Travel Blogs from Los Angeles
OMG early start for 04.10 pick up. Arrive Auckland airport and quickly go through security and into lounge. Our flight to Sydney leaves on time at 06.40. Arrive on time to Sydney and have two hours connection before flight to Los Angeles. Board flight on time and get settled in. This will be our home for the next 14 hours!!!! Have two older Qantas …
... these sporty peeps actually get overheated they just plunge into the water, which was still a little chilly in early June. Claire and I got off the bus at Mission Beach where the waves allowed many surfers to show off their skills. We then walked on Pacific Beach, over the boulevard, with many cute cafes and restaurants on our right and the continuous beach life on our left. Besides the occasional coffee and people-watching in one of these cafes, we spent the whole day relaxing on ...
... to 15 minutes. About 200 guests are loaded onto a 3 booth tram for the tour and as fast as one pulls away another is loaded. The tour was excellent - very informative about history of Universal and the site and takes you past lots of famous and iconic buildings and streetscapes. I'm not sue if they are really still there from the original movies or TV shows or if they are modern structures erected for the tour. There are also some very modern bits like ...
... that we went for a walk along the beautiful beach where bay watch was filmed! We ended up walking to muscle beach which was a lot smaller than we had expected. It was very hot as LA are in the middle of a heat wave so is at around 38 degrees. We then went on our 2 hour tour around Malibu seeing the beach homes of the osbournes, Leonardo do Caprio and Adam sander. We ...
... to ask what is planned for the next couple of days until we leave so we have to cough it up a little earlier than we had planned. We are flying to New York tomorrow until Sunday when we fly back to LA and then home to Australia. Well there was all sorts of excitement on Ocean Ave when we broke the news to her. She then said suppose you are going to tell me we have floor seats for the Knicks, and I said well I don't think they are on the floor!
We have to get though today yet! ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsHotel Bel-Air Los Angeles
The most amazing hotel in the world, really, really loved this place. Can't wait to come back and stay for much longer. Stunningly beautiful gardens, laid back, amazing staff, fabulous pool, great food, fantastic bar, wonderful rooms cannot say enough good things about this hotel. Pity about the bad publicity just now, which is sadly nothing to do with the actual hotel. Hope the owners get this sorted soon, as this is a fabulous place to stay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Bel-Air Los Angeles
Horrible staff at Hotel Bel Air? I have stayed at HBA on more than one occasion and no I'm not super wealthy - I pull up to valet in a Toyota and they have treated me no different than other guests. I have always found the staff helpful and sincere in their desire to ensure my stay was nothing less than perfect. HBA provides a unique experience in a romantic and tranquil setting within the neighboorhood of Bel Air. This IS a five star hotel. Period.
Elegant. Secluded. Impeccable service.
Elegant. Secluded. Romantic. And it just seems to get better.
We were married at the Bel-Air 18 years ago and return every year for a few days. Now we bring our kids. It is so beautiful and the service is quiet and attentative. I heard they recently received their fifth star...it is well deserved.
Staff is horrible
The Hotel Bel-Air is a terrible faux-pas in terms of a choice to stay in Los Angeles Area. There are many other places to choose from that would aggravate you less.
Despite the owner of the Hotel being a Prince,
Princely service is not the norm. They check you out to see you're really rich or just rich. They expect an exhorbitant tip for carrying a bag 2 yards.
The hotel is just terrible. Staff re-education a must. They behave like snotty children of rich parents when they are just help. Atrocious!!!
Bel-Air southworld culture
I believe the Hotel Bel-Air is better than The Beverly Hills Hotel and its bungalows. It is similar to nouveau
Californian with in 2004 very Norma Desmond tones.
When I think of it I think of southworld culture and water as still as glass with a big perspective like Devil's Lake State Park of Baraboo, Wisconsin's south shore.
THE best for a romantic weekend!
My fiance and I just got back from a weekend at the Hotel Bel Air and it was simply the best. The staff were outstanding and provided a level of service I have yet to find anywhere else. Yes, the rooms are pricey, but the suites provide a quiet and tranquill setting to get away from life's stresses. The Restaurant is a great place for a romantic dinner (they accomodated a special dessert request) - the food and service were both five star. The pool is open 24/7, although it is crowded on holiday weekends. My one suggestion would be to visit the hotel during a slow weekend (non-holiday) to ensure access to the wonderful pool.
Just returned from a 3 day visit, and loved everything about the hotel. The gardens were the most beautiful and extensive (considering the size of the hotel) hotel gardens we've seen. We found all the staff to be very warm and friendly. No one was snobby, even though we showed up in our rented Ford Taurus, and were always dressed casually. We loved all the extra touches in the room, around the pool, and when working with the front desk or concierge. It spoiled us for other hotels in the area though. Checked out Santa Monica and we no longer have any desire to go to any of the nearby beach hotels. We'll definitely return to the Hotel Bel-Air.
Beautiful grounds rude snobby service
We stayed here for our wedding night and the next. I have tea at the hotel often and have always loved the grounds and heard it was a great place to stay. Checking in at midnight in full wedding gown and tux, my husband and I beamed to the front desk person - " We are checking in!" His reply, a curt "obviously". I said, " We just got married!" This time I got a sarcastic, "You're joking". The room was truly beautiful but I was very disapointed to find that the champagne and "Bride & Groom" embroidered pillowcases I had brought by earlier that week were not in the room as they had promised. They never turned up. The next morning there was a wedding right outside of our room and noise from the restaurant could be heard. when we checked out and mentioned the problems they couldn't have cared less. So, not wanting to have a bad feeling about our weekend, I paid the bill- almost $3,000 for two nights, and left. Getting the car, the valet asked, "What kind of car do you drive?" I replied a black BMW and he rudely said, "Oh like that is going to help me here in LA".
In a Class By Itself
As far as I'm concerned, this is in a class by itself. First off, the grounds are amazing, romantic, and beautifully manicured, you almost feel like you're in a tropical jungle all your own. There are swans in the man made streams that add to the romance of the place. You wouldn't even know that you were ten mins. from gridlocked Los Angeles if you didn't know where you were. This place is very special for its impeccabley decorated and comfortable rooms, with the feeling of total privacy and the staff's attention to detail and eagerness to please.
Nearly every monarch has stayed here from Princess Grace to all the Scandinavian Princes and Princesses, and Queen Juliana of Holland as well. The grouds are perfect for weddings and the hotel is smart to only schedule one at a time; many hotels do not do this, so you have to compete with other wedding parties for any space. I have been coming here for nearly thirteen years now and always enjoy my stay and visits immensely. The food is great (the best hamburgers) and awesome drinks made by my fave bartender, Gus. If privacy, civility and pampering are what you have been yearning for, make a stay here a top of the list priority, you won't be disappointed. I prefer this to the Beverly Hills Hotel (also a "10") but with less feeling of privacy. A real gem!
Not as good as The Beverly Hills Hotel
After staying at The Beverly Hills Hotel 4 months ago I could mostly only see shortcomings during my visit to the Hotel Bel Air.
Both hotels are owned be the Sultan of Brunai, so they are sister hotels.
The Hotel Bel Air has spectacular grounds, impeccable service and friendly staff. So does The Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Beverly Hills Hotel has a better pool and much better rooms. The rooms at Hotel Bel Air are on the small side, are more expensive, and furniture is older and more worn. Also, the style is more feminine, which I did not personally care for.
Housekeeping was irregular at best. At The Beverly Hills Hotel they have mastered the art of cleaning your room almost by magic, when you aren't looking. At the Hotel Bel Air, one day I had to call housekeeping at 2:30 pm because the room had still not been made up.
That is a serious gaffe at a so-called 5-star hotel.
When we had the heater on in the room (Junior Suite #195), there was a rattle which was distracting when trying to sleep.
The bathroom and in particular the shower is not nearly as good as at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The pool is quite small and there was rarely an attendant to ask for drinks or anything else. They would come around once every half hour or so but otherwise were nowhere to be found.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is equal or superior in every way to this hotel. I'm glad I gave the Hotel Bel Air a try but I won't go back.
I'll be over in Beverly Hills where the pool is nicer, the rooms are bigger, the bathrooms are better, housekeeping is superior and value for money is much better.
Overall a lovely hotel, with some reservations
We recently stayed at the Bel Air, and overall had a lovely time.
However, there were a number of hiccups which we found surprising given the rave reviews normally accorded this hotel. Most staff were extremely polite and affable, but on one occasion where the kitchen made a major faux pas with respect to a special room service order (delivering a completely wrong order), the first person we spoke to argued with us fairly heatedly that we had made the error, rather than the kitchen. It took a conversation with the concierge to have the room service manager contact us, and we were able to show written proof that the problem was not ours. To their credit, the duty manager apologised by sending us champagne and strawberries, but the argument with the first person we spoke with was rather unexpected, especially as we had proof that what we had received was not what we had ordered. There were other little hiccups as well, like our welcome tea service being delivered with a welcome note addressed to another guest (we pointed this out but this was ignored), and room service orders being slightly out on each occasion (eg burger delivered without any of the advertised lettuce/tomato etc or condiments, just burger and bun; 2 of various items being delivered and charged when only one was ordered; trays left for hours despite us calling to ahve them removed and so on). On another occasion, we watched as the housekeeping staff discussed a large food stain on our bedsheets (caused by a collapsing room service trolley), and then shrug and decide to remake the bed without changing the sheets despite having noted the stain. None of these were major issues, but they did seem out of place at a hotel with such a good reputation, and it made us rather more on guard than we would normally want to be on vacation. We would definitely stay again because it is a beautiful hotel, but we will be forewarned.