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Archive for August, 2013

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

Sikorsky Reflection on Los Angeles Tour

Photograph of our Sikorsky helicopter reflected in an L.A. building

Perfect Picture Makes Private Tour Self-Portrait

Flying amongst the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles is part of all our helicopter sightseeing tours of Los Angeles.  This tour was special because we were not only aboard our Sikorsky S76 luxury corporate jetcopter but we had a route, the timing and the light in our favor to hover in front of a glass building that afforded us the opportunity to capture this grand self-portrait.  Sure, there is a cubist quality to the photograph due to the building’s structure but that adds to the appeal of the shot, don’t you think?  Our guests were delighted with this and other shots of downtown, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the shoreline up to Malibu, as well as the aircraft and its passengers that were included in their collection of photographs we provided them at the end of the day.  All our guests enjoy complementary photographs of their tours.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 10:37 30 August 2013

Sofitel Hotel at the Center of Our Tour Universe

Photograph of the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles

Every Los Angeles Private Tour Destination is Close to the Sofitel

We got the hotel to pose for us on this perfect day while we rode the escalator at the Beverly Center shopping mall across the street (NOTE: good shopping nearby).  We begin many, many tours during the year at the Sofitel and truly appreciate that it is situated halfway between Beverly Hills and Hollywood (NOTE: easy sightseeing).  Just a block away from Cedars Sinai Hospital (NOTE: doctors close by) and a nice stroll down from the Pacific Design Center (NOTE: art and design at hand) it is also between Wilshire and Sunset Boulevards and just off La Cienega Boulevard and Restaurant Row (NOTE: good eating).  We can really accomplish a lot of sightseeing when beginning the tour at the Sofitel.  And the hotel is the epitome of chic and stylish decor.  The 26 suites upstairs are among the most luxurious in Los Angeles.  Downstairs is Estérel, a Mediterranean style restaurant highly regarded in the local foodie scene.  Above all, the concierge staff truly know how to serve their clientele well and we enjoy working with them to provide their guests private tours of Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

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

Hello Hollywoodland! Just Shoot Me.

The photographer is shot

Private Hollywood Tour Guide Shot by Guests

If it wasn’t so much fun we would not encourage it.  This visit to the stone gates marking the entrance to the old real estate development called Hollywoodland (famous today for its lasting marketing device – the Hollywood Sign) turned into a real shoot-’em-up when our guests all turned their cameras on their devoted guide who was photographing them at the same time.  The Beachwood Canyon turnout where the pillars stand also has a coffee shop and grocery store where we have been known to take refuge in fresh baked pie or just to restock our custom van‘s cooler for our guests on hot days.  At least we no longer have to stop for film for our camera or our guests’ cameras.  We know all the best places to stop for photographs, ones we take of our guests and best shots for their own cameras.  We are also happy to discuss photography from ISO settings to best angles and lighting.  Camera buffs of all levels are welcome on our private Los Angeles tours and adventures.

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

Got Gas? – Visit the Original Farmers Market in Hollywood

Getting Gas on a Private Hollywood Tour

Photo of Gilmore gas station at Farmers MarketThis restored Gilmore gas station is a step back into time, a much simpler time, when the Gilmore company owned all the property around what is today the Grove and The Original Farmers Market.  Pumping oil from the vast reservoir beneath Los Angeles and Hollywood filled their coffers and this was the look of their gas stations spread throughout the southland and along Route 66.  The gas pumps dinged as you watched the fuel flow into your vehicle’s tank, a spinner spun and the numbers rolled showing how much you owed the gentleman who actually did the pumping for you while he checked your oil and cleaned your windshield.

Locally produced gasoline was cheapThe petroleum fields are gone now, as is the football stadium and race track, but the Grove and the Original Farmers Market are just as much fun to visit and enjoy.  There is great dining in fine restaurants at the Grove and nearby or we can grab a quick meal with our private luxury tour guests at the international food stands populating the market.  Then off we go to Beverly Hills to examine celebrity homes and maybe a trip to the beach to walk in the sand and reminisce about Baywatch.

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

Touching Mel Gibson on Private Hollywood Tour

Photo of travel writer Brooke Saward at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Our Private Tours Get You In Touch with Fame

Brooke Saward, an Australian travel writer, journeyed all the way to Los Angeles to put her hands in the hands of fellow Aussie Mel Gibson in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.  Brooke wrote a wonderful piece and filmed a short video about her custom, luxury tours around Los Angeles with us and remains in touch with us today.  We are pleased to post another photograph of her and include links to her website for travel readers reading this blog.  We continually urge her to return.  There is still so much about Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and nearby communities that we can show her.  And, to be fair since we mentioned him here, Mel can be seen soon in the new action film from Robert Rodriguez, Machete Kills.

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

Our Woman of the Year – Denise Fleck

Photo of Denise Fleck with her dogs

Our K-9 Los Angeles Tour Salutes Her

Everyone who is familiar with our luxury tour company here in Los Angeles knows how dog friendly we are. We even have a special ground tour for our guests sightseeing in Los Angeles with their four-legged family members.  We make sure to visit places that the pooches appreciate (celebrity dog parks, Lassie’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star, Beverly Hills fire hydrants).  It makes sense that our staff and their families are also pet lovers.  In particular, tour specialist Paul Fleck’s wife, Denise, is in the business of saving pets by training animal organizations around the country in animal First Aid and CPR.  Visit her website, Sunny-dog Ink, to learn more about Denise’s business and how you can become someone able to rescue an animal in distress.  From dealing with parasites to helping a choking animal, Denise is really a model for all the little things we can do immediately for our pets that might turn out to be the difference between life and death.  We are very proud that the Women in the Pet Industry Network has nominated her for their Woman of the Year honors.  We think she deserves it.

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

Crossroads – Vegan Cuisine for Everyone in Los Angeles

Crossroads for Our Vegetarian Private Tour Guests

Photo of the artichoke oysters at Crossroads in Los AngelesNo meat, no dairy, just plant-based cuisine and highly specialized cocktails in an elegant setting makes Crossroads a dining destination that we gladly recommend to any of our private Los Angeles tour guests, not just vegans and vegetarians.  As you can see from the artichoke oysters pictured on the left, Tal Ronnen designs and devises dishes to delight his dietary mindful guests and presents a serving that is both delicious and fun.

Photo of cocktail concoctions at CrossroadsCrossroads is about more than food.  Their bar offerings are worth dropping in for any time.  Offering a wide range of quality spirits the bartenders are quick to suggest a number of sweet and tasty cocktails just perfect after a day of hard work or a hearty custom luxury tour and sightseeing around Hollywood and Beverly Hills, each community on opposite sides of this highly recommended restaurant on Melrose Avenue.  Drop in soon and see for yourself that a meatless meal is perfectly satisfying when perfectly prepared and served in a pleasing setting along with a fine cocktail or wine.

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

Cactus and Wine by the Hollywood Sign

Vineyard and cactus near Hollywood Sign

Wine Themed Private Tour in Hollywood

Walking with our private Los Angeles tour guests up near the Hollywood Sign we get a good view of the Hollywood Classic vineyard nearby.  That’s it in the photograph, right above the local cactus that grows as well as the vineyard in our Mediterranean climate.  The area around the sign and Lake Hollywood truly exemplifies the varied vegetation of our region – a mixture of palm trees, oaks and all sorts of succulents and grasses.  We call it chaparral, others call it xeriscaping.  Either way, it is quite beautiful throughout the year once you get used to it.  And, of course, from the vines you get wine and from the cactus you get tequila so it’s all good!

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

Flags for Guests of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

Photo of flags in the Beverly Wilshire porte-cochere

We Salute While Boarding our Private Tour Guests

Did you ever notice that the United States and Canada‘s national anthems begin with the sound “O”?  “Oh, say, can you see…”  and “O, Canada…”  They spell it different, aye?  Our private Los Angeles tour guides brought this up when we were reviewing tour photographs at a recent staff meeting.  We get esoteric like that, a result of too much information for our international guests floating around in our heads at all times.  We suspect it is the same thing for the staff of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel where this photo was taken in their porte-cochère.  Flags of many countries representing their guest population are unfurled around the hotel but these two are seen when we arrive to pick up our guests ready for a luxury tour and when we drop them off hours later, happy and much more in tune with Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.

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

Vin Diesel Walks the Walk of Fame

Photograph of Vin Diesel

Our Private Hollywood Tours Will Be There

We expect to be part of a large crowd next Monday morning when Vin Diesel is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Star number 2,504 and part of a large constellation or brass insignia emblazoning our Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk pantheon of entertainment celebrities.  Vin is a big movie star known for his big movie series (Fast and Furious, Chronicles of Riddick, XXX) as well as his independently produced films that ignited his career (Strays, Multi-facial).  He will be easy to spot in the group of movie personalities that will be there honoring him that day.  We will be there in our big black custom luxury van taking pictures of our guests as well as those gathered around the Walk of Fame ceremonial podium.  Beverly Hills can wait for us to enjoy the short ceremony in Hollywood.  Los Angeles has many things to do besides just sightseeing to offer its visitors interested in movies and television.

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