly Wilshire is perhaps best known as ‘the Pretty Woman hotel’ (which it capitalises on via an excellent Pretty Woman cocktail) the high-end location where Richard Gere stayed with Julia Roberts in the hit film. Naturally, the five-star Four Seasons hotel is also well renowned for its exceptional service and luxurious lodgings, and has been a preferred address for celebrities, royalty and the international elite since its opening in 1923. Located handily at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, you couldn’t find a better base from which to explore the famed 90210 postcode.
For more visit fourseasons.com
Experience gastro-biographical dining at Da Lat Rose
Da Lat Rose is the latest Los Angeles eaterie from Helene An, owner of celebrity favourite Crustacean – which it is situated above. But this isn’t like any restaurant you’ve ever experienced before; Da Lat Rose introduces “gastro-biographical dining”, whereby each dish on the 12-course tasting menu represents a different chapter of Helene’s life story. The menu shares course-by-course how the Vietnamese people were affected by World War II, the rise of Communism and the Vietnam War, ultimately ending up as refugees in America; told via dishes including Santa Barbara spot prawns, king crab banh khot and the signature Crustacean garlic noodles topped with sea urchin and gold leaf. The intimate restaurant only seats 40 so you’ll need to book well in advance; this is one dining experience you won’t want to miss.
For more visit dalatrosebh.com
Go shopping on Rodeo Drive
Spend your hard-earned money on Beverly Hills’ most famous shopping street, Rodeo Drive. Home to everything from Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton to Tiffany, Cartier and Bulgari, the two-mile stretch is lined with palm-trees and features more than 100 stores and hotels, all popular with local residents and visitors alike. The shopping destination hosts special events coinciding with holidays throughout the year; if you visit during the Christmas period you’ll get to experience BOLD Holidays – a programme of performances, pop-ups and family entertainment, plus the big Christmas lights switch-on celebration. Come for the retail experience, stay for the people-watching.
For more visit rodeodrive-bh.com
Spend an afternoon by the pool at The Peninsula
The Peninsula Beverly Hills is well known for its elegant five-star rooms and contemporary dining, but it’s well worth visiting for the pool and spa alone. Book out one of the rooftop cabanas – complete with flat-screen TV, fan, safe and iPhone dock – and spend a lazy afternoon soaking up the California sunshine by the pool, surrounded by panoramic views of the LA skyline. Treat yourself to one of the Cabana treatments, or for a more extensive menu, step inside to the tranquil rooftop spa for a fully customised treatment, plus take advantage of the blow-dry bar, nail suite, serenity lounge and dry saunas. It’ll be an afternoon well spent.
For more visit peninsula.com
Explore the Virginia Robinson Gardens
Take a breather by visiting one of LA’s hidden gems – the beautiful Virginia Robinson Gardens. Built in 1911, the Robinson mansion (home to Virginia and Harry Robinson of the Robinson department stores) was one of the first ever luxury homes in Beverly Hills, playing host to legendary parties regularly frequented by the Hollywood elite – from Charlie Chaplin and Elvis Presley to Fred Astaire and Sophia Loren. Today, the unique estate hosts private events, weddings, photoshoots and tours of the spectacular grounds; featuring a breathtaking array of flora and fauna. Following the passing of Virginia Robinson, the estate was left to the County of Los Angeles and is now part of the Department of Parks and Recreation. The County, along with the non-profit organisation Friends of Robinson Gardens, works to maintain the estate in the elegant manner in-keeping with the living traditions of the early twentieth century.
For more visit robinsongardens.org
Visit the world’s first vegan Ladurée
Famous French pâtisserie Ladurée has opened a vegan-only outpost in Beverly Hills – the first of its kind in the chain’s 150-year history. The brand teamed up with plant-based chef Matthew Kenney, who devised dairy-free versions of its iconic macarons and pastries by replacing butter and eggs with ingredients such as almond buttermilk and coconut oil. Alongside the pâtisserie counter selection, the café also offers an extensive vegan menu, featuring French toast, egg-free omelettes and Croque-Monsieur sandwiches (featuring tofu ham and vegan cheese). As with any Ladurée, the interiors are as sugary-sweet as the food, making this an Instagrammer’s paradise.
For more visit laduree.fr
Dine under the stars at The Rooftop by JG
Dine under the stars at The Rooftop by JG, atop the Waldorf Astoria hotel. The 12-storey-high restaurant boasts panoramic views of Los Angeles in a romantic garden setting, as well as delicious brunch and all-day dining menus. Don’t miss the crispy fish tacos with chipotle mayonnaise and spicy cabbage slaw, or the crunchy eggplant parmesan with fresh mozzarella and basil. Head up to the roof before dusk to catch one of those famous Los Angeles sunsets.
For more visit waldorfastoriabeverlyhills.com
Tour the Beverly Hills art galleries
Skip the celebrity homes tour in favour of something slightly more cultural and explore the many art galleries that Beverly Hills has to offer. The Mouche Gallery features a selection of contemporary photography celebrating Hollywood greats – from Audrey Hepburn to Brigitte Bardot – while the nearby Gagosian showcases a rotating selection of modern works by leading international artists. For something a little more classic, visit the Galerie Michael on Rodeo Drive, which specialises in paintings, drawings and prints from the great European Masters of the 17th to 20th centuries.
For more visit lovebeverlyhills.com