Travelling to Hollywood
Hollywood is the undisputed entertainment capital of the world. Although it is technically part of Los Angeles, and can be enjoyed by staying in a Los Angeles hotel, Hollywood has an atmosphere, mythology and ambience which is all its own. It’s packed with Hollywood hotels from which you can enjoy exploring this corner of California which, in 1911, become the birthplace of commercial cinema.
The first thing to realise about Hollywood is that it’s sunny. The 320 sun-packed days per year were one of the primary reasons why the pioneers of cinema headed west in the first place. The second thing to realise when choosing a hotel in Hollywood is that, no matter where you stay, you’re never going to be very far away from a world-famous tourist attraction. You may not see that many famous people walking the streets of Hollywood, unless you spend a lot of time hanging out in the more exclusive Beverley Hills restaurants, but you will see famous buildings. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Griffith Park Observatory and the Hollywood Sign itself are just three of the sights you’ll recognise instantly, even if this is your first visit to Hollywood.
Perhaps even more famous than the buildings are the names of the roads on which they stand. Stay in a West Hollywood hotel and you’ll be able to take a stroll along iconic thoroughfares such as Sunset Boulevard and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A drive along Mulholland Drive is also recommended, particularly as the sun begins to set. Not only will you be sweeping past some of the homes of the stars, but you’ll also be able to take in stunning views over the rest of Hollywood.
Where to stay in Hollywood
The choice of where to stay in Hollywood will depend upon which side of the movie capital you want to explore. If you’re keen on sampling the fabled Hollywood nightlife then a Hollywood hotel close to Sunset Strip is still the prime choice, offering the chance to explore a host of bars and rock clubs, some famous and some, like the Viper Room, notorious. Other areas with a thriving nightlife scene include downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake and Los Feliz.
If you like the idea of shopping where the stars shop, or just of picking up a few bargains, then Hollywood offers every kind of retail experience, from the designer boutiques of Melrose Avenue to the trendy bohemian chic of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and the vintage fashion outlets in Los Feliz. The Hollywood and Highland shopping mall, on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, is packed with designer shops and entertainment outlets, and every Sunday the streets surrounding it play host to Hollywood Farmers' Market. If your trip to Hollywood simply wouldn’t be complete without seeing a star in the flesh, this might be your chance to spot one buying some fresh produce.
Different types of hotel
The hotels in Hollywood run the gamut from some of the most exclusive in the world to cheap and cheerful establishments designed to offer rooms to all those hopefuls who arrive with just a few dollars in their pocket and a dream of making the big time. The Heaven on Hollywood Furnished Apartments, on Vine Street, offer the chance to live in 4 star opulence just a few steps away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A fully equipped kitchen means you can come and go as you please, while a 24-hour health club means you can maintain your fitness regime no matter how late you stay out partying. The 3 star Hilton Garden Inn Los Angeles is on North Highland Avenue in the beating heart of Hollywood, and has a 24-hour business centre, which is perfect if you’re in town to seal that all important deal.
What to do during your stay in Hollywood
Once you’ve exhausted yourself walking from one end of the Walk of Fame to the other, you might decide you’d like to take a closer look at the iconic Hollywood sign. Book a Hollywood Sign Helicopter Tour and you’ll get a bird’s eye view of it, as well as hovering over Sunset Strip and the back lots of Universal Studios. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live like a superstar for just a few hours then you can find out by booking a Beverly Hills Driving Tour. The tour takes place in a high performance sports car of your choice, and allows you to cruise Sunset Boulevard, past the mansions of Beverly Hills and up to the crest of the aptly named Wonderview Drive.
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