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Hotel Bel Air

October 26, 2010 | By Valli Herman, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It’s been little more than a year, but to fans of the Hotel Bel-Air , the elapsed time since the iconic hideaway closed for renovation might as well have been in dog years. There’s an end in sight: July 2011. When the 64-year-old Los Angeles hotel welcomes guests next year, the face-lift will have changed not just the look but the feel and function of this luxury lodging. The multimillion-dollar effort aims to maintain the hotel's residential sensibility, using a decorating scheme that draws on the best homes of Bel-Air and other Los Angeles areas through the decades.
October 8, 2011 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
When the Hotel Bel-Air reopens next week after a two-year renovation, the resort's mascot swans — Chloe, Athena and Hercules — will still occupy the lush 12-acre property visited by presidents, movie stars and other dignitaries. But absent will be most of the union workers who washed dishes, made beds and laundered towels at the hotel. They were laid off when the hotel closed, and many of them will return only to march and protest outside the hotel entrance. The historic hotel, closed in 2009 for the multimillion-dollar upgrade, will reopen Friday with only about a dozen of its former union workers on the staff of 275, dealing a blow to the hotel workers union and its members.
August 5, 2009 | Hugo Martin
The Hotel Bel-Air, a storied Mission-style landmark frequented by Hollywood's elite, will close for nearly two years for a multimillion-dollar face lift that will put hundreds of staffers out of work. The massive renovation, beginning Oct. 1, will include upgrades for all 91 rooms and suites, the hotel's Champagne Bar, its restaurant and private dining rooms. When it is finished in mid-2011, the hotel will boast 12 new villas and a spa with seven treatment rooms.
October 15, 2011 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
After a two-year renovation, the iconic Hotel Bel-Air in West Los Angeles reopened to a spirited protest by about 300 activists and former union workers who were laid off when construction began in 2009 and were never rehired. As guests arrived, they were greeted by the demonstration Friday afternoon organized by Unite Here Local 11, whose leaders contended the hotel used the multimillion-dollar upgrade to force union workers out. The union activists were joined by protesters from Occupy L.A., who rode two buses from downtown Los Angeles, where they have been demonstrating against corporate greed.
May 2, 1989 | TERRY PRISTIN and ERIC MALNIC, Times Staff Writers
The legendary Hotel Bel-Air, a bougainvillea-bordered haven for show business celebrities and European royalty seeking privacy and elegance, is being sold to a Japanese investment group for more than $100 million, the hotel's current owners announced Monday. The per-room purchase price of more than $1.2 million shatters the old record of about $757,000 per room, established when the Sultan of Brunei bought the nearby 260-room Beverly Hills Hotel for about $200 million in 1987. Investor Donald Trump paid $496,000 a room when he bought New York's Plaza Hotel last year.
The Hotel Bel-Air remains the same exclusive, romantic, garden-like hideaway that it was when the first guests moved in 45 years ago. But one thing has definitely changed: the food, which has kept pace with California's fast-paced culinary scene. You can savor the dishes beautifully displayed in a new book that gives equal play to the lush grounds of the hotel. Leafing through "The Bel-Air Book of Southern California Food and Entertaining" (Crown: $50) is like indulging in a luxury weekend.
April 8, 1994 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A Japanese company is seeking to sell the Hotel Bel-Air in West Los Angeles, acquired for more than $100 million in the late 1980s during a Japanese buying spree of well-known American properties, a financier said here Thursday. If the sale goes through, it would mark the latest Japanese retreat from spectacular real estate purchases made in those years. The Japanese tycoon who bought the Pebble Beach golf resort in 1990 was thought to have lost $340 million when he sold it in 1992.
November 14, 2010
A local's view of bicycling tours Regarding Chris Reynolds' "It's Downhill From Here" [Nov. 7]: I know of no one who lives upcountry (or on Maui for that matter) who looks favorably on downhill bicycle tours. We may not complain, but we see it as a few local companies who are making a living off taxpayers by turning our beautiful island into a Disneyland to benefit a handful of tourists. Thank you for mentioning that this ride can hurt you or even kill you. It's very dangerous — period.
Before the Hotel Bel-Air sunk $1 million into renovating the restaurant's kitchen, executive chef Gary Clauson submitted a wish list: an office larger than a closet and a chef's table in a private room looking onto the kitchen. Wishes granted to the eight-year veteran of the Bel-Air. His new office is bigger and Table One, a glass-enclosed sanctuary for foodies, makes most chef's tables (usually stashed in the kitchen corner) look like an afterthought.
August 10, 2007 | Andrew Blankstein and James Ricci, Times Staff Writers
If you're one of the burglars who've lately been tormenting the moneyed canyon-ites and hill dwellers of Bel-Air and Brentwood, Thursday evening would have been an excellent time to strike again. More than a hundred potential victims were absent from their high-hedged manses to attend a community meeting to discuss what to do about you. In many other communities such a gathering probably would have been held in the local park recreation room or school auditorium.
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