90077 Travel Guide
Celebrity Scoop / Lindsay Lohan / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Hotel Spas / Hotel News / → All Tags
Troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan is working hard (again) to redeem herself in the eyes of the general public. After pal-ing around with Lady Gaga on Twitter and wrapping a Liz Taylor biopic, Lohan took to the pool at the luxe Hotel Bel-Air yesterday to show off her bod in a white one-piece suit with a plunging sheer cleavage cutout.
Despite the totally staged photos that captured some questionable bruises and a pink pen stain on her legs, Lohan is indeed looking better than she has in a long time. Her time at the pool seemed pretty uneventful as well. There was nary a cigarette butt or a Red Bull vodka in sight! Instead, Lohan flipped through the pages of an O magazine before dipping her toes ever so daintily into the water.
Even if Lohan is back on track, we doubt she has the cash flow to cover the $500+ room rate at the hotel. But there is a way to enjoy the hotel's pool area without staying the night--For the first time ever, the hotel has opened the pool to its La Prairie spa guests.
Hotel Spas / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Design Thursdays / Hotel Design / La Prairie / Alexandra Champalimaud / → All Tags
This was meant to go yesterday for Design Thursdays but we got a little sidetracked. Maybe you can slot it in for Fun Fridays?
As you probably already know, there were so many shimmery and gilded new things to lust after inside the reopened Hotel Bel-Air but we were left starry-eyed by these 24k gold-plated, laser-cut brass chandeliers hanging in the relaxation room inside the hotel's La Prairie Spa.
The chandeliers were selected by the spa's interior designer, Alexandra Champalimaud, who also glammed up the hotel's rooms and suites. But of course, this being the relaxation room and all, the chandeliers gave off the perfect amount of glow--not too bright and not too dark that we couldn't see the music selection menu for our treatment. Yes, the spa actually allows you to pick your desired treatment music.
The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner daily (at 7am and 5:30pm respectively), lunch from Monday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday from 11am to 3pm. The restaurant is also open for afternoon tea from 2:30pm to 4pm. (We are so going there soon.) Meanwhile, the bar is open from 2pm to midnight during the week and 2pm to 2am on the weekends.
What is This / Hotel Beds / Hotel Furniture / Los Angeles Hotels / Dorchester Collection Hotels / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
The other week when we were perusing a Canyon View Suite at the newly reopened Hotel Bel-Air we were immediately drawn to this rectangle thingie embedded in the bed's leather headboard. What could it be? The only way to find out was to start poking at it.
So poke we did and voila! Once we pushed on it, a reading light popped out.
Celeb Chefs / Hotel Restaurants / Wolfgang Puck / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Wolfgang Puck is either drinking a lot of red bull these days or he has clones of himself running around the world from one top luxury hotel to the next launching new hotel restaurant concepts.
Fresh off the opening of his CUT Steakhouse at 45 Park Lane, Wolfgang was back in LA to open to his new restaurant at the newly glamorous Hotel Bel-Air. But it's not just one restaurant Wolfgang is running here, it's the entire food and beverage operations.
Anytime you order an appetizer, an entree, dessert or even a late-night snack from room service during your stay at the Bel-Air, Wolfgang has put his hands on it. Ok, well not exactly as he won't always be in the kitchen but it's his culinary vision that's being executed. And a huge part of that vision is freshness.
We went into the kitchen at the Hotel Bel-Air with Wolfgang where he showed us that day's haul from the farmer's market. He's a stickler about having everything as fresh as can be, even to the point where he will ask if the oranges can stay on the tree a little longer. So when you get a fresh fruit basket in your room upon arrival, you can sleep soundly knowing that it's some seriously fresh fruit.
Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Toilets / Luxury Hotels / Dorchester Collection / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Inside of all the guestrooms, not just the fancy suites, are the finest thrones you could hope for--Neorest 500 automatic toilets, complete with remote controls. Do you hear bells ringing? We do!
While it's not as advanced as the cans at the Peninsula Tokyo, the Neorest still rises to greet you (see video below) and is heated at all times. Plus, when you're done you can look at the remote for all sorts of other "activities" to do.
One of the reasons we love luxury hotels so much is that we get to live in the lap of luxury for a little bit and the Hotel Bel-Air is certainly giving its guests that chance with their new bathrooms. Not only are there La Prairie amenities but in addition to a shower, there's a deep soaking tub with a TV appropriately positioned above. Heaven.
But if you plan on taking the Neorest home with you, it will cost upwards of $3,000 and no, the hotel does not sell it in its boutique store.
Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Opening Rates / Dorchester Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Wolfgang Puck / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel News / → All Tags
UPDATE: The hotel is TOTALLY SOLD OUT for the first two weeks. Arrggh. There is a waitlist available and we suggest you get on it if you want to taste some Wolfgang Puck before the rest of the world. Fingers crossed someone drops out!
We can't believe this day is almost near. The Hotel Bel-Air, which closed two years ago for a massive renovation, will be reopening on October 14.
If you're one of the longtime fans of the hotel (and there are many) who can't wait to sleep inside the new rooms, then you probably already booked your reservation when they went online in June. But now there's another incentive for staying at the Hotel Bel-Air on opening night and that's exclusive access to Wolfgang Puck's new restaurant, The Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air as well as the new bar and lobby lounge.
These spaces will open to the public on November 1st but hotel guests will be among the first to try them out for two weeks. Yay! We love special guest perks!
Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Renovations / Luxury Hotels / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
When the Hotel Bel-Air closed for renovations back in 2009, we were actually quite relieved as the storied hotel was starting to date itself. But it's been a long two years and we've been getting ants in our pants wondering what the hotel has been so busy working on.
While we first heard July for the grand reopening date, we've learned this morning that the hotel will now be reopening on October 15. Aaaaah, so close yet so far.
However, the hotel is taking reservations starting today. Special opening rates start at $565 a night with a $100 dining credit so you can sample some of the new Wolfgang Puck fare we told you about.
Wolfgang Puck / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Renovations / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
As the Hotel Bel-Air readies for its big reopening, one of the new features of the massive renovation is a restaurant from famed chef Wolfgang Puck.
According to Eater, he will set up shop in the newly renovated hotel and call his restaurant the not-very-original Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air. At the restaurant, he'll serve contemporary California cuisine with European and Mediterranean touches.
WTF Hotel News / Hotel Rankings / Los Angeles Hotels / Travel and Leisure / Hotel News / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
Once again, we find ourselves confused by a World's Best list from Travel + Leisure. The magazine has just released its 2011 T+L 500 guide which always makes us giddy as we love seeing which hotels are hot and which are not. But when we noticed that the best hotel in Los Angeles is the Hotel Bel-Air, it felt like someone popped the pretty balloon we had been holding. And then knocked over our ice cream too.
That's because the Hotel Bel-Air has been closed for over a year for extensive renovations. It is not expected to reopen until July.
So, how did this happen? According to T+L, the 2011 T+L 500 guide is "based on 2010 World's Best Awards readers' survey results. As part of the survey, Travel + Leisure readers rated hotels on several characteristics including rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants/food, and value."
So this must mean that T+L readers are voting based on their pre-2010 experiences at the hotel. And we're not so sure that those experiences are ones we'd like to have.
Hotel Renovations / Dorchester Collection Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Weddings / Hotel News / → All Tags
The luxury property, a Dorchester Collection Hotel, announced yesterday that after 222 months it would finally reopen in July 2011.
The Hotel Bel-Air was in desperate need of renovations so we're mighty eager to see how the design teams of Alexandra Champalimaud and the Rockwell Group blended the traditional and historical aspects of the Bel-Air, which longtime guests are still very protective of, with the new modern amenities and fine furnishings that one expects from a luxury hotel these days.
So here's a bit of info on the new design:
Back on October 1, the Hotel Bel-Air closed for some much-needed renovations. While that seemed to create a lot of havoc for brides-to-be, we had no idea that the real chaos would come when the hotel decided to put all its old furnishings up for sale last weekend!
On Friday, the L.A. Times reported that the hotel that once hosted guests like Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and Oprah Winfrey was putting up its furnishings for sale…and over 100 people showed up and waited in line at the Santa Monica storefront the hotel set up for the sale to get a piece of the action.
As the story reported, though, these bargain-hunters weren’t in search of souvenirs. They came for the rock-bottom prices on items like rugs, lamps and beds. By noon, more than 250 people were in line. That might seem like a lot, but not compared to the queues at the semi-annual Barney’s warehouse sale.