Talent scouts may soon forsake the bars of Sunset Strip for the Crunch in West Hollywood (pictured; 8000 Sunset Boulevard; 323-654-4550). Members at Salma Hayek, Ben Affleck, and Carmen Electra’s gym are huffing their way through Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” and Sugar Ray’s “Every Morning” in a karaoke spinning class. “I’ll keep teaching this class until someone gets a record contract!” shouts the instructor for motivation. At the more austere Barry’s Boot Camp (1106 North La Cienega Boulevard; 310-360-6262), military enthusiasts enlist for four weeks of running, push-ups, and sit-ups. Those who miss the 5:30 a.m. start time can expect a wake-up call from the entire class. Those who soldier on and vomit after the strenuous regimen can expect a T-shirt. Who says the L.A. lifestyle is easier?
BETH LANDMAN KEIL
During Oscar week, when hotels double as celebrity crash pads and dressing rooms, the concierge has to promise a lot more than clean sheets and a stocked mini-bar. The Peninsula (pictured; 9882 South Santa Monica Boulevard; 310-551-2888), where Harvey Weinstein has regularly camped out, offers premium perks like free use of an Audi with its top suites. Estée Lauder and Vidal Sassoon are setting up temporary salons at the Four Seasons (300 South Doheny Drive; 310-273-2222), where InStyle magazine will distribute $600 party bags to hotel guests. Jimmy Choo, Concord, and Halston will be outfitting stars at L’Ermitage (9291 Burton Way; 310-278-3344). The Sunset Marquis (1200 Alta Loma Road; 310-657-1333), where Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz are staying, has stitched celebrity guests’ names onto their hotel bathrobes – all the more incentive to stash them in a suitcase.
Swimming Pools, Movie Stars
Leading ladies accustomed to having their tresses trimmed by stylists who make house calls are leaving their guarded gates to slip into the Sally Hershberger at John Frieda salon (8440 Melrose Place; 323-653-4040). The space includes an orchid-filled courtyard and an indoor pool, though no client has taken a dip yet. Michelle Pfeiffer and Natasha Richardson have already popped in for one of Hershberger’s choppy coifs. And though the cuts may sound steep at $400, they make a star out of every client – the price includes a take-home video of all the scissor-and-spray action.
In the city where spa cuisine was first cooked up, and where the meal of the moment is the Zone diet’s delivery plan, some underfed stars still venture out to dine. Giorgio Baldi (114 West Channel Road; 310-573-1660) has emerged as L.A.’s Da Silvano or Nick & Toni’s – a Tuscan-inspired celebrity haunt for Pacific Palisades locals like Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, and Goldie Hawn. Evenings at the four-month-old Sunset Room (pictured; 1430 North Cahuenga Boulevard; 323-463-0004), a forties-style supper club, are less sedate: The outdoor cabanas have already become the VIP area for leading lotharios like Leonardo DiCaprio, Rod Stewart, and Sean Penn, and Mick Jagger has made the dance floor his stomping ground.