Pure Decadence: Hotel Bel-Air

Los Angeles, California—Reported by Mike Espindle for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Tucked away on a quiet side street in the tony enclave of Bel-Air in Los Angeles, the Hotel Bel-Air has enjoyed a reputation as a private and relaxed antidote to the bustling hype of Hollywood since it opened in the 1940s. Now, under the management of the prestigious Dorchester Group, the storied hotel underwent a massive two-year, $100 million renovation, the results of which were revealed last year. A minimalist design vibe from Alexandra Champalimaud and the Rockwell Group reinforces the hotel’s heritage of Hollywood glamour while evoking a thoroughly modern vision, as well: New old-school, if you will. While devotees expressed concern over the new feel of the hotel, the perennial aura of seclusion, privacy and impeccable guest handling have not changed a bit. Just ask any number of A-list guests (I spotted Meg Ryan during my brief stay) who have frequented Hotel Bel-Air since the renovation.

Starting at $15,000 a night, the property’s famed 6,775-square-foot Presidential Suite beautifully blends the legacy California residential style with the new design direction. Guests enjoy exceptional privacy, with private dining for ten and a chef’s kitchen (but do not miss at least one meal at the new and gorgeous Wolfgang Puck eatery in the hotel’s central patio. Ditto the new La Prairie spa), as well as a study, great room with grand piano, spacious bathroom with heated mosaic glass floors, rain shower and spa tub, and, the pièce de résistance, a private swimming pool in a secluded Spanish courtyard.