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Hotel Bel Air

BUSINESS
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.
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NEWS
October 14, 2011 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The 103-room Hotel Bel-Air reopens its doors Friday after a two-year redesign .  The inn blends its former Spanish Colonial architecture with elegant new themes. Its signature oval swimming pool and swans remain . . . .    Prime polar bear viewing season is beginning in Churchill, Canada, where the animals gather to cross Hudson Bay in their fall search for food . . . . As of this weekend, three Colorado ski resorts will be open : Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Wolf Creek.
BUSINESS
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.
NEWS
June 3, 2011 | By Valli Herman, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Closed for a two-year renovation, the luxury hideaway Hotel Bel-Air is planning to reopen in October with more rooms, amenities and broader food and beverage operations, all controlled by the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Plus of course, higher room rates. The storied Los Angeles hotel had originally been expected to reopen in July . It will make its debut with 103 guest rooms, including 12 new canyon-view rooms designed by Montreal’s Alexandra Champalimaud.   In addition, a new building features a fitness studio, loft-style guest rooms and a 4,134-square-foot Spa by La Prairie.
TRAVEL
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.
TRAVEL
October 31, 2010
A new zip line in Las Vegas Tourists can now fly down an 800-foot-long zip line at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, gliding at up to 30 miles an hour under the arched metal canopy that displays the hourly light show. Canada-based Greenheart Conservation Co. has set up the temporary rig above Fremont that will operate until early January. If all goes well, the company hopes to install a permanent attraction that will span the five-block length of the Fremont Street plaza.
NEWS
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.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2009 | By Hugo Martín
Robert De Niro slept there. So did Elizabeth Taylor and Cary Grant. But the crowd that gathered Thursday morning to buy up a piece of the Hotel Bel-Air, a longtime playground of the rich and famous, was hunting for bargains, not souvenirs. Closed Oct. 1, the Los Angeles landmark is getting a two-year, multimillion-dollar face-lift. Its owners are selling off beds, rugs, lamps and other furnishings. About 100 people lined up outside a Santa Monica storefront where the items are on display, hoping to get a little stardust on the cheap.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2009 | Hugo Martin and Patrick J. McDonnell
The Hotel Bel-Air closed quietly Wednesday, shutting for two years of renovations without agreeing to a severance package with its unionized employees. The garden-shrouded resort -- for more than 60 years a retreat for presidents, movie stars and others -- has refused to commit to rehire 250 union employees after its multimillion-dollar face-lift is complete in 2011. Leaders of Unite Here Local 11 have accused the hotel's managers of using the renovation project to rid itself of the union.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2009 | Martha Groves
The Champagne Bar at the Hotel Bel-Air is dark as a lair. Ice clinks as men and women on caramel-colored leather chairs and forest-green couches imbibe, converse and laugh. A roaring fire blasts light and warmth, which is welcome, despite the heat of a late-summer evening, because the air-conditioned room feels like an ice bucket. Against a wall, under giant paintings of swans, Antonio Castillo de la Gala -- dapper in a dark suit, striped tie and crisp shirt -- surveys his domain from his perch at a Yamaha baby grand piano.
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