Posts Tagged ‘beverly hills’
English Country Gardens Impress Our Private Tour Guests
The Greystone Mansion (or the Doheny Mansion if you want to be historically correct) is a Beverly Hills city park favored by the Hollywood filming community wishing to have open access to a mansion, grand staircase, driveway, portico and gardens for a setting befitting wealthy and successful characters. The residence and garden are also used continuously for fundraising events and special festivals. In between all these activities the exquisite park and gardens are open for visitors. Our Los Angeles private tour will almost always pass by the mansion so we can talk about some of its illustrious history (infidelity, suicide, unsolved murder) as well as its famous architect (Gordon Kaufman) and purchaser (Edward Doheny for his son Ned) up to its eventual purchase by the City of Beverly Hills to prevent its demolition by the then current owner, Paul Trousdale. In 1928 when the 46,000 sq.ft. home was completed it was the most expensive home in California ($4M). The park and grounds are open for visitors when not in use by a film production crew or other function that helps the city defray the costs of maintaining this beautiful facility. Are you interested in visiting the home? We can talk about making that happen.
Private Tour Enjoys Tea Time at the Pink Palace
Before there was a Beverly Hills there was a Beverly Hills Hotel. In 1912 the area looked nothing like the plush, verdant luxury neighborhood it is today. Nor did the hotel. More like ranch land and wide open space, even a race track for automobiles. But the years have been kind to the hotel and the city. A hideaway for movie stars (numerous bungalows and suites) and royalty from around the world this exquisite Mediterranean Revival structure captures the eyes and imagination of anyone traveling along Sunset Boulevard. Our office was abuzz this morning with discussion of an interview with Warren Beatty about his new film RULES DON’T APPLY. Ostensibly about Howard Hughes and Hollywood the hotel was often occupied by Mr. Hughes. Really occupied. As Mr. Beatty tells it, he, a brand new Hollywood star after the success of his first film, Elia Kazan‘s SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS, was staying at the hotel…in one room. However, all the neighboring rooms were assigned to Howard Hughes. Mr. Hughes was unique. The stars still come out at the Beverly Hills Hotel. We often stop for lunch at the Polo Lounge and will subtly point out not only the celebrities but faces our Los Angeles private tour guests might not know, those belonging to studio executives and talent agents. Our tour guides not only follow the industry closely (it IS our bread and butter, after all) but most of them have years of studio and entertainment industry experience behind them and have closely encountered many industry people “doing lunch” at the Polo Lounge. Lunch on a private tour can be arranged or even a late afternoon visit for tea. We are very careful with our camera at the hotel. We respect the privacy of those staying there and do not wish to encumber our welcome at the hotel when we visit. However, outside the hotel, even on a rare windswept day with a rainstorm imminent, we can take great pictures of the hotel and our guests.
There is Always Time for Tiffany & Co. When Your Private Tour Gets to Beverly Hills
Early is always a good time to arrive at the exquisite outdoor, top tier shopping area that is Two Rodeo in Beverly Hills. We can first pop in for breakfast at 208 Rodeo Restaurant and watch the early visitors to Tiffany & Co. next door. The morning sun illuminates the nooks and crannies of this European cityscape that is as much fun to walk through as to surrender to luxury consumer desires and enter the shops along the pathway. Besides Tiffany there are Versace, Brequet, Lladro, Jimmy Choo and Porsche Design (and a number of other fashion and design creators) ready to welcome discerning high fashion lovers. Two Rodeo is right in the center of Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle and at the corner of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard across the street from the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Our Los Angeles private tour generally explores all around this part of Beverly Hills besides driving up into the mansion district to look at movie stars’ homes. Our guests can see where the celebrities eat, shop and live and experience some of the amenities themselves at the same time as they are enjoying the VIP treatment we give them.
Big Sandwich, Big Stars – Our Private Tour Lunches in Beverly Hills
Some say that deli is dying. Maybe it’s shrinking. We have lost a few delis here in Los Angeles but overall we have a very healthy deli community where we can stop for lunch or a snack when on a Los Angeles private tour. If we find ourselves famischt when in Beverly Hills then our place to go is Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen. Serving Jewish food lovers not only from the local area but visitors from all over the world since 1945, this lively restaurant maintains all the best traditions of deli that make even New Yorkers feel at home. Large sandwiches, spiced meats, smoked fish, award winning matzo ball soup that’s to die for, fresh rye bread, snappy Kosher pickles…it is difficult to write this when my stomach is gurgling with desire. What’s more, celebrities! Lots of Hollywood show biz people “do lunch” here (breakfast and dinner, too). We often encounter very familiar faces filling themselves up, completely guilt-free, on a steaming pastrami sandwich….or corned beef. The menu is very specific that all frying is done with canola oil. That’s healthy. Chicken products are all cage free. That’s humane. For a healthy and humane deli meal we strongly suggest a visit to Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen in Beverly Hills and an opportunity to dine with the stars.
It’s Not Only the Homes that Say Beverly Hills on Our Private Tour
There is no missing the transition from any adjacent neighborhood into Beverly Hills. There are large signs like this one on Sunset Boulevard. There is a change in the street name signage. And then there are the homes. It is the homes that we and our Los Angeles tour guests are eager to explore any time we cross the boundary into Beverly Hills. This is where the movie stars live and have been living since the earliest days of Hollywood, even before Beverly Hills was its own city. This was ranch land back in those halcyon days as California was being settled and film industry pioneers were drawn to this part of the state with its varied and easily accessible landscapes and, most important, lots of bright sunny days all through the year. Making movies outdoors using natural light meant many more movies could be produced. Wide open spaces meant easy to manage chase scenes and western sets and explosions. This was pure heaven for filmmakers. And as the money rolled in there had to be a nice residential area fit for big homes and extravagant gardens and a very special shopping and business area. That was Beverly Hills and its Golden Triangle. We will tell you all about it as we show you around to the earliest homes (that still stand) and to some of the more recent celebrity mansions. There is much history and so many juicy stories to share that we could do an entire custom tour and never leave this tiny bejeweled city.
Where We Don’t Park on a Private Tour along Rodeo Drive
It is a special moment when we are driving down Rodeo Drive and see either the yellow Rolls Royce or the black and yellow Bugatti Veyron parked in front of Bijan, a very exclusive clothing store for men. How exclusive? The front window lists some of the royals, dignitaries, statesmen and celebrities that have been customers over almost forty years. Kings, presidents, movie stars and sports all-stars, enough names to exhaust any reader staring at the window. How special? As you can see in this photograph there is a bright yellow parking meter where a Bijan-designed automobile will be parked. When Bijan passed away five years ago the operation of his enterprise fell to his children and protégés who carry on the designer’s work with automobile companies and aircraft manufacturers as well as continue to produce clothing, accessories and scents for every discerning man and their equally discerning ladies. The tradition of parking in front of the store continues and always impresses our guests on their Los Angeles private tour through Beverly Hills and the Golden Triangle.
Our Private Tour Stops for Lunch with Al Pacino
Why wouldn’t Al Pacino want to eat lunch at the wonderful Nate & Al delicatessen when he’s in town? And why wouldn’t we bring our Los Angeles private tour guests here for a big sandwich and specialty soda when we are in Beverly Hills at lunchtime? Our crew eats here all the time so we are quite familiar with the corned beef on fresh baked rye bread and all the appropriate condiments to be found in an authentic deli. We also know from experience that movie stars and other celebrities regularly drop in for meals. Larry King is a regular. We have seen them all from old timers who must really know their deli foods to younger stars just beginning to get the hang of pastrami and matzo ball soup. Los Angeles is almost rich with great delis. Many of them have real Hollywood history like Langer’s and Label’s Table. Jerry’s Deli is making history these days. What our tour guests learn is that you don’t have to go to the northeast U.S. to find excellent delis and that we here in Los Angeles can enjoy lox and bagels and good kugel whenever the urge strikes.
Let’s Sightsee and Window Shop on Your Private Tour
Many of our Los Angeles private tour guests want to see the homes of the movie stars, their favorite celebrity mansions and the driveways, gates, mailboxes and gardens of the rich and famous in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. We are happy to make that a highlight of their tour. But we also suggest we visit some of the fine stores and boutiques frequented by the Hollywood A-listers when they need a new outfit. That means a visit to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (and the Golden Triangle), Robertson Boulevard (also in Beverly Hills), Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, and for the really hip some extra exploration of Melrose Avenue in Hollywood and W. Hollywood. Of course, there are superior stores all around Los Angeles from downtown to the beach and up into the Valley and we can head over there quickly if requested. Want to spend some time in DASH? Heard about The Grove and want to experience it yourself? Your friend’s said the Century City Mall is extraordinary? We have room in the SUV for your packages so let us get shopping on your tour of Los Angeles.
Our Private Tour Gets an Extra Passenger
We have bugs in Los Angeles. Lots of bugs. After a somewhat wet winter and with gardens looking lush around Beverly Hills it has been a great season for our insect friends. Our desert conditions in general mean different kinds of bug populations than many of our private Los Angeles tour guests are used to. Flying bugs are not as evident. We have some rather large bugs though. And pretty, too. This Say’s Stink Bug stowed away on our trip through Beverly Hills recently and luckily picked a window near the boy on board to do its sightseeing. The young guy was thoroughly intrigued with the large insect. Not so much his sister. His tour guide, not a biology major, however did know it to be a stink bug. We have lots of varieties of those in Southern California. Fortunately, we in the office have all the resources we needed to identify this little guy. Do you ever wonder where Hollywood makeup artists and special effects designers get their ideas?
Our Private Tour Arrives in Style at the Beverly Hills Hotel
The famous Beverly Hills Hotel, affectionately known as the Pink Palace, on Sunset Boulevard is very much a home to Hollywood history. Movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood all the way through today and other entertainment industry royalty, as well as real royalty from around the globe, make this hotel and its private bungalows a regular stop when they need hotel accommodations in Los Angeles. The grand opulence (California style) is evident as you turn off the wide boulevard across from the Will Rogers Memorial Park into the short driveway leading to the porte-cochère and an able crew of valets to see to the parking of your vehicle. Just for the fun of it the hotel has set up a red carpet arrival for guests and visitors. Our guests on their private tour of Los Angeles knew immediately how to walk the carpet, stop and turn in their light and pose for their tour guide/paparazzi so they would have a wonderful set of pictures to go in their tour photo album. After the photo session we headed in for lunch at the fabulous Polo Lounge. We had talked up the restaurant’s McCarthy Cobb Salad. Who would we be dining with today? Which stars and dignitaries would be at surrounding tables and booths?