Top tips for spotting Tinseltown's finest

Top tips for spotting Tinseltown's finest
By admin

Sitting in LA's Chateau Marmont Hotel, it seemed pretty clear there was a life-sized Barbie heading my way.

Tall, willowy and dressed in a sequined white gown, her perfect blonde hair fell around her shoulders and a golden-tanned waist peeked out from two cut-out panels on either side of her dress.

"That's Paris Hilton, I'm sure of it," I said to my companion as the life-sized Barbie swanned into the bathroom.

Sure enough, it was confirmed when pictures of the socialite heiress, in that distinctive white dress, were splashed all over the gossip magazines when she made an appearance at an awards ceremony that very night.

But it's a strange thing spotting a celebrity in the flesh. The 2D photograph doesn't really reflect reality.

People make the same comments after they spot their idol in the flesh: "He was smaller than I expected" or "She was a lot thinner than she looked in photos".

Well, there's no better place to put this theory to the test than in LA.

It's the home of celebrity culture and Hollywood's hot property are everywhere, but there are some tips that can help with the starlet spotting.


At the Chateau Marmont, spotting celebrities is like shooting fish in a barrel. Celebrities flock to the renowned haunt just to bask in its general sense of superiority.

The key to entry, I found out, is to walk in as nonchalantly as possible.

My companion and I entered with shopping bags and casually sauntered past security, as though we were guests.

In fact, we were staying at another hotel in the downtown LA LIVE complex and had travelled to the West Hollywood establishment by train.

As we were leaving (having spotted Courtney Love and Vince Vaughn dining, separately, in the exclusive courtyard) we saw some young wannabes trying to enter.

Dolled up and certainly looking the part, the group paused briefly around the security guard and that was all it took.

Once you hesitate: all is lost.

The security guards, like wolves, have an eye for the weakest in the pack. Desperados and wannabes don't make it past.



In LA, people are very forthcoming and one of the hottest topics is celebrity: every one has their own Kardashian story.

Waiters in a cafe on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood happily spill the beans and, after some easy conversation, I find out the Madden Brothers have a favourite bar, The Pikey on Sunset Boulevard.

However, after an hour nursing a beer in this joint, the boys fail to make an appearance. I guess sometimes a gossip junky has to be content just knowing they were in the same place as their chosen celebrity.



That person next to you might be the next Ariana Grande and you don't even know it.

In this social-media dominated culture, people might be famous online which won't always be immediately obvious to the average Joe or Joanna Bloggs.

I get talking to two young hostesses at the launch of the Marriott Residence Inn Hotel at LA LIVE.

It soon transpires, sisters Helena and Maria, are a bit of an internet sensation.

The pair have had millions of views on their page singing covers of any one from Jay Z to Iggy Azalea.



The Celebrity Homes tours are fairly renowned. Most people know you can cram on to a bus with a load of tourists and trundle through the streets of Beverly Hills, while peering into garden walls and through gates at the homes of celebrities.

It's a tried and tested trip for most tourists in LA.

However, the latest kid on the block of bus tours is The TMZ Hollywood Tour. This bus journey is far more likely to give you your fame fix.

Hosts from the gossip site and TV show, TMZ, give the tours themselves and offer a somewhat more salacious experience than some over-the-fence peering.

If you're familiar with the site you'll realise this is a seedier experience, with the hosts happy to accost celebrities during the tour while they bring you to their hangouts – you're basically turning into a member of the paparazzi for the day.


LA is a town that likes to give its celebrities a reason to put on a gown and accept a gong, so it stages events.

During my stay in the LA LIVE area, the annual BET (Black Entertainment Television) awards are being held.

Guaranteed, pretty much everyone is a celebrity, or trying to be one.

Musicians mill around the area, a girl band with an unpronounceable name poses for photos, and rumour has it, Lionel Richie is in town.

Another prime celebrity spotting event is the Emmy Awards, set to take place on August 25 at the Nokia Theatre in LA LIVE.

Or, if you can venture further afield to the forum in Southern California, the recent MTV Video Music Awards also offer ripe celebrity pickings.

So really, fame fanatics, what are you waiting for?



Los Angeles is about a 14-hour flight from Sydney, about 13 hours from Brisbane, and about 19 hours from Perth.

Airlines including Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin Australia fly from major Australian airports to Los Angeles.


The recently opened Marriott Residence Inn in the downtown LA LIVE complex offers travellers some independence with a kitchen area attached to a large living area. The suites are large enough to accommodate a family and suitable for long stays and offer a complimentary breakfast.

The Marriott Courtyard Hotel in LA LIVE offers a similar experience on a slightly smaller scale; rooms generally won't have the kitchen option.

The average rates for Courtyard are from $US289 ($A312.69) a night and the Residence Inn from $US309 a night.

Residence Inn Reservations:

Courtyard Reservations:


For details on the TMZ Hollywood tour go to

The Staples Center is home to the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.

The Staples Center and The Nokia Theatre also host concerts, and Elton John, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry all due to perform there in the coming months.

LA LIVE is also home to the Grammy Museum which, alongside its vast array of music memorabilia, is hosting California Dreamin': The Sounds of Laurel Canyon. The exhibition charts the story of the Los Angeles rock scene from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s.

The Black Entertainment Television Awards are held yearly in June at various venues.

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