Once Upon a Time in Hollywoodland

Experience Mid Century style at the Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills

Photo courtesy of MiniBar Hollywood, Facebook
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The Hollywood Hills hosts legendary concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, the occasional coyote in the wild, and grand estates that belong to the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Keanu Reeves and Billy Idol. And for the next few nights, you're staying at the foot of what was once known as "Hollywoodland."

Booth at The 101 Coffee Shop
Photo courtesy of The 101 Coffee Shop

You've got all of Sinatra's albums on vinyl and you've memorized the dialogue from Swingers. So you check in at the retro-inspired Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel, which is blocks away from Los Angeles classics like the Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre. But the hotel’s real pull is the 101 Coffee Shop. Before Highland Park and Echo Park became hipster hangouts, this was the hot spot - and you'll still see some OGs here. This sweet midcentury diner is renowned for its screen time in Swingers, along with a couple cameos on HBO’s Entourage. Plus, Johnny Knoxville and Juliette Lewis are among the celebs who have rambled in amongst the tourists, traveling musicians, and neighborhood regulars.

"LA" in the morning at Runyon Canyon
"LA" in the morning at Runyon Canyon | Instagram by @debililly

Boosted by the waterfall of freshly brewed coffee, you stroll down Franklin Boulevard and up into Runyon Canyon. Along the winding but easily walkable hiking trails, you can’t tell if it’s the sunlight or fate, but every other hiker looks like a Hemsworth brother or toned Miley Cyrus-type. You’re certain you spotted a soap star or two on your way to look out at the Hollywood Sign. In the golden light the morning’s magic hasn’t worn off, and the sign leaves your heart pumping as you turn back towards the hotel for a quick rinse.

King Guest Room at Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel
King Guest Room at Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel

Your new spot is much more modern than the vintage-inspired lobby—which is laden with photographs of Hollywood stars from every era—and your room has vibrant red pillows and a bathroom with granite countertops and a roomy shower.

Half rotisserie chicken with macaroni and cheese at Birds Hollywood
Half rotisserie chicken with macaroni and cheese at Birds Hollywood | Photo by Lewis Y, Yelp

Refreshed, you head out again on foot, towards nearby Franklin Village where you creep past the Church of Scientology’s Scientology Center (is Tom Cruise in there?), and bop around the neighborhood’s shops before a satisfying lunch of rotisserie chicken with mac and cheese at the laid-back Birds Hollywood. You while away the rest of the afternoon browsing the Daily Planet Book Store and Counterpoint Records & Books, then decide to catch an alt-comedy show at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. There, a surprise pop-in performance by Sarah Silverman leaves you grinning.

MiniBar Hollywood
Photo courtesy of MiniBar Hollywood

Still smiling, you treat yourself to “filet mignon et frites” at the next door French bistro, Le Poubelle. You slink back to the hotel’s swank mid-century style MiniBar for a nightcap. Suddenly, a sweet-talking creature is pulling up next to you. You order another round, for two. You're so money and you don't even know it.

Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills Hotel
6141 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles 90028
(323) 464-5181