What location in Los Angeles is the epicenter of glamour, fashion and celebrity? Rodeo Drive, baby! Staying on Rodeo Drive will make your first time to Los Angeles EPIC! (Or really, any time you visit!)
Staying on Rodeo Drive puts you smack in the middle of what makes L.A. so unique. My “wow” moment was stepping out of the hotel and right into the most famous shopping area in the USA . . . the air even SMELLS different! And not only do you stay in style, but you’re also central to the huge Los Angeles area. So, it’s also an easy spot to explore from.
Before my first time to Los Angeles, I assumed it would be ridiculously pricey to stay on Rodeo Drive. It’s definitely true that you can find crazy-luxurious (aka expensive) hotels in this area. But crazy enough, there are less ridiculous options, too. In fact, the only hotel literally on Rodeo Drive isn’t ridiculous, especially if you go in fall.
My first trip to L.A. was during Oscar Week with three glamorous ladies. Talk about living the dream! How could we not stay on Rodeo Drive?! Honestly, I just heard Pretty Woman in my head. All. The. Time.
Just imagine strutting your stuff along Rodeo Drive, following in the footsteps of Julia Roberts into your favorite shops (cue the music! “Pretty woman, walking down the street…”) and into the gorgeous Beverly Wilshire. Do you hear it?? “It must’ve been love, but it’s over now…”
If you’re looking for a super-glamorous, epic trip to take with your girlfriends, this is it.
- 5 amazing reasons to stay on Rodeo Drive
- 5 great places to stay (well, only 1 right ON Rodeo Drive, plus 4 other fabulous options nearby)
5 Fantastic Reasons: Why Should you Stay on Rodeo Drive for your First Trip to Los Angeles?
Why should you not?! But seriously, here it is: 5 fantastic reasons you’ll LOVE staying on Rodeo Drive!
1. Rodeo Drive is THE epicenter of fashion and glamour.
How cool is it to stay right in the very heart of Beverly Hills’ fashion scene?! Here are just some of the high-end shops right outside your front door: Chanel, Gucci, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Burberry, Prada, Giorgio Armani. Even if you’re like me and can’t afford to buy a sock in one of these places, strolling along Rodeo Drive makes you feel like a million bucks.
Other great shopping spots are also just a short cab ride away. Try The Grove and the Original Farmer’s Market, which are only a 15 minute cab right and hot spots for celebrity sightings, or Westfield Century City, which is 10 minutes in the opposite direction.
2. Rodeo Drive is surrounded by fabulous restaurants.
There are a ton of amazing restaurant options to check out on your first time to Los Angeles. If you search restaurants near Rodeo Drive, you’ll see great variety and fantastic reviews, so take your pick!
We loved the Luxe’s bistro for breakfast, wine and hors d’oeuvres. For dinner, Mr Chow (on N Camden Dr) was fantastic and is an easy walk; note that the tables get you cozy with your neighbor, but, hey, you may just get the latest scoop on which bar celebrities are hanging out at and end up grabbing drinks with them (yep, like ours! We almost saw Chris Rock . . . instead we were taking pictures in the beautiful Beverly Hills Hotel restroom. Ugh.).
If you’re okay with traveling a little beyond Rodeo Drive, we also tried and recommend Koi for upscale Japanese food (10 minute cab ride from the Luxe) and The Ivy for delicious Californian dishes and cozy vibe (5 minute cab ride or just walk). Both are known for celebrity sightings.
3. Staying on Rodeo Drive puts you near a host of incredible celebrity-sighting spots.
Okay, to be clear, I’m not a celebrity stalker. But my sister-in-law sorta is, and going to Beverly Hills with her turns you into a bit of a crazed, wannabe paparazzi obsessed with seeing someone famous. So if you’re a bit like her – or traveling with someone like her – embrace it, because, hey! You’re in the land of the stars.
First, head up to Hollywood Boulevard to find your favorite star’s star on the Walk of Fame and handprint at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. You can get a picture of the Hollywood sign right from the Walk of Fame, but for a better angle, head up to the third or fourth floor of the Hollywood & Highland Centre (i.e. mall). Once you get in your Hollywood fix, backtrack a bit to the Sunset Strip for the rest of the day.
One of the best places to get your glam on (second to Rodeo, of course) is the Sunset Strip. Sunset Strip is just north and east of Rodeo Drive along Sunset Boulevard, book-ended on the west by Soho House West Hollywood and BOA Steakhouse and then Chateau Marmont on the east. Roam this stretch of shops, restaurants and clubs and you’re likely to spot someone rich and famous. For dinner, check out the Chateau Marmont, The Eveleigh or BOA Steakhouse, which are all known for celeb drop-ins.
4. Staying on Rodeo Drive isn’t as expensive as you probably think.
￼I was surprised that the Luxe didn’t suck my wallet dry, but the trick really is to twist the arms of your best girlfriends to go with you. You’ll spread out the cost and have people to do all this crazy awesome stuff with.
Other than the cost of the hotel, there are ways to ease up on other costs. All you need to wander Rodeo Drive is a coffee in your hand; relax by the fountain next to the Via Rodeo steps and people watch, or explore the cute little outdoor mall tucked behind the shops with access just north of Guess.
You’ll find two markets just six short blocks away on N Crescent Dr. Pick up freshly baked croissants and local jam for a cheaper but still delicious breakfast. Grab sandwiches and snacks for when you’re out exploring and enjoy them at a lovely park, like Beverly Gardens just north of N Santa Monica Blvd.
The surrounding area is also very walkable with good shoes (I did it in cute, not-so-good shoes). We just bit the bullet and used taxis whenever we wandered far, but there are bus stops within a few blocks of the Luxe along Wilshire Blvd, North Santa Monica Blvd, and North Beverly Drive (maps and info at metro.net).
5. Staying on Rodeo Drive will make you FEEL like a CELEBRITY!
I saved the best for last . . .
There’s something pretty awesome-fun about sipping your morning coffee at the Luxe’s bistro out front and having tour buses slow down so tourists can take your picture.
So put on those sunglasses and your wide-brimmed hat, and wave that pretty little hand of yours . . . you know you want to!
Hotels on (or very near) Rodeo Drive: Great Options for your First Time to Los Angeles
Okay, so you might be thinking: “Sure, it might be fun, but how could I ever afford to stay on/near Rodeo Drive??” Believe it or not, not all of the hotel options are ridiculously priced – especially if you twist the arms of a few girlfriends to go with you.
1. Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel (360 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210)
This is where we stayed for our first time to Los Angeles. The Luxe is the ONLY hotel right on Rodeo Drive. Staying at the Luxe Hotel puts you right into the action the moment you walk out the front door. And depending on when you go, rates can dip to $300.
Now, I must admit that I was in a bit of an awed trans just being on Rodeo Drive, so I’m not super unbiased about my love affair with the Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel. But, I think it says a lot that nothing snapped me out of it.
I’ll also admit that I felt like a bit of an impostor … A plain-jane gal staying in this posh boutique hotel in the heart of the most glamorous shopping street in the entire United States … but I was never treated like it. I was a little afraid of being shunned for dressing too “low-class” (yeah, maybe a little because of Pretty Woman) but I never caught a staff member even glance at my clothes. They were friendly, professional and helpful. We typically had our breakfasts and evening wine at the sitting area out front overlooking Rodeo Drive (there’s also a larger restaurant inside), and the waiter made us feel very welcome and comfortable, chatting with us and taking (too many) pictures for us.
Now the sitting area out front, which overlooks Rodeo Drive, is wonderful but also the one awkward thing about this hotel. When you walk in, either you pass by those eating/drinking in the front area or you go through what feels like the back door by the reception where the taxis drop you off. But once you’re in, the lobby is lovely and comfortable.
One thing to note is that, like many other boutique hotels, the elevators are small (so consider not packing your entire wardrobe). But the rooms are very comfortable and include in-room wifi. Be prepared for the extra fees: they charge a $30/person resort fee, breakfast is a little pricey ($30 for continental) and valet parking is extra. We didn’t use parking, the spa or fitness areas so I can’t speak to those amenities.
Keep in mind that the Luxe is much more expensive and books up quickly during Oscar Week.
2. The Beverly Wilshire – Four Seasons (9500 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212)
So, what about the Beverly Wilshire, you ask?
We only glanced in at this super-glam, iconic hotel, but it looked just as stunning as you can imagine and the bellman was very welcoming and friendly. You know they offer luxury when you can select “private jet” from their website!
The Beverly Wilshire is as close as you can get to Rodeo Drive without actually being on it. You could say that it’s right where Rodeo Drive begins, sitting on Wilshire Blvd overlooking Rodeo Drive to the north. It also overlooks the Via Rodeo fountain and steps, that lead up to more boutique shops and cafes. Certainly an epic place to stay for your first time to Los Angeles.
The one drawback … it’s at least double the price of the Luxe. Eeek.
3. Cheaper options near Rodeo Drive
Here are three other hotel options in easy walking distance of Rodeo Drive. All are cheaper than the Luxe, have great reviews and look like they’d still give you a “wow” first-time Beverly Hills, L.A. experience:
- The Mosaic Hotel ($260+/night; 125 S Spalding Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212): This hotel is a walkable seven blocks from Rodeo Drive, has a rooftop pool, and includes in-room wifi; you’ll pay a $30/night resort fee and for parking and made-to-order breakfast ($8-18/person).
- SIXTY Beverly Hills ($250+/night; 9360 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212): Five blocks from Rodeo Drive along Wilshire Blvd, this place also has a rooftop pool and bar; the resort fee is $23/night, plus wifi (even in public areas), parking and full breakfast ($5-15/person).
- Crescent Hotel Beverly Hills ($250+/night; 403 N Crescent Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210): Only three blocks from Rodeo Drive (and three from the markets), this small boutique hotel provides free wifi; extra fees include a $30/night resort fee, parking and buffet breakfast ($15-20/person).
What I’d do next time: Head to the Beach!
My first time to Los Angeles was to help one of my amazing sis’-in-law feature her art at an Oscar Gift Lounge. Yep, with real-life celebrities. Face to face. While this definitely added to the ultra-glam celebrity feel of our trip, we limited our extra time to seeing the sites in the surrounding Beverly Hills.
When I go back, the number one thing I really want to do is cycle The Strand bike path from Santa Monica to Venice Beach. I did some research so I’m prepared for next time.
Check out what I found in my next post: Cycling The Strand: Bike Sharing, Rental & Tour Compared
A final word about staying on (or near) Rodeo Drive . . . In my travels, I’ve learned that the place I stay at can make or break the adventure. For my first trip to L.A., nothing could’ve been more epic than surrounding myself with the luxury and glam that is Rodeo Drive.
So . . . what do YOU think of when you think of L.A.?
“Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin.’” Ah, SO epic.
Does this sound like the perfect trip to Los Angeles? Go ahead and pin your favorite pic so it’s easy to find later!
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Dreaming. Planning. Exploring. Finding that “wow” moment. Cora loves the journey nearly as much as the destination. She wants to experience the wonders and the stories of this amazing world for herself. Cora has toured with friends, family and now three little ones (eek!).
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