LA: My Way

There are only a few airports in the world that actually evoke a feeling upon landing.

New York is opportunity.
Montreal is culture.
Toronto is freedom (I’m from there).
Miami is spice.

Los Angeles is all of the above.

Every time I touch down at LAX I feel the impact that the film, entertainment, health, and technology has on this city that is naturally blessed with warm weather, natural beauty (and some not so natural), and serene landscapes.

It’s opportunity, culture, freedom, and spice all rolled up into one long urban sprawl. And for every one person who says LA is pretentious, I’ll show you five more who love everything about it – well, except for the traffic.

After hosting an epic Icon Series event in Montreal, I flew straight to LA for my SPG Amex experience which I booked fully with the Starpoints I’ve been accumulating on my Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. I was ready to hit the town, enjoy the lifestyle, hike like an off-road marathoner, eat like a starving foodie, sip wine like a sommelier, and downward dog like a yogi.

And I did it all.

The W Hollywood is an impressive hotel. I’m a big fan of the W brand but this W stands out and is one of the most spectacular in the entire family. I knew I was at the right place when I walked into a bustling lobby with tall ceilings, massive chandeliers, minimalistic décor, a gorgeous and fashionable crowd, packed bars, and the right music.

A few highlights:

Wet Deck:
In the elevator, on the way up to my room for the first time, I met three women heading up to the LA Magazine launch party on the W Hollwood’s Wet Deck, their rooftop pool and terrace, and they invited me to join.

Naturally, I obliged.

Wet Deck offers a picturesque outdoor pool and cabana vibe. Daytime is all about tanning, cocktails, and good music. By night, we’re talking launch parties, regular parties, and chill parties.

Did I mention they throw a good party on Wet Deck?

Ask for Chris Nelson. Tell him I sent you.

Sunday Jazz Night:
I heard rumblings about Sunday Jazz Night throughout the weekend but had NO idea it was going to be this good. Whether or not you’re staying at the W Hollywood, and whether or not you’re even into jazz, if you’re in LA on a Sunday night, and you can get in, you must go.

Picture: a big band style orchestra with burlesque dancers and vocalists that would give Alicia Keys a run for her money. In fact this is so hot that Stevie Wonder and other A-list musicians frequently just ‘drop by’ to lay down a few tracks on stage.

No. Big. Deal.

Couches and Beds:
Yes, there are couches and beds everywhere you look. In the sprawling lobby and living room, the outdoor courtyard, on Wet Deck – all over. So bring a book or your iPad and save some time to relax. If you’re reading this, you’re a hard-working young professional and you deserve the chill.

Other Must Do’s and Reco’s From the Concierge at the W Hollywood – known as W’s Whatever/Whenever® Service:

Runyon Canyon
Definitely put on your runners and hike up Runyon Canyon. It takes an hour or so and is worth every breath.

Earth Bar
First break a sweat when you get out of bed, then head to Earth Bar. Start off your day with the Acai Bowl. Add protein. Thank me later.

Good Times
Spend a couple hours one night at Good Times in Hollywood. Be ready to dance like your parents did when they were our age (apparently they actually were at some point). This place is like no other. Someone bring it to Canada. I’ll thank you later.

Honestly, the best part about having the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express is that every time I pay to experience anything like the above, I’m earning Starpoints that are redeemable for more travel and more hotel stays.

And I travel a lot, so not earning points and being rewarded for spending just isn’t a solid YP move.

In fact, I’m already planning my next trip.


This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.



Images:, W Hollywood

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