Celebrity Spotting in WeHo!By: Brittany Nicole La Hue
West Hollywood is the home and playground of countless celebrities. Whether you’re from out of town and want the chance to spot your favorite celeb or a local looking for a new regular hotspot with a famous view, WeHo is definitely the place to go!
Start by checking in at Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas, The London West Hollywood or Sunset Tower Hotel (you’re going to have a long and full day and will want to crash tonight!). Sunset Marquis has played host to more than a few members of rock ‘n’ roll royalty including Jimi Hendrix, U2, Foo Fighters and more. The hotel’s basement boasts a world-class recording studio, NightBird Studios, where such talented musicians as Madonna, Elton John, Aerosmith and Carrie Underwood have recorded their albums. Inside the hotel, Bar 1200 cocktail lounge is rarely without a famous face enjoying a drink. Recent hotel guests include Carly Rae Jepsen, and actresses Sophia Bush, Kat DeLuna, Audrina Patridge and Jordana Brewster were spotted at poolside soirees this summer.
While The London West Hollywood already features a famous name in its several Gordon Ramsay restaurants, many more stars frequent the hotel. This month alone saw Khloe Kardashian, Sophia Bush, Harry Potter’s Tom Felton, Twilight’s Nikki Reed, Lost’s Emile de Ravin, Mena Suvari and several Glee and Modern Family stars on site. But perhaps most infamously, The London West Hollywood was the site of Kim Kardashian’s red carpet flour attack in March 2012.
Few West Hollywood locales have a revolving door of celebrities as extensive as Sunset Tower Hotel, located on the legendary Sunset Strip. Jennifer Aniston and new fiancee Justin Theroux celebrated their engagement with Courtney Cox at the hotel’s Tower Bar, and it was also the very first place the couple was spotted together in public, back in May 2011. During her divorce from Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore stirred up excitement when she dined at the restaurant with a mystery man (who was later revealed to be just a friend). Following the theme of couples, Emma Stone and boyfriend Andrew Garfield were recently seen dining at Sunset Tower Hotel. Previous celeb sightings include Jennifer Lopez, James Franco, Renee Zellweger and Sean Penn.
When you get hungry for lunch, visit Urth Caffe or Cecconi’s (both located on Melrose in West Hollywood’s Avenues of Art, Fashion and Design) for some al fresco dining and stargazing. While Urth Caffe has several Southern California locations and a large loyal fan base, the West Hollywood Melrose branch gets its fair share of celebrity clientele. Stars like Miley Cyrus, Jessica Alba, Larry King, Queen Latifah, Katy Perry, Steven Tyler, Chazz Bono and Jane Lynch have dined here. Perhaps the most well-known use of Urth, however, has been in the television series Entourage, which filmed more than a few episodes at this location.
Cecconi’s, which straddles the corner of trendy Melrose Avenue and posh Robertson Boulevard, never lacks for a famous guest soaking up sun on the front patio or hiding in a corner booth indoors. Once you get over the dazzling display of Aston Martins, Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s in the valet, you’ll see such celebrities as Vera Wang, Gwen Stefani, Ellen Degeneres, George Lucas, Drake, Dan Akroid and John Landis. Oh, and the food is pretty breathtaking as well.
Once you’re full, it’s time to walk it off with a trip to Sunset Plaza. Tucked away in its own little part of The Sunset Strip, Sunset Plaza is home to such hot stores as Nicole Miller, Hugo Hugo Boss, BCBG, Armani A/X, H. Lorenzo, Blushington and Oliver Peoples. The trendy shopping area also features free parking in the back of the stores for customers! Stars like Emma Roberts, Holly Madison, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, Ron Jeremy and Ali Larter have been seen doing some shopping at the Plaza’s many stores (or dining in well-known restaurants Chin Chin, BLT Steak and Sushiya).
Did you shop up an appetite? Head over to the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente for a celebrity-created concoction at Millions of Milkshakes. When celebrities visit the store, they create their own smoothie or milkshake based on their preferences, and the parlor names the drink after them and puts it on the menu! Stars also often stay for meet-and-greets, photos and autographs when they’re done. Big names that have made their own drink include Miley Cyrus, Heidi & Spencer Pratt, Perez Hilton, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, Shaq, Ron Artest, Lil Kim, Lindsay Lohan and Mario Lopez.
Now it’s time to relax at your hotel’s rooftop pool or take a nap – your legs and your eyes have been working hard today!
When you’re ready for dinner, make reservations at Sur Lounge or Restaurant or BOA Steakhouse. Both Sur establishments (neighbors on Robertson Boulevard) are owned by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump and her husband, Kenneth Todd. Lisa herself designed the interiors to be girly and classic yet eclectic, and the food matches those descriptions perfectly. From pink velvet menus to unique and exotic twists on the usual cocktail (like the Champagne Julep with Maker’s Mark whisky, fresh mint and champagne), you’ll have a dining experience like no other. While of course Vanderpump’s fellow costars Camille Grammer and Kyle Richards have shown her some love, other celebrities like Gerard Butler, Rebecca Romijn, Christina Milian, Lance Bass and Perez Hilton have had dinner at the restaurant.
If a classic steakhouse is more your style, BOA won’t disappoint (but get your reservations in far in advance!). Barry Bonds, Kelsey Grammer, Prison Break’s Amaury Nolasco and Basketball Wives alike enjoy the restaurant’s surf-and-turf menu (and you’ll get a great view of the Sunset Strip).
Now to enjoy West Hollywood’s legendary nightlife!
Start with a drink at The Abbey, “the best gay bar in the world.” Earlier in the night you’ll enjoy drink specials and scrumptious appetizers. Stay a bit later and male and female go-go dancers will be entertaining the growing crowd. Admire the old-meets-modern architecture and decor, warm yourself by a fire pit outside or get down on the dance floor. While you’re there you might see Abbey frequenters Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Zac Efron, LeeAnn Rimes, Kristin Chenowith, Sandra Bullock, Adam Lambert or Cyndi Lauper. Hillary Clinton even campaigned at The Abbey once! The bar is also known to hold fabulous special events (like the recent Vanwolff fashion show) so be sure to check out the calendar of events!
As the night goes on, migrate to the Mondrian Hotel (if you’re not already staying there!). Mondrian is the location of world-famous Sky Bar on the hotel pool deck, which is the site of many special events, A-list parties and casual celebrity sightings. John Mayer recently attended friend Mindy Kaling’s reception for her new show “The Mindy Project,” Kellan Lutz was seen leaving the hotel, and the Mondrian’s exclusive VIP Sunset Strip Music Festival afterparty included guests Marilyn Manson, Joe Madden and Nicole Richie, Malin Akerman, Audrina Patridge and True Blood stars Joe Manganiello and Sam Trammell.
Once you’ve mingled with the stars, it’s time to head back to your hotel. You’ve had a long day, and, as any celeb will tell you, you need your beauty sleep!