Hotel Bel-Air has been a hideaway for world travelers for more than 65 years. A visionary significant in the development of the area, Alphonso E. Bell created Bel-Air Estates in 1922. Bell acquired over 600 acres west of the city of Los Angeles, naming his new purchase “Bel-Air.” What is now the main center of the hotel was Bell’s estate planning and sales offices which were located next to the Bel-Air Stables, where residents could board their horses and enjoy the miles of equestrian trails winding through the canyons.
For the next few decades, Bell’s dream flourished. In 1946, Joseph Drown, a hotel entrepreneur from Texas, purchased 18 acres, and the land offices, and began to create an elegant pastoral hotel hideaway encompassing most of the land. Drown immediately hired architect Burton Schutt to convert the buildings and construct the 62 rooms of what was to become Hotel Bel-Air. Drown transformed the grounds into lush, beautiful gardens, adding Swan Lake to the picturesque front lawn. Drown also closed the Stone Canyon stables and built the sparkling oval-shaped swimming pool at the site of the
original riding ring. 29 more rooms and suites were added in the early 1980’s.
Now managed by the Dorchester Collection, Hotel Bel-Air continues to be a favorite retreat among high profile global influencers, Hollywood celebrities and multi-generational world travelers. Hotel Bel-Air closed in September 2009 for a two year transformation spearheaded by revered design firms Alexandra Champalimaud and Rockwell Group.