Bel Air is part of the golden triangle in Los Angeles as the city’s most luxurious and coveted areas, along with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills. It is not only synonymous with palatial estates, but also with privacy and anonymity.
In the Roaring 20s entrepreneurial businessman and wealthy oil tycoon, Alphonzo Bell, purchased 600 acres of land just west of Beverly Hills in 1922. He created an exclusive neighborhood, calling it no other than ‘Bel-Air.’ Many well-known Old Hollywood stars purchased property there, which grew its popularity as one of LA’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
Bel constructed an estate office in the center of the canyon to manage the development of it. This office became a part of what is now Hotel Bel-Air, after Texan hotel entrepreneur, Joseph Drown, purchased the building and 18 acres from Bel in 1946.
Throughout the years, the canyon of Bel Air was developed into large gated, individual estates. The canyon with only a few ways of ingress and egress provided great privacy and a “retreat” sort of feeling, while the mostly flat land and large plots were perfect for developing expansive properties. Near the end of development, homes on smaller pieces of land were developed to fill in gaps, as well as master-planned communities such as Bel Air Crest.
Today Bel Air is just as exclusive and private as ever, which is home to many entertainment stars, business magnates, royalty and the world’s most elite.
Benefits of Luxury Living in Bel Air
Lifestyle and Homes in Santa Monica
Bel Air Amenities
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Bel Air People & Lifestyle
The main draws to Bel Air today are its secluded canyon location in the Santa Monica mountains yet still widely accessible to many parts of town, such as the Westside on the other side of 405 freeway and ten minutes to Beverly Hills, the Valley and other areas. Bel Air also has private, sprawling estates throughout the canyon and there are incredible canyon, city and even ocean views depending on a property’s orientation.
Bel Air is situated between Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills and hugs the 405 freeway at its western border. On the other side of the freeway lies Brentwood and Encino. Up and over Mulholland Drive to the north is the San Fernando Valley city of Sherman Oaks.
Although Bel Air is almost all a residential community, it does have the famous Bel-Air Hotel situated in the heart of the canyon and the Bel Air Country Club in Lower Bel Air. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck has an impeccable restaurant inside Hotel Bel-Air, which is great after a tennis match or round of golf at the country club’s 18-hole course.
The Stone Canyon Reservoir in Upper Bel Air can be seen from select homes in the area, as well as from the Stone Canyon Overlook of Mulholland Drive.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
The oldest hotel in Beverly Hills, established in 1912, is the Beverly Hills Hotel at the corner of Sunset and Beverly Drive. Other hotels similar in status are the Beverly Wilshire, the Waldorf- Astoria, the Four Seasons, Montage, SIXTY, and the Peninsula. Closest in proximity to Rodeo Drive shopping would be the Beverly Wilshire, Montage and the SIXTY Hotel.
There are an assortment of restaurants and bars to suit whatever occasion calls. Fine dining options are Spago, owned by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, Mastro’s Steakhouse, Villa Blanca, for Mediterranean food, Il Fornaio, for Italian food. Other incredible options are Café Roma for Italian food, the Grill on the Alley, an old-school eatery, Mr. Chow’s for Chinese, Avra for seafood and much more.
Everyone knows about the first-rate shopping found along Rodeo Drive and in the 2 Rodeo Drive complex, however there is more shopping off Rodeo along Beverly Drive, Canon Drive, and Camden.
Beverly Hills more or less buttons up after 9PM with many more nightlife options in nearby West Hollywood, Hollywood, Santa Monica and DTLA. However, there is a great rooftop pool and bar at the SIXTY Hotel. Many great happy hour bars exist throughout Beverly Hills, which make excellent starting points for a successful night out.
Parks & Nature
Parks include the Beverly Gardens Park along Santa Monica Blvd, Roxbury Park, Coldwater Canyon Park, and Franklin Canyon Park with hiking trails.
Top-Rated Schools in and around Beverly Hills
The high-rated Beverly Hills schools are a huge draw for families. The big item to note in a home search is that only homes located within Beverly Hills proper are able to take advantage of its public schools, as well as fire and police departments. Beverly Hills Post Office in the hills, which still has a Beverly Hills 90210 address, has Los Angeles services. The change from off white street signs to blue signs is a clue to the difference in area.
Roscomare Road | 2425 Roscomare Rd, Los Angeles 90077
Saperstein | 15900 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles 90049
University High | 11800 Texas Ave, Los Angeles 90025
Harvard Westlake School | 700 N Faring Rd, Los Angeles 90077 Harvard Westlake Upper School | 3700 Coldwater Canyon Ave, Studio City 91604 Curtis School | 15871 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles 90049