The heart of the U.S. movie and television industry, eternally sunny Tinseltown finds new and intriguing ways to entice groups, with elegant hotels, exciting restaurants and peerless entertainment options. written by Don Douloff
Recommended Website: discoverlosangeles.com
Average Hotel Room Rate: Downtown—$142
Getting There: There are numerous weekly flights from Toronto (40 flights), Vancouver (85), Montreal (13), Calgary and Edmonton (31). aircanada.com; airport-la.com
Convention Facilities: Technologically advanced and architecturally snazzy, the Los Angeles Convention Center, located downtown, features 770,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space—including two carpeted special-event halls for keynotes, banquets and small exhibits, plus 152,000 sq. ft. among 71 meeting rooms, and a 299-seat theatre. Moreover, the venue is eco-friendly, boasting 3,400 solar panels supplying 15 per cent of the South Hall’s energy needs.
The 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel Los Angeles is undergoing a $1.3-million renovation. In January, 2012, the renovated space will debut, with new carpet, paint and wall coverings throughout the California level.
A recently completed $33-million renovation to the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills updated all 395 guestrooms and suites, the ballroom, Windows lounge, Cabana Restaurant and pool, with new private cabanas.
SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills offers banquet and catering—with exclusive menus by chef Jose Andres—and features more than 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space.
attractions + distractions
Downtown’s 5.6-million-sq.-ft. sports and entertainment district, L.A. LIVE offers restaurants, nightlife and live entertainment and event spaces. A one-acre open-air space, the Nokia Plaza accommodates up to 10,000.
In the Malibu Hills, 250-acre Rosenthal Estate Wineries hosts corporate events and private tours, with the wine-tasting-room patio ideal for smaller parties.
Cirque du Soleil’s IRIS: A Journey through the World of Cinema involves 72 performers bringing together dance, acrobatics, live video, filmed sequences and animation to re-create the history of cinema.
a la carte
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the duo behind acclaimed Animal, have launched Son of a Gun, a 55-seat eatery focusing on seafood dishes, some quirky (octopus confit salad) and some not (lobster rolls).
John Rivera Sedlar’s Playa has been earning raves for its urban Latin fare inspired by foods and influences from across the Spanish-speaking world. Private room seats 30.
For some years, Osteria Mozza has been packing them in with its rustic Italian dishes. A mozzarella bar offers over a dozen different tastes of that glorious cheese (pasta tasting menus, too). Private room seats 30.