Hollywood Facelift - Luxury Travel Magazine
|By: Stephanie Orma, Issue 48 – Spring 11|
|(Hotel Bel-Air, Hollywood)|
|WITH ITS SIGNATURE PINK EXTERIOR AND UBER-SECLUDED HOLLYWOOD HILLS LOCALE, THE FAMED HOTEL BEL-AIR HAS ATTRACTED PRIVACY-SEEKING CELEBS FOR OVER 65 YEARS. BUT IN LOOKS-OBSESSED HOLLYWOOD, FACELIFTS ARE INEVITABLE EVEN FOR ICONS OF THE BRICK-AND-MORTAR KIND WRITES STEPHANIE ORMA.|
Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts are just a few of the noteables to frequent the L.A. hideaway Hotel Bel-Air. This month it is re-opening after a two-year, multimillion dollar overhaul to reveal its golden-era Hollywood glam-meets-21st century redesign.
Collaboratively restored by the renowned design teams of Alexandra Champalimaud and the Rockwell Group, the new aesthetic refreshingly juxtaposes 1930s, 40s and 50s old Hollywood with ultra-contemporary touches. And with its classic residence-style setting nestled on 12 acres of picturesque gardens, complete with a swan filled lake, the designers were inspired to ramp up the serene indoor/outdoor vibe.
Leading the design for this Sultan of Brunei owned hotel, Champalimaud swanked out all 103 guestrooms and suites with a black and white 1920s-inspired motif. Clad in Mid-Century modern-style furnishings, the bright airy spaces feature art deco finishes, limestone heated floors, polished marble and natural wood ceilings. Although the rooms evoke the bygone days of Hollywood-era past, all are wired with the latest tech toys including in-room provided iPads and high-definition flat screens. “We wanted to reinvent the past in a contemporary way - a nod to the past while looking to the future,” explained the design team. In addition, Champalimaud individually designed seven specialty suites by theme, such as the charmingly feminine Grace Kelly dwelling. New to the property are twelve hillside abodes featuring wow-worthy vistas of Bel Air and beyond. Expect sliding glass walls, outdoor fireplaces, spacious decks with private spa pools and the feeling of your own private estate.
But starting at US$13,500 (about A$13,182) per night, the Presidential Suite is the pièce de résistance. With 6,775-square-feet, private dining for 10, a chef’s kitchen, grand piano and private pool – the compound offers the ultimate in luxe privacy.
Also fresh to the property is a 12,000-squarefoot structure housing a new fitness studio and zen-worthy 4,134-square-foot spa. Three open floor loft guestrooms with double-sided fireplaces and sky-high ceilings complete the building’s interior.
Likewise, Champalimaud designed the new lobby lounge with Spanish colonial arched windows, a hanging bronze fireplace, distressed hardwoods, and French Deco furnishings.
At the helm of the public space redesign, Rockwell Group re-imagined the new Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air restaurant bringing the lush gardens inside with skylights, plentiful windows and retractable walls. Multiple glass wine cellars displaying over 2,400 bottles dot the posh eatery. Foodies can also dine on the ivy-columned patio overlooking Swan Lake.
For the famed hotel bar and lounge (where the likes of Billy Joel and Paul McCartney have jammed on the baby grand), Rockwell Group decked out the legendary hipster watering hole with an ultra-chic, clubby vibe.
|For larger affairs (from fairytale weddings to Oscar parties) the design firm reconfigured the soft-hued, starburst chandeliered Garden Ballroom and connecting courtyard to host up to 250 of your closest Hollywood pals. Roll out the red carpet. This is urban oasis found.|