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“Oasis in a Big City”
Review of Hotel Bel-Air

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Hotel Bel-Air
Ranked #1 of 352 Hotels in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 6, 2012

If you’re in the market for a calm oasis in the midst of a big city than the Hotel Bel-Air may be just the place for you. That it comes with a healthy dose of old Hollywood charm is just the icing on the cake. A part of the Dorchester collection, the Bel-Air does not skimp on the niceties that make guests feel special. Touches, like in room check in for all guests and a personal welcoming note on arrival, are among the things that make every guest feel special.

It can be a little overwhelming at times – the swarm of bellmen (in three distinct types of uniform including a quite dashing navy blue blazer ensemble) that greet you as you pull up to the hotel entrance is perhaps the best example. Who to tip for what – hopefully they share tips because we ended up tipping the last man standing (the guy in the vest who brought our bags to our room). And what a room it was!

The hotel just re-opened after a two-year renovation that brought state-of-the-art technology, beautiful linens, and stunning décor to the property. The intrepid Nancy B (aka the B) and I were in a two-bedded room with patio on the lowest level. It wasn’t the most expensive room in the place – those are in the new section of the hotel overlooking the canyon but I’m not sure what else I would have wanted. Beautiful décor, humongous bathroom with a tub that was easily 3 feet deep and it’s own flat screen tv (not a little 13” one either), La Prairie toiletries, plush towels, robes, and slippers. The only fault – and a minor one at that – is that the beds in a two-bedded room are twins. Having said that, I’d be hard-pressed to figure out what features to give up to get two doubles into the room. You can run all the lights, order room service, and surf the Web from the iPad docked on the desk although we never did quite master the lights and so ended up using the good old-fashioned wall switches.

We were just at the Bel-Air for a quick overnight and a visit to the LA County Museum of Art and then South to San Diego (the B’s hometown) for a few days. We spent all of our free time at the pool, which is beautifully planted and astoundingly quiet. The chaises were incredibly comfortable and the poolside service that perfect balance of attentive, not intrusive. The grilled cheese sandwich is quite yummy if you are in the mood for a snack.

Breakfast at Wolfgang Puck’s on-property restaurant included a selection of chef-made preserves (raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry the day we were there) that is not be missed. Room service was quite quick and you can’t beat a hotel that sends you warm milk with your coffee. If you are in the mood for coffee in the morning, it’s free in the lobby – starting at 5:30 AM, great timing if you just arrived from the East coast!

A description of the Bel-Air wouldn’t be complete without noting the lovingly tended plantings and fountains that grace the property. It is well worth the walk up the hill to see the small waterfall and water lily pond and for the view back out over the hotel and into the surrounding canyons. Through out the property there are comfy spots for relaxing – not the least of which is the spacious, quiet lobby graced by a central fireplace.

If you’re looking for a quiet oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of LA, than the Bel-Air is worth the price of admission. If you plan to be out and about seeing the sights or enjoying the beaches, then you might want to hunt around for a better deal. For me, on this mini-vacay, the Bel-Air was the perfect choice for the start of a brief stay in the golden state.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Nancy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBAManager, Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to review us and providing such detailed feedback on your recent stay at Hotel Bel-Air. I am glad to see you took advantage of the in-room iPad but am sorry to hear you had trouble utilizing the lighting controls.

Thank you for all your recommendations, it sounds like you had a perfect trip! We hope to see you again very soon!

Sincerely,
Jonathan Mattis
Director of Marketing

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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528 - 534 of 716 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2012

I cannot rate this hotel highly enough. We have been here a week and the staff have been so attentive to our every need. Nothing is too much trouble for them. Everything is just perfect, the rooms, gardens, pool, staff, and the food just exquisite. Thank goodness we are staying longer, it will give us more time to try the different dishes. Thank you to EVERYONE for making this a very special holiday

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank RBJBBedBerks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBAManager, Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2012

Thank you for your kind words. I am thrilled you enjoyed your recent stay with us and that our staff made such a difference in your stay. I will share your review with them as they will be happy to see their hard work paid off. Thank you for choosing Hotel Bel-Air and we hope to have you back with us again very soon!

Sincerely,
Jonathan Mattis
Director of Marketing

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

Unexpected and last minute need for a hotel in LA when Oakwood Temporary housing failed to communicate with their property to know that it was not open for move ins on a Sunday, even though we had a confirmation. Stranded, we called a hotel I had stayed at years ago..

A most accommodating and professional staff for a magnificent Property. We were truly pampered with fantastic service by beautiful, knowlegable and caring people. I think there might be a missing bathrobe! Charge me, did not know we took one.

Thank you Oakwood, if it weren't for your mess up, we would not have made it back to the Bel Aire.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Robert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBAManager, Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2012

Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at Hotel Bel-Air. We are sorry to hear you were stranded, but glad we were able to help make the experience less stressful for you. Hope to see you again very soon but hopefully under different circumstances!

All the best,
Jonathan Mattis
Director of Marketing

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2012

This hotel is really something special. Tucked away and out of the hustle and bustle, it feels like a getaway, yet you are only 10 minutes from the action. My husband and I were personally greated at the entrance to the hotel by no less than four people. We were then escorted to our room by one of the managers who checked us in, in our room. There was no queueing to check-in, no standing at a reception counter - just lovely personal and friendly service in our room. He explained all the features of the room too.

The hotel has recently been refurbished and the rooms are beautiful. Ours had a courtyard, and everything is controlled via iPad. One of the staff came to our room and asked if we would like the fire to be lit later that evening. We agreed, and he worked out the best time to come in and do it while we were at dinner, so by the time we were back in the room it would be nice and cosy! The landscaped gardens are gorgeous as well, with ponds, ducks and plenty of places to chill out.

We checked out the gift shop for some last-minute gifts for family. We later decided to buy, so called the shop to see what time they closed as it was late in the day. The assistant offered to add the cost to our bill and deliver the goods to our room (gift-wrapped!) so we didn't have to go back. Absolutely fantastic service.

Enjoyed pre-dinner drinks at the bar with entertaining and expert cocktail-makers, and a lovely dinner in the restaurant - the service was brilliant the whole way through. Everyone was so attentive, friendly and caring.

When we checked out, very early in the morning, the porter was prompt, and by the time we got to reception not five minutes later, our bill was waiting for us.

Overall, the service was impeccable and surrounds lovely. Our only regret was that we had just one night in this outstanding hotel - we would have loved more time to spend by the pool, in the gym and just wandering the grounds. It's a great hotel and we would gladly stay there again.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank FoxyMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBAManager, Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed and thoughtful review on Hotel Bel-Air. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and that we were able to exceed your expectations. Our unique location within the Bel-Air Estates is what sets us apart from all of the hotels in Los Angeles and we are pleased that you agree!

Our staff takes pride in their work and we are glad you were able to experience it through our guest service. I will share this with our team as they will be thrilled to see that hard work does not go unnoticed. We hope you will be back to visit us again in the near future, but hopefully the next time it will be for more than one night!

Warm regards,
Jonathan Mattis
Director of Marketing

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2012

Hotel Bel Air is a stunning, a gorgeous property with outstanding service and amenities, on par with the very best hotels in the world.


However, it suffers from one serious and incomprehensible issue.
Even the Premium connection does not allow much more than email, and you may as well get rid of the "complimentary" one as it hardly can load Google (!). Most times, I cannot even load your connection page!

I think it's a major issue that you should solve asap, as in 2012 all professionals (even on vacation) need a reasonably fast internet connection (and are used to fiber optic connection in a hotel like yours)
I honestly never saw a slower connection, in any hotel I've been in for the past 8 years or so. Test show it ranges from 0,1 to 0,8 Mg download...which is way below the cheapest DSL on the market today.
Now all premium hotels are above 10 Mg, and even most cheap hotels.

It's really hard to understand why you would not invest in internet, given the rest of the suite has the latest technologies. And a $2000/night price tag!

Also, property is located in Los Angeles, not on some remote Pacific Island, where you would have to pull a cable from 5,000 miles away.

In my case, I have to check out tomorrow as it's impossible to do any work, while I would have gladly stayed 3 weeks waiting from my new house to be completed.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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12  Thank Fabriceleparc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBAManager, Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2012

Thank you for choosing Hotel Bel-Air during your recent visit to Los Angeles. I am concerned to hear of the inconvenience you were caused by the internet during your recent stay.

Unfortunately, we had an issue with our internet carrier which affected a region of Los Angeles where the internet speeds were unusually low. The next day the issue was fixed by our internet provider, but not before you experienced connection issues. This is unfortunate because the internet bandwidth for Hotel Bel-Air is 100MB, surely suitable for anyone wishing to utilize our WiFi connection.

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 accept my sincerest apology and I look forward to welcoming you back to Hotel Bel-Air.

Best regards,
Jonathan Mattis
Director of Marketing

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2012

Most beautiful and wonderful place- totaly relaxing and attentive staff! When people say the old addage- "you get what you pay for" - this hotel and its people are the very definition. I was suprised at every turn at their level of attentiveness and attention to my well being. When i departed and left personal belongings in the room- they were gathered and forwarded to me in less than 24 hours!! The front desk staff is over the top and couldnt do enough for me. Conceierge is fabulous too...

Room Tip: there are newly redecorated rooms that are worth staying in!! but your ocation at the property shou...
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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Thank 125Eric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBAManager, Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2012

Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at Hotel Bel-Air. I have passed along your kind words to our staff as they will appreciate that they made a difference in your stay. We hope to have you back with us again in the near future!

Best regards,
Jonathan Mattis
Director of Marketing

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2012

The hotel is amazing, right in the middle of everything I wanted to see and visit. Breakfast is a great addition. Being allergic to feather I asked for a hypoallergenic bed and they provided me with that so I didnt have to scare everybody with my running nose and tearing eyes! Definitely will come back next year with my fiancee! Thank you guys!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank VVanderGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HBAManager, Manager at Hotel Bel-Air, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent stay at Hotel Bel-Air. I am delighted you enjoyed your experience and will be joining us again for another visit. We know how miserable allergies can be so we are happy to help in any way! We hope to see you and your fiancée again very soon!

Best regards,
Jonathan Mattis
Director of Marketing

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 90077-2909
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 Spa Hotel in Los Angeles
#1 Luxury Hotel in Los Angeles
#1 Romantic Hotel in Los Angeles
#3 Business Hotel in Los Angeles
#6 Family Hotel in Los Angeles
Price Range: $639 - $1,456 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Bel-Air 5*
Number of rooms: 103
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. This Spanish mission-style urban oasis wins a never-ending stream of praise for its faultless service, luxurious accommodations, and magical ambiance. All 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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