Travel

COSMO explores L.A.: How to live your best life in West Hollywood

Live it up with the celebs.

By Cosmo Team
what to do in west hollywood

After a true Hollywood-glam experience? You’ll find it at West Hollywood — or WeHo, as the locals (read: celebs) call it! The Cosmo team hung out poolside and barside, and truly lived their best life in this sun-drenched, culture-packed neighbourhood.

With mild weather all year round and sunny holiday vibes, there’s never really a bad time to visit star-studded LA with your squad. With its massive array of sport stadiums, theme parks and shopping malls, not to mention tons of Michelin-starred restaurants and fashion ranging from vintage to high couture, it’s the entertainment capital of the world. Walk the streets of LA’s geographical heart, West Hollywood, and you’ll understand – it’s no wonder all the celebs are here for that shopping, sunning, swimming, partying life!

WHERE TO STAY IN WEHO: SUNSET MARQUIS

Why wouldn’t you want to stay here when they have not one but two amazing pools? The pool by the lobby has a family vibe, but all the best celeb spotting happens beside the villa pool on the property. It’s a glam magnet for babes!

Sunset Marquis has a very music-steeped history – Led Zeppelin and a lot of famous bands in the ’70s stayed there routinely, so it’s always been ‘the’ place to be (probably for an afterparty or five!). The hotel stays very true to its rock and roll rep – really luxe but also relaxed.

The villas are the place to book – there’s a slight Spanish vibe going on, with beautiful, lush garden surrounds. And it definitely embraces the all-American mentality, with beds and baths super-sized to the max. It’s also the ultimate celeb hotspot if you’re after a sighting (but be sure to play it cool). The villas are like luxe homes, so they have celebs there on the regular – Rihanna even stayed at the hotel during her renovations.

For a lazy day in, enjoy brunch then wander up to the pool for the day. After soaking up the sun, hit up Bar 1200. Prime Insta-worthy areas are everywhere (particularly the pool or villa garden at night) – and the restaurant is the place to be for sure. Celebs often have meetings there as it’s super secluded, so away from the paps and prying eyes. DEFINITELY hit it up for the brunch buffet, particularly the crepe bar (we may have gone back for thirds).

You’re smack bang in the middle of WeHo, so Chateau Marmont is a stone’s throw away, and you’re a block from the Mondrian’s pool parties if that’s more your scene. The Abbey’s a short walk away too if you’re after a dance. If you’re in a shopping mood, Melrose Avenue is just a 15-minute walk – perfect for an afternoon stroll to hit up Chloé.

WHERE TO EAT/DRINK IN WEHO

E.P. & L.P., West Hollywood
Great for rooftop drinks with a chilled vibe. This is the kind of place you could go solo to people-
watch, or with a group of friends, or on a date. And you can see the Hills all around you! Highlight of their menu was the crispy chicken sandwich and their boba cocktails.

Gracias Madre, West Hollywood
Vegan Mexican and goooood cocktails. It’s pretty and rustic and the outdoor patio features 80-year-old olive trees (dreamy!) so it’s totally Instagrammable. Order the enchiladas – they taste just like the real deal, and won’t negate that SoulCycle class.

IHOP, West Hollywood
It’s an abbreviation for International House of Pancakes for a reason: the pancakes are out of this world and the booth-and-milkshake vibes are quintessentially American. Try the original buttermilk (or strawberry and passionfruit, or red velvet). You know what? Get a shake, too.

Catch LA, West Hollywood
A slick rooftop space known for creative seafood-focused food, cocktails and celebrity sightings (think Jamie Foxx, David Beckham, Alessandra Ambrosio, Kendall and Kylie Jenner and Hilary Duff). The garden entrance is the prettiest backdrop for your Insta posts and they serve a drink called Detox Retox that’s basically a green juice with a tequila shot. Enough said? Thought so.

WHERE TO SHOP IN WEHO

If you want to spoil yourself, we recommend taking a stroll through Downtown LA and Beverly Center. We all walked away with cute finds that we couldn’t buy here in Aus, which made it that much more special and memorable! The Grove is also a cute spot to visit as it encompasses shopping, dining and entertainment all in the one destination. We had delicious Greek food and Aperol spritzes at one of the restaurants tucked away in the area.

WHERE TO PLAY IN WEHO

SoulCycle
Not being huge fans of Spin classes here in Australia, we were sceptical of SoulCycle at first. But boy, were we in for a ride! We quickly realised it wasn’t just an average Spin class that worked on lower parts of your body; it’s a full-body movement class. There are about 100 bikes lined up in the room, and employees who fit the bike to your body so you ride in comfort. We were doing push-ups on our bike handles, while bouncing in time to the music in a pulsing, dance-like set of motions. We even used weights for bicep curls and presses in the air. The lights are quite dark so it really allows you to take charge and go at your own pace without feeling the pressure to compete with anyone! The instructors urged us to let go of all our stresses and cycle it out, which is just what we did that day and each day thereafter when we realised we were OBSESSED!

Shape House
Sweating in the name of health seemed strange at first, but we were willing to give it a go! After being dressed in trackies and tucked into a sleeping bag, you literally lie on a heated bed and sweat while catching up on screen time for 55 minutes. As the bed got hotter, the sweat started pouring. We wouldn’t do this on a first date, but if you’re with your girls, you should totally check it.

UNIQ Charters LA
When in LA, it’s only right to hire a boat for the day and channel your inner Kardashian. UNIQ Charters LA (Uniq.la) provides the ultimate service. You’ll feel baller as hell on your private boat and have the best girls’ day out ever!

THE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS TO HIT IN WEHO

They’re full of tourists for a reason, but they’re totally awesome! Join the crowd full of people having the best time of their life.

Santa Monica Pier

Universal Studios

Disneyland

INSIDER TIPS FOR YOUR WEHO TRIP

Tip your waiter
Tipping is really important in the US as it makes up a substantial part of employees’ income. Although it’s not a common custom for us Aussies, it’s actually considered rude not to tip. Our advice? Keep a kitty containing $1 and $5 notes between your group so you can just use that money to count out for tipping at the end of each meal and avoid any awkward moments when you don’t have enough for the tip!

Look your best
If you want to get the ‘LA smile’, go to the nearest CVS store and ask for the teeth-whitening kits that are locked away in cabinets. It’s so weird that they offer these products in their pharmacy, yet in Australia we have to see our dentist if we want the same effects. Go figure!

Getting around
The best way to get around is by Uber, especially if you’re travelling with a group. If you want to venture off to Malibu, then hire a car to get you from A to B without too much hassle. Just factor in bumper-to-bumper traffic.