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“Great, but could be better” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Bel-Air

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Hotel Bel-Air
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90077 (Westside)   |  
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Ranked #2 of 322 hotels in Los Angeles
Flyover Red State
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Great, but could be better”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

This was our first visit to the Bel Air since it was renovated. The owners had the good sense to leave the grounds intact, as this is what sets it apart from almost any hotel I have ever visited. The new decor is a little modernistic for my taste, but it is done well. The light controls in the rooms are needlessly complex. Wolfgang Puck's restaurant is good, but still needs some tweaking. The major problem is with the bar. It is a nice venue and features first class entertainment, but the management allows non-BelAir types to hoot and holler during the performance without a cautionary word. I communicated this to the management during check-out and I trust it will be remedied.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a patio and off the beaten path.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denise F, General Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Dear yeaux,

It was a pleasure welcoming you back to Hotel Bel-Air. We truly value and appreciate your feedback regarding your recent visit, and I share your opinion that the hotel's grounds are truly enchanting. Your concern regarding the Bar & Lounge will in fact be addressed, as we strive to create an environment that is entertaining yet also pleasing and comfortable. Please accept my sincere apologies for any discomfort you experienced. We hope that you will allow us the opportunity to welcome you back to Hotel Bel-Air in the not too distant future, and once again, thank you for your candid feedback.

Warm Regards,
Denise Flanders
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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English first
Palm Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Bel Air Hotel is a very special place. It is situated right into Bel Air, in a neighborhood of the largest most grandiose celebrity mansions. Even weird that a hotel is there in such a residential high-end area. You get in by the parking lot, which has always 4 to 5 valets at the entrance all dressed in navy blue jackets with a unique white striped collar. After leaving your car, you need to walk over a small bridge that crosses the pond and swans, all covered by jungle like trees and a vast amount of blossoming flowers. The whole place is very secluded and service is highly personalized. Do not try going if you do not have a reservation for the restaurant or a room. In fact, there are no “rooms” as such at Bel Air, but more mini private villas. So each is a standalone small building with its own garden and stonewalls around. Are they incredibly great rooms? No, but they are comfortable and have everything you need. Bathrooms are clean and contemporary. Flat panel TVs are Bang & Olufsen. Beds are very comfy. Once you’re in you can stay there and relax, wandering in the wilderness seclusion of the property from your villa to the pool or spa, to the bar and Wolfgang Puck restaurant. In fact the restaurant has a nice outdoor setting and for guests there are secluded “alcoves” where you can hear neighbors talk but you shall never see them nor be seen, being surrounded by two walls and a third one of dense vegetation. To give you an idea how secluded it can be even inside, we were there for a few days at the same time as Shakira but only saw her once when we crossed the entrance bridge one afternoon when we were going out to the Santa Monica and Malibu. In terms of service it is strange how the Dorchester management does not seem to be able to get it right in the execution, follow-up and precision. The service is very personal, very friendly but do not expect anything close to flawless in execution. For example, if you need a taxi to catch a flight, book it yourself to make sure you do not miss the flight. We had several little things like that which we do not experience at other properties like Aman or Four Seasons, but they were so nice it was just not possible to complain! I would even say the service has somewhat of a resemblance to what you expect when you go to a secluded island resort.

Would I return? Absolutely.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denise F, General Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear BonVoyageFamily,

Thank you for taking the time to detail your recent experience at Hotel Bel-Air. You are right in that our location and grounds are unique and very special. Set on 12 acres in the middle of the beautiful neighborhood of Bel-Air, the hotel provides the ultimate environment for an urban retreat.

I am pleased you enjoyed your time with us including your dining experiences at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air. I am extremely concerned the service provided to you did not meet your expectations and that we were not able to execute your requests flawlessly. This certainly does not reflect the standards we hold ourselves to here at Hotel Bel-Air. Please know that I am addressing your concerns with the staff and can assure you that you will be provided with the five star service we are known for on your return visit.

We look forward to your return, hopefully it will be soon!

Warm Regards,
Denise Flanders
General Manager
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Yountville, California
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We just returned from a long weekend in LA and this was my first time at the Hotel Bel-Air. I think this has to be one of my favorite hotels I've ever stayed at and definitely my favorite in LA by a landslide. Everything was great from the service to the quiet neighborhood setting to the actual property itself.

We hardly left the property since the food at the restaurant was great and the staff was so friendly (very professional but also warm and welcoming). While i loved dinner there, we especially loved the outdoor bar seating and the wonderful banquettes for breakfast. The staff even stored our wine we purchased to take to the Hollywood Bowl and then delivered it to us when we were departing for the show. I found the pool calm and relaxing as compared to the Peninsula where it practically requires man to man combat to get a chair.

We had a mid-Canyon room (#369) with a very nice patio. The decor was great and the bathroom was amazing. Next time back (and yes we're already planning it) we may try an upper canyon room for something different but our room was very quiet and close to the pool and restaurant but tucked away so it still felt very private. It was great having such a unique property as compared to most modern cookie cutter hotels. The recent renovation really did a great job of maintaining the charm while giving you every modern convenience (as compared to the Chateau Marmont which is charming but not modern or frankly comfortable).

Already looking forward to a return visit in December.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denise F, General Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear NapaTJ,

It was wonderful welcoming you to Hotel Bel-Air for the first time. It is even more wonderful to hear that we are not only your favorite hotel in LA, but one your top picks worldwide. This puts a huge smile on my face. I am happy you enjoyed dinner in our Wolfgang Puck restaurant, particularly the outdoor seating. When in Los Angeles, it is an absolute must to dine outside.

We are looking forward to your return visit in December and we highly encourage you to experience a new room next time. With 10 different room designs, all with different layouts, Hotel Bel-Air is truly unique in this regard and you certainly won't find any shortage of accommodation options.

Warm Regards,
Denise Flanders
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, Connecticut
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
134 hotel reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

“My first time back since its two-year and $100 million renovation, I was happy to find the iconic hotel continues to host a sanctuary of calm and serenity within the city of Los Angeles. Spanish-style architecture, cascading bougainvillea, flourishing mature gardens, faultless service, delicious food, fabulous guestrooms, luxurious spa treatments, refined ambience, and the same classic charm it’s always had. An unbelievable place with a reputation it warrants. We had an absolutely delightful stay, I shall return. And soon! This famous gem of a resort within a city is now one of my very favorite places to stay … anywhere in the world”

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denise F, General Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Dear Consigliera-S,

It was a pleasure welcoming you back to Hotel Bel-Air. I am pleased you had a delightful stay with us and will be returning soon. It is most exciting to hear you consider us one of your favorite places to stay in the world!

We look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel.

Warm Regards,
Denise Flanders
General Manager
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Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

First time in California and this hotel is on the best properties that i ever been the staff was incredibly kind and helpful, the location and the view were perfect, but what made my trip was the amazing service at the restaurant and room service, the food was simply perfect!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denise F, General Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Dear joshua w,

It was wonderful welcoming you to California for the very first time! I am very happy to hear you were most impressed with the service provided to you. I will share your kind words with the team, they will be thrilled to hear this.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Hotel Bel-Air on your next visit to Los Angeles.

Warm Regards,
Denise Flanders
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

I found it difficult to give this hotel an overall rating as my visit was jointly a business trip and family vacation and for each part our experience was quite different.

From my business trip part of the stay, in many ways it meets all 5 star expectations, it is very beautiful, the staff are very friendly, dinner at the restuarant was very good. The room was certainly very nice, although not quite as special as I had expected it would be, a little smaller than i would have liked. The bed was very comfortable and the shower amazing.

I stayed at the Bel-Air with my husband and my 15 month old daughter at the start of our California vacation. For the first few days of this trip I had to attend a few client meetings so the plan was that my husband and daughter would get to relax and enjoy hotel whilst I was working.

Unfortunately my baby daughter was taken unwell with an ear infection as soon as we arrived and this made the realxing part much harder for my husband. I would have expected that a hotel of this calibre would try make life easier for a father and sick child, however it seemed quite the opposite and every meal time became a nightmare, waiting far too long for drinks, food, the check, everything! On our first morning it took 15 minutes for a bowl of cheerios to arrive despite us asking for them ASAP. That same morning I waited 30 minutes for my pancakes, only to receive waffles.

On another occassion my husband asked for his beer 3 times before eventually cancelling it and asking for the bill. Having not received the bill after some considerable time he ended up walking out of the restaurant to try and calm down my by then very bored and tired daughter.

Getting back to the Cheerios. $12 for a bowl of cereal for a 1 year old!?! I have no problem paying higher prices in great hotels and restaurants as I would expect excellent food, but this was ridiculous, for something out of a box. The rest of the children's food offerings were not great, I was shocked to find that all of the children's menu seemed to be deep fried "with fries". Whilst I later found this to be a problem throughout our entire vacation in California, I would have expected a hotel of this quality to offer a healthier and more imaginative selection for children.

We contacted the front desk to ask for a local doctor to contact for our daughter when she developed a very high fever. They did provide us with the number of their recommended doctor who was very good and visited my daughter very quickly (but at the cost of $1000!). I was however surprised that after this, no one from the hotel (other than friendly restaurant staff who were already aware) contacted us to enquire as to my daughter's well being.

The hotel grounds are certainly beautiful, however they are very small. Being stuck in the hotel with a child for 3 days was far too long as there was no where to walk in the area and no provisions in the hotel for children.

Finally, on check out we waited 20 minutes for our bags to be brought to our car. Yet another example of the extraordinarily polite and smiley staff members acting as if your needs are the only thing on their mind, but then forgetting to do their job! This summed up our service experience at the Bel-Air.

In isolation most of the irritants of this hotel are very small and without an unwell child many of them may have passed us by unnoticed. However we had expected great things from the Bel-Air and after 3 days stuck in the Bel-Air, my husband was so annoyed by it he would have rated it 1* if he'd had the opportunity! We are so disappointed that we didn't have the excellent experience that almost every other reviewer has had of this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denise F, General Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Dear Jimnem40,

First, I would like to thank you for providing a detailed review of your recent stay with us. It is quite clear that you had two completely different experiences at the hotel. This is very disconcerting because we strive for consistency and excellence with regards to our service levels.

It is so unfortunate that your child was unwell during your stay with us and equally upsetting to hear that our team members did not express their concern about her condition. This is inexcusable and most disappointing, and I can only apologize for this human error. With regard to your dining experience, most specifically with your child, it is clear that our service did not meet your expectations or our desired standards. Again, our apologies and please know that I will be reviewing your experience with the appropriate staff members to ensure they are aware of these shortcomings.

It is equally inexcusable that after all that went wrong during your stay, we failed to create a pleasant departure experience for you. This is also being discussed with our bell staff.
I hope your recent experience will not deter you from considering Hotel Bel-Air on a return visit to Los Angeles and I would be most grateful for any opportunity to restore your faith in our hotel. Please contact me directly to book your next stay and I will personally supervise your booking arrangements and ensure extra special attention is given to you.

Warm Regards,
Denise Flanders
General Manager
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Strontian, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Arranged to stay here for 3 nights en- route to Hawaii with my family. Wow! the highlight off our 3 week adventure. Where do I start? From the original enquiry to confirmation with unlimited e-mails and early morning UK phone calls I was immediately impressed. This continued from the moment I applied the' handbrake' on arrival. car valet, concierge, front-desk could not have been more personal and professional. our rooms were exactly as described and the swans in the adjacent pond with the accompanying wedding with string quartet even surpassed any potential Hollywood creation. Spagos at 4am GMT maybe in hindsight was not the best idea on our first evening but Hotel Bel Air will live with us all for years to come .As a hotelier this is the ultimate in a Bus Mans Holiday. Many thanks for the experience.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denise F, General Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear deccie,

I am so happy to hear that your stay at Hotel Bel-Air was the perfect way to start your three week vacation, and even happier to know that this was the highlight of your vacation. We are so grateful for the opportunity to have you and your family as our guests. It is lovely to hear how impressed you were with the service provided to you during your stay with us. Please know that I will make sure to share your comments with the team, as they will be thrilled to know they made your stay extra special.

We hope to see you again in the near future.

Warm Regards,
Denise Flanders
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Bel-Air

Address: 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90077
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Los Angeles > Westside
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Los Angeles
#1 Spa Hotel in Los Angeles
#1 Romantic Hotel in Los Angeles
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Los Angeles
#3 Business Hotel in Los Angeles
#4 Family Hotel in Los Angeles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Bel-Air 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on 12 acres in the Bel-Air Estates neighborhood of Los Angeles, the iconic Hotel Bel-Air is one of the most beautiful, romantic, and exclusive hotels in the world. Just opened after a two year transformation, this Spanish mission-style urban oasis wins a never-ending stream of praise for its faultless service, luxurious accommodations, and magical ambiance. All newly renovated rooms and suites feature a new generation of design aesthetic and is reflected through different design themes from the glamorous decades of the 1930s, 40s and 50s conveyed in a fresh, youthful and elegant manner. The famous restaurant, bar, catering and in-room dining services are managed by world-renowned Master Chef Wolfgang Puck with a menu featuring modern California cuisine with European and Mediterranean influences in a spectacular garden setting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Bel Air

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