STARS AND SHOPPING: If you've ever been to The Grove, the dancing-waters-laden shopping destination that's just about in the smack middle of Los Angeles, you know there's a bookstore close to the dancing waters. A lot of LA books are sold at the Barnes & Noble there, and some of them even deal with the topic "where to see stars." There's some fun advice to be found, but we also feel like there should be a sign next to the LA visitor books that simply says "look outside." Because The Grove? It's pretty starry. Nope, not all the time, but given the fact that "Extra" films there, and the park hosts a number of film-related promotions and events, you'll probably see some celebrity browsing for new jeans. In short, it's big with the stars, and it gets bigger at Christmas, with its giant tree lighting (set for Sunday, Nov. 11 this year). Which all means that a getaway to do some seasonal shopping? It's kind of over-the-top, as the holidays should sometimes be, at least in color and fun.
ENTER HOTEL WILSHIRE: The swank stay-over spot, which is located just a few blocks south and west of The Grove, understands the draw. So they've created a Grove Shopping Package for guests. You get a room or suite, a Grove gift card worth a hundred bucks (courtesy of American Express), valet parking at the shopping center, and a gift bag with Grove gewgaws. Price starts at $329. Parking at the hotel and a late check-out, in case you stay extra long at the Farmers Market-close center to watch its seasonal faux snowfall, is also part of the deal. The snow is truly faux, of course, and December in LA usually has some fine days, meaning you can take a dip in the Hotel Wilshire's rooftop pool. Talk about swanking things up.