You don’t need a world-famous name or a backstage pass to enjoy VIP treatment. In fact, there are plenty of things to do in LA that promise a five-star experience—you just need to know where to look. From fine dining and private shopping tours to supreme pampering, here are some tips on how to skip the line and proceed past the red velvet ropes.
There’s no need to hold your breath and see whether or not your name’s on the list—at Exhale Spa, everyone enjoys celebrity status. Tucked away inside the Loews Hotel and Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, you’ll find two sanctuaries for rest and relaxation that will provide you with a sleek, Eastern-inspired experience. Go under a needle of a different kind with a pain-relieving acupuncture treatment or get zapped by Exhale’s signature Cool Beam facial, which hones in on fine lines, sun spots, and more for a perfect complexion. Darling, you’re ready for your close-up.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Feel like staying a while after your supreme pampering sesh comes to an end? Then check into the spa’s historic hotel host in Santa Monica for an overnight five-star treatment. Once the stomping grounds of glamorous silver-screen star Greta Garbo, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows offers the ultimate relaxation haven by the seaside. After taking a stroll on the lush green lawn, grab a seat by the Koi fish pond at the Fig, which serves up delectable American fare. You’ll dig the savory lobster rolls infused with fennel and tarragon, but if you’re feeling a bit more health-minded, you can indulge in the pastaless lasagna stuffed with bloomsdale spinach, San Marzano tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and mozzarella cheese, instead.
Unsurprisingly, one of the most exclusive things to do in LA doesn’t even have a sign on its front door. But don’t let the seedy Hollywood strip mall fool you: Trois Mec offers one of the hottest front-row fine dining tickets in town. Superstar chef Ludo Lefebvre leads this RSVP-only bistronomie, which features a multi-course menu of artful amuse-bouches and incredibly inventive small dishes. Try a palette-warming avocado and buckwheat tabbouleh paired with matcha green tea or treat yourself to the mouth-watering smoked eel accompanied by white chocolate and mashed potatoes.
What’s better than a little luxury retail therapy? An after-hours, bubbly-powered shopping party with just you and a few pals at edgy-cool bohemian boutique Burning Torch, of course. Indulge in a high-end, yet low-key experience at Karyn Craven’s white-bricked Abbot Kinney flagship shop, which houses her luxurious washed leather jackets, cozy cashmere sweaters, and globally-inspired embroidered tunics that are perfect for giving your wardrobe a paparazzi-worthy upgrade.
One of the most stylish things to do in LA also happens to involve frequent star sightings. Although Melrose Avenue only spans a fraction of a mile, this swanky shopping street is home to celebrity-frequented salon Nine Zero One, fashionable cafe Alfred Coffee, and enough luxury boutiques (including cult-favorite French designer Isabel Marant’s California-inspired shop and silk shirting brand Equipment’s essentials-filled store) to attract aspiring starlets and blockbuster names alike.