While the tony Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air is no stranger to exclusivity, it is now home to one of only four La Prairie spas in the world. The Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie is the newest addition to the Hotel Bel-Air, the iconic hotel located near Sunset Boulevard, Century City, and Beverly Hills. Catering to the rich and famous for decades, the hotel boasts a who’s who guest list that has included the likes of Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor. Today, it continues to attract Hollywood’s elite, such as Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, and more. Recently re-opened after a two-year refurbishment and redesign, the hotel is once again attracting attention—this time with help from the newly debuted La Prairie spa.
According to spa director Nicole Weigand, the relationship with the luxury Swiss skincare line helps the spa stand out from the competition. “When selecting a brand for the Hotel Bel-Air, much emphasis was placed on our existing La Prairie spa at the Beverly Hills Hotel,” says Weigand. In fact, the spa even shares services and service providers with its sister property. With 50 employees on staff, the spa can accommodate approximately 80 appointments each day. Most spa-goers gravitate toward the spa’s signature services, such as the La Prairie Signature Facial ($210, 60 minutes; $270, 90 minutes), a customized treatment, and the Caviar Massage ($215, 60 minutes). “Both treatments serve as a great introductory service to guests who are experiencing La Prairie for the first time,” says Weigand. “These two treatments are also popular among guests who are seasoned La Prairie enthusiasts, as they combine simple pleasure with extraordinary results.”
According to her, spa-goers are especially interested in services that are exclusive to the brand and location. For that reason, guests can find a section of the menu dedicated to the LA Insider. Designed to pamper those who are short on time, it includes treatments such as the Maximum Indulgence ($385, 90 minutes), a La Prairie Signature Facial combined simultaneously with The Perfect Manicure and Pedicure, and Caviar Luxury ($475, 2 hours 30 minutes), a 60-minute Caviar Massage and a 90-minute Caviar Firming Facial.
One treatment that has proven more of a difficult sell is the Recharge Overnight Facial ($270, 60 minutes). “This treatment is a bit more of a challenge to explain to guests, because it is still a new concept for our spa,” says Weigand. “In fact, we are currently the only spa in Los Angeles and possibly beyond that offers such a treatment.” The facial combines the healing and restorative properties of a good night’s rest with a night in the hotel. Recommended for the evening hours, this facial is designed to help renew the skin overnight while guests sleep. “It’s a fabulous facial, but I think people oftentimes underestimate the positive benefits that resting gives the skin,” says Weigand.
In creating the menu, it was important that it be cohesive to existing La Prairie spas. It also needed to reflect the hotel’s romantic nature and outdoor essence. The fact that the spa embraces the property’s stunning gardens is yet another way it sets itself apart from other L.A. spas. “The romance, privacy, and tranquility are rare in Los Angeles, a city full of buzz and bustling with activity,” says Weigand. The seven-treatment-room spa also features a private suite known as The Enclave. This 500-square-foot area includes a private patio complete with a garden and outdoor waterfall. “The Enclave allows guests to get away from Los Angeles for an hour, a few hours, or an entire day,” says Weigand. It is ideal for couples or groups of up to 10 people.
While the spa’s first year has been full of challenges, Weigand and her staff are focused on being responsive to guests. “Every spa-goer is unique, and each guest has different requirements and needs,” says Weigand. “The challenge for our spa is making sure that we understand the individual needs of our guests, meet those needs, and exceed their expectations in the process.” Fortunately, the spa has been able to navigate any trials and tribulations, thanks to the experience gained from its sister spa at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “At Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie, we want to provide guests with experiences rather than just services,” says Weigand. “We want our spa to lend itself to being the getaway place that creates lasting memories for guests and keeps them longing to return.”
Owner: Managed by La Prairie, owned by Dorchester Collection
Spa Director: Nicole Weigand
Opened: October 2011
4,134 square feet;
7 treatment rooms
aromatherapy, body treatments, couples’ treatments, energy work, eyelash and brow tinting, facials, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, makeup application, massage, microdermabrasion, nailcare, outdoor treatments,
prenatal services, reflexology, waxing
Platinum Rare Facial ($410, 90 minutes), which involves two therapists
MOST EXPENSIVE OFFERING
White Caviar Illuminating Facial ($1,000, 90 minutes)
Cirepil, La Prairie
Spa Soft, Technogym, Touch America
Alexandra Champalimaud (New York City)