When my car pulled up at the entrance to the Hotel Bel-Air, the door was immediately swung open by a handsome young man who was dressed similar to an official one might meet at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. He wore smart pressed trousers with a white double-breasted suit jacket that he adjusted to announce into his wrist the following: "Miss Johnston arriving." It was the softest and most subtle cue to the staff in reception and I fully believe it was not meant for my ears. Nonetheless, it was registered and impressed me to no end. His announcement resulted in being met directly in the main room by a lovely and well manicured young woman who was ready and waiting with my room key to lead me to the patio suite for my stay.
We marched through the open air corridors of the Hotel Bel-Air where there were only three colours being registered at any given time - blue sky, green plant life everywhere and beautiful pastel pink walls. In my head something clicked and I immediately started humming the Eagles tune "Hotel California." If this were a hotel where I could check in and never leave, I would die a happy woman indeed. Hey, it was better than the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air song I was humming as I drove up to the hotel. "In West Philadelphia, born and raised..."
Upon entering the suite I was greeted by the most delightful, and delectable surprise. The chef had prepared a special culinary surprise, complete with the Fashion Foie Gras logo in sugar (sadly I tried to bring this back and arrived in London to find it had broken into tiny pieces).
My room was what one may call the "height of elegance." Every part had a purpose and every corner was finished to an expert level. There was attention to detail like nothing I had every seen before, from curtains to bed corners. This was a beautiful space and I was instantly dreading check out the next day. As I made my way through the maze that was my room, I found that my patio was one of my favourite areas of the suite. I set up camp with my laptop, a glass of sparkling water with lime and my sunglasses firmly situated to combat the afternoon sun. This was heaven and I do believe if it is possible to smile from forehead to pinkie toe, this is exactly what I was doing at that very moment in time.
That evening I went out to have dinner with a friend and when we returned to the Hotel Bel-Air we found ourselves enjoying the outdoor fire that had been lit just outside my room. There were benches laid for our comfort and we felt as if we had been given our own private camp fire in the middle of paradise.
As the temperature dropped, I made my way back into the suite and decided I would like to continue enjoying the warmth of the fire within my own room. After one call to reception, I had a handsome man at my door within five minutes offering to light my fire. Oh, you dirty minds. Truly, he was there to light the fire place.
I worked late into the night at the Hotel Bel-Air, organising my thoughts and putting together posts for FFG for the future. I told myself I wouldn't sleep until the last flicker of flame went out in the fire. That was at 4am and it was time for me to give in and lay my head down for a little R&R. The thing is, when you stay in a place like this the last thing you want to do is sleep. You want to enjoy your surroundings and remember such decadence forever. But I buckled. I lay my head down to sleep and was so comfortable in my surroundings that I was in dreamland instantly and stayed asleep for the next seven hours.
Hotel Bel-Air, you are pure heaven and I do hope to return to this beautiful dream home away from home soon. Thank you for being so hospitable and over the top throughout my stay. Truly, there has never been a better experience with incredible preparation for arrival or customer service throughout at any other hotel I've stayed with, throughout the world. This is the top of the tops. It doesn't get any better, people. The Hotel Bel-Air is to be put on every "Places to visit before I die list" that exists today.
701 Stone Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077, United States
Fashion Foie Gras was a guest of the Hotel Bel-Air.