The Getty Museum is a must for culture seekers, but navigating the hustle-bustle of West Los Angeles can be intimidating. Most people do not realize that anyone can stay overnight at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades as the giant clubhouse is also a small boutique hotel. This would be a great fit for a visit to the famed museum or any other event that draws you to this area.
Riviera Country Club is no more than a 15-minute drive along Sunset Boulevard from The Getty. This neighborhood setting is very upscale and more relaxing than most visits to the West L.A. area. On my way down, I would take Las Posas Road in Camarillo over to Highway 1 and cruise through Malibu on my way to Pacific Palisades.
The coast route through Malibu offers views equal to the drive from Ventura to Santa Barbara. Keep your eye on the road, though, as the driving gets a bit more congested the closer you get to L.A.’s west side.
The Getty Center Los Angeles is home to an extensive presentation of pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts. The setting is equal to the collection with its hilltop location in the Santa Monica Mountains overlooking much of the coastal Los Angeles area. The modernistic buildings have been positioned along a natural ridge and feature numerous courtyards and terraces to take advantage of the surroundings. They were constructed of travertine stone brought in from Italy, totaling 16,000 tons.
The art is certainly captivating and the main draw, but most visitors will be equally drawn to the Central Garden. Designed by Robert Irwin, this 134,000-square-foot design features a natural ravine and tree-lined walkway that runs along a stream. The variety of plants changes as you head toward a waterfall and reflection pool. This is a very relaxing spot to take a break.
Exhibitions currently on focus are the New Galleries for Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture and Decorative Arts as well as Greetings from L.A.: Artists and Publics 1950-1980. The Getty also features daily tours devoted to the architecture and the gardens. Go to Getty.edu for complete information.
The most famous golf club in Southern California is without a doubt Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. The club has been around since the ‘20s, but it was Ben Hogan who put Riviera on the map. He won the 1948 U.S. Open here, which until 2008 was the only time the event was played in Southern California. The grand clubhouse actually has 30 hotel rooms available when not in use by the members.
The Riviera Country Club is located in the heart of Pacific Palisades. The location is ideal for all kinds of possible visits. You are not more than a 20-minute drive to Beverly Hills or Westwood. LAX is within half an hour, and Santa Monica is right next door. The coast route through Malibu is actually a faster way to get to Riviera.
As you turn off Sunset Drive onto tiny Capri Avenue, the gated entrance awaits. The circular driveway takes you to the majestic club entrance and lobby area. The entire clubhouse is adorned with golf memorabilia from the club’s origin to present day. It is astounding to see the aerial photographs of the property when it opened. In the ‘20s, Pacific Palisades was out in the country with almost no structures in sight. The club’s storied past is revisited annually when the PGA Tour stops by for the L.A. Open.
Just down the large circular staircase from the lobby are the club’s dining room and pro shop. The rooms are on the second and third level of the clubhouse and are much larger than a normal hotel room. They have been updated recently, and most offer a view out to the famed golf course below. This is a very elegant and unique lodging option for West L.A., and one that is somewhat of a secret. For further details, visit TheRivieraCountryClub.com, and scroll down to Guest Rooms. You will still need to be a guest of a member to play the golf course.