A first-class flight on American Airlines.

Girlfriends are the way to travel these days. And L.A. is the place to be.  It’s not just high-powered stars like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift who find that kindred spirit in each other.

For us mere mortals, it’s nice when you’re with a friend with a curling iron you can borrow.  Or wants to go grab a mani-pedi.

So we decided to jet over to LA and “live like a star” for a week.

We started off with a first-class flight on American Airlines.

First class is convenient when you’ve got a lot of luggage – my son moved to LA, so I had to carry all his stuff with me and at least made use of my luggage allowance.

While the seats and service were excellent, I do wonder: how can such a high price tag of $2,566 (R48,472) round trip not include Admirals Club lounge access and free wifi?

Beverly Hills Hotel corner suite with balcony

I landed at LAX with my girlfriends Melissa and Madison Leonard of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we were off to the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel.

The hotel, part of the Dorchester Collection of Hotels (9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California 90210), has 210 guest rooms and suites with 23 bungalows boasting stunning views of Beverly Hills.

The entire property is decked out in a Mediterranean revival style, which includes tropical blue-green wallpaper and lots of dusty pink in all shades.

And most of all, this hotel is closely associated with Hollywood’s crème de la crème – which I experienced the first night we arrived.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and star of “Suits”, was standing right there in the car park, waiting to be picked up, while we were also waiting for the hotel’s black car (complimentary within a 3-mile radius) on the way to dinner.

She was looking very relaxed, kind, and, as always, impeccably dressed in a Ralph Lauren button-down shirt with sunglasses tucked in the fold.

We chatted happily, shook hands, and took a photo together.

That photo got over a half million views on X (formerly known as Twitter) and over a dozen news articles, including Vanity Fair and People Magazine.

I turned down multiple requests for interviews because, at the time, I didn’t want to say where we saw Meghan

The photo with Meghan Markle spawned numerous news stories, covered by outlets such as Vanity Fair. Photo: Vanity Fair.

to protect her privacy.

Photos, in general, are not permitted at the hotel, especially for guests who are not staying on the property (believe me, they know who’s staying and who’s not).

The pool area had signs posted to that effect.  Still, we couldn’t help but grab a quick shot of the beautiful coconut emblazoned with the hotel’s logo.

Even the coconuts by the pool have the hotel’s iconic logo.

Celebs enjoy the detailed service and the warm atmosphere.

At breakfast, I chatted over a carrot ginger smoothie with reality star Lisa Rinna at the coffee shop.

Music artist Charly Jordan, who has 8.1 million followers on TikTok, walked in with actress Heather Dubrow; actor Ashton Kutcher was having a drink in the Polo Lounge.

Fashion designer Betsey Johnson, whom I interviewed before at New York Fashion Week, talked about how much she loved living in L.A.

With designer Betsey Johnson in the Beverly Hills Hotel lobby.

One of my favorite parts of the hotel is its grand red carpet entrance paired with its emerald green and white striped ceiling.

It made for an excellent backdrop for us before heading out to SoFi Stadium for the Rams-Eagles football game.

Dressed in our Philadelphia Eagles dresses at the hotel’s red carpet entrance.

As for any sporting event, but especially at SoFi, leave early and remember your clear bag for entrance (no backpacks or large bags are allowed.)

Finally, it was back to the Polo Lounge for one final cappuccino – and into the traffic to get my flight home. Until the next adventure!