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Los Angeles Business Travel Guide

In the City of Angels, Business is Pleasure


The Best Hotels, Restaurants and Activities for L.A. Business Travelers

In the Los Angeles business community, a creative spirit is the driving force behind the city's steadfast economy — one of the largest and most vibrant in the world. Clearly, this is the case in the entertainment industry, which produces America's most visible exports around the world.

But in L.A., creativity extends far beyond the production of movies, television and music. Designers set international trends here, from the hottest concept cars, designed in L.A.-based studios before their unveiling at auto shows around the world, to high tech, biotech and green tech designs. And despite Southern California's undeserved reputation as being anti-business, L.A. was recently named the third best environment in the world to launch technology start-ups.

Los Angeles is consumed with business-minded enterprises, but here it's the style of doing business that many find refreshing. Meetings are just as often taken in a poolside cabana at the Four Seasons Hotel as they are in a 60th-floor boardroom with a skyline view in one direction and the Pacific Ocean in another. Plus, at the end of the day, when business is done, this pleasure-seeking city offers plenty of off-the-clock places to unwind.


Facts to Know Before You Go -
Los Angeles Business Travel


LAX Airport Map:
 
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) | Airport Map by

Transportation

Rental Cars:
Los Angeles County alone sprawls across more than 4,000 square miles (about the size of Connecticut), so cars and freeways are the most common means of travel. Even with L.A.'s notorious gridlock traffic, this will likely be the easiest way to get around. For travelers unfamiliar with the city, it is essential to rent a car equipped with a GPS system, or if you're carrying a smartphone, the real-time traffic and navigation app, waze, is helpful any time of the day.

Public Transportation:
Railway systems are gradually becoming more popular in the L.A. area, and Metrolink commuter trains connect you from Downtown Los Angeles, to the suburbs and even beyond. Within Los Angeles' five-county metropolitan area, these trains — as well as the constantly expanding subway and light rail system — take passengers to dozens of local destinations.

There are also a few bus systems to choose from, with LA Metro and LADOT offering the most wide-spread stops across the city. When traveling from mid-city to the beach cities, the valley or other outside areas, transfers from L.A.'s buses to local systems are available. Express buses can be employed to traverse long distances. For discounted transport to and from the airport ($14 round trip), try LAX FlyAway, a bus with stops at Union Station, Van Nuys and Westwood.

Taxis and Shuttles:
For faster airport service by taxi between LAX and Downtown, expect to pay a flat fee of approximately $45-50. There are at least a dozen airport shuttles to choose from, but most charge about $25 for a trip from the Convention Center to LAX.


Media

For weekly business news, useful company lists, coverage of major corporate deals and executive profiles, check out the Los Angeles Business Journal. It offers excellent coverage on commercial real estate, emerging entrepreneurial trends and the movie industry. The Los Angeles Times is the most widely read newspaper in L.A. Its business section is published daily and offers extensive coverage including the financial aspects of the entertainment industry. The Daily News, the San Fernando Valley's local paper, is also a good source of information with daily business news. And for an insider's perspective on the city's largest industry, check out Variety or The Hollywood Reporter.


Internet

Travelers to LAX will find free and paid wireless Internet access in sections of every terminal. In the city, many local coffee houses and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi, as well as most public libraries. The public service organization ExperienceLA has also established free locations throughout various parts of Downtown.


Where to Stay -
Los Angeles Business Hotels


Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
300 S. Doheny Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90048
310-273-2222
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is business-friendly without sacrificing elegance

Located across the street from the Beverly Hills city limits, this hotel is one of the area's best, and is an entertainment industry favorite. The hotel's 285 spacious rooms and suites are business-friendly without sacrificing elegance. Each features its own balcony, high-speed Internet access, a wireless-connect telephone system, videocassette and CD players, and TVs in the bedroom and bathroom. The Business Center offers state-of-the-art computer facilities, and there are a dozen event spaces to accommodate business and social functions, including a grand ballroom with Venetian crystal chandeliers and state-of-the-art technology. There is even a dedicated kosher kitchen. Guests can take advantage of the fourth-floor terrace with its outdoor pool (a prime spot to talk over a major deal), Jacuzzi spa, sundeck and tented exercise center. A surprising amount of business takes place poolside here. In addition to a 24-hour concierge, complimentary limo service to Rodeo Drive is an especially nice bonus.

JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at L.A. Live
900 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
213-765-8600
   
Take advantage of JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at L.A. Live's prime location in the heart of downtown

Linked to the graceful tower of The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, and located at the $2.5-billion L.A. Live mega-development, this is one of downtown's newest and largest hotels, with 805 rooms and 73 suites. Standard accommodations begin at 375 square feet, but those with generous expense accounts may consider suites that exceed 1,500 square feet, and all rooms are equipped with high-speed Internet access at a daily charge. A vast array of meeting rooms (40 spaces totaling more than 100,000 square feet) with wireless Internet service provides versatility for all sizes of meetings and conferences (the 25,000-square foot Diamond Ballroom accommodates more than 3,500). Meanwhile, the L.A. Convention Center and Staples Center are both steps from the hotel's front doors. A full menu of business services is offered, bolstering this hotel's credentials as a top convention destination. Valet and dry-cleaning services are also provided, and for international travelers, a foreign currency exchange. In-house dining includes LA Market, a contemporary American concept from Kerry Simon. The Nokia Theatre is next door, and a wide assortment of restaurants and nightclubs add to the excitement of being at L.A. Live, the epicenter of the city's downtown renaissance.

Luxe City Center Hotel
1020 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
213-748-1291, 888-336-3745
 
 
Luxe City Center Hotel in downtown Los Angeles serves business travelers and sports fans in style

Centrally located and within walking distance of the Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live and the Staples Center, this luxury hotel caters to business travelers and sports fans. (You can book the ESPN package here!) Decorated in a high-end contemporary style, the 162 guest rooms feature bold design elements such as custom woven-wood headboards and graphic-scraped Acacia flooring. Amenities include Keurig coffee makers, complimentary high-speed Internet, dual phone lines and in-room Nintendo games. Double-glazed windows silence city sounds for a quiet night's sleep. The sixteen suites also offer chic sitting areas, microwaves and mini-refrigerators. The hotel has more than 3,000 square feet of meeting space. Luxe Spa features a complete menu of spa services as well as private yoga, Pilates and tai chi sessions. Those planning to take a swim will be disappointed, though, as there is no pool at this hotel.

Shore Hotel
1515 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-458-1515, 800-599-1515
Enjoy contemporary Southern California style and business amenities at the LEED-registered Shore Hotel in Santa Monica

Steps from the beach and just one block from the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade, the Shore Hotel is the first newly constructed, LEED-registered hotel in the beachfront city, proving style and environmental consciousness at competitive values. All of the wood used in the construction is from sustainable forests, and other environmental efforts range from native landscaping to energy management. The architecture showcases contemporary Southern California style, and highlights include ocean-facing guest rooms and a swimming pool overlooking the Pacific. Additional rooms have views of the pool or Santa Monica, and all feature balconies. Many amenities benefit the business traveler: complimentary high-speed wireless and wired Internet, in-room massage services, pet boarding, a fitness center, a business center and meeting facilities.

SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
465 S. La Cienega Blvd. (San Vicente Blvd.)
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310-247-0400

Take business meetings in the afternoon and rub shoulders with starlets at night at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills

From the folks that brought L.A. hot spots Katsuya, Area, Hyde and S Bar to life, the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills is the first of sbe group's growing line of hotel ventures. The centrally-located SLS offers 297 guest rooms and suites, all with custom-designed furniture, Frette linens, high-speed Internet connectivity, MP3 sound systems, flat-screen televisions, 24-hour room service, and 32 of them are allergen-resistant "Pure" rooms. With luxury designer Philippe Starck at the creative helm, the hotel boasts two entry lobbies that double as restaurants: the chic and intimate Tres and the party central lounge space of The Bazaar by José Andrés. There's also a private guest lobby with concierge reserved for registered parties only. The SLS also offers dining in the seven private cabanas and poolside; and with its sbe connection, the concierge can arrange transportation service to the company's L.A. restaurants, lounges and nightclubs. Business amenities include 24-hour business support services and more than a dozen meeting spaces from intimate board rooms to a grand ballroom. By booking here, you can take business meetings in the afternoon and rub shoulders with starlets at night.




Also consult our list of Top 10 L.A. Business Hotels

Where to Dine -
Los Angeles Business Dining


The Bazaar by José Andrés Spanish
15/20
Dining Room at The Bazaar by José Andrés, Los Angeles, CA SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
465 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Menu | Photo | Video
Be ready to treat yourself to carefully crafted modern tapas by chef José Andrés in a somewhat over-the-top décor. More...

CUT Steakhouse
15/20
Dining Room at CUT, Beverly Hills, CA The Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel)
9500 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Menu | Photo | Video
Wolfgang Puck’s modern, elegant steakhouse at the Beverly Wilshire is frequented by the movers and shakers of Los Angeles. More...

DRAGO Centro Italian
15/20
Dining Room at DRAGO Centro, Los Angeles, CA City National Plaza
525 S. Flower St., Ste. 120
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Menu | Video
Celestino Drago’s passionate cooking brings haute Italian style to downtown L.A.’s cultural matrix. More...

Mélisse French
18/20
Dining Room at Mélisse, Santa Monica, CA 1104 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Menu | Photo | Video
The epitome of Los Angeles fine dining, Mélisse fluently bridges French sophistication with style. More...

Scarpetta Italian
15/20
Dining Room at Scarpetta, Beverly Hills, CA Montage Beverly Hills
225 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Menu | Photo | Video
Chef Scott Conant makes a very tasty West Coast debut with his earthy Italian cuisine at Montage Beverly Hills. More...

Spago Beverly Hills California
16/20
Dining Room at Spago Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, CA 176 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Menu | Photo | Video
Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant features a new look and menu with a slightly more contemporary approach. More...

Tar & Roses New American
14/20
Dining Room at Tar & Roses, Santa Monica, CA 602 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Menu | Photo
Chef Andrew Kirschner offers tasty wood-fire grilled dishes at his downtown Santa Monica restaurant. More...


Best Power Lunch

From the hipper-than-thou to the perennially reliable, here's where the deals are made over tuna tartare or tortellini.

Also check out:

Best Bars
Best Beach Restaurants 
Best Happy Hour
Best Korean Barbecue
More Best Business Dining


Off the Clock -
Los Angeles Business Entertainment


The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Dr.
Brentwood, CA 90049
310-440-7300
www.getty.edu

The Richard Meier-designed Getty Center

Far more than simply a museum, The Getty has not only become an L.A. icon but also defies the city's stereotypes. It is the kind of gathering spot rare in a city that made urban sprawl fashionable, and pulls it off in the context of world-class architecture — something more plentiful in L.A. than the city's East Coast detractors like to admit. Most importantly, the massive travertine-clad complex, designed by Richard Meier, boasts an endless collection of art that encompasses Impressionist masterpieces, Greek antiquities and a stunning collection of gilded furnishings from the height of the French monarchy. Friday and Saturday evenings, The Getty stays open into the evening, and a sunset dinner at the museum's exceptional full-service restaurant combines innovative contemporary American cuisine with awesome views of the metropolis.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
323-464-8111
www.chinesetheatres.com

The iconic Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles

Whether the name Chinese Theatre calls to mind the old newsreel clip of Marilyn Monroe putting her hands into wet cement amid popping flashbulbs, or the comic "I Love Lucy" sequence when Lucy gets her foot stuck in a hardening bucket of cement, chances are that you already have an image of this famous venue. Before you dismiss it as a cheesy choice of tourist attraction, consider its location adjacent to the recent-vintage Hollywood & Highland complex and the renaissance occurring throughout Hollywood. This stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, with its star-studded Walk of Fame and kitschy tourist attractions, is experiencing a major renaissance that's bringing new clubs, hotels, restaurants and boutiques to the long-neglected neighborhood, which is now cleaner and safer than ever. Or simply take in a current movie in the 1,500-seat auditorium, a Hollywood relic as ornate and nostalgic as its legendary Pagoda-like façade.

Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd.
San Marino
626-405-2100
www.huntington.org

Desert Garden at Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Gardens

The posh community of San Marino, just south of Pasadena, is home to the former estate of railroad tycoon Henry Huntington, which has become one of Southern California's most alluring attractions. Occupying 120 acres of perfectly manicured rolling hills are a series of botanical gardens featuring over 15,000 species of flora, such as the Desert Garden, Shakespeare Garden (the flavor of the English countryside), and tranquil Japanese Garden with koi-filled stream. In the midst of a three-acre rose garden is the charming Tea Room, which should be included in any Huntington experience. The Italiante estate has been converted into art galleries and a world-renowned library containing rare manuscripts and one of the earliest known Gutenberg Bibles. Gainsborough's The Blue Boy and Sir Thomas Lawrence's Pinkie are among the prized works of art lining the walls of Huntington's former mansion. No need to book, just grab a schedule and turn up at the designated hour.

Malibu
www.malibucity.org

A beach in Malibu, a haven for locals and tourists, celebs and those wanting to get away from it all

There is nothing as quintessentially L.A. as driving up Pacific Coast Highway — preferably in a convertible — to Malibu. This flashy celebrity-studded enclave for the rich and famous has some of the most spectacular contemporary homes hugging the coastline. On the way there, you'll pass the lovely coastal community of Pacific Palisades, which is also home to The Getty Villa. The Italianate villa showcases nearly 50,000 antiquities, and some of these vases, coins or pieces of jewelry date back to 6,500 B.C. The building itself is a splendid work of art, inspired by the first century Villa dei Papiri near Mount Vesuvius, and the views from some of the terraces are simply jaw-dropping. In Malibu, check out the Malibu Lumber Yard, a former lumber yard transformed into a collection of hip boutiques and eateries. Shops there include celebrity-driven women's boutiques Tory Burch and Alice + Olivia. For snacks, there's Crumbs Bake Shop, a New York import, and Chocolate Box Café offers hot chocolate infused with ginger, chili pepper or mint. Most beaches in Malibu are public and rustic, despite the movie stars, and for dinner in style, consider Nobu Malibu for memorable sushi or Geoffrey's or unforgettable views.

Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-458-8901
www.santamonicapier.org

The Ferris wheel in Santa Monica towers 130 feet and is illuminated with eye-popping LED lighting at night

Few places capture the beach culture of L.A. like a visit to Santa Monica Pier. The beachfront surrounding the pier combines a laid-back SoCal lifestyle with an urban energy generated by the increasingly sophisticated city of Santa Monica, now filled with upscale boutiques and bistros. But while the community dips its toes in the 21st century, Santa Monica Pier offers a nostalgic look back in time. Built in 1909, it offers a small amusement park called Pacific Park, complete with games of chance and carnival rides, a small aquarium, and a vintage carousel featured in the The Sting. Towering 130 feet and illuminated with eye-popping LED lighting, Pacific Park's Ferris wheel is visible from up and down the coast. Now solar-powered, it has become a coastal landmark. A couple blocks off the pier is the recently renovated Santa Monica Place shopping center, whose dramatic improvements include a grand plaza with public art and open-air dining level with ocean views. And now integrated with Santa Monica Place is the Third Street Promenade, a popular pedestrian-only concourse of great shops, casual eateries and movie theaters, where street performers keep visitors entertained.

Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Dr. & Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
www.rodeodrive-bh.com

One of the most famous streets in the world, Rodeo Drive captures the spirit of Beverly Hills

One of the most famous streets in the world, Rodeo Drive captures the spirit of Beverly Hills past and present and is a quintessential part of the L.A. experience. Paved with cobblestones and surrounded by Italian arches and wrought iron streetlamps, Via Rodeo (the chicest section of Rodeo Drive) looks more like a film set than an authentic European village, but its world-famous boutiques — the rarefied names upon which the street's reputation was built — include Cartier, Tiffany and Valentino. While doing some shopping, or window-shopping, be sure to check out Frank Lloyd Wright's eccentric Anderton Court, a small cluster of shops designed by the renowned architect in the 1950s.


Save with CityPass!

SAVE MONEY ON ATTRACTIONS!
Save time and money on your next vacation with the CityPass booklet. It contains admission tickets to the Hollywood and Southern California's top attractions at a substantially reduced price.



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* Rodeo Drive image by Torsten Bolten

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