The Millennium Biltmore is a place that you must go. Absolutely, without a doubt, if you have a vintage loving bone in your body; you MUST get to this gorgeous place! I’d been told that it was located in a somewhat dodgy end of town (being downtown LA), but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. In fact, downtown LA turned out to be my favourite part of the town with all the historic architecture and signage that makes the USA such a unique place to visit. I wish I’d had a whole day to just wander the streets photographing all the exquisite old buildings and signage that still remained from the early 20th century. The Orpheum, the stocking manufacturer, the simple business that had kept and maintained their company image from the 1930’s. These are all the things you see when you walk through the city and look up.
After our big day aboard the Queen Mary, we were searching for something serious in the way of food, but like usual, we had no plans and just went were our feet took us. It seems that our feet have very good homing instincts because after a short walk we found ourselves in the very cool and very retro, Johnny Rockets – with the place all to ourselves! Our server, Brian, was an absolute gem; recommending places to go, drawing maps, making us malted milks and generally having a laugh with these crazy dames from Australia. It is meeting people like this in your travels that make days so much more memorable, and not a day went by that we didn’t collect a new friend.
My very first Philly cheese steak, and it did not disappoint!
Thanks Brian; you’re fantastic!
So back to the Biltmore where things get really fancy. Completed in 1923, the Biltmore hosted 8 Academy Awards between 1930 and the 1940’s. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel all the more special just by standing in her hallways, and certainly the type of place you should dress to match; which we well and truly did!
There is such a sense of grandeur and occasion in this hotel, the type I’ve never experienced before. I’ve stayed in some pretty swanky modern hotels across the world, but this is totally different. Lining the hallways were photos of my favourite Golden Years of Hollywood stars, treading where I was and looking right at home. Carmen Miranda, Shirley Temple, Jane Russell…. it makes you feel a part of that fantasy world you always wished you could visit. If you’ve ever thought that the best thing to do is check out the foot prints on the walk of fame to walk in your idols shoes, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is everything the walk of fame isn’t. While that space (still a must do at least once) is grotty, touristy and feels totally bastardised by 21st century consumerism, the Millennium Biltmore is the antithesis. Serene, elegant, transcendent… this is the real walk of fame to me.
I think you get the picture of just how stunning this place is.
Tomorrow It’s touch down in Las Vegas!…
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