Ready for the social whirl? These fresh and freshened-up sweet spots welcome showbiz events.


Los Angeles County Museum of Art
“For some movies, LACMA’s cultural context is the perfect venue,” says LACMA’s director Michael Govan. “The Tree of Life” used the 600-seat Bing Theater for its L.A. premiere, while “The Rum Diary” followed a few months later in October, world premiering in the theater while taking advantage of the museum’s outdoor space. The theater’s new digital projector is by Barco; Patina Catering is the venue’s exclusive caterer. Afterparties have the option of using Ray & Stark’s Bar (opened in March and named for film producer Ray Stark), where mid-century influenced design by architect Renzo Piano (indeed, the Piano-designed Resnick Pavilion is just across the courtyard) and modern Mediterranean cuisine by chef Kris Morningstar deliver a polished atmosphere and high-end cuisine.
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Phone: (323) 857-6039

Conceived by entertainment lawyer Josh Saltman and Kabrel Polak, Vodvil offers game night in retro-1970s style. The versatile restaurant and bar can be divided into smaller spaces or booked outright for up to 200 guests; up to 20 can fill a cushy karaoke room. Trivia games can be customized for any event. More than just a bar or club, Vodvil provides “participatory entertainment,” says Saltman.
Address: 351 N. Fairfax
Phone: (323) 951-0406

The Churchill
From the owners of West Hollywood’s the Hudson, the brand new, mid-city restaurant can be broken out into three event spaces including a private dining/screening room that holds 30 and is fully outfitted with a 60-inch plasma TV and Surroundsound. The look is rustic American (reclaimed wood tables) and the menu favors seasonal specialties. A California-centric wine list and artisan cocktails complement the 20 craft beers on tap.
Address: 8384 W. Third St.
Phone: (323) 650-8384


St. Regis Aspen Resort
Slated to re-open Nov. 7, the St. Regis is near the end of a $40 million facelift: from rooms to the refinished pool deck, Lauren Rottet’s redesign of this property dramatically connects interior spaces to the outdoors and Aspen Mountain views. The resort’s 25,000 sq.ft. of ballroom and meeting space was also reworked with palatial decor, reflecting the gilt-edged era of St. Regis’ founder John Jacob Astor.
Address: 315 East Dean Street
Phone: (888) 454-9005; (970) 920-3300


James New York
Across from the Tribeca Film Fest headquarters, the James Hotel connects well with the showbiz crowd. The year-round rooftop bar, Jimmy at the James, has remarkable views from the Empire State Building to the Hudson River to lower Manhattan. An ultra-contempo design by Thomas Schlesser and scenic pool deck combine for a sparkling event backdrop. On the ground floor, David Burke Kitchen has several spaces for private events such as the Treehouse bar and wine cellar.
Address: 27 Grand Street
Phone: (212) 465-2000

PH-D at the Dream Downtown
A polished Las Vegas-club atmosphere, outdoor terrace, high-end sound system and panoramic views attract the party people to PH-D, which opened in June atop the Dream Hotel in Chelsea. Michael Bay booked it for the “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” preem afterparty; the club’s opening saw Leonardo DiCaprio in the house. Among its attractions: a heavy hitter nightlife management team that also oversees the Lavo, Marquee and Tao nightclubs.
Address: 355 W. 16th St.
Phone: (212) 229-2511

Formerly home to a nightclub, Zio’s high ceilings and expansive space lend themselves well to private parties like Tory Burch’s recent Fashion Week fete. Several flat-screen TVs help facilitate product launches. (Full buyout equals a 350-person capacity.) The Flatiron District boite comes with a cool downtown vibe (but not too far downtown) and crowd-pleasing Italian cuisine. Zio’s Vineyard room, with high-tech A/V, is a private dining/meeting room option.
Address: 17 West 19th St.
Phone: (212) 352-1700


Restored to its original Art Deco design details, the hotel’s 3,000-square-foot ballroom complements the hotel’s other facilities, booked almost weekly for film junkets. With its own streetside entrance, the ground-floor ballroom now gleams in silver leaf; windows have been expanded to allow in more natural light. Luxury fashion brand Mulberry debuted its spring/summer 2012 collection during London Fashion Week in the ballroom, which has been restyled in bright 1970s colors, to an audience that included Kate Moss and Kristin Stewart.
Address: Brook Street, Mayfair
Phone: +1 44 800-800-72869; +1 44 (0) 20 74 09 65 00

45 Park Lane
The 45-room luxury hotel from the Dorchester Collection (same ownership as the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air) opened in September. Aiming for the upscale of the upscale market, interior was designed by New York-based Thierry Despont; Damien Hirst artworks hang on the first floor. A mezzanine level media room has 10 cushy armchairs and the coveted 103-inch Bang & Olufsen 3D TV. An outpost of Beverly Hills showbiz power eatery CUT — Wolfgang Puck’s first European venture — is on the ground floor.

Address: 45 Park Lane, Mayfair
Address: 45 Park Lane, Mayfair
Phone: +1 44 (0) 20 74 93 45 45


Montage Deer Valley
Five miles from Park City’s Main Street, in the woodsy Empire Canyon, the Montage is intentionally private. The tony resort often hosts high-profile industryites and will be the site of the major Sundance Institute Artist at the Table gala pre-fest fundraiser for the second time in 2012. New this year: Vista Sushi, where up to 40 can be seated for private dinners. Daly’s Pub is a cozy after-hours alternative, equipped with a regulation bowling alley and Nintendo Wii lounge. Outside, the resort has added a skating rink and snow-tubing park.
Address: 9100 Marsac Ave.
Phone: (435) 604-1300

Social engineering | Upgrades offer a new luxe on life | Space craft