Just the name “Hotel Bel Air “conjures up images of Hollywood stars of bygone days. I was not disappointed with this vision as we arrived at the hotel entrance after the winding drive up Stone Canyon Drive.
The Bel Air is a hidden sanctuary amongst wooded hills and is styled like a private residence. Seclusion, impeccable service and Mediterranean elegance are the epitome of this golden-era Hollywood luxury hotel. The rose-coloured Hispanic-style complex dating from 1922 features suites, winding pathways, a swan lake, Wolfgang Puck restaurant and grand spa all set in twelve acres of gardens.
This quintessential and exclusive hotel has been delivering low key elegance since 1946 and is only a few kilometres from Beverley Hills but could be a million miles away. Built high in the canyons of residential Bel Air, the location is wonderful if you are seeking some solitude from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
This little piece of paradise has hundreds of species of trees and plants bordering the paths that weave throughout the hotel grounds. Magnolias, gardenias and bougainvillea colourfully contrast against the pink facade of the Spanish inspired architecture
This five-star hotel is the only one permitted in the exclusive neighbourhood of Bel-Air, home to the likes of Beyonce and Jay-Z – nestled in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains where house-high hedges and a lack of pavements on winding roads are geared to extreme privacy. Here, contemporary Los Angeles feels a continent away. In fact, West Hollywood is only a 15-minute drive, and the Getty Museum only ten.
Originally built as a stable complex by Bel-Air founder and tennis champion Alphonzo Bell in 1922, the hotel hosted stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Princess Grace of Monaco and Marilyn Monroe. Taken over and then extensively renovated by the Dorchester Group the Bel-Air has since regained its reputation as LA’s most elite and sedate hotel, combining the hushed air of a Positano monastic retreat with old-world grandeur of Art Deco interiors and state-of-the-art room technology.
Of the 103 i-Pad controlled rooms, 45 are suites — including the Swan Lake and Grace Kelly — the names just sound romantic! Our deluxe king with patio and fireplace room was based on a black, white and pewter palate with Art Deco lamps, 1920s leather chairs, a black and cream oval-patterned rug and black lacquered bed tables. Bathrooms are stocked with Parisian brand Anne Semonin and a TV-screen is inlaid in the wall above the marble bath.
It was certainly a treat spending two nights here, thank you Hotel Bel-Air.