Beverly Hills vs Hollywood – Where’s Best To Stay?
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There are several cities and towns within Los Angeles County for you to choose from during your trip. However, two of the most popular are Beverly Hills and Hollywood.
Both of these locations have their own distinct atmosphere and vibe, so depending on what you’re looking for from your vacation, one will likely be better than the other.
If you’re looking for a high-end, luxurious experience and have the budget to support it then Beverly Hills is likely the place for you with upscale hotels, stores & restaurants. However, if you’re on a budget or looking for more of a casual experience, then Hollywood may be the better choice.
Of course, alongside the atmosphere within the area, you’ll also want to consider the practicality of the location in relation to the other things you want to see and do during your trip to avoid spending hours sitting inside a cab.
Beverly Hills is a small, affluent city located within Los Angeles County. This area is known for its high-end shopping, fine dining, and luxurious accommodations.
Visitors to Beverly Hills can indulge in some of the world’s most expensive brands, dine at some of the most exclusive restaurants, and stay at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Beverly Hills is home to some of the most luxurious and exclusive hotels in the world. Some hotels we recommend considering in the area include;
- The Beverly Hills Hotel: Also known as “The Pink Palace,” this is one of the most iconic and luxurious hotels in the world.
- The Peninsula Beverly Hills: This luxurious five-star hotel is located in the heart of Beverly Hill and features elegant rooms and suites, a rooftop pool, and a range of dining options.
- The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills: This luxurious hotel is located at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards and features elegant rooms and suites with stunning views of the city.
- The Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel: This incredible hotel features elegant rooms and suites, a rooftop pool, and a range of dining options, including the Michelin-starred CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
- The L’Ermitage Beverly Hills: This amazing hotel features spacious rooms and suites, a rooftop pool, and a range of dining options, including the contemporary French cuisine at Avec Nous.
Beverly Hills is home to several fantastic attractions. However, it’s unlikely that many of these attractions will appeal to a diverse number of people when compared to the iconic attractions you see in Hollywood.
Some of the best things to see and do in Beverly Hills include;
- The Beverly Hills Sign: Located at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Drive this sign is a popular photo opportunity for visitors to the city.
- Greystone Mansion and Park: This park offers stunning views of the city and is a popular spot for weddings and other events.
- Rodeo Drive: This three-block stretch of high-end boutiques that is one of the most famous shopping destinations in the world.
- Beverly Hills Farmers Market: This local market takes place every Sunday and is a popular spot for fresh produce, artisanal products, and food vendors.
- Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts: This cultural centre is located in the heart of Beverly Hills and features two theatres, a sculpture garden, and a range of programming, including theatre, dance, and music.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable culinary experience, Beverly Hills won’t disappoint.
Here are a few dining options to consider:
- Spago: This world-famous restaurant is known for its creative, modern American cuisine. The restaurant is helmed by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck and offers an extensive wine list and an elegant atmosphere.
- The Polo Lounge: Located in The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Polo Lounge is one of the most iconic restaurants in the city. The restaurant offers classic American cuisine and has been a favourite of celebrities and locals alike for decades.
- Mastro’s Steakhouse: This popular high-end steakhouse is known for its prime cuts of meat and elegant atmosphere. The restaurant also offers live music and an extensive wine list.
- Il Pastaio: This Italian restaurant is located on Beverly Drive and offers a wide range of traditional Italian dishes, including fresh pasta made in-house.
In comparison to Hollywood, Beverly Hills has a more subdued nightlife scene, but still offers a range of sophisticated options for those looking for an upscale evening out.
The Beverly Hills Hotel offers several options including The Polo Lounge and Bar Nineteen 12 both of which offer live music and signature cocktails.
Other popular options include Nic’s Martini Lounge, a spot known for its martinis and live music, and The Saban Theatre, which hosts a range of events.
Beverly Hills is significantly safer than Hollywood and has a low crime rate when compared to other cities in California.
The Beverly Hills Police Department is known for its high level of professionalism and dedication to keeping the community safe.
However, like any city, Beverly Hills is not immune to crime, especially crime targeting tourists. As such it’s always recommended that you take precautions with your belongings, and remain aware of your surroundings.
While Beverly Hills may be significantly safer than Hollywood, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better for families.
Given the high-end restaurants here, dining out with kids can be difficult, and you can be left feeling out of place.
While there are a number of parks in the area, there are limited other things to do and see here which can’t be done in just an hour or two, aside from perhaps shopping.
As such, we’d only recommend Beverly Hills to families with children who have experienced dining out in luxury restaurants and staying in high-end hotels, and / or are happy to hire or travel with a nanny.
Hollywood is a neighbourhood (unlike Beverly Hills which is a city) located in the central region of Los Angeles County.
The central location and the size of Hollywood make it favourable for those looking to explore a number of different attractions while on vacation.
This area is known for its entertainment industry, including its iconic Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame.
However, it’s perhaps not as glitzy and glamorous as it once was, or seems on TV.
Unlike Beverly Hills, Hollywood is home to a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets.
Some of our favourite options include;
- The Hollywood Roosevelt: This iconic hotel is known for its historic Hollywood charm and prime location on Hollywood Boulevard. The hotel features several restaurants and bars, including the famous Tropicana Pool & Cafe.
- Loews Hollywood Hotel: We chose this hotel for our most recent trip to Los Angeles since it offers stunning views of the Hollywood Hills and is within walking distance of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Dolby Theatre.
- The W Hollywood: This modern hotel is located in the heart of Hollywood and features a rooftop pool, fitness centre, and several dining and nightlife options.
- The Hollywood Hotel: This affordable hotel is located near several popular Hollywood attractions, including the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theatre.
- Kimpton Everly Hotel: This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Hollywood and offers stunning views of the Hollywood Sign and the city.
The neighbourhood of Hollywood is approximately 4.5 times larger than the city of Beverly Hills.
This combined with a higher density and fewer green, open spaces means that there are more hotels, stores, restaurants and things to do here.
Some of our favourite things include;
- Hollywood Walk of Fame: This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Los Angeles. The walkway features the stars of some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry and is a popular photo opportunity for visitors.
- Universal Studios Hollywood: This popular theme park offers a range of rides and attractions based on movies and TV shows. Visitors can experience thrilling rides, see live shows, and take part in interactive experiences.
- TCL Chinese Theatre: This historic movie palace has been a landmark in Hollywood since it was built in 1927. The theatre features handprints, footprints, and signatures of some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
- Hollywood Sign: This is an iconic symbol of the entertainment industry and a popular photo opportunity for visitors. It’s possible to take a number of hikes to the top of Mount Lee to view the sign up close.
- Dolby Theatre: This state-of-the-art venue is home to the Academy Awards. Visitors can take a guided tour of the theatre and learn about the history of the Oscars.
- Hollywood Museum: A popular destination for movie buffs and history enthusiasts, this museum features a collection of memorabilia and artefacts from some of the most famous movies and TV shows in history.
- Madame Tussauds Hollywood: This popular wax museum that features lifelike wax figures of some of the biggest names in entertainment and history.
- Hollywood Bowl: This historic outdoor amphitheatre hosts a range of musical and cultural events throughout the year. Visitors can attend concerts, film screenings, and other events at the venue.
- Runyon Canyon Park: A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and offers several hiking trails with stunning views of the city.
- Griffith Observatory: Technically the Griffith Observatory is located in the adjacent neighbourhood of Los Feliz. However, it’s incredibly popular with visitors to Hollywood and features a range of exhibits about astronomy and space, as well as stunning views of the city.
Hollywood offers a range of dining options, from casual street food to high-end restaurants. Here are a few dining options to consider:
- Musso & Frank Grill: This is one of the oldest restaurants in Hollywood, having been around since 1919 and is popular with celebrities and locals alike.
- In-N-Out Burger: This California institution offers classic burgers, fries, and milkshakes at affordable prices.
- Yamashiro: Situated in the Hollywood Hills this restaurant offers stunning views of the city and a range of traditional Japanese dishes, including sushi, sashimi, and tempura.
- The Ivy: This incredibly popular restaurant offers classic American cuisine and an elegant atmosphere and is often frequented by celebrities.
Unlike the subdued nightlife of Beverly Hills, Hollywood has a lively and exciting atmosphere with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from.
Much like the accommodation and restaurants in the area, there is a range of options for all budgets and preferences making a night out in Hollywood a fantastic experience.
Hollywood is not as safe as Beverly Hills, even when we consider the ratio of size to the number of crimes.
There are more homeless people here, and more tourist attractions which typically attract petty criminals and pickpockets.
As such it’s highly recommended that you remain conscious of your surroundings and take all necessary precautions. This includes avoiding less populated areas and avoiding walking alone at night.
While Hollywood isn’t as safe as Beverly Hills, it’s still where we often chose to base ourselves when travelling to Los Angeles as a family.
We do this because we find that the mid-range hotels here offer great value for money, the number of stores for essentials (nappies, wipes, snacks) is higher, the area is typically more walkable with more nearby attractions and the restaurants are more to our taste.
Obviously, the safety of ourselves and our little boy is always the number one priority, so we’re always hyper-aware of our surroundings and our belongings, especially when in those more high-risk areas.
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