The Rebirth of the Hotel Bel-Air

The Rebirth of the Hotel Bel-Air

This is Simply Breathless – In the ultra-exclusive luxury world, the Hotel Bel-Air truly is royalty (and not just because it’s Oprah’s self-proclaimed favorite). So it makes sense that the frenzied anticipation of the Bel-Air’s grand rebirth and October re-opening is reminiscent of the froth surrounding a spectacular wedding.

Famed interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud and the innovators of the Rockwell Group shared the task of breathing new life into the beloved hideaway. The redesign features a total of 103 guestrooms and suites – 58 rooms and 45 suites including 7 one of a kind specialty suites and 12 new hillside accommodations. Two years, countless man-hours and an undisclosed (but undoubtedly enormous) amount of money later, the unveiling is right around the corner.

The inspiration for the redesign was drawn from the private, lush garden surroundings and the unique and glamorous ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. The understated French-deco décor is a nod to the Golden Age of Hollywood, paying stylistic homage to the most iconic of Hotel Bel-Air’s guests. Carey Grant and Marilyn Monroe were regulars as well as Grace Kelly, for whom a spectacular suite was named.
While the preservation of the original structure was crucial, there are some fresh new additions. Hotel Bel-Air guests in need of an escape and respite will luxuriate in the world-class La Prairie spa with seven treatment rooms and a couple’s retreat with private patio and waterfall. There are exquisite canyon view rooms with retractable walls making bringing the lush surroundings inside. Outdoor fireplaces have been installed around the property and state of the art electronics are a notable inclusion (think Bang and Olufson televisions and iPads. As tired as the saying may be – everything old truly is new again – in an elegant, effortless way.

A spectacular dining experience is an essential component to any property, so it was no great surprise that culinary master and Hollywood darling Wolfgang Puck was tapped to oversee food and beverage operations. With just weeks away from opening, the menu for Wolfgang Puck at Bel-Air has yet to be disclosed. In fact a Mediterranean inspired offering is purely speculation for now. But the sheer notion of having Spago-worthy in-room dining makes me want to lock myself in the Presidential Suite compound and invite 10 or so friends over to sample every last item before a quick swim in our private pool.

As a long, hot summer comes to a close, we welcome the cool breeze of a new era of elegance. When the doors of the Hotel Bel-Air open in October, the landscape of luxury in Los Angeles and beyond will once again be redefined by a classic. This elegant utopia makes you want to drink martinis in the afternoon and indulge in a love affair.


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