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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

A creative spirit transcends all business in Los Angeles, not just its renowned entertainment industry. The local economy, which generates more revenue than most industrialized nations, is incredibly diverse.

In addition to the production of motion pictures, television and music, L.A. is a leader in the design of automobiles. Some of the most advanced cars in the world, like Tesla, are manufactured locally. The Santa Monica/Playa del Rey area, now dubbed "Silicon Beach," is one of the fastest growing technology centers in the world, attracting both Fortune 500 giants and innovative start-ups. Some of the world's most prominent biotech companies are located here, and L.A. is a leader in emerging green technologies. The city's architectural firms are transforming the skyline of The City of Angels, as well as Shanghai and Dubai, and its international influence also extends to fashion, finance and aerospace.

Laid-back it may be, but L.A. is one of the world's economic powerhouses, benefiting from its strategic proximity to two booming mega-regions: Latin America and Asia. And while just as much money changes hands in L.A. as in London or Tokyo, meetings here are as likely to take place in a poolside cabana at the Four Seasons Hotel as they are in a 60th-floor boardroom downtown. And when they're off the clock, visiting businesspeople have many options for leisure, as this diverse metropolis offers everything from beaches to world-class museums to cuisine crafted by some of the most innovative chefs on the planet.

Facts to Know Before You Go -
Los Angeles Business Travel

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


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, 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 to $55. There are at least a dozen airport shuttles to choose from, but most charge less than $25 for a trip from the Convention Center to LAX.


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.


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

A guest room at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

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

The mixing room at JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at L.A. Live

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. 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.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel
506 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-624-1011, 800-245-8673

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California was built in Italian Renaissance style

Designed in Italian Renaissance style, the Millennium Biltmore opened to national acclaim in 1923 and in 1969 was designated a Historical Cultural Landmark. The hotel has undergone extensive renovation, including restoration of ornate ceiling frescoes that draw the gaze upward. A courtly new lobby was constructed in the space of a former meeting room, while the former lobby was transformed into a bar with a tiled fountain and lush foliage. The function rooms are perhaps the most beautiful in town. While guest rooms tend to be on the small side, some old-fashioned suites with large living rooms and fireplaces remain. The renovated club floor caters to business travelers, who are tended to by a valet, a dedicated concierge and Club Service Coordinators; complimentary breakfast, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, as well as complete access to The Millennium Biltmore Health Club, are also included. The hotel is ideal for business travelers who need to be downtown and prefer an alternative to the big chain hotels. Additionally, its downtown address, once lacking proximity to extensive dining options, has now become relatively fashionable, and many good restaurants are within walking distance.

Casa Del Mar
1910 Ocean Wy.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
310-581-5533, 800-898-6999

A guest room at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica's landmark on the sand has become a pure jewel by the beach. Casa Del Mar has been lavishly restored to the opulent grandeur it exuded when it opened as Club Casa Del Mar in 1926, built for the then-incredible sum of $2 million. Reopened in the fall of 1999 after a $60-million renovation, the hotel features 129 luxurious guest rooms, suites and penthouses, many of which offer private views of the beach. Freshly cut flowers, arrangements of seashells and gauzy curtains accent rooms and amenities include state-of-the-art sound systems and white marble bathrooms complete with tubs featuring computer-programmed massaging water jets. Additionally, guests enjoy in-room chill bars with bath and personal care products from Murad, sun block, gel masks, ZEN cards and more, all available for purchase. High-speed Wi-Fi is offered in all accommodations, and ocean view suites come with iPods on request. Recreation and relaxation may be pursued in the fitness center or by the pool and garden terrace. The Sea Wellness Spa is a soothing space, where stress melts away with the ministrations of trained estheticians. Catch, aptly named for its menu of fresh seafood, offers fine dining and fabulous shoreline views, and additional restaurants are plentiful within walking distance. The bar, serving lighter fare and the same beautiful beach scenery, is quite popular. For impressive business and social events, meeting facilities include the dramatic Colonnade Ballroom with a beautiful loggia.

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

The SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills in California

From the folks that brought L.A. hot spots Katsuya and Hyde 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 and 24-hour room service. There are six lifestyle suites with personal gym equipment and two hypoallergenic 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 GAYOT's list of Top 10 L.A. Business Hotels

Where to Dine -
Los Angeles Business Dining

Alma at The Standard New American
No Rating
Dining Room at Alma at The Standard, West Hollywood, CA The Standard Hollywood
8300 W. Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
| Video
Chef Ari Taymor brings his avant-garde cuisine to The Standard Hollywood. More...

The Bazaar by José Andrés Spanish
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...

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

Mélisse French
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...

Orsa & Winston Contemporary
Dining Room at Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles, CA 122 W. Fourth St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Ambitious, multi-cultural dining concept from prolific downtown chef/restaurateur Josef Centeno. More...

Providence Seafood
Dining Room at Providence, Los Angeles, CA 5955 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Menu | Photo | Video
An interior redesign has injected more luxury and comfort into this fine dining destination for seafood. More...

Spago Beverly Hills California
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 an evolved look and menu with a slightly more contemporary approach. 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

The architecture of The Getty was designed by Richard Meier

Far more than 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. Saturday evenings, The Getty stays open into the night, and a sunset dinner at the museum's exceptional full-service restaurant combines innovative contemporary American cuisine with awesome views of the metropolis.

Catalina Island

The charming town of Avalon on Catalina Island

If you have an entire day to spare, consider a trip to Catalina Island, a relatively unspoiled retreat just off the coast of Southern California. An hour boat ride from San Pedro or Long Beach (or a helicopter ride) will land you in the town of Avalon — a charming collection of boutique hotels, cafés and bars. Aside from hoofing it, the primary modes of transportation here are bicycles and golf carts, which you can rent in town. Popular attractions are the historic Casino, art museum and botanical gardens, most of which were built by the Wrigley family who established Catalina as the spring training site for their Chicago Cubs in the first half of the 20th century. Catalina is a diver's paradise, and various dive shops can set you up for the adventure, whatever your skill level. Most of the island beyond Avalon consists of rugged wilderness preserves coveted by seasoned hikers and birdwatchers. If you're experiencing a stressful business trip, a day on Catalina Island may be just what the doctor ordered. It is another side to Southern California, seemingly a thousand miles from Beverly Hills or Hollywood. The high season is between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108

The Botanical Gardens of The Huntington

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 Italianate 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.


Westward Beach in Malibu, California

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 Maxfield and Alice + Olivia. For snacks in Malibu, there's Chocolate Box Café, which 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, consider Nobu Malibu for memorable sushi or Geoffrey's or unforgettable views.

L.A. Live
800 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

L.A. Live is sometimes referred to as the Times Square of Los Angeles

Covering 27 acres in downtown Los Angeles, L.A. Live is an entertainment complex sometimes referred to as the Times Square of L.A. A monumental, $2.5-billion urban redevelopment project, it incorporates hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, sporting venues and entertainment attractions. Among its crown jewels are the Staples Center — home of the L.A. Lakers and Clippers NBA teams — and the Microsoft Theater. The latter is one of the premier performing arts venues in the nation, with 7,100 seats, state-of-the-art acoustics and unobstructed sightlines to the stage. Club Nokia and The Conga Room are among the nightclubs present, while Lucky Strike Lanes makes bowling totally hip. Regal Cinemas offers 14 stadium-seating auditoriums for feature films. The Grammy Museum is dedicated to celebrating all styles of music, from hip-hop to classical, and offers educational programs and performances. For dining, the constantly expanding roster of eateries includes Nest at WP24, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, ROCKN'FISH, Katsuya, Rosa Mexicano, Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Yard House and The Farm of Beverly Hills. The 5.6 million-square foot development is the epicenter of the downtown L.A. renaissance and anticipated expansions include greater integration with the Los Angeles Convention Center and the construction of Farmers Field. It makes a great starting point from which to explore the entire downtown area, which is one of the most underrated in the nation. Two interconnected hotels, the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, provide extensive meeting facilities for business travelers, and additional hotels are under construction at L.A. Live.

Rodeo Drive
Rodeo Dr. & Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

In-between meetings, shop the luxury retailers on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California

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. Rodeo and its neighboring streets are loaded with exceptional restaurants, such as Spago Beverly Hills. In addition, the Paley Center for Media and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts are within easy walking distance of the Rodeo shopping scene.


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