In a matter of days I’ll be leaving our amazing country for one of my favourite places to travel…
(Wait for it.)
Los Angeles, California. La La Land. City of Angels.
I’m pumped to try something new – so, for the first time, I’ll be staying at the W Hollywood, one of the hotel’s top spots in the world. Think: the hottest restaurants, clubs, and just a little something I like to call the ocean. The best part about it is I get to stay courtesy of my Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express. Finally cashing in those rewards I’ve received makes this experience even more amazing.
And while I’m all about spontaneous travel, knowing a few things before touching down is key. But since LA brings two worlds together, I need your opinion on what I should get up to (and into) on this trip out West.
Option 1: The Scene, Scene…
To begin, I plan on literally diving into the “Wet Deck Weekends” at the W Hollywood.
During summer weekends the pool area becomes a ‘sophisticated environment’ meant for adults only, and while I’m not trying to take away from our YP readers who have kids (we love them, just not at 19+ events), as a single YP I certainly don’t mind the idea of hitting a mature poolside vibe.
While on location, I’ll use my Starpoints to redeem Instant Awards right at the W Hollywood’s front concierge. I could use them to potentially get a trip to their Bliss spa, or the Delphine, a high-end (but W-cool) California bistro specializing in everything from a raw bar to fresh market ingredients. It will definitely be worth at least one (maybe two) meals.
Station Hollywood, also at the W Hollywood, looks like a truly unique restaurant – think Paris in Cali. Enough said. Well, actually, there’s more… after dinner, the Station Hollywood vibe moves outside to an outdoor oasis with house DJs, California winds, and cocktails. Okay, now, I’m done.
Offsite in LA, one of the ‘sceney’ restaurants I plan on getting in to is Boa Steakhouse, which, according to Sunset Magazine has one of the best steaks in America. Not that I’m a huge steak guy, but when in Rome, right?
On the other hand, seafood is definitely my thing, so when I’m near the ocean I’m all about getting down with the fish. Nobu, which is, well, Nobu, deserves a place on this list. Their ceviche and tartare are both next-level.
And I’m a fan of all things next-level.
Now, one big night (maybe two) is in order, so my plan is to call up some of my LA crew and grab a table at the recently opened 1OAK LA – biggest DJs, gorgeous crowd, a real upscale club vibe.
After a big evening out at 1OAK I’ll want to keep it a bit more low-key the next night, so you’ll be able to find me at SOHO House LA – it’s absolutely stunning. You’re pretty much eating dinner under foliage as dense as a Costa Rican rainforest or sipping cocktails while taking in an aerial view of the Hollywood skyline.
Option 2: The Healthy Lifestyle Scene.
This is all about sun, exercise, mindfulness, clean-eating, and everything else that yogis love. Namaste, ladies and gents.
I’m talking early morning wake-up coupled with a delicious brunch onsite at the W Hollywood. Everything you’d expect at a healthy breakfast – fresh fruit, juice, egg-white omelets. And… that’s it. Don’t want to overdo it before.
An absolute must-do in LA (no exceptions). It’s a tough uphill (then downhill) trek to get your heart rate up (and break a sweat) but manageable enough to allow you to appreciate the breathtaking views. And, ok, sure, take a selfie or two.
At the foot of Runyon there’s outdoor yoga that’s the definition of serene. And I plan on getting my happy baby pose on alongside 50 other yogis on the grass.
Following Runyon, I’m going to head back to the W Hollywood and chat with the concierge to see what healthy options are located around the city. Maybe they’ll suggest a trip up to Santa Monica for lunch at a restaurant that really defines healthy, feel-good LA life: Cafe Gratitude. If you can’t feel on top of the world at a Cafe called Gratitude, I can’t help you.
Next, a few short blocks away is Venice Beach. I really love the vibe of Venice – it’s artsy, grungy, free-spirited, and with the ocean as a backdrop, it’s exactly where I want to be.
(Insider tip: find the artist known as WikidCanvas and buy something from him, you won’t regret it. I’m planning to buy my second piece.)
The following day is all about Laguna Beach. Surfing, biking, tanning, and relaxing. Years ago when I lived in Costa Rica I rode a wave or two so hopefully I still got it.
It’s not exactly like riding a bike.
After hanging 10 or 2 (depending on how the waves and I get along) and having a bite on the water, I plan on renting a bike and trekking up some of the challenging but scenic trails.
*The Notable Team and I want to know what you think – check out the conversation on Facebook and let us know if would you choose Option 1 or Option 2.
This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this article, however, are purely my own.