Wednesday, January 29

A Review Of My First Time In Los Angeles

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I just came back from my trip to LA over New Years. It was the first time I was there, and I was staying together with my boyfriend in Santa Monica at Hotel Casa del Mar.

Some thoughts on the hotel…

The hotel itself was good, perhaps not the most classy or luxurious 5star hotel I’ve stayed at, but cozy with excellent location by the beach. In the evenings we could see the sunset from our bed, and in the mornings we rented bikes to cycle along the beach.

There were a few minus’es with this place though. A surprisingly small pool and sunbed area, only one restaurant at the hotel, small rooms, and very basic gym. The good side was the extensive and cozy lobby bar, live music at the hotel, sunsets, excellent service and cute decor in the rooms. I won’t complain as I’m sure we’ll come back and stay here again!


So what did I think of LA?

Disclaimer. What I will say is only my personal opinion, and I’m not here to offend anyone. I just want to be honest with my first impressions; perhaps they will change on my next visit.

Hollywood sign Los angeles

The negative:

    • I was shocked at the number of homeless people! It was striking to see so many people live on the streets since the US is such a modern and developed country, I did not expect that!
    • Where are all the classy people? During my trip, I saw only one person who was dressed like a JetsetBabe (she was Asian and walking on Rodeo Drive). Every time we went to a restaurant or nice hotels, I never saw anyone looking of high-standard. You could see some people were wealthy, but they weren’t dressed very well (men looked like ragamuffins, girls looked like the Kardashians). In fact, it made me appreciate Europe and the sense of Fashion that we have over here. Perhaps it was the wrong timing, or maybe I was “unlucky.”
    • The distances… How can people live this way? How can people socialize with each other if it takes at least an hour to drive somewhere? It must be difficult keeping relationships going with friends, family, etc. when the distances are so far? I could not see myself living in LA due to this.
    • In Europe (in the big cities at least) we tend to walk a lot, and there are always people on the streets. LA felt so empty and isolated, since everyone is always in their cars, with little pedestrians on the streets. I didn’t like that, especially since I’m the one who enjoys walking everywhere. The vibe I got was therefore very lonely and cold town, without any people in sight…
  • Airconditioning everywhere even though it was like 10 degrees celsius outdoors. Why??

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Postcards from Beverly Hills #losangeles #palmtrees

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The positive:

    • Beautiful surroundings, with the long beaches, sunsets, palm trees and greenery. Not to mention the climate, even though I thought it was going to be warmer (I was wearing my coat most of the times).
    • Such friendly people and excellent service! I love positivity and Americans are extremely good at that. Sure, you can call it fake, but better fake than a negative vibe!
    • The standard of the food was excellent almost everywhere we went, even though their portion sizes were sometimes too large. The plus for the Organic health craze in LA, so it’s easy to find green juices, Acai bowls and all that jazz for people like me.
    • Loads to do with great variety! Me and my boyfriend are not really the “sightseeing” types, we’re a bit lazy in that department. But we went to the Getty Villa (I confused it with the Getty Museum where I wanted to go in reality), we saw Rodeo Drive, Malibu, Santa Monica, Hollywood stars, West Hollywood and Venice beach.
  • The absolute highlight of my trip was the whole day tour at Warner Brothers Studios. So interesting to discover where many famous movies and tv-series were made! I learned plenty about the film industry in that day, and it was so exciting walking around on the real sets and look at props, costumes, etc. Took so many photos for once!


Which restaurants did we visit?

Unfortunately, not much partying on this trip because we were too jet-lagged. Had to skip several dinners in the evening because we fell asleep at 6 pm. But oh well, next time…

Here are some reviews:

The Ivy Beverly Hills – Cute decor, extremely busy, good food, felt a bit touristy.

The Ivy at The Shore (Santa Monica) – Same cute decor, same food, less busy and touristy.

Cecconi’s – Beautiful decor, bigger and better than the one in London, not many people at lunch, delicious food.

Mr. C (Cipriani) – Same decor and food as in all the Cipriani’s worldwide, up to standard, completely empty, it was us plus two more tables the entire evening, felt a bit disappointing due to that.

Catch – Good food with nice decor, loved the ambience!

The Beverly Hills Hotel – Had brunch here on New years day. Food was good, crowd was extremely mixed, it was nice to listen to a live band and the place was much smaller than I expected.

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Pool time in January 🌞

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Bazaar by José Andrés – The food was not great, the crowd was weird, and the decor was awkward. We sat on some very strange chairs, and the area where we were in the restaurant was a bit isolated

Nobu Malibu – The best restaurant of the entire trip. Every dish was superb, we got an amazing table with sea view, the crowd was still so-so, but at least the place was busy! If I come back to LA, Nobu (and Cecconi’s maybe) would be the only places I would re-visit.

…This was my review of LA!

Me and boyfriend agreed to come back here in peak season to compare the differences. I hope next time I get to see a busier side to the city, with better weather, more party and more people on the streets and in the restaurants. Perhaps coming the first time during winter season played a significant role in my negative impressions. I think it will change next time around!



About Author

Anna Bey is the founder of JetsetBabe and School of Affluence - and online educational platform helping women achieve elegance and get an affluent life. Visit for more info! P.S Don't miss her Youtube channel & Instagram.


  1. Hi Anna,

    I totally agree with your negative and positive comments on LA! It’s exactly how you described! Coming from a *crazy about socializing” country and living in LA for 12 years, I was in a total shock. Everywhere is too far and the traffic wastes your time almost everyday! Maybe you visited around holidays that’s why you didn’t see many jet set babes, most of the people here wear clothes that are too comfy not worrying about fashion. But!!! There are few places you could visit next time and spot few sauch as Waldorf Astoria rooftop bar, the Peninsula hotel Maestro’s in beverly, Hakkasan by MGM and the Americana! Those palces are packed if you visit early summer ❤️

    • Oh yeah I heard of some of these places, plus we wanted to stay at Waldorf Astoria initially, but changed it for Santa Monica as we thought beach and sunsets would be nicer. Will give LA another go during peak season!

  2. You are right about some aspects of LA but if you live in Beverly Hills or the Triangle around Beverly Hills than the distanceS are short for all you want to do….And you missed so many places that are not in any map or suggested by others… many restaurants and chic places to go to that are not IN your typical magazines or web sites.
    About the weather, it is the best as is always cool even in the summer with ocean breezes that come from the Pacific……YOU ALWAYS NEED A JACKET no matter time of the year.
    You have a great blog and i am glad you are back again…..and my blog is not too shabby……

  3. Hello JSB, I was curious to know if you’ve ever visited Manhattan, NYC? It might give you more of the vibe you’re looking for.

  4. Hi Anna

    Did you spot Tamara Ecclestone & Jay Rutland when you were at Nobu in Mailbu?? I noticed you both posted on Instagram at the same time – both having lunch there the same day 😊😊

    Maybe it’s the place and people go to LA for a more casual vibe to relax – less glam or perhaps the season as you said. Hope you enjoyed your trip!! So pleased you are back to posting again regularly xx

    • Oh really? No I didn’t see them. We didn’t sit in the main dining area as we were sitting on the terrace on the side with little tables, so perhaps that’s why…

  5. I just came back from my first trip in LA this past Christmas. I thought it was really crowded. I was only in LA for the day before moving on to San Diego. We went to Hollywood and Highland. There was a lot of people there and a lot of live entertainment on the street. Some of the live entertainment was a little inappropriate. But that was neither here nor there. Maybe because I am already American from the DC area, the amount of homeless people in the city NEVER shock me. I feel a lot of the bigger America Cities have homeless people. In NY to me it is much worse. So I did not notice that as much. I did notice that people were dressed more casual even in LA, I think that is starting to be a culture shift. And of course the people worship the Kardashians so they try to imitate them, I noticed alot of people dressed like that as well.

    • I guess there is a little difference between Europe and American and I thought there wouldn’t be since we’re both western countries. The homeless situation was the most shocking… I’ve seen homeless before, but not to this degree! :O

  6. i completely agree with your positive and (especially) negative points about LA. Coming from Europe, I could never imagine myself living there. I was also astonished by the lack of people on the streets, the tons of cars and the distances. I remember going for a walk to Downtown LA in the afternoon hours – I imagined a pedestrian zone, cafes and nice restaurants like everywhere in Europe when you go to a city`s centre, but instead, after office hours, it was just empty, closed, and full of less fortunate people, junkies etc. I also got the impression that people mostly socialise at home and in shopping centres and restaurants, which I found kinda boring. Also the people were very unclassy, especially Hollywood I found shocking – so dirty, unsafe and filled with cheap-looking spots, sex shops etc. The only LA area I liked was Santa Monica. Anyway, I much prefer NYC and in California-San Francisco, much nicer city with a more European vibe to it.

  7. Downtown LA is the worst for homeless. Google image Skid Row, you will be even more shocked.

    I agree. In general LA is more casual or girls following the Kardashian or Jenner style. The only place I can think of where people dress like Jet Set Babes is Soho House West Hollywood. Since it’s member’s or invite only, and filled with celebrities people try to dress a little nicer.

  8. I love the European style of luxury, refinement and sophistication! But LA has it’s own unique style of these things whereas New York just tends to imitate European style. LA is all about being cool and the luxury of not having to meet traditional/conventional expectations, of not needing to prove yourself (Although everyone still does. The key is to look casual so you don’t stand out but to wear the most elite casual. Only those with the most discriminating taste will notice and get it!) It’s about creativity, inspiration, innovation, freedom from old boxes and paradigms! In LA, it’s not about chasing after some pre-conceived notion of what elegance is. These ideas are usually rooted in what we aspired to when we were kids. In LA, it’s about the luxury of discovering new forms of elegance. Instead of defaulting to Chanel, discover who will be tomorrow’s “Chanel!” Hopefully this offers a different perspective! Here are some places to experience some LA-style luxury: shopping at Maxfield, the LA Philharmonic at Disney Concert Hall, The Broad Museum, Otium, Delilah

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