The Orne Hotel Bel-Air

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The Bel-Air Hotel is a luxuriously designed private oasis in the heart of Los Angeles’ Westside. The region is known from the famous television series of the 90s, The prince of Bel-Air (although that house is in Brentwood), and the hotel in all its old Hollywood style sits on twelve acres in the affluent Bel-air Estates neighborhood, built into the city’s famous canyons. Opened in 1946, the Spanish Colonial style gives the impression of being part of Hollywood’s Golden Age when Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor, Carey Grant, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe graced the hotel. The latter did a photo shoot for Vogue a few weeks before passing.

The most fascinating thing about Hotel Bel-Air is that over the years of renovations, additions and style updates, the hotel has been able to retain its signature pink exterior, while maintaining its 1940s charm.

As you board, the valet attendants take you out and seconds later you cross the bridge which guides you to the hotel property. The first thing you notice on site is the manicured landscaping and tropical trees. For a moment, you might feel like you’ve been transported to Singapore or Costa Rica. The pale pink buildings with the cursive font of the hotel name on the outside are just as welcoming as the hotel’s interior. This is when you know you are about to enter somewhere luxurious and on another level.

Lemon, jasmine, oak, and a myriad of other trees are part of the hotel’s foliage, making it a very private and reclusive hotel, compared to other Los Angeles-based hotels. No wonder other movie greats like Tom Cruise and Al Pacino have all found comfort in this hotel. It really is an endless plethora of jungle, a landscaping lover’s paradise. There’s also something about the hotel that makes you feel like you’re on a tropical island. For this hotel, the outdoor arrangement of trees, flowers and plants is just as important as the interior style. So stop and take it.

I’m inclined to start with the fun parts, but every part of the well-designed hotel is fun. The circular-shaped pool, also surrounded by skinny Southern California palms, is a paradise in itself. Lawn chairs surround the circular shape of the pool and it’s a place you can easily get caught up in for most of the day.

The lobby is a large open space with a square-shaped fireplace that sits on a large limestone rock in the center that has its own unique facing. Alexandra Champalimaud, the interior designer for the 103 rooms and suites, spa, lobby and other public spaces has had a facelift with her team of 50 people. Champalimaud also carried out the interior decoration of the Bel-Air hotel’s partner hotel, the Beverly Hills Hotel. Bringing modern furniture to a classic space of upholstered sofas and single-seat Soane Britain cowhide chairs, and Jean de Merry lighting gives the room a romantic feel in the evening, especially with the blazing fireplace.

All rooms have limestone floors and branded bathrobes and slippers. But each room and suite has its own personality, imagined by Champalimaud and his design team. An iPad also comes with each room where guests can order in-room services like room service, as well as free wi-fi.

Superior rooms are more affordable and still carry the excellence of the Hotel Bel-Air and the old Hollywood essence. With neutral-colored walls and a color palette of cream, white, and black, it puts guests in a positive mood. The floors are limestone while the ceiling is parquet. The styling is a nod to Champalimaud’s design aesthetic. With 430 square feet, a king size bed and a marble spa bath with an in-mirror TV, fili d’Oro luxury Egyptian cotton linens and a garden view, this is truly an ideal room for one or of them. Superior rooms start at $745 per night.

The Chalon Suite, named after a street surrounding the hotel, has two bedrooms on either side of the suite which are connected by the spacious living room which includes a round dining table, a painted sofa with painted walls and two wingback chairs , and a fireplace that leads to the patio which includes a jacuzzi and lounge chairs with umbrella. There are also cream colored exterior seats. The suite screams old Hollywood, especially with the three French doors that lead to the patio, and the light-colored limestone floors (heated in the bathroom) and neutral-colored walls help trap natural light. The master bedroom is large and relax with the lounge chair, king-size bed, very spacious walk-in closet and large bathroom which includes both a bath and a walk-in shower. The Chalon Suite starts at $5,200 per night.

The Presidential Suite master bedroom is large and spacious with a leather headboard, contemporary in style with off-white walls and pale limestone flooring. The bathroom is tiled with mother of pearl mosaic tiles, with a colorful stained glass effect. A very large bathtub sits in the center, while the steam shower is next to it. The formal living room has limestone flooring and 14 inch ceilings, giving the room an extra large feel. The fireplace adds a warm touch, as well as the small grand piano in the corner. The dining room and its 10-seater oval table, covered in Costantini Design lacquer, with the ceiling painted in gold, is designed with maximum privacy due to the shape. The fully functional kitchen with sub-zero silver appliances sits adjacent to the dining room, and the hotel’s Wolfgang Puck restaurant can cook a meal for the suite. The red leather-covered desk in the office surrounded by windows makes working pleasant. Next to the office is a private courtyard with seating and a hot tub. But, there is also a large swimming pool that goes with the suite. The Presidential Suite costs around $17,000 per night and is stunning at 7,000 square feet.

The two-story building in which the spa and gym are located was built in 2011, but matches the other hotel buildings. The dimly lit space invites maximum relaxation. Oak wood floors and silk covered walls give an inviting touch, while the relaxation room offers the most unique chairs that lead to the outdoor patio.

The indoor and outdoor restaurant, Wolfgang Puck at the Bel-Air Hotelwas redesigned by David Rockwell, an architect whose work includes the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles (where the Oscars are held), and Broadway sets like She loves Me, as well as the scenography of two Oscar ceremonies. Rockwell has captured the essence of the hotel’s Spanish Colonial style with old Hollywood glamour, from the marble fireplace to the outdoor seating area.

The Bel-Air Hotel is a Dorchester Collection hotel, along with other fashionable hotels around the world, from 45 Park Lane in London to the Plaza Athénée in Paris. Exuding luxury and the highest excellence of upscale, pleasant and welcoming service, along with Hollywood history and tropical ambience, this is one of the best-designed hotels in Los Angeles. .

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