Arriving in Los Angeles can feel a little intimidating, driving through that massive city for the first time, and then pulling up to a big hotel with an army of quick-moving staff friendlier than any of your actual friends (staff you are supposed to tip, which you do in a severely awkward manner because; European). For a smooth transition to getting your LA mode on, may I suggest the boutique hotel Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood. Here, things are cosy and private-clubby-kind-of-cool, yet fantastically friendly (but without too much chatting – your jetlagged future self will thank you for considering this). Waking up at 5AM, having the whole lush rooftop to yourself and watching a Los Angeles sunrise from that gorgeous pool, then sauntering over to the fireplace in your robe, you will feel like a million bucks. Every time a hummingbird started buzzing around us, I squealed with joy, even after finding out that this happens a lot because of the whole hummingbird-sanctuary thing they’ve got going on. The breakfast buffet looks gorgeous here, but I wanted to stay in my robe so opted for room service: Huevos Rancheros and a Glowing Greens juice (because – duh – L.A.); both were super-tasty (tasty enough for me to have it every morning during my stay, in fact).
If you are not in bed by 7PM, as I was for the first few days on the coast, I am sure having cocktails by the fire on that roof is amazing but, munching on room service by the fireplace in our huge room (and we had only opted for their smallest offering) seemed terribly glamorous anyway – especially paired with a free bottle of wine (thank you, Mr & Mrs Smith membership!). The corridors, elevator and lobby here are nice and low-lit, creating a little romantic mystery and the decor in general is a lovely mix of old and new, flirting with various cultures and styles, fitting for the bohemian bourgeoisie. If you can drag yourself away from the hotel, brunch at Terrine, a 5-minute drive away, is smashing.