Hands down the best place to spot a celebrity. Since the 1930s, Hollywood execs, literary royalty, superstars and wannabes have flocked to the castle on the hill to get in to all sorts of trouble. Check in and one day you may be eating a burger and parmesan fries on the patio next to Paris Hilton or witness the mayhem of a Lady Gaga entrance from the comfort of one of the overstuffed couches.
From $435, Chateau Marmont
Photo: Nikolas Koenig (Chateau Marmont); Fairchild Archive (Lady Gaga)
Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel
Generations of Hollywood royalty have supped at this Beverly Hills Hotel institution. The dress code may be gone (legend has it that Mia Farrow and Marlene Dietrich were both banned for wearing slacks), but the iconic pink and green interior is still intact as is the list of bold-name diners (Kim Kardashian, Reese Witherspooon). Regulars love the brunch, pasta and extensive wine list—dining here is a little like stepping back in time (in a good way).
Photo: Courtesy of Beverly Hills Hotel; Getty Images (Reese Witherspoon)
Stumbling upon fellow hikers like Amanda Seyfried, Orlando Bloom and Hayden Panettiere (often sighted with their kids, pets and significant others) is as common as a coyote sighting on the three miles of dirt trails that afford the diligent with great views of Downtown LA (smog permitting).
Photos: Getty Images
The cleanest beach in Los Angeles County, Baywatch was filmed here and Gwen Stefani's younger son is not only named after this popular surfing spot but comes often towing the rest of the Rossdale clan. When not gazing into the eyes of your new husband, be on the lookout for a topless Malibu resident Matthew McConaughey or Mario Lopez, who hit the beach for their workouts.
Photos: Getty Images
Sunset Tower Hotel
This Art-Deco style Hollywood landmark sits right on the famed Sunset Strip. Soak in the old Hollywood glamour vibe while canoodling with your new hubbie in the presence of high-profile couples like Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the Sunset Towers Hotel Tower Bar.
From $295, Sunset Tower Hotel
Photo: Courtesy of Sunset Tower Hotel; Fairchild Archive (Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux)
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
A little industry secret: Many film press conferences are held at this tony enclave just outside Beverly Hills, so you could see everyone from Halle Berry to Matt Damon strolling through the lobby, along with celeb-journalists like Matt Lauer (The Today Show broadcast their entire Golden Globes ceremony here). Through Awards season, the hotel offers a complimentary glass of champagne when you book a mani/pedi—best enjoyed in a posh poolside cabana.
Photo: Don Riddle; Fairchild Archive (Matt Damon)
Hotel Bel Air
A maze of walkways shaded by foliage lend to the private and tranquil air of the Hotel Bel-Air—the go-to location for the very famous to take up residence out of the limelight. Past celebs to briefly call the hotel home include Grace Kelly, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman and, most famously, Marilyn Monroe. Even the industry parties held at the hotel are elegant and understated—no dancing on tables here. The restaurant serves up Wolfgang Puck's California cuisine—the Nancy Reagan salad is our fave!
From $460, Hotel Bel Air
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Bel Air; Fairchild Archive (Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban)