Archive for May, 2013

Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 31 May 2013

Street + Food + Cinema = Los Angeles

Photo of a Street Food Cinema event in Los AngelesAfter a Los Angeles Tour – Outdoor Movie

Street Food Cinema is an ongoing summer event that is a combination picnic, foodie festival catered by a fleet of selected Los Angeles food trucks, a rock concert and a film screening.  Every Saturday night through September, generally at Exposition Park near the Los Angeles Coliseum, thousands of Los Angeles food, film and music lovers will enjoy a dramatic downtown celebration of good eats, good tunes and a fun movie every weekend. Check the schedule to learn which movie is to be screened and which band the Viper Room will be presenting as well as which food trucks will be serving.  We have seen this lively crowd with our private Los Angeles tour guests when we are exploring downtown near the museums and the University of Southern California.  The revelers enjoy their meals and the rock ‘n roll music while waiting for the movie to start.

Photo of Tom Cruise in Risky BusinessThis week the film will be RISKY BUSINESS starring Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay and the band will be BRYCE SODERBURG & THE 2ND WHEEL.  Picnicking starts at 5:30, the band plays at 6:30, a Risky Business dance contest is to be held at 8:00 and the movie screens at 8:30ish (sunset).

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 30 May 2013

The Great Wall of Los Angeles — A Tour Treat

Photo of the Great Wall of Los Angeles mural

Take a Private Tour through Los Angeles History

One of the longest murals in the world (2,754 ft.) is painted along the side of a cement waterway in Valley Glen along Coldwater Canyon Road.  Designed by Judith Baca and executed by school children and neighbors the mural depicts the history of Los Angeles from prehistory through recent history.  This is only one of the many notable murals that can be seen around Los Angeles.  We have written about a number of these murals on this blogsite including a popular entry featuring the Venice mural of Teena Marie.  Thankfully the city recognizes the public art value of these murals and has been working very hard to maintain and restore the murals throughout the city.  Many of our private Los Angeles tour guests are particularly interested in the widely varied public art on display all along our usual tour routes.  Sometimes, if they wish, we will make a tour specifically of art and architecture in Los Angeles.  Search “art” and “architecture” on this site to see some of the places we have taken our guests.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 29 May 2013

Some Like It Hot Still in Los Angeles

Poster photo for Some Like It Hot

From the Film Archive to the Filmmakers Graveyard

When we show our private Los Angeles tour guests around Hollywood Forever cemetery right next to Paramount Studios in Hollywood, we always talk about the summer screenings of movies on the wall of the mausoleum that itself contains the remains of so many of Hollywood’s greatest entertainers and filmmakers.  The Cinespia season has begun again and the next screening is this Saturday, June 1st at 9:00 p.m. (gates open at 7:30 p.m. if you want to arrive early for a picnic and to enjoy the music).  The film to be shown, if you have not already guessed, is perhaps the greatest American screwball comedy of all time, SOME LIKE IT HOTBilly Wilder‘s 1959 remake of a much older French farce added some inherently American plot features and characters that have propelled this version into the pantheon of great films (AFI’s #1 American comedy of all time).  With Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon starring and Joe E. Brown, Nehemiah Persoff and Pat O’Brien lending support, here is an opportunity to see the film in a unique theater environment — outside on the grass on a warm Hollywood night surrounded by film lovers and film memories.  If you are planning on enjoying a private luxury tour with us be sure to have your guide take you to see Hollywood Forever Cemetery, just one of the remarkable memorial parks around Los Angeles where you really do want to read all the names and epitaphs to see how many people you know and films you can remember.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 28 May 2013

Fly to San Simeon to See Hearst Castle

Photograph of the outdoor Neptune pool at Hearst Castle

A Celebrity Home That Really Is a Castle

In 1919 William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publisher who built the largest chain of daily papers in the U.S., had architect Julia Morgan design and build his 90,000 sq.ft. residence on a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean about 250 miles from both San Francisco (to the north) and Los Angeles (to the south).  Movie stars, statesmen and royalty of the time coveted invitations to visit and enjoy the lavish parties thrown at this magnificent 250,000 acre estate.  The Hearst Castle still has guests coveting the opportunity to visit and walk through just some of the 127 acres of gardens or see the imported architectural features that comprise the buildings and rooms open to the public.  Once the site of the world’s largest private zoo there are still exotic animals roaming the grounds.  Our private Los Angeles tour guests interested in a visit to the castle will be treated to a luxury helicopter flight up the beautiful California coast so that they can spend the better part of the day enjoying docented tours through various parts of the property.  It is a day well spent and easy to remember as we will photograph our guests throughout the day so that they have exact memories forever.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 27 May 2013

Memorial Day on the U.S.S. Iowa

Photo of the USS Iowa in San Pedro, CA

Spend Memorial Day Touring the U.S.S. Iowa

We have had the good fortune to take a number of our private Los Angeles tour guests to see the U.S.S. Iowa at its new home in San Pedro, CA (very near the cruise line terminal where we meet many of our tour guests).  This will be the first Memorial Day that the ship has been docked here in the shadow of the Vincent Thomas Bridge.  It is well worth the visit dockside to see this magnificent naval vessel and to take a moment to reflect on the heroism and dedication of those who served aboard her and all their military comrades in arms.  The ship will be open to visitors from 0900 – 1600 hours (9am-4pm) and free to active duty and retired military personnel and veterans (please bring I.D.).  Local radio station KRLA will be broadcasting all day from the ship.  See and listen to your favorite talk show hosts like Michael Medved and Dennis Prager.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 26 May 2013

Tea for Two (Guys)? Yes, at the Montage

Photo of Montage Beverly Hills sign

A Special Tea Service for our Private Beverly Hills Tour

For those of us who wish there was an elegant tea service more directed to men who enjoy afternoon tea, the Montage Beverly Hills has a solution to this minor issue.  A Gentlemen’s Tea.  Scotch, sliders, pie and cake.  It is a delightful alternative to scones and crème fraîche that so often accompany a fine tea service.  The traditional tiered servers can be filled with crustless sandwiches and delicate cakes so enjoyed by tea drinkers over time but now there is a menu selection that will more likely appeal and is specifically created to appeal to the men who accompany their ladies to tea.  Tea service is special at any time and anywhere you go but we like to suggest tea at the Montage Beverly Hills because it is different.  This means they are thinking about how everyone feels when they have their late afternoon snack.  Just as we strive to make every luxury private Los Angeles tour special for all our guests that means we pay close attention to what our guests want and see that they get it.  Great hospitality businesses think alike.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 25 May 2013

Observe the Observatory from Above

Aerial photograph of Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles Tour Like a Hawk

Golden Time is what the filmmakers call it, that late afternoon golden light accompanied by long shadows and clear skies.  As the hawks and other local raptors glide the updrafts looking for small prey emerging as the day cools, we flew with our private Los Angeles tour guests on a luxury French helicopter over the 4,300 acre urban forest of L.A. — Griffith Park.  The Griffith Observatory is a monument to astronomy as it sits on a bluff overlooking Hollywood and the Los Angeles basin.  It offers great views of the city, the Santa Monica Bay and mountains, Beverly Hills and Century City and on very clear days the Channel Islands and Palos Verdes Peninsula.  Inside there are great views of the night skies through telescopes and in the planetarium.  Though the observatory did not open until 1935, the land and the promise of an astronomical museum was given in 1896 by Colonel Griffith Griffith for whom the park and observatory are named.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 24 May 2013

Moonstruck by the Walk of Fame

Photo of Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck

Our Los Angeles Tour Stops for Walk of Fame Ceremonies

We do know whenever there is a ceremony to honor a new Walk of Fame celebrity.  Today, at 11:30 a.m., in front of the Pantages Theatre, Olympia Dukakis will see her  star unveiled in the category of Live Theatre with two close celebrity friends nearby to speak on her behalf, Diane Ladd and Ed Asner.  These periodic celebrations (Olympia’s star is number 2,498; since February 1960, let’s see that 53 years multiplied by 12 months into … well, it’s not all that often) are often a highlight of our private Hollywood tour when our guests can be part of the history of entertainment and watch the event unfold.  We photograph the event for them and take pictures of them enjoying all the pomp and circumstance.  If there is a public event in Hollywood at the Walk of Fame, or Grauman’s Chinese Theatre or the Rock Walk, we will get our guests there in time to be a part of Hollywood history.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 23 May 2013

A Clear Day for Runyon Canyon Hike – Los Angeles

Photo of bench at top of Runyon Canyon

The View is Worth the Effort on a Private Los Angeles Hiking Tour

Los Angeles has dramatic mountain paths and hiking trails all around.  The view from these trails is always worth the effort to get there with the Santa Monica Bay and Channel Islands to the west of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood cityscapes.  This photo taken at the top of Runyon Canyon in Hollywood shows only one of the many hiking paths we offer to our private Los Angeles tour guests wanting a little more intensive walking than simply the Hollywood Walk of Fame (we do that, too, on this tour).  There is Lake Hollywood, the Hollywood Sign and trails deep into the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains.  You decide from our suggestions what will work best for your group’s abilities and interests.  When is the last time you had a professional photographer along on your hike?  Just wait until your friends and families see you looking out over the ocean and celebrity homes below the trails.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 22 May 2013

A Palace You Can Visit in Los Angeles

Photograph of the entrance to the Beverly Hills Hotel

The Polo Lounge is Back — Lunch for our Private Los Angeles Tour

From the air the hotel and the grounds surrounding it pop right out to our private helicopter tour guests circling over Beverly Hills.  The Pink Palace — also known as the The Beverly Hills Hotel.  And from the ground it is even more splendid.  For more than 100 years this grand hospitality center has entertained movie stars, hosted royalty, and treated all its guests with the aplomb and consideration expected of one of the finest hotels anywhere.  This is a jewel of the Dorchester Collection of elegant hotels around the world.  Not only do we bring our guests on their custom tour with us to see the hotel, we encourage them to enjoy a meal at the fabulous Polo Lounge.  With us at your side we can share many stories of just the restaurant.  The restaurant is newly reopened after renovations that updated the decor while still preserving the original design and ambience that is a welcome tradition at this home away from home for so many of Hollywood’s elite over the years.  We are talking about Charlie Chaplin and Marlene Dietrich.  We have eaten beside Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Billy Crystal and Thomas Haden Church.  And they have enjoyed their meals near us.  When you dine there we recommend the McCarthy Salad named for famed entertainment attorney Neil McCarthy.

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