City guide: Los Angeles
Masako Kumamura is a native Japanese who has spent most of her life living in Europe, where she worked for many luxury fashion and jewelry brands, including Gucci, Boucheron and Alexander McQueen. She now resides in Los Angeles, where she works for Dita Eyewear, and shares with us some of her tips for the City of Angels.
What kind of traveler are you?
I like a combination of comfort and luxury. I travel a lot for business. I tend to fly early in the morning, land, shower, and go to meetings. Very often, I fly out immediately after my last dinner or event for that trip, meaning that the airport lounge must have a really clean shower room! And of course, it's always good to have a flight with a great flat seat!
I also appreciate hotels that have great service and allow me to check in early or have a nice gym, so I can get ready and work out before my breakfast meetings.
What is your favourite destination to date and why?
Tanzania during Christmas and New Year's. It was a family tradition, but now my kids are all grown up. We used to go on a safari for 8 days (3 different camps) and 5 days on Mnemba Island. My favorite New Year's party is on safari, around a campfire with the family and camp staff all singing and dancing to African music!
Pictured above: Mnemba Island (credit: &Beyond)
What are some of your must do's when you travel?
Running near the hotel in early morning, in cities where I feel safe to do it alone.
What are your 5 travel essentials?
- And for my personal travels, I love nature
If there was one celebrity vacation home you would like to live in for a week, whose would it be, and why?
Not sure about celebrity vacation homes, but I would like to try to go Nihiwatu Sumba Indonesia. I used to go Bali every summer in the mid 90s, but then it has since become overcrowded, so I don't go back as often now.
We understand that you live in LA now. Where are your favourite neighbourhoods to shop?
Melrose Place is nice for shopping and there are nice coffee shops to stop at to rest your feet in between boutiques.
Los Feliz is very LA now. There are many nice restaurants and cute shops in this neighbourhood.
Pictured above: Los Feliz (credit: LA Insider Tours)
What would you suggest as an itinerary for someone looking to see the best of LA in a whirlwind 2 days?
On Day 1, walk around Melrose Place for shopping and have lunch at Joan’s on Third (order the Asian chicken salad!) Then, take a leisurely stroll on 3rd Ave.
If you like shopping for home decor, go furniture shopping on La Brea or Highland Ave.
On Day 2, rent car and go to Montecito. Drive to Malibu (take the Pacific High Way) and have a late lunch at NOBU Malibu. Then drive to San Ysidro Ranch (I recommend staying the night and driving back the next day).
What is some key advice, from a local to a tourist?
When you are in LA use Uber, because parking is not easy in the city!
Otherwise, have a classy lunch at La Scala (get the chopped salad, without adding jalapeño on top).
Pictured above: E. Baldi (credit: Event Seeker)
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