Monday, January 22, 2018

Seeing stars: a look at some of L.A.'s hot spots


Oscars fever is heating up here. To help you get in the mood for the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28, here are five places where you can soak up glitzy vibes the next time you visit L.A. — and maybe even run into a movie star or two.

The Peninsula Beverly Hills

The hotel is known as the ultra-luxe stay for Oscar nominees, and while it won't name names, Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett have stayed there, and Oscar winners Anne Hathaway and Reese Witherspoon have been spotted. VIP guests get personally monogrammed — yes, monogrammed — pillowcases.

For those who can afford some true pampering, the hotel offers services such as a weeklong "Red Carpet Ready" package of personal training sessions and spa treatments, including a body scrub with detox wrap. The total cost? A cool $3,000.

If, like most of us, you don't have that much cash to blow, consider snagging a drink at the hotel's sun-soaked bright blue rooftop pool and garden.

Nearby are several other glam lodging options: the Beverly Hilton Hotel, home of the boozy Golden Globe Awards, and the century-old Beverly Hills Hotel with its star-packed Polo Lounge.

The Grove/ Farmers Market

With its sprawling swath of swanky stores, including Barneys New York, Swarovski and Diane von Furstenberg, this outdoor retail center always attracts a slew of movie stars, from Oscar winner Halle Berry to Mark Wahlberg.

Walk along the main path, or take a quick trolley ride to the historic Farmers Market next door. Around since 1934, the Farmers Market, a savory-smelling mix of colorful stalls, serves up everything from thick pizza to gumbo. It's also a Hollywood institution. Legendary visitors have included Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.

Runyon Canyon Park

Those tabloid photos you see of celebrities and their pooches huffing it up a winding dusty path? More than likely, they're photos of Runyon Canyon, a 160-acre nature park nestled in the Hollywood Hills.

Hit the park's trails for panoramic views of L.A. at the top, and keep your eyes peeled to avoid dog droppings. You might just see Runyon fans such as Miley Cyrus and Jake Gyllenhaal sweating it out.

ArcLight Hollywood

One of the most striking movie theaters in the country, the Cinerama Dome has hosted oodles of big Hollywood film premieres since opening in 1963. It has more than 800 seats and looks like an enormous white golf ball chopped in half.

In 2002, the Dome became part of the newly opened ArcLight Hollywood multiplex, the massive 14-screen flagship of the ArcLight Cinemas chain.

With reserved seating, cushy stadium seats, a bar, cafe and various film exhibits, ArcLight Hollywood is a popular place for movie fans and celebrities alike. Oscar winners such as Charlize Theron have caught late-night showings there. Grab a martini and get some popcorn.

Film Museum's Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibit

Anyone who covets the spiky, apocalyptic clothes in Mad Max: Fury Road or the silky 1920s outfits in The Danish Girl, both nominated for best costume design, will love the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum's 24th annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibit.

The free exhibit, in downtown L.A., is open to the public through April 30. It showcases more than 100 costumes from two dozen films released in 2015, including costumes from all five films nominated for best costume design.

On display? Blanchett's sleekly retro hat and fur coat from Carol and the big bouncy blue ballroom dress from Cinderella. Nowhere else can you see every stitch and button this close.

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