I have been keeping back these posts until the weather got miserable and we all need to be cheered up, and with the torrential rain upon us, it is time. It is raining here in Marbella too!
I spent a month in Los Angeles this summer and I wanted to share with you all the information I picked up along the way.
Last year we stayed in Venice and Marina Del Rey, and, though lovely, the former was too edgy a place to stay with kids and the latter was a bit cut off.
I popped in a couple of times to check out Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Melrose Avenue but with two kids- who hate shopping- this was off the agenda.
So this year we decided on Santa Monica, and specifically The Pacific Palisades. We chose this location as the beach is a 5 minute drive away, Malibu is 15 minutes and downtown Los Angeles 20 minutes. Also if you are heading to Disney in Anaheim it would take you 1 hour.
My hot tip is to fly Air New Zealand. We flew Premium Economy and the seats were as good as some of the business flights I have taken in a past life.
We wanted to live the life and rented a house through Vacation Rentals Malibu. I cannot recommend Pamela highly enough. She has lots of well-priced property on her books and you can stay as long or short as you like.
When you rent a house you get all the inside scoop on where to exercise, eat, have your hair done etc. We had the Malibu Country Mart , Montana Avenue as well as the Palisades itself to choose from when we wanted to go out. It is a kind of US version of Primrose Hill. Not to mention the divine Brentwood Country Mart.
Cressida and Nick, very discerning friends of ours, stayed at the Hotel Oceana Santa Monica and they raved about it so its worth checking out if you are looking for a hotel.
What you get here are lots of local small boutiques and restaurants that give you a real feel for life in Los Angeles.
My top tips
I exercised at Revolution Fitness– they do great pilates and spinning, there is a divine restaurant attached too , so you can grab breakfast after. We also went to Studio K. I loved their cross of Kinesis and cardio and I wish I could find it here in the UK.
The children adored Fitness by the Sea- a great well run day camp on the beach. You can pay as you go and it meant they could meet other kids and trial sports such as surfing.
As for beauty I can highly recommend Skin Laundry. They have a 10 minute laser session which left my skin looking glowing, and it was so reasonable I went once a week . I don’t tan so I used Bronzed Air Brush tanning- this is the best spray!
In relation to days out we did and loved the following:
a) Universal- do the front of line pass to avoid the queues and it means you can manage all the rides in one day. The Transformers, Minions and Simpson rides are the best.
b) Six Flags Magic Mountain- if you and your family love roller coasters and water parks this is the place to go.
c) Disney- my kids were not that keen, check out my post from last year for a full review.
d) The Griffith Observatory was one of the best things we did this year. You get a brilliant view over the city and can watch the sunset. The show is amazing and worth going to.
g) The Malibu Cafe is a brilliant place to go with kids. It is in the hills behind Malibu, it has outdoor chandeliers and loads of activities for the kids so you can have dinner in peace.
Los Angeles, and, in particular the area around Santa Monica, offers something for the entire family.
In my next posts I will be sharing with you the best places to shop and eat!
Also, if you are thinking of going, you can email me and I can try and help, especially with Babysitters and anything else like that.
The sun is out in Marbs, so off to make the most of it!