West Hollywood, or WeHo as the locals call it, is the must-visit area in LA for the in-the-know traveller. Just a short trip from Tinseltown, it’s the perfect base from which to explore the best in Californian bars, restaurants, nightclubs, pools and shops. From Rodeo Drive and Melrose Avenue to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Sunset Boulevard, discover and marvel at the landmarks made iconic in fiction and film before experiencing local haunts that make the place so unique. And while Los Angeles nightlife was once seen as the Wild West in comparison to New York's vibrant club culture, that’s all changed – it now boasts a huge array of venues to suit any musical taste. So if you find yourself in WeHo (you can fly from London with Air New Zealand) check out our favourite five spots to party up a storm.
Head to 1 OAK for high odds spotting some very famous faces, with the likes of Kanye West and Katy Perry fans of its dancefloor. An upmarket crowd throw their moves to the sounds of funk and hip-hop while partying under 1,000 motorised lights, which are all controlled by the DJ.
If you want to see a piece of WeHo history take a look at the private entrance into the nightspot, where there is an old tour bus from when the venue used to be the famous Key Club. Artist Roy Nachum has provided works for the wall, which are all encased in glass.
The club doesn’t have a cocktail list, but prides itself on its extensive bar offerings.
The Abbey is the jewel in the crown of West Hollywood’s gay club scene. Get ready for gyrating hunks dressed in PVC shorts and not much else busting their moves on podiums. The music is loud and proud, and they do a mean selection of shots to get you gyrating on the dancefloor. This venue, does, after all, hold the largest Bacardi account in the US. If you want to be in the know, and still like big tunes with a slightly more low key vibe, join the locals next door at The Chapel. You can even enjoy a spot of tea and cake in there in between dance classics.
The Blind Dragon
Ever entered a club through a garage, a shipping container, a kitchen then a walk-in fridge? The new trend in La La Land is to start your clubbing experience before you get in the venue, and The Blind Dragon is one such place embracing it.
This karaoke venue, unsurprisingly given the name, has a main lounge decked out like a Twenties opium den, and is owned by the same people who run celebrity hotspot The Nice Guy.
Crimson sofas, black lacquer, hanging lanterns and an extensive sake menu create a sensory explosion. And if you fancy doing your best Mariah Carey impression, you can enter one of the three private karaoke rooms, which are also designed to look like shipping containers, and feature rather fancy leopard print carpets.
If live music is your thing then a visit to the iconic Troubadour venue is a must. This intimate live music space has played an important role in the careers of hundreds of artists, including Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay and just about any band who gigs in LA. Go and see any performance and it’s likely there will be more than a few famous faces in the crowd.
The Nice Guy
The Nice Guy is a club that isn’t quite a club, and a restaurant which is a little bit more than just a dining spot. It is in fact the perfect hybrid of both. Styling itself as a members club, The Nice Guy was created by John Terzian and his partner Brian Toll. Their aim was to give their high-profile friends something which delivers more than just dinner and more low-key than a rave-like rager.
This nightspot is one of the hottest in WeHo right now – you’ll be fighting your way through the paparazzi to make it to the door.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself nibbling on The Nice Guy’s delicious pizza sitting within touching distance of Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik.
Fly to LA with Air New Zealand and you’ll enjoy one of the best economy seats in the sky. Enjoy a dining experience full of super-fresh ingredients, as well as an extensive range of premium New Zealand wines. Sit back, relax and watch the most recent blockbuster movies and TV shows, arriving in LA fresh and ready to explore.