Saturday, June 12, 2010

spotlight on LA (part 2)

when i think of LA shop & stay, i think pretty woman (i mean... am i right?!). shopping on rodeo drive and staying at the “reg bev wil” has got to be every woman’s dream, except for the, uh, premise of the film. no but seriously, whether you’re budget conscious or prefer the finer things, LA’s got you covered. here are just a few suggestions...

*this post was originally written for Trip Styler. check it out for tons of great travel tips and my original Spotlight :: LA Shop & Stay post.

part two :: shop & stay

abbot kinney blvd. is one of my favourite streets in all of LA. this strip is all about the local boutiques. grab a latte from intelligentsia and don’t miss firefly for books, stationary, knickknacks, accessories, clothing, etc.; milkmade and steven alan annex for men’s and women’s clothing; madley for baubles and vintage frocks; and surfing cowboys for mid-century modern furniture and surf memorabilia (say what?).

santa monica
the third street promenade is like the top 40 to abbot kinney’s indie rock. home to major chain stores, street performers, movie theatres and large crowds, the promenade is basically an open-air mall. shops include: anthropologie, banana republic, barnes & noble, forever 21, gap, h&m, j.crew, quiksilver, urban outfitters and zara. I find this street a little overwhelming, so be sure to head down to the pier and stroll along Ocean Avenue for a break.

west LA – boutiques
if your budget and tastes stretch a little beyond the gap, check out tenoversix for a well thought-out collection of clothing and accessories for women, men and home. another great shop is opening ceremony, where by just walking through the doors you feel like you’ve enrolled in “how to be cool without trying – or at least look the part 101”. look for labels like band of outsiders, alexander wang and OC’s eponymous brand. other faves include: tarina tarantino for baubles and marc by marc jacobs for everything from carry-alls to condoms (say what? #2).

west LA – malls
two big malls dominate these areas – the beverly center and the grove. i’m partial to the latter, which has a certain manufactured je-ne-sais-quoi in the form of a dancing fountain, train, celebrity sightings and valet parking. this is LA after all. but if you choose to self park with the common folk, don’t forget to get your parking validated and pay close attention to where you parked to avoid a seinfeld moment. top shops include: nordstrom, anthropologie, forever 21, crate & barrel, barneys co-op and the adjacent farmers market.

near LAX
i hate rushing to the airport. you have to worry about traffic, returning the rental car, finding food since they don’t feed you on flights anymore… these just add to the inherent stress of travel. if you have some room left in your suitcase – and on your credit card – and want to head out towards the airport a little early, pop into the promenade at howard hughes center for nordstrom rack or westfield at culver city for target. and it doesn’t hurt that there’s a trader joe’s on sepulveda, a couple blocks from the airport – peanut butter-filled pretzels anyone?

bonus jonas!
#1: try your luck at the rose bowl flea market or the long beach flea market.
#2: the best LA-area urban outfitters is in studio city. don’t act like you don’t shop there.

i usually book LA through priceline or hotwire and choose 3.5 or 4-star hotels. since there are an overwhelming number of fabulous hotels in LA, there’s no point giving an exhaustive list, but…

a few of the more affordable options:
- farmer’s daughter hotel
- hollywood heights hotel
- best western sunset plaza
- inn at venice beach
- the standard downtown

a few of the more posh options:
- beverly hills hotel
- hyatt century plaza
- viceroy santa monica
- chateau marmont
- oceana santa monica

the best bet is to choose your area first. besides, you can always stop by the iconic hotels for a $20 cocktail and a george hamilton sighting – if you’re lucky. the most affordable hotels tend to be around LAX and downtown, and the most popular areas are beverly hills, west hollywood and santa monica. besides the area, how much time are you going to spend in the hotel? some are great for lounging at the pool and dining, while others are just a place to catch some sleep. keep this in mind, especially in LA, and you’ll be set. i’m jealous already!

** follow @tripstyler and @heatherlovesit on twitter. you know, if you want. **


Johanna said...

Ha ha Urban Outfitters. I do shop there. Guilty!

TheClovenHeart said...

Haha, you think Studio City is the best UO? I opened that one!! :)