Bel Air Beauty

I know, I know, it’s supposed to be At the Movies today. But this week got all topsy turvy, so we’ll resume next week!! In the meantime, let’s take a look at the renovation of a Los Angeles landmark.

The Hotel Bel-Air has been an iconic location in Los Angeles for the last 55 years. Its Spanish Colonial architecture bathed in Pantone happy pink has stood intact while the interior has undergone a dramatic two year renovation by Champalimaud Design, the lead designer responsible for setting the style for the majority of the interior and exterior and Rockwell, in charge of the redesign for the new Restaurant, Bar, Ballroom areas and Public Washroom sites. I love Alexandra Champalimaud’s hospitality work – you may remember my feature last October on the spectacular and historic Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse.

The lobby sets the tone with the center fireplace and modern sensual design.

The main guest rooms are successful and sophisticated eclectic mixes. Most now have larger bathrooms with separate showers and tubs and heated floors!

The new hotel will open this fall with 103 new guest rooms and suites and seven specialty suites including the famed Grace Kelly Suite and a new enormous Presidential Suite, below, which offers private dining, a chef’s kitchen, study, great room with grand piano, amazing bathroom and a private pool. I know there are some upset by the redo of such a beloved institution, but having never stayed there in its previous incarnation, the new designs are looking rather swish to me.

There is an entirely new building featuring a fitness studio as well as a brand new fabulously luxurious spa by La Pairie (which includes three loft suites, full of light with center fireplaces and special Spa bathrooms). The hotel will be the first in the US to launch an in-room line of their beauty products. I think they’d better be prepared for many of those little bottles disappearing. Don’t you just love the chic mani pedi station?

The spa vanity is the ultimate in sleek chicness.

Do you think your other half would be interested in the partners’ retreat? My husband isn’t normally the spa type – I think I’d have better luck convincing my sister or girlfriend.

Even the relaxation room looks appealing – no one asking me what’s for dinner!!

Wolfgang Puck will be overseeing the new restaurant as well as all the food operations.

And in case any of you wondered, the famous swans have remained at Swan Lake during the entire renovation. There is even a new pump ensuring the pond has beautifully clean water. I understand through Champalimaud that the hotel is running a facebook contest. They are offering a three night stay, $500 dining credit, $500 La Prairie Spa credit and an autographed Wolfgang Puck cookbook. You can enter here. If you win, don’t forget where you heard about it :-))

35 thoughts on “Bel Air Beauty

  1. Ohhhhhhhhhh, my goodness! I can’t even tell you just how over the moon I am for Alexandra et Co.’s redesign here. :) It is absolutely EVERYTHING you want Hotel Bel-Air to be… swanky- but comfortable, and hopelessly “L.A.” in a way you can only get away with in this town.

    It’s fabulous when great design makes ya’ positively giddy, isn’t it??!

    -Amy xox

  2. I wrote about this Tuesday, it breaks my heart, I think they’ve made it into just another cliched hotel, it has lost its essence. I think their loyal clientele will be horrified.

  3. Wow that’s pretty sensational. I don’t know what it looked like before as I’ve never been there, but it’s impressive for a hotel. Looks more like a home. I can also understand why some would be sad if it has a lot of nostalgic value for people, hopefully they kept true to the essence of the place.

  4. I think this is long overdue…honestly I thought it was starting to look a bit “crusty” if that makes sense! This renovation is stunning and brings it up to date…I’m guessing that Presidential Suite will be booked every night with the clientele that frequent the hotel! Beautiful post….

  5. Wow that is stunning, we were only there once to visit someone and it felt a little dated so this seems to have been a long time coming but what a transformation it is! I look the sleek transitional spaces, very cool and inviting. The bathrooms are stunning. Thanks for sharing! Stay cool:)

  6. Isn’t it interesting that, while a hotel is essentially a place of transition, there are those who don’t want hotel interiors to transition?

  7. Swishy & Stunning! I agree with Barbara and Mark. The old girl was a bit “tired” and in need of a “lift.”
    Thank you Stacey for the update.

  8. I now have to find out what it looked like before. I am one who is enchanted with all things vintage and the old Hollywoodish style makes me swoon but so does this. In fact, this is how I would like my entire home to look. I understand both sides. It’s beautiful. Understated elegance at its best. I like the idea of not having to think about what is for dinner :)

  9. This has always been my favorite hotel and what memories this post brings back. I love the re-do, although I will miss the dark and clubby bar–I’m sure there’s a lot of people disturbed by that change–it was one of the coolest places in LA and now it’s feeling a bit light and bright, but I will have to see for myself before I pass any judgements. Love that you posted about it! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    xo Mary Jo

  10. I haven’t been out there since the renovation it’s beautiful and I love the rooms and bath. I just got home from our spa from having a facial but our spa looks nothing like this one….oh well I still enjoyed. Happy Friday everyone!

  11. Stacey, am so missing having access to your blog! Glad i didn’t miss this! Bisous from Arles, Heather

  12. You had me at the lobby!
    What a place! In a way it’s
    like stepping back in time to
    a more refined era…..right
    down to the swans. I so
    enjoyed my tour ~ thank you!
    Off to enter the contest….
    Happy Friday!
    xx Suzanne

  13. I really just can’t even imagine. I’m not a very contemporary-minded person but I like how the color palette of the decor is soft and filled with earth tones. It does make me curious to know what it looked like before…

  14. I think it all looks very nice…but I do hope that some of the old Hollywood charm and glamour were considered in the update, which of course needed to happen…but I grew up in LA and crave to see it’s visual history preserved somehow, here’s hoping the exterior stays pink! That being said…I love the open fireplace, the whole lobby actually is wonderful with those amazing arched windows…I think my mom and I are going to have to pop in when I visit next..
    xo J~

  15. Stacey, I am so happy that you posted this on the Bel-Air Hotel. Everyone I know here in L.A. has been wondering when it will reopen and what it will look like. It is the most special spot to go to for a birthday lunch. Sitting on the patio under the trees is heaven. I will send this to my friends so they can see what it will look like. Thank goodness they kept the swans! I agree with one of your readers, I hope they didn’t go too modern and were able to keep that old Hollywood charm.

  16. I absolutely love the remodel – so sophisticated, and the center fireplace in the lobby…fabulous!! Hope you are have a great weekend ~

  17. I absolutely love the remodel – so sophisticated, and the center fireplace in the lobby…fabulous!! Hope you are having a great weekend ~

  18. It’s so good to see it finally being updated, the last time I was there you could tell it was due. The spa vanities are beautiful, I’m glad they are keeping the swans. :)

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