Meghan Markle grew up in LA, and after taking a recent trip to the city, it's easy to see why she loves it there. With its palm tree-lined streets, non-stop sunshine and the Hollywood Hills, there’s not much not to like. While LA is perhaps best known for its Walk of Fame, Hollywood sign and the chance to spot a celebrity in your nearest Starbucks, there is a whole lot more to see and do – all made much easier thanks to Virgin Holidays. The travel company has launched over 300 new experiences to help personalise your holiday to suit your individual needs. Find out about just some of them in this guide to LA.
Andaz West Hollywood's rooftop swimming pool boasts stunning views of the city
WHERE TO STAY
If you are looking for something a bit special, Andaz West Hollywood will certainly not disappoint. The hotel is located on Sunset Boulevard, within walking distance of iconic celebrity hot spots such as Chateux Marmont – a favourite with Johnny Depp. And the picturesque views of the Hollywood Hills from its rooftop swimming pool will make your jet lag disappear in no time. The laid-back vibe of the hotel makes it easy to feel at home - what's not to like about a complimentary glass of wine on arrival?! The hotel has certainly made a name for itself over the years too, with Led Zeppelin once calling it home, and Keith Richards infamously dropping a television out of the window while staying there.
The rooms were once good enough for the likes of Led Zeppelin!
A typical view for your bedroom
Following a night's sleep in one of the hotel's ultra-stylish rooms, you won’t go hungry come breakfast, with a selection of complimentary pastries, fruit, and as much coffee as you can drink. And if you prefer to enjoy a sit-down meal, there is also an expansive buffet breakfast to set you up for the day, which includes everything from fresh bread and cheeses to fried potatoes and eggs. There is even wine o'clock each day from 18:00-19:00 – with a selection of red and white wine on the house. Staff are extremely friendly too and are are more than happy to help - from carrying your bags up to your room to giving you advice on where to go during your stay.
WHERE TO GO
With Virgin Holidays, visiting the 'real' LA is now part of the package, meaning that while tourist hotspots are a given, you can also discover it on a whole new level. One of the many experience packages includes the Melting Pot Food Tours, run by sisters Diane and Lisa. The family-run business started back in 2008 and has been growing ever since. One of the most popular excursions on offer is their East LA Latin Flavours Food & Culture Tour – which includes a walking (and eating) tour around East LA, visiting a tortilla factory and trying out hand-made tamales. Lisa and Diane will not only ensure you leave feeling very full, but you will learn a lot too, with prices starting from £45 per person. The sociable sisters are a fountain of knowledge and will ensure you will have a great time while in their company.
LA's original Farmers Market
Food is most certainly good enough to eat there!
It's also possible to visit LA's original Farmers Market with the tour, which boasts over 100 shops, restaurants and grocers on site. And with a zero-tolerance on paparazzi, there is a good chance of spotting a celebrity or two while you're enjoying the samples. A trip there wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Bar 326 – with an incredible selection of beverages from around the world, including a very on-trend unicorn beer. The Farmers Market is located next to the notorious celebrity hotspot The Grove. The famous shopping centre is popular with everyone from Jennifer Garner to Winona Ryder, and features over 50 upscale shops, along with chic cafes, restaurants and cinemas.
WHERE TO EAT
Rossoblu is one of the go-to restaurants in LA right now
We know that Meghan enjoys visiting the Sugarfish sushi restaurant when she's back home, and that she's also a fan of Fresh Corn Grill – a healthy LA eatery that says it serves a "unique take on Californian cuisine". Another place to try out is the recently-opened Rossoblu, located in the heart of up-and-coming fashion district of downtown LA. The Italian restaurant is owned by celebrity chef Steve Samson, and has got everyone talking with its Bologna-inspired menu replacing pizzas in favour of handmade pasta dishes, grilled fish and steak.
Handmade pasta dishes are on the menu, replacing your typical pizza
This LA trip was part of Virgin Holiday's seven night tour of West Coast USA, which also includes a three night stay in San Diego. The package includes four nights at the Andaz West Hollywood with room only accommodation and then a further three nights at the Kona Kai Resort and Spa in San Diego, all for £1295 per person. The price is based on two adults travelling and includes care hire and all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change.