The Hotel Bel-Air is a boutique hotel located in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California The hotel is one of the ten luxury hotels operated by the Dorchester Collection1 which is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency BIA2 The hotel has a total of 103 rooms, 45 of which are suites3 The Bel-Air hotel has an overall old Hollywood style and is surrounded by 12 acres of gardens in the Bel-Air Estates neighborhood3
Located just outside Beverly Hills and Westwood, Hotel Bel-Air has regularly housed notable guests and celebrities including Robert Wagner, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Jimmy Stewart, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, who frequented the hotel so regularly she had a suite named after her4 Hotel Bel-Air was also the setting for Marilyn Monroe's last Vogue magazine shoot six weeks before her death5
- 1 History
- 2 Gallery
- 3 References
- 4 External links
The hotel was originally built in 1922 on 60 acres of gardens by Alphonzo Bell6 Since opening in 1946, the facility, located on Stone Canyon Road, has served celebrities, heads of state and dignitaries7 Initially built as office space and riding stables, it was purchased in 1946 and converted into a hotel by Texan entrepreneur Joseph Drown8 Drown partnered with architect Burton Schutt to develop the hotel as a luxurious getaway for esteemed guests9
The hotel was themed on an oasis, with Drown adding Swan Lake, which guests cross by foot bridge to get to the hotel The grounds are planted in ficus, fig, palms and continuously-blooming flowers10
After Drown's death in the 1980s, the hotel was sold off to the Hunt family of Texas and became part of the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts collection11 The Hunt family primarily kept everything the same at the hotel, except they decided to bring in chef Wolfgang Puck to consult on the menu and hotel restaurant11
Caroline Hunt sold the hotel for $100 million in 1989 to Japan's Sazale Group12 In 1995, the hotel was purchased by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of the royal family of Brunei,11 and then in 2008 the Dorchester Collection, owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, acquired the hotel Dorchester Collection subsequently closed Hotel Bel-Air for two years of major renovations before reopening in October 20111113
In 2014, the hotel began facing a controversy concerning the ownership by the BIA which is operated by the Sultan of Brunei The sultan enacted the first phase in adopting aspects of Sharia law to the Brunei criminal code14 The process of changing the country's legal system is set to be completed in three phases that will end in 201514 The first phase was initiated in April 2014 and has been met with criticism and boycotts in the United States14
- ^ "Hotel Bel-Air" Dorchester Collection Retrieved July 9, 2014
- ^ Szu Ping Chan September 18, 2013 "Luxury Rome hotel snapped up by Dorchester owner" The Telegraph
- ^ a b Forbes Travel Guide January 13, 2012 "An Inside Look At Wolfgang Puck's New Restaurant At Hotel Bel-Air" Forbes Retrieved July 9, 2014
- ^ Ventre, Michael October 28, 2011 "The Hollywood History of Hotel Bel-Air" LA Confidential Magazine Niche Media Retrieved July 15, 2015
- ^ Garrahan, Matthew November 5, 2011 "The return of a Hollywood legend" FTcom Financial Times Retrieved July 15, 2015
- ^ Sharon Waxman August 3, 2009 "Hotel Bel-Air to Close for Major Renovation" The Wrap Retrieved July 7, 2014
- ^ "Mission Statement" Joseph Drown Foundation Retrieved May 18, 2010
- ^ Architectural digest, Volume 30 Conde Naste Publications 1973 p 69
- ^ Eric Rosen "See and Be Seen at The Polo Lounge" Los Angeles Confidential Retrieved July 7, 2014
- ^ Dane Steele Green December 20, 2012 "Hotel Bel-Air Is Restored and Reopened" Huffington Post Retrieved July 7, 2014
- ^ a b c d Michael Gross January 2012 "Hotel Bel-Air’s Modern New Look" Travel + Leisure Retrieved July 7, 2014
- ^ "The Texas One Hundred" Texas Monthly August 1989 Retrieved July 15, 2015
- ^ "Hotel Bel-Air to Debut in October 2011" Press release Alisha Mahon, Hotel Belair Retrieved 15 May 2012
- ^ a b c Martha Groves; Nabih Bulos; Matt Stevens May 5, 2014 "Sultan of Brunei's Beverly Hills Hotel boycotted over rights issues" Los Angeles Times Retrieved July 7, 2014
- Official website
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