At the InterContinental Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, concierge Charles Hawkins draws on 23 years of experience to guide visitors to the best sights, sounds and meals in this Southern California mega metropolis. Here he offers expert guidance for business travelers.
What should business travelers pack when visiting your city?
A smartphone! Los Angeles is a car friendly city and very spread out. With your smart phone, you can order all types of transportation, from a taxi to an Uber and even an SUV with a driver. LA is a great place to use all those maps and apps you typically ignore.
What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
Craft (10100 Constellation Blvd.; Ph: 1-310-279-4180) is a great choice. It’s elegant, yet not stuffy, serving innovative American cuisine in a business-friendly atmosphere. You can have a conversation—everyone at your table or booth will be able to hear you. Plus, the servers are pros at handling business culture. Gulfstream(10250 Santa Monica Blvd.; 1-310-553-3636), near our hotel, is a perfect spot for a business lunch. It’s bright and lively with wonderful service and a terrific seafood menu.
What’s one thing that always surprises guests about your hotel?
Our guests love the fact that we are right next to the 20th Century Fox studio. Guests staying in a west-facing room look over one of the largest movie-production lots in the world.
If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles is very spread out, so I always suggest a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. In three hours you’ll cover a lot, ranging from Beverly Hills’ shopping mecca, Rodeo Drive, to world-famous Sunset Boulevard and, of course, Hollywood. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and always have fun facts about the city.
What’s the best option for outdoor exercise in your city?
For a true LA experience, hike the Runyon Canyon Trail, located in the heart of Hollywood. Runyon Canyon Park offers some of the best views the city has to offer and serves as a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.