Hotel Bel-Air

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Hotel Bel-Air
Hotelbel-air stierch.JPG
Matchbook from hotel circa 1990
General information
Location Bel-Air, California
Coordinates 34°5′11.09″N 118°26′46.63″W / 34.0864139°N 118.4462861°W / 34.0864139; -118.4462861
Opening 1946
Other information
Number of rooms 103
Number of suites 45

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 Collection[1] which is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA).[2] The hotel has a total of 103 rooms, 45 of which are suites which range in price from $675 to $7,500 per night.[3] The Bel-Air hotel has an overall old Hollywood style and is surrounded by 12 acres of gardens in the Bel-Air Estates neighborhood. [3]


The hotel was originally built in 1922 on 60 acres of gardens by Alphonzo Bell.[4] Since opening in 1946, the facility, located on Stone Canyon Road, has served celebrities, heads of state and dignitaries.[5] Initially built as office space and riding stables, it was purchased in 1946 and converted into a hotel by Texan entrepreneur Joseph Drown.[6] Drown partnered with architect Burton Schutt to develop the hotel as a luxurious getaway for esteemed guests.[7]

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 flowers.[8]

After Drown's death in the 1980s, the hotel was sold off to the Hunt family of Texas and became the Rosewood Hotel.[9] 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 restaurant.[9]

In 2008 the hotel was purchased by the Dorchester Collection and subsequently closed for major renovations for two years before reopening in October of 2011.[9][10]

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 code.[11] The process of changing the country's legal system is set to be completed in three phases that will end in 2015.[11] The first phase was initiated in April 2014 and has been met with criticism and boycotts in the United States.[11]


  1. ^ "Hotel Bel-Air". Dorchester Collection. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ Szu Ping Chan (September 18, 2013). "Luxury Rome hotel snapped up by Dorchester owner". The Telegraph. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Sharon Waxman (August 3, 2009). "Hotel Bel-Air to Close for Major Renovation". The Wrap. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Mission Statement". Joseph Drown Foundation. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Architectural digest, Volume 30". Conde Naste Publications. 1973. p. 69. 
  7. ^ Eric Rosen. "See and Be Seen at The Polo Lounge". Los Angeles Confidential. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ Dane Steele Green (December 20, 2012). "Hotel Bel-Air Is Restored and Reopened". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Michael Gross (January 2012). "Hotel Bel-Air’s Modern New Look". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Hotel Bel-Air to Debut in October 2011" (Press release). Alisha Mahon, Hotel Belair. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  11. ^ 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. 

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