I shop everywhere, but my browse of choice is easily the hotel gift shop. Whether they’re nestled in the bowels of a five-star compound or situated in an ultramodern lobby adjacent to the concierge, there are a few in the Los Angeles area that merit a solid swoon. Don’t miss these five:
The K-Town outpost of Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung’s boutique (the flagship is in DTLA’s Arts District) carries things you had no idea that you needed—like the eternally popular “Koreatown Los Angeles California” tote, P.F. Candle Co. wicks that smell like hipster forests, and pithy greeting cards. After continually selling out of their Freeway card, they branched out into mugs (below). They also host the occasional workshop on things like bookbinding and calligraphy.
The boutiques at Terranea aren’t just for tourists. Palos Verdes locals come here for high-end gifts, too. Pointe Discovery carries outdoorsy accessories, TOMS, and science-inspired kids toys, and the Marea boutique spreads across three rooms filled with jewelry, flip-flops, Trina Turk and DVF dresses, and swimsuits for all ages. The Spa at Terranea shop carries a zen-like amount of aromatherapy lotions and candles.
EeBoo Science BINGO at Pointe Discovery
Of course you can find custom guitar strings and Ace Hotel onesies at the Front Desk Store at the historic United Artists building-turned-hotel. The check-in desk is literally right in the middle of a retail space that carries vintage inspired Seea swimwear in futuristic fabrics, jewelry collaborations, and Amoeba-curated albums. The furry wall behind the desk is right out of Get Him To The Greek.
Wings + Horns Bathrobe
Winston Churchill slept here. So did the Duke of Windsor, and Wallis Simpson, and just about every celeb from Greta Garbo to Charlie Chaplin. The shops housed on the Promenade Deck of the luxury liner berthed in Long Beach went through an upgrade last year to match the gorgeous restored interior. Now you can browse the Portside Marketplace (the women’s boutique in the former First Class Library), the Centerline Boutique (high-end sweets), the Malibu Wines Tasting Room, and the Starboard Shoppe (a gents’ shop in the ship’s former Drawing Room)—if you can stop ogling the art deco woodwork long enough to spend some dough.
The gift emporium at the SLS at Beverly Hills is a dimly lit, open air affair with arty wares displayed under glass—everything from Piero Fornasetti tables and chairs, candles that smell like cocktails, and copious amounts of Uno de 50 jewels. The shelves hold Assouline coffee table books the size of, well, coffee tables.