9
/10
A great hotel you will
recommend to friends
Location
Accommodation
Service & Facilities
Style
Restaurants & Bars

Review of Hotel Bel-Air

Located in the exclusive neighbourhood of Los Angeles’ Bel-Air, the legendary pink-hued Hotel Bel-Air is hidden away within just under five hectares of lush, tropical landscaped gardens, delivering low-key, timeless elegance since 1946.

Offering a welcome oasis away from the bustling city streets nearby, the property offers 103 stylish rooms and suites; gourmet Californian cuisine from Wolfgang Puck and live music in The Bar & Lounge; a signature oval-shaped outdoor heated pool and the restorative oasis that is the Hotel Bel-Air Spa with seven treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge, a nail suite and The Enclave Suite for couples which features two sumptuous treatment beds, a marble soaking tub and a private patio with a waterfall. There is also a fitness centre full of TechnoGym equipment; male and female steam rooms; a Salon by Joseph Hair and Beauty; The Boutique filled with custom-made merchandise and a business centre. Guests enjoy free transportation within three miles of the hotel.

The Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles is a member of The Dorchester Collection.

8 / 10
Location

Located in the exclusive neighbourhood of Los Angeles’ Bel-Air, the legendary pink-hued Hotel Bel-Air is hidden away within just under five hectares of lush, tropical landscaped gardens, delivering low-key, timeless elegance since 1946.

Offering a welcome oasis away from the bustling city streets nearby, the property offers 103 stylish rooms and suites; gourmet Californian cuisine from Wolfgang Puck and live music in The Bar & Lounge; a signature oval-shaped outdoor heated pool and the restorative oasis that is the Hotel Bel-Air Spa with seven treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge, a nail suite and The Enclave Suite for couples which features two sumptuous treatment beds, a marble soaking tub and a private patio with a waterfall. There is also a fitness centre full of TechnoGym equipment; male and female steam rooms; a Salon by Joseph Hair and Beauty; The Boutique filled with custom-made merchandise and a business centre. Guests enjoy complimentary transportation within five kilometres of the hotel.

10 / 10
Accommodation

There are 103 light and airy rooms at the Hotel Bel-Air including 45 suites with even the smallest room seeming airy and spacious with the majority of rooms opening out directly onto the gardens. Designed by Alexandra Champalimaud, each room has a sense of serene grandeur and vintage charm with a dash of Hollywood glamour – custom limestone floors, natural wood ceilings and a contemporary neutral palette with splashes of colour. 

Expect enormous towels and bathroom televisions; heated limestone floors; luxury Fili d’Oro Egyptian cotton bed linens; Bang & Olufsen HD television; luxury bath amenities; iPad for in-room services and a work desk with an integrated media hub. Some rooms offer private patios and fireplaces whilst the Loft Studios have an open floorplan, double sided fireplace and dramatically high ceilings with a more contemporary flavour.

The Junior Pool Suites are much prized for their private entrance away from the gaze of the hotel, the Bel-Air Suite is pure Hollywood and the Canyon Suites are perched on the hillside overlooking Stone Canyon Road with expansive sliding glass walls opening out to a patio, private spa pool and an outdoor fireplace.

There are seven Signature Suites – the Swan Lake Suite is typically serene and was a favourite of Gene Kelly and Cary Grant as it allows discreet access to the more exclusive corners of the restaurant and pool without having to pass through the main hotel. The Grace Kelly Suite is named for the actress in her film star heyday and she slept there the night she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1955.

The Presidential Suite (210 square metres) is truly a millionaire’s home away from home and features a living room with a vaulted ceiling, grand piano and monolithic fireplace. With a separate study, a dining area for 10, chef’s kitchen and employee entrance, this suite enjoys a private infinity pool located in a spacious Spanish courtyard with loungers and seating areas, sheltered by palm trees.  It comes with complimentary LAX airport transfers, champagne, fresh flowers and fruit platter and luxury Anne Semonin bath amenities. This suite has its fans and in fact HRH Prince Charles once said: “I slept better in the Presidential Suite of the Bel-Air than in any other hotel in the world.”

The hotel’s gardens are a child’s paradise with the resident swans being a particular favourite. Children’s services include plush children’s bathrobes, menus and special amenities. There is also a special child’s version of the afternoon service - The Little Royal’s Tea which comes complete with a cuddly toy swan of their own.

Pets are deemed as much a part of the family as anyone, especially dogs, and canine guests enjoy fluffy designer dog beds, pet bowls with bottled water and personalised homemade peanut butter biscuits.

9 / 10
Service & Facilities

The heart of the Hotel Bel-Air is the signature oval-shaped pool, heated to 27.8 degrees Celsius year around. Formerly a horse-riding ring for the Bel-Air Stables which gave it its shape, it was owner Joseph Drown who transformed it, and the property, in the 1940s with a team of builders and gardeners. Today, surrounded by gardens, sun-seekers are offered hourly refreshments to cool down such as frozen grape skewers, ice cream sundae and chocolate dipped banana coins. Sunscreen is also provided along with sunglass cleaning and luxurious skincare products. The pool is actually a star in itself as it’s featured in Marilyn Monroe’s photoshoots, Dean Martin’s films and Bryan Ferry’s album cover – Another Time, Another Place. If hunger strikes, Wolfgang Puck’s poolside menu is on hand.

The Hotel Bel-Air Spa allows for some quiet time where Valmont treatments blend nature and science to achieve powerful results. There are seven treatment rooms including the Enclave Suite (a private spa space with twin treatment beds, a marble soaking tub and a private patio with its own waterfall), a fully equipped TechnoGym fitness centre with 24-hour guest key access, yoga mats and tuition, male and female steam rooms and complimentary amenities such as fresh fruit, bottled water and towels.

The Joseph Martin hair & beauty salon is adjacent to the Hotel Bel-Air Spa and offers a selection of hair and beauty services for when you need to look red-carpet ready.

If you love the hotel, you may like to take some mementos home. The Boutique sells the hotel’s bed linens, the plush dog beds, signature candles and even Marilyn Monroe featured flip flops if the fancy takes you.

10 / 10
Style

The Hotel Bel-Air is the product of two entrepreneurs and their vision. The first, Alphonzo Bell, bought 243 hectares of land to the west of Los Angeles which he named Bel-Air, creating an exclusive neighbourhood. When Clark Gable bought property in the area, others swiftly followed suit and Bell built an estate planning office nestled in the canyons which is now the Hotel Bel-Air’s main mission style property.

Later, it was turned into a hotel by the second gentleman, Joseph Drown, who transformed the property into an elegant and secluded hotel. It opened in 1946 and was an immediate hit with the Hollywood A-lister crowd such as Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Thus, a legend was born - a safe, protected luxury haven away from the everyday world.

The Hollywood gold dust sprinkled over the property remains to this day with the hotel remaining the discreet and preferred haunt of the well-heeled and the well-known. The Bel-Air is "the very definition of exclusivity" – and indeed for many it is. For where else could you be in the heart of a city which has the feel of a resort, close to the action but still surrounded with birdsong and sleekly paddling swans? It feels a world away from reality.

9 / 10
Restaurants & Bars

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air offers the finest of Californian cuisine, using locally sourced ingredients crafted into a creative, West Coast lifestyle menu, infused with Mediterranean influences. The garden setting, offering indoor and outdoor seating, offers a relaxed ambiance with the alcoves peering over Swan Lake being particularly popular.

The famously cool Bar & Lounge with its dark panelled walls and coffered ceilings, offers a true taste of Hollywood glamour complete with a grand piano, a beautiful stone fireplace and live music every night. Norman Seeff’s iconic photographs line the walls of the space, capturing artists and innovators such as Ray Charles, Tina Turner and Steve Jobs in unique and unguarded moments. Try a cocktail or two or a glass of small batch rye and stay for Wolfgang Puck’s casual late-day and evening fare.

Sustainability

The Dorchester Collection is mindful of its role and the impact it makes on society, the economy and the planet. As part of The Dorchester Collection, each property seeks to minimise the environmental impact of its operations, including those relating to energy consumption, water use, waste minimisation and management, product procurement and use and the selection of materials in refurbishment and new build products. Each hotel monitors its environmental impact and seeks continuous improvement in reducing its impact. In addition, every property also ensures that it makes a positive contribution to the local community.

As an organisation, The Dorchester Collection values the heritage and culture of each of its properties, allowing each hotel to give every guest as authentic a local experience as possible. The group complies with all applicable environmental legislation and strives to follow the best environmental practices, building alliances in the communities where each property is located.

What We Love

  • Location: You love or hate the location of the Bel-Air. I adore it! After a few nights in the heart of the city, the Hotel Bel-Air offers the “great escape”. It’s an oasis of luxury in one of the most affluent zip codes in the USA. The lush verdant landscaped grounds are teeming with flora & fauna … and after a day exploring the City of Angels, a return to the Bel-Air is a delight.
  • History: Walking through the five hectares of gardens first thing in the morning or last thing at night makes the spine tingle. You can just feel the “spirits” of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant or Grace Kelly walking by your side. The Hotel Bel-Air has been a magnet for the rich & famous since the late 1940s. There has even been a Prince (Fresh and otherwise) or two staying at the hotel.
  • Accommodation: With 103 rooms including 45 suites, Hotel Bel-Air has several levels of luxury to choose from. The Grace Kelly Suite is one of my favourite guestrooms in the world – it’s where the future Princess Grace of Monaco slept after winning an Oscar in 1955. While it is now quite contemporary in design, it still has historic touches which is gratifying.

    Varun Sharma
    Editor In Chief
    BusinessClass.com

What They Love

  • Our people: A truly luxurious stay would be nothing without excellent service and attention to detail. Our staff throughout the hotel understand that the impeccable service they provide helps greatly to enhance the emotional attachment that so many have for Hotel Bel-Air, which is incredibly special.
  • The beautiful grounds: We have delivered low-key elegance since 1946. Our hotel offers a quiet oasis set within tropical greenery - the daily hustle and bustle of life can wait outside the gates of Hotel Bel-Air. From its tranquil Swan Lake, to its idyllic spa, it is this stillness and calm that keeps guests returning again and again for a truly relaxing break.
  • The food: Home to Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, the restaurant offers guests a taste of LA’s finest all within its spectacular garden setting. For a unique culinary experience, the hotel also offers its ‘Bel-Air under the Stars’ experience where guests can settle in beside their own private fire pit within the grounds for a magical evening of stargazing – complete with marshmallows for toasting!  

    Denise Flanders
    General Manager
    Hotel Bel-Air

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