Los Angeles is a prime destination for business travellers as a gateway to the Pacific Rim, to key financial centres and to many high-tech companies. An international business hub, the financial district is located in the heart of Downtown while the entertainment industry lies in the north.
Hotels like the Omni Los Angeles, Westin Bonaventure and Sheraton Los Angeles are the ones to pick for Downtown convenience. While the Loews Hollywood, London West Hollywood, Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City, and Sheraton Universal put you at the heart of the city's entertainment sector. The Four Seasons Beverly Hills features a state-of-the-art business centre, while L’Ermitage offers guests personalised business stationery and free in-room printing. Proximity to the airport is a key feature of the Doubletree LAX, Courtyard Marriott Los Angeles and the Custom Hotel, which offers a free airport shuttle and high-tech Layover Lounge.
Thanks to LA's diverse population, ethnic eateries can be found everywhere. It has long been a mecca for foodies and has increasingly attracted innovative young chefs opening affordable, experimental restaurants. Check out those in lesserknown areas such as Echo Park and Silverlake where places such as L&E Oyster Bar serve craft beers (from $4) and market-inspired small plates (from $9) that sit alongside the oyster menu (leoysterbar.com). Or, for a meat feast, Bludso's (barandque. com) is a barbecue joint where Missouri-built smokers slow cook brisket for 14 hours and ribs for eight. The half a rack of ribs are so tender they can be eaten with a spoon.
LA has always been cutting-edge, and many of its hotels and bars are real trendsetters. The Standard Downtown (standardhotels.com) is known for its trendy design and has stunning views from its rooftop pool and bar, while the O Hotel in Downtown has one of the city’s most buzzing bars (ohotelgroup.com).
Most international flights to the city arrive at Los Angeles Airport's (LAX) Tom Bradley International Terminal which reopened in 2013 after an extensive renovation. Air New Zealand, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United, Delta and American Airlines fly direct to LA from Heathrow, while Norwegian flies from London Gatwick to LAX twice a week.
Notorious traffic congestion can make short journeys long in Los Angeles but buses get priority and are often quicker than a taxi. The Union Station FlyAway bus runs every half hour between LAX and Union Station, LA's Downtown public transport hub, for $5-$6. The trip takes about 45 minutes during rush hour and is the fastest option. Metro Rail, the rapid transit rail system, has six lines serving 80 stations across LA County.
The time zone is GMT -8hrs. The currency is the US dollar: £1 = $1.69. For more information on travelling to the city, visit www.lacity.org
Take a break from the bustle of Downtown and head to LA's seaside town of Santa Monica famed for its pier, promenade and relaxed vibe. Hire a bike or Segway and cruise the promenade as far as quirky Venice Beach, home to alternative arty types and lots of cool cafés and bars. Alternatively, do the tourist thing and tour the homes of the rich and famous in Beverley Hills and explore Hollywood's silverscreen heritage at Mann's Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame and the Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars. If you have the time, consider the backstage tour at Universal Studios.
“For Downtown group dining near LA LIVE and the Los Angeles onvention Center, consider Rivera Restaurant and its award-winning Latin fusion cuisine”Discover Los Angeles