Big Spender story gallery

A look at the big business of catering to those with cash to burn. Send ideas to

  • Big Spender: Luxury summer digs in town

    Big Spender: Luxury summer digs in town

    The kitchen remodel on your Bel-Air mansion isn't quite finished. You're sick of the construction crews, the dust, the noise. Pack up some clothes and head this summer to a fully furnished luxury apartment in town. Some options:$15,250At Villa Malibu, your apartment includes catered Sunday brunch,...

  • A posh ride, for a day

    A posh ride, for a day

    Next time you see an A-list celebrity sliding behind the wheel of an Aston Martin or Bentley, don't be so sure it wasn't rented for the night. You too can cruise down PCH in a convertible Lamborghini. Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car stocks a wide selection of exotic and prestige autos -- and it'll deliver...

  • Another buck on the barbie

    Another buck on the barbie

    Eat your heart out, Bobby Flay. These sleek, shiny grills and accessories from Viking -- the Rolls-Royce of kitchen appliances -- will have neighbors scaling your fence in hot pursuit of the wafting smell of smoked rib-eyes. Jeff Black, whose family has owned California Home Spas & Patio in Long...

  • The sound of excess

    The sound of excess

    Big Spender keeps her ear to the ground, and recently heard the sound of money emanating from a luxury home in the hills of Tarzana. Listen up, audiophiles.

  • Haute Tea

    Haute Tea

    Don't even think of tossing this tea into the harbor. Relax, sip, maybe even raise that pinkie finger in the air. At Le Palais des Thes in Beverly Hills -- an offshoot of the France-based tea emporium -- co-owners Randy Arnold and David Barenholtz stock 250 teas, including more than a dozen green...

  • Munchies fit for a king

    Munchies fit for a king

    "A little madness in the spring is wholesome even for the king!" said no less an authority than Emily Dickinson. That's license for gourmands with pockets as deep as royalty's to pack an extravagant picnic and head for the beach. We asked Norbert Wabnig, right, owner of the Cheese Store of Beverly...

  • Make the ride luxurious

    Make the ride luxurious

    Beau Boeckmann of Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys knows a few things about tricking out cars, such as the Navigator at right that boasts a diamond clock. One of the stars of MTV's "Pimp My Ride," Boeckmann has helped turn an El Camino into a mobile tailgating machine complete with barbecue grill,...

  • Diamond dogs living it up

    Diamond dogs living it up

    Some of us toss Fido some scraps off the dinner plate and call it a night. But for those channeling Leona Helmsley, the hotel magnate who left $12 million to her Maltese, Trouble, there's no shortage of over-the-top products to pamper a pet. At Three Dog Bakery in Santa Monica, owners Rocky and...

  • A toast to liquid assets

    A toast to liquid assets

    Put away the quarters and funnels and break out the crystal. Big spenders sip and swish rather than gulp and chug. And their bar accouterments are as swanky as their spirits. New on the shelves: For its 130th anniversary, Veuve Clicquot is kicking its champagne up a notch. Only 3,600 bottles of...

  • Oh, the places you'll go

    Need a getaway? Never mind the packaged 10-day Caribbean cruise. Misty Ewing, right, of travel network Virtuoso says affluent vacationers are all about doing something different. (Think dinner on the Great Wall of China or after-hours tours of the Louvre.) Virtuoso's travel agents plan trips for...

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