Best of the Best 2012: Spas: Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie

  • Lisa Sweetingham

Los Angeles’s iconic Hotel Bel-Air—a woodsy, storybook getaway complete with resident swans—has been the preferred city retreat of Hollywood royalty for 65 years. Now, after completing a two-year, $100 million renovation, the famed hotel has a retreat of its own: the Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie (310.909.1681, www.hotelbelair.com). Opened in October, the 4,100-square-foot, Alexandra Champalimaud–designed spa is a tranquil indoor-outdoor sanctuary with lily pad–like sculptures and handpainted florets on the walls. Warm woodwork and dappled light make for a serene setting in the relaxation lounge, where, instead of piles of glossy magazines, guests find cozy cashmere throws and a collection of picture books on nature, travel, and fashion. High-profile patrons indulge in such peerless La Prairie skincare treatments as the White Caviar Illuminating Facial ($1,000), which employs the beaded delicacy to brighten complexions, hands, and feet. Among the seven treatment rooms—and several small nail salons—is a sprawling private suite, the Enclave. This ultimate Hollywood hideaway accommodates as many as 10 guests and has its own outdoor patio, shaded by tipu trees and serenaded by a soothing fountain.

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