We asked Lauren Marquez, the concierge at Hotel Bel-Air, about the best way to spend a few days in Beverly Hills. Here are her answers to our questions.
Magellan: I’m going to Beverly Hills with my partner for a weekend getaway. Friday, our first night, I’d like to book a romantic dinner at an exclusive restaurant. What options would you suggest?
Lauren: Nothing outdoes the romantic ambiance found at our very own Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air. I always recommend the alcoves or outdoor booths for anyone celebrating a special occasion. I’d recommend you start with the Steak or Blue Fin Tuna Tartare, followed by the Zucchini Tortelloni, and to finish, the Whole Sicilian Branzino for two.
For additional options, I would suggest a longtime favorite of mine, Mélisse, for the Australian Black Truffle Risotto, and for an unforgettable evening of French decadence. SAAM at the SLS has exquisite tapas and wine pairings, which are always a nice touch.
Magellan: After dinner we’d like to go for drinks somewhere special. We’re looking for a place that has an intimate atmosphere. Where shall we go?
Lauren: I would suggest Skybar at the Mondrian or Gordon Ramsay’s Rooftop at The London West Hollywood. Both provide the perfect spot for an undeniably cozy setting under the stars. I would suggest ending your evening at the Hotel Bel-Air for a romantic fireside night cap.
Magellan: We’re spending Saturday in Beverly Hills and are looking for the quintessential experience. What are your recommendations for the day?
Lauren: Start your day at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Head to the Fountain Coffee Room for breakfast and take note of the signature banana-leafed wallpaper. I strongly recommend their famous silver dollar buttermilk pancakes and fresh orange freeze.
The next stop has to be Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo. Retrace the steps Julia Roberts took in Pretty Woman and make your way north up Rodeo Drive. You’ll find Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and every other major fashion designer you can imagine. You must stop at the Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM on South Santa Monica Blvd. It’s restocked day and night with fresh and delicious cupcakes.
Next, you should head to the corner of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way where you can catch an open-air trolley for a 40 minute narrated tour. Learn about the history, arts and architecture of Beverly Hills.
After a long day of shopping and sightseeing, I suggest you start your evening at Mastro’s Steakhouse. They offer live jazz and great wines, with some of the best surf and turf Beverly Hills has to offer. It’s undoubtedly one of the most frequented stops for locals and visitors alike. If you have any energy left, I suggest you head to The Beverly Hills Hotel and enjoy a night cap at Bar Nineteen12.
Magellan: On Saturday night we’d like a more lively evening. We are looking for dinner at a hip and trendy restaurant, a place with some buzz and a spot to people watch. Where do you suggest we go?
Lauren: The patio at BOA Steakhouse West Hollywood is popular, and so is newly opened Bagatelle if you’re looking for something a little more upbeat. The French cuisine is authentic and it has a South of France atmosphere. If you’re in the mood for Italian, Cecconi’s West Hollywood is a great place to see-and-be-seen. The mixologists are stellar and the atmosphere is always electric. Or you could head over to Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian, and dine under the moon amongst oversized terra cotta pots.
Magellan: After dinner we want to party with the young and beautiful. We’re looking for a dance floor, fabulous drinks, and a see-and-be-seen crowd. Where should we go?
Lauren: I would take advantage of our gorgeous weather, and head to the patio at Lure nightclub. Saturdays at Lure are known for hosting some of Hollywood’s most elite. Worldwide and well-known DJ’s will light the fire under your feet and get you dancing. Afterwards, make your way to Greystone Manor Supperclub where you’ll find bottle-service tables and scantily clad burlesque-acrobats swinging from the 50 foot high ceilings. It features light shows, specialty cocktails, and dancing, of course.