Holmby Hills is highly sought after for its fantastic weather, prodigious lots with breathtaking views, and verdant backyards that cumulatively add to the neighborhood's revered mystique
The Holmby Hills area is located on the west side of Los Angeles, California. It’s home to some truly impressive mansions and one-of-a-kind views that will leave you speechless! I’m sure that’s why some of the biggest celebrities own homes here.
The area is bordered on the west by Beverly Hills, to the south by Westwood and Brentwood, to the east by Bel Air, and to the north by Hollywood. The neighborhood is generally regarded as one of the safest places to be in Los Angeles, and a conveniently central location that makes it easy to drive anywhere in the city.
The words “Holmby Hills” connote gorgeous, million dollar mansions, exorbitant luxury, and opulence. But what’s so great about this place? This article will tell you all the basics about Holmby Hills as well as some cool insider info you couldn’t get from the average travel magazine.
Holmby Hills might be known for its outlandishly expensive houses, but that’s just one of its many qualities. The area is also extremely safe and well-kept, not to mention centrally located in the greater Los Angeles area.
When the first Spanish explorers arrived in present-day Los Angeles, they found a thriving settlement of Tongva and Gabrielliño Native Americans. These native people had been living on this land for over 8,000 years!
The Spanish soldier Maximo Alanis was the first European on land that would later be known as Holmby Hills, Bel Air, Westwood and UCLA. He received his grant from Mexico’s Alta California Governor Manuel Micheltorena in 1843 for 438 acres (18 km2).
In 1859, he sold it to Benjamin Davis Wilson of early Pasadena development and namesake for Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains. In 1884, Wilson’s nephew John Wolfskill paid $10 an acre with plans on building a ranch house near present-day Mormon Los Angeles Temple which quickly developed into one of California’s most beautiful cities.
Arthur Letts Sr., the founder of Holmby Hills, purchased 400 acres of the original Wolfskill ranch for $100 an acre in 1911. He named the development “Holmby Hills,” loosely derived from his name’s origin as a tiny hamlet in England called Holdenby, and it was also the name of his estate in Hollywood. Before he could fulfill his ambition, Letts died suddenly in 1923. Harold Janss, the husband of Letts’s daughter Edna, took over the endeavor. Zoning for the neighborhood, which spans Sunset Boulevard, was intended to accommodate lots measuring up to 4 acres (16000 m2).
The avenues were named after places in Great Britain: Devon Avenue is named for Devon, a county in southwestern England; Charing Cross Road was dedicated to London’s Charing Cross junction; Conway Avenue honors Conwy in Wales, and so on.  In the 1920s, English-style streetlamps were introduced specifically for the neighborhood.
Sunset Boulevard was originally a two-lane country road known as Beverly Boulevard in the 1920s. When it was connected to the Pacific Ocean, it was renamed. Sunset Boulevard’s extension into a four-lane thoroughfare effectively divided Holmby Hills into north and south halves.
The first thing one might notice on arriving in Holmby Hills is that the streets are immaculately clean. Pristine sidewalks and beautifully groomed lawns stretch through the neighborhoods, and cul-de-sacs encourage people to take their time driving around instead of cutting through. At night, this impression continues as Holmby Hills becomes a well-lit city; street lamps illuminate every corner and signs for local businesses and schools light up the intersections, creating a safe and friendly environment.
Security is tight in Holmby Hills. After all, it’s not very easy to get into this exclusive neighborhood; you’ve got to really know someone who lives here or be prepared to pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of living in luxury (and we’re not talking about the housing market). The strict codes that govern residents come in all shapes and sizes, but they mainly focus on exterior design, landscaping, and noise. No one wants to live next door to someone who’s blasting music at 2 AM or has their leafblower going for 5 hours straight (seven days per week, don’t you know). Not that anyone would because everyone is home at that time or knows better than to do so. Homes are hidden behind hedges, trees, and other greenery–most of which are imported from all over the world. The codes exist mainly to maintain the aesthetics of this pristine neighborhood.
Holmby Hills is known for its exclusivity, with strict building restrictions that include prohibitions on “winged” windows and other styles popular in Beverly Hills. The homes are set back further from the street than elsewhere in the city, accessed by long driveways or twin gates. A notable feature of some upper-class neighborhoods—particularly those with a privacy wall, such as Holmby Hills—is the closed-circuit television cameras that are mounted along exterior street-facing walls and entryways. There are no sidewalks anywhere in Holmby Hills.
The community has a homeowners association called the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association.
The population was estimated at 1,775 in 2008.
It is considered one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles and is also known for its large concentration of mansion homes with celebrity residents. A star map showing the location of stars’ homes is prominently featured on the official website.
Noted residents of Holmby Hills include Jerry Perenchio, Tom Ford, and Dean Valentine (former CEO of Capital Records).
LAPD’s West Los Angeles Community Police Station serves the area. It operates out of a historic facility built in 1946; its commanding officer is Captain Cory Palka.
Lifestyle and People in Holmby Hills is an informative article about the lifestyle of the people in one of Los Angeles’ most affluent, upper-class neighborhoods, Holmby Hills. The article focuses on some of the wealthiest people in the world and how they live their luxurious lives in this affluent neighborhood. People in Holmby hills are described with “fine shoe leather”, “perfectly manicured eyebrows”, and “needle-nose pliers”. The article also describes the neighborhood of Holmby Hills with details including diamond necklaces, diamonds as big as golf balls, and secret doors that open into bathrooms.
The people of Holmby Hills live a lavish lifestyle that is simultaneously described as fun and enjoyable but also expensive and inaccessible by the majority of the population. It also explains that this neighborhood is so rich you do not have to wait in line at the grocery store, but instead, have a person there to take care of your every need.
The people who live in Holmby Hills are described with terms like “charisma,” “personality,” and “fun.” These are positive terms that describe the people of Holmby Hills in a way that makes them seem approachable.
Schools in Holmby Hills are generally of a high standard with students often studying at UCLA after finishing their education at one of these schools.
Harvard Westlake School is a prestigious K-12 co-educational private school located in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. Most students go to study at college and universities such as UCLA and USC after graduating from Harvard Westlake, if they don’t choose to attend an Ivy League university. The school has high academic standards with 98% of students going on to university and the average SAT score being 2230, over 200 points above the national average.
Warner Avenue Elementary School is a co-educational public elementary school located in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. The school educates students from pre-kindergarten all the way to sixth grade and it continues its education at nearby Bel Air or Beverlywood middle schools, which are both very good schools. The school has around 450 students.
El Rodeo School is a small school with about 140 students. It is one of the best private schools in California. It has small class sizes and can offer individual attention to all students. The school separates its curriculum for middle and high school students, who get to choose which classes they take.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California USA. The school has high academic standards and is popular among athletes due to its successful sports teams. 98% of students go on to study at a 4 year college or university after graduating from UCLA. It educates about 43,000 students a year and has a large alumni network.
Entertainment in Holmby Hills is characterized by its vibrant and engaging nightlife. The popular destination for all things entertaining lies just 15 miles from the Mid-City Lanes Rock N’ Bowl, on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Entertainment in Holby Hills often begins at nightfall, with visitors flocking to one of the many venues that line the streets of Holby Hills for a night on the town. At the top of the list are The Viper Room, a popular club located on Sunset Boulevard that features live music from up and comers. Drinks are relatively inexpensive at this hotspot, where patrons can enjoy a Pabst Blue Ribbon while they wait in line to get inside.
Non-nightly activities are also available in Holby Hills. The Charlie Chaplin Cottage is a popular attraction for visitors to the area, as the cottage showcases some of Charlie Chaplin’s most creative films with his signature comic walk. Visitors are encouraged to engage in interactive experiences throughout the cottage, including watching “The Rink” and taking a “Smile Test”.
The Oak Crest Mansion is also a popular destination in Holby Hills, as it has been used for a number of films, including the horror movie The House Next Door. Visitors can enjoy tours of the house while learning about its iconic past and its notable residents throughout time. In addition to being home to the likes of Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Joan Fontaine, Rock Hudson, and Marilyn Monroe at one point or another, it has also been the location for a number of films.
For history buffs looking to learn about Holmby Hills’ rich past throughout time, including notable residents such as silent movie stars Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, the town is also home to the restored Holby Hills Police Station, which was built in 1958. The station has been carefully preserved and features displays on its history. Visitors can book guided tours by appointment only.
Holmby Hills is considered one of the best destinations for clubbing enthusiasts in Southern California, hosting notable elite guests such as Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton. Home to trendy hotspots such as the Beau Rivage Nightclub, the Grove nightclub, and The Viper Room club, Holmby Hills is also home to several cafes and restaurants frequented by both locals and visitors.
The Pink Taco restaurant is located within its eponymous hotel on Sunset Boulevard. This eatery has served up unique dishes since 1999
There are several restaurants that are near Holmby Hills which are considered the best in Los Angeles.
Here is the list of places you can’t miss when in Holmby Hills!
This elegant restaurant is located in the famous Hotel Bel-Air and serves various types of meals that are to die for.
The ever famous Polo Lounge that has been around since the 1920s is a great place to eat and is a common spot for locals.
This restaurant is right at the Westwood Residencial Apartments and is a great place to eat breakfast or lunch.
This restaurant located at the UCLA campus serves amazing breakfast and brunch.
This is the place to go if you are craving Mexican food!
This is a great place to eat if you want a casual meal.
The Veggie Grill is a great place to eat some amazing-looking vegan food.
Holmby Hills is home to some of the most expensive mansions in the world, including those used by former president Ronald Reagan, actor Michael Douglas and socialite Denise Rich.
The Mansions in this area are ranging from $5 million to $82.5 million. The area is known for its extravagant and historical estates. Homes can be recognized by their architectural styles, which include French Châteauesque, Victorian, Tudor Revival, Georgian Revival, Post Modern Neo-eclectic, and Neoclassical.
In Holmby Hills, homes are generally large-scale estates that occupy vast pieces of land. In the neighborhood, there is a mix between flatlands and hills. Larger homes can be found on the higher ground while smaller bungalows tend to occupy lower areas. The architecture often follows the topography of the land.
Many of the houses have their own unique design elements, drawing inspiration from a variety of architectural styles including Spanish Revival, Tudor, Italianate, French Châteauesque, and others. Homes are sited on large lots with ample room for formal gardens. There are several official sub-neighborhoods within Holmby Hills with their own association, including South End, Westdale, North End, and Kendale.
Other popular Holmby Hills features include its homes’ innovative architecture and surrounding natural landscapes. The celebrities who live in the neighborhood sometimes design their own homes and decorate them, which contributes to the area’s appeal. Often, the streets are decorated with large celebrity-submitted photographs rather than address numbers.
The neighborhoods of Holmby Hills have a code that requires homes to be designed with a sense of their surroundings. The neighborhood is also known for its strict building codes: all new construction must include narrow setbacks from the street, exterior colors must be selected from a preapproved color palette, and homes cannot have steel or concrete garage doors.
The neighborhood is one of the most expensive and exclusive in Los Angeles. As a result, many celebrities feel it necessary to live in Holmby Hills so they can be close to their industry or social peers.
It has been said that “the land was so rich and the money so plentiful,” and it continues to be one of the most desirable, upscale neighborhoods in the United States today.
Directions: Sunset to South Mapleton Drive
Remarks: Located within prestigious Holmby Hills, this classic traditional estate by acclaimed builder Gordon Gibson sits on over an acre of land on one of the most coveted streets in Los Angeles! The private double-gated entry, expansive motor court, and circular drive open onto this timeless estate with rolling lawns, beautifully landscaped grounds, a glistening pool, and a lit tennis court.
Ideal for living and entertaining with an effortless flow and impressive scale, this beautiful home features a grand entryway with a dramatic staircase, an abundance of light, two large formal dining rooms, three expansive living rooms all surrounding a double-sided bar for social and family gatherings, a chef's kitchen, wood-paneled library with a fireplace, comprised of 5 bedrooms en suite, including a large master suite with dual bathrooms and spacious walk-in closets, a pool and spa with fountain features, and an abundance of parking. This is truly an incredible opportunity! Shown to pre-qualified clients only.
Directions: Sunset Blvd to N Thurston Ave to Thurston Cir
Remarks: A. Quincy Jones, Architect:: Nordlinger House #1, 1948. Historically significant modernist masterpiece; the first home for a client designed by A. Quincy Jones Tucked back from the street and resting on a slight knoll, this redwood-sided home presents a powerful facade with its projections, cantilevered balconies, and dramatic gardens.
A glass-enclosed stairway greets one at the entry which leads immediately to an open floor plan encompassing living, dining, and family rooms all serviced by the kitchen and boasting a peek-a-boo ocean view. A brick fireplace acts as the focal point in the living room with floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows that look out to more well-curated gardens and a beautiful pool in the generously sized backyard. Two family bedrooms and a housekeeper's suite make up the first floor. The master suite commands the entire second floor with its wrap-around balcony and distant city views.
Directions: South side of Sunset Blvd between Charing Cross Road and South Mapleton Drive
Remarks: Nestled on nearly three rolling acres in the heart of Holmby Hills is Paul Williams's largest original creation. With interiors of the grandest scale, The Azria Estate beams sophistication, timeless design, and an esteemed Los Angeles heritage. The 17-bed, 25-bath reimagined 1930s home proves to be an unwavering rarity across the globe to this day.
From the floor-to-ceiling Swarovski chandelier in the grand dual staircase foyer to the shimmering metallic leaf draping from the living room ceiling, the elevated design-centric elements are in idyllic contrast to Williams's quintessential colonial architecture. Sixty rooms in total, each with intricate trim work, voluminous window treatments, and bespoke finishes for a lavish sense of sophistication throughout. Amenities are complete with a separate 6000 SqFt structure that includes a grand theater and a gold ceiling dome library overlooking the manicured grounds. The terraced exterior and tranquil waterfalls lead to a glass-walled tennis court perched aside the Moroccan bathhouse and an inviting authentic hammam, all complementing the intricately blue tiled swimming pool. Cultural integrity completes the grounds with a Japanese Garden and teahouse, French Courtyard, and a romantic greenhouse. As a Paul Williams revival, The Azria Estate is truly a legacy property in prime Holmby Hills.
Directions: Prime lower Bel Air East Gate Location. Sunset Blvd to Stone Canyon.
Remarks: Prominently set on 2 verdant acres, this remarkable & rarely found estate of distinction & timeless design gracefully blends classic architecture, enduring style, spectacular wraparound views, park-like grounds, and a serene ambiance together with lower Bel Air's most convenient & prestigious location. An impressive, gated entrance, with appx 400ft of street frontage, brings you to a majestic white-brick Georgian overlooking panoramic vistas and the Bel Air Country Clubs scenic golf course fairways.
Custom built-in 2004 by one of LA's most esteemed real estate legends using the finest quality construction with a well-designed, 2-story floorplan in the main house, plus, a fabulous 2BR, 2.50 BA, 2,500sqft complete Guest House. Sophisticated & bright, the warm, inviting interiors are filled with natural light, substantial scale, high ceilings & groin archways, abundant large-scaled windows, beautiful crown moldings, and fabulous walls for art, limestone & hardwood floors, eight fireplaces, exterior copper appointments, & slate roof.
Gorgeous sprawling grounds with complete privacy filled with specimen trees, large lawns, verandas, rose gardens & a lushly landscaped backyard with an appx 70ft swimmers Pool & Spa. Gracious & chic, the Living Room, Card Room, stunning Library, New Theater & grand formal Dining Room are an ideal backdrop for entertaining. Enjoy the comfortable Family Room that adjoins a large, well-equipped Kitchen & huge Butler's Pantry. An exceptional Main Bedroom Retreat, w/appx 3200sqft, occupies one full wing of the residence and includes 2 offices, a sitting room, 2 luxurious baths & immense walk-in closets. Plus, there are 3 additional spacious ensuite bedrooms, an upstairs Gym, a staff room, & detached staff apartment.
The stately Guest House includes 2 bedrooms, 2.50 baths, an expansive Great Room with high ceilings, wraparound windows and veranda, an eat-in kitchen, and huge storage spaces. The expansive motor court, 5-car garages & onsite parking for approx. 50-cars completes this incomparable offering of one of the most admired estates in all of LA. Just moments to the heart of Beverly Hills' fine dining and shopping. For those looking for that rarified estate filled with prominence in an A+ Westside location. Co-listed with Tania Ferris, Coldwell Banker Realty.
The Holmby Hills of Los Angeles is a place that is no stranger to luxury.
Upon first impression, the subdivision may seem like a typical rich area with high-end properties and elite inhabitants. However, there are some interesting aspects of this neighbourhood that make it stand out from its neighbours. One such aspect is how many celebrities have called this place home. Whether it be for a short amount of time or their entire lives, many famous people have called this area their home.
One particularly interesting home is the Playboy Mansion, owned by Hugh Hefner and famous for hosting wild parties throughout its history. This mansion is considered to be one of Holmby Hills’s most iconic buildings and is well known for its Playboy-themed parties. However, at the end of 2016, it was announced that Hefner would be putting his home up for sale. This comes as no surprise to many who are familiar with the mansion’s history, due to the decline in popularity of Hefner’s infamous parties after 2000. It has been suggested that Hefner’s decision to sell the mansion is due in part to his aging, but there are many other reasons too.
The Moore Mansion has also been a historical Holmby Hills real estate hotspot. This home was purchased in 2014 by billionaire heir Robert F. Smith for $35 million. Its former owner, Floyd Moore, spent 20 years renovating the home with his wife, Kim Basinger.
The building of more homes on large properties that were once part of estates has caused the desirability of these types of properties to decrease. Some families are not interested in hosting parties for young adults any longer because it is no longer considered fashionable. The new wealthy are interested in new and modern homes.
Vacant lots on estates used to be common, but the desirability of these pieces of land is shifting and they are beginning to sell for huge sums. One such lot sold for $7 million after sitting vacant for almost 15 years.
The view that properties with large price tags will always sell is not accurate. When the economy is down, buyers are looking for deals. They want to make sure they are buying homes at a good price and getting good value for their money.
Above all else, home buyers are looking for luxury items in their new houses. They do not care about the location or view as much as they care about having an enormous home theater, a gymnasium, and an indoor pool.
Holmby Hills real estate has remained flat over the last year. Homes are continuing to sell, but they are not selling for any more money than they would have a few years ago. If you want to buy property in Holmby Hills, you will have to be prepared to spend the money that it takes.
Holmby Hills real estate is still looking good for buyers, especially considering the price of everything else in LA right now. The problem with this area is that only people who have a lot of money are buying homes here. People need to have an enormous amount of money just to buy their first house in this area.
In conclusion, Holmby Hills real estate is not as good as it once was, but if you have the money to spend on a house here then you will be excited by how much value your money can still buy. There are some homes that are sitting on the market for over a year now, which means that the prices are far too high for some people.
If you are interested, I’m here to help you find the perfect home for your needs in Holmby Hills! I know this is a place that will make my heart soar, and if it sounds like something of interest or maybe even an opportunity then please feel free to contact me at any time. With our combined efforts together let’s get Holmby Hills homes on sale so more people can have access to these amazing neighborhoods–and dreams come true.
All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While this information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes, or withdrawal without notice. All property information, including, but not limited to square footage, room count, the number of bedrooms, and the school district in property listings should be verified by your own attorney, architect, or zoning expert.
Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate.
Erik Brown, Realtor, Compass, DRE: 01958545. All Right Reserved