The moment I turn left on Stone Canyon Drive, I leave behind clutter and noise and enter a place where reality is suspended. Densely rooted statuesque trees on both sides of the road letting in mere speckles of sunlight flank the quarter mile drive down Stone Canyon to Hotel Bel-Air. As soon as the Spanish mission style hotel enters my sight, a landscape that nestles perfectly with the regalia of the surrounding Bel Air estates, I feel my entire body sigh and relax. I step out of my car, walk across the bridge built atop the swan lake, and enter my place of serenity.
The hotel is quietly luxurious and classically regal. Private villas sprawl out across the 24 acre property providing the perfect hideout for anyone desiring complete anonymity. The staff is genuinely friendly and puts up with silly me skipping about like Ramona Quimby, age 8. Predictably, I skip to the Spa by La Prairie as I can't stay away from the serene ambiance, the decadent treatments, and the veggie chips in the relaxation room.
On my most recent visit to the spa, I experienced the Estancia Vinotherapy facial where the infusion of antioxidant rich Pinot Noir unmasked a radiant glow inside and out. The Estancia vinobright facial uses resveratrol plant extract to hydrate and extend the skin's cellular life and a collagen grape seed mask to protect cells from free radicals. And while my skin's still masked and tingling, I'm handed a glass of wine to truly taste the vinotherapy experience.
Hotel Bel-Air defines luxury in every pragmatic sense of the word. But for me, its luxurious lies in suspending time, hiding reality, and providing reprieve from the noise.