Feature Friday: Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles, CA

Today the legendary Hotel Bel-Air will once again open it's doors to Hollywood celebs and V.I.P.'s. After two years of remodeling, the "Bel-Air Pink" hotel  is ready to shine once again. The architecture of the hotel was and still remains to be Spanish Colonial - a style inherent to Southern California. The historic 1940s hotel was originally built as a hideaway, or an oasis to those in the city. Lush gardens, private patios and "Swan Lake" were all elements to help build this notion of an oasis. The remodel has not in any way thrown this idea out the door, in fact, it has only made it better. A mission style bell tower, fitness center, three unique loft guestrooms and a Spa by La Prairie are all new additions to the hotel.  The overall look of the hotel is a fresh contemporary fusion of design from the 1930-50s.

The hotel consists of 103 guestrooms and suites, all of which are beautifully designed. 12 new accommodations have been built into the hillside, offering amazing views of the canyon, sliding glass walls, outdoor fireplaces, large decks and private spas.  Many of the guestrooms provide large bathrooms with separate shower and bath and heater floors. Although many of the rooms are uniquely designed, they all have a feeling of tranquility and lightness to them. This is achieved by the gorgeous finishes and materials the designers chose - stone limestone floors, polished marble, smooth, pale plaster walls, natural wood ceilings, and a few eye catching strokes of color with the furnishings. Since the outdoor spaces at the hotel are so prominent, the airiness of each of the rooms creates a cohesiveness between the outdoor and indoor spaces. 

The hotel's original goal was to create a beautiful escape yet still feel home-like. This idea is still held within the newly designed rooms and can be seen at quite a cost. The Presidential Suite offers private dining for 10, a chef's kitchen, a study, great room with a grand piano, and a private pool located within a private Spanish courtyard. Rates begin at $565/night and go up to a few grand depending on the room but hey, it includes a $100 dining credit until 12/29/2011! 

Master Chef Wolfgang Puck and his restaurant group will be managing the hotel's only restaurant and bar. Wolfgang Puck is not new to Hotel Bel-Air, in fact, he created the hotel's famous Tortilla Soup recipe in the early 80's. The cuisine for the new restaurant is said to be modern California with European and Mediterranean influences - these influences also appear in the design of the space.

While some worried that the signature swans of the hotel would disappear after the restoration, they have remained happily swimming in Swan Lake. The lake was even given a little make over -  new circulation pumps that will save L.A. 1.5 million gallons of water a year.
I am so glad to see that the Ballroom has been designed in muted colors, allowing for each event to have the freedom to select colors without clashing with a crazy patterned carpet or wild wallpapered walls... something that happens all too often.  The newly designed Hotel Bel-Air has paid great attention to detail and comfort. Is it worth a few grand a night? That's up to you.

Source: Hotel Bel-Air

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