After two years of extensive redesign and renovation, the Dorchester Collection’s Hotel Bel-Air reopened its doors last month. This iconic hotel, surrounded by 12 acres of verdant gardens, still retains its original glamorous feel. The ‘Bel-Air Pink’ Spanish Colonial architecture is thoroughly updated with contemporary interiors featuring Art Deco flourishes, evoking Hollywood elegance of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Opened 65 years ago, the Hotel Bel-Air was regarded as the ‘it’ spot for Hollywood celebrities for generations, with famous guests including Grace Kelly, Jackie Gleason, Cary Grant, and Marilyn Monroe.
The Bel-Air is situated in a residential area just off Sunset Boulevard not far from Beverly Hills, Brentwood, West Hollywood and the UCLA campus. The hotel offers complimentary transfers within a three-mile radius of the hotel in their Mercedes S-400 hybrids.
The 58 guestrooms and 45 suites feature the sophisticated décor of Alexandra Champalimaud with limestone and marble floors, natural wood ceilings, sleek bathrooms and neutral walls and furnishings offset by touches of black, green, orange and red. Some accommodation has indoor and outdoor fireplaces, grand pianos and private decks offering stunning views over the canyon. There are seven specialty suites including the legendary Grace Kelly Suite and impressive 6,775-square foot Presidential Suite offering a chef's kitchen, study, great room with grand piano, and an exclusive pool set in a Spanish courtyard.
Wolfgang Puck opened his eponymous restaurant focusing on fresh California fare influenced by European and Mediterranean cuisine. The chic lobby lounge hosts tea and cocktails while the sexy wood-paneled bar is ideal for romantic interludes by the central fireplace or in one of the intimate garden alcoves with doors that can be open or closed depending on the weather (and your mood!).
A new addition, the incredible 4,134-square foot La Prairie spa, boasts customized treatments for men and women, multiple relaxation areas and seven treatment rooms including a gorgeous couple’s room with outdoor patio. The signature oval pool remains as it did 65 years ago, still the heart of the hotel surrounded by beautiful landscaping and ideal for lounging any time of year.
It’s LA! Shop till you drop on Rodeo, Melrose or The Grove, or head over to eclectic Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach. Hike Topanga or Runyon Canyon or hit the beach in Santa Monica. World-class museums from the Getty Center and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) plus performances in the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall sate those seeking culture, while Disneyland and Universal Studios thrill the younger set.
Run the Numbers
Rates start at $525 plus tax
Upgrade on arrival (subject to availability)
Daily Continental Breakfast for two in the restaurant or via room service
A $50 Spa credit once during stay
And what of the resident swans, Hercules, Athena and Chloe? They are still gliding across Swan Lake, waiting to welcome you to this urban paradise.