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A Travel Blog from the Editors of T+L

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L.A.'s Arts District

Arts District Los Angeles

Edgy studios and industrial-chic restaurants outnumber palm trees in L.A.’s Arts District, on the southeastern corner of downtown. Here’s how to tap into the new energy.

Follow the Shepard Fairey and Kim West street murals to find the Box, mixed-media star Paul McCarthy’s contemporary exhibition space. Look for an international roster of experimental filmmakers and performance artists. 805 Traction Ave.

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5 Iconic Beverly Hills Hotels

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To celebrate the city's centennial, five iconic Beverly Hills hotels have dedicated a suite to a different era.

Beverly Hills Hotel, Dorchester Collection (pictured)

The Vibe: Tinseltown glamour in a tropical-resort setting with classic Hollywood touches (banana-leaf wallpaper; Art Deco lobby; that famous sign).

Who Goes: Hollywood players making deals at the Polo Lounge; families who love the pool and breakfast at the coffee shop.

The New Suite: The 1950’s-style room has a brick fireplace, coved ceilings, and curvaceous furniture inspired by Marilyn Monroe, a frequent guest. $$$

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Designer Clare Vivier’s Guide to Los Angeles

Clare Vivier

The latest “it” handbag designer knows a thing or two about L.A.’s hottest hoods: she lives in Echo Park and her namesake store is in boho Silver Lake. Vivier leads us around her east-side haunts.

Stay: “The Moroccan-style Figueroa Hotel ($), a former YWCA residence, is soulful like the Chateau Marmont—but very affordable.”

Eat: “I’m half Mexican, so tortillas are important. The ones that Bar Amá ($$) serves with its fajitas and tangy ceviches are delicious. At Taix ($$), a classic steak-frites-and-mussels brasserie, I always sit in the dimly lit bar area, which attracts everyone from hipsters to cops.”

Shop: Mohawk General Store carries great clothing, including Japanese-inspired knitwear from local line Black Crane. En Soie, a heritage label from Zurich, is filled with textiles and pottery—plus hard-to-find E. Porselli ballet flats.”

Do: Echo Park, which has been immortalized in so many movies, was just beautifully restored; you can rent a paddleboat for the lake.” —as told to David A. Keeps

Photo by Jessica Sample

Q+A with Screenwriter Dan Fogelman

The Guilt Trip

For most, a cross-country road trip with Mother would end in tears or bloodshed (or both). But for screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love; Cars), one he took inspired this month’s The Guilt Trip, starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. Here, Fogelman reveals a few parent-approved pit stops.

Q: What were some highlights from the road?
A: We drove to Memphis to see Graceland—you have to do that. I tried to stay on Route 66 to go through small towns; it’s like stepping into the 1950’s.

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Opening: Marcel Wanders’s Andaz Hotel in Amsterdam

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

Renowned for his fantastical interiors, Netherlands-born designer Marcel Wanders will do his hometown proud with the 122-room Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel, opening this summer. Delft blues, nautical motifs, video installations, and custom furniture redefine a 1960’s library as both an ode to Holland’s 17th-century charms and a hub for today’s creative class. “I want people to bathe in the universe of Amsterdam,” Wanders says, “to soak up all its beauty and potential.” 587 Prinsengracht. $$$

Photo by James Merrell

Q&A: Director Kevin Macdonald

For his new documentary, Life in a Day, director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) teamed up with YouTube users to create a crowd-sourced 90-minute snapshot of 24 hours around the world. T+L checks in.

Q: Why did you make the film?
A:
To look at the nuanced details of people’s existences in different places. Instead of the Pyramids, you see a graveyard in Cairo, where people actually live.

Q: Did any of the videos make you want to travel?
A:
There’s footage from Angola of women singing as they grind corn. I would go just to hear that music.

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L.A.’s New Vintage-Inspired Hotel

Mr. C Beverly Hills

A Bellini with your room key? That’s a given at the just-opened Mr. C Beverly Hills. After all, that’s C as in Cipriani—known for legendary restaurants and cocktail lounges around the world. Brothers Ignazio and Maggio created a hotel in the former Loews Tower that is true to their Italian roots, with Old Hollywood touches: a travertine-and-rosewood-clad lobby, decked out with Eames loungers and Egg chairs, gives way not to a check-in desk (which is hidden from view) but to a swank, Jazz Age–style bar and Italian restaurant serving freshly baked pizzas and house-made pastas. An updated 1930’s ocean-liner glamour defines the 138 rooms—vintage black-and-white photos and burgundy Chesterfield sofas line the neutral-toned walls—while private balconies overlook the teak pool deck. In a city where dramatic entrances are de rigueur, Mr. C has just made his. 1224 Beverwil Dr., Beverly Hills; 877/334-5623; doubles from $349.

David Keeps is Travel + Leisure's Los Angeles correspondent.

Photo by Jessica Sample

Q&A: Writer Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux

In The Tao of Travel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $25), out this month, the peripatetic writer compiles wisdom from an array of literature and life on the road. Here, he shares a few tidbits with T+L.

Q: Other than writing, how do you document your adventures?

A: I collect knick-knacks people have used, like snuff boxes and voodoo figures. There’s a Polynesian word, mana, meaning the spiritual power of an object—those things appeal to me.

Q: What have you learned from other writers?

A: As Flaubert said, when you’re traveling, you realize how small you are. Dollars are helpful, but a smile is more valuable.

Q: Is there a 21st-century Grand Tour?

A: In the 19th century, it was London, Paris, Rome, and Greece. Today it’s a global buffet: a safari in Africa, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, and the Carnival, in Brazil.

Photo by Steve McCurry

Ken Burns’s Travel Itineraries

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Ken Burns, whose documentaries about our nation have taught us more than any textbook, believes that American history “doesn’t have to be a dose of castor oil.” To prove it, he’s joined forces with 85-year-old tour operator Tauck (tours from $4,390) to create customized U.S. itineraries based on his most beloved sites and subjects. “As a filmmaker, I’ve had access that many people don’t get,” Burns says. “I’m excited to share my experiences.” A 10-day tour of six national parks takes in the Grand Canyon as well as Arches, in Utah, a personal favorite of Burns’s, and includes a private “flight-seeing” adventure over Capitol Reef National Park. Burns is planning Tauck’s five-day jaunt to New Orleans in October. His favorite spots in the Big Easy: “Arnaud’s for Creole food and Preservation Hall for music are classics.”

David A. Keeps is a contributor to Travel + Leisure

Photo by George Long

Francis Ford Coppola’s New Culinary Projects

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Director and vintner Francis Ford Coppola gives T+L the scoop on his Francis Ford Coppola Winery, in Sonoma, California, and his soon-to-open Palazzo Margherita, in Basilicata, Italy (coppolaresorts.com).

What’s on the menu at the winery? It’s a family resort, but with no hotel. You can swim, play bocce, see movie memorabilia, and eat at Rustic. The menu has all my favorite things: for meat, we have an Argentine parrilla grill. For dessert, there’s a cream puff with a cannoli filling my mother used to make. And to drink, our Archimedes Cabernet or caipirinhas.

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