Posts Tagged ‘Bel Air’
Bel-Air Is a Gold Mine of Celebrity Homes for Our Private Tour Guests to See
Right across from one entrance to UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) is one of the extravagant entrances to the exclusive neighborhood of Bel-Air. We think of it as the Beverly Hills of Los Angeles but without the luxury shopping. Sightseeing here is really about celebrity homes that line the verdant canopied streets winding up into and around the hills. In many ways it is a highlight of our Los Angeles private tour when our guests really want to know where their favorite stars lived…or live today. When we head through this gate our guides can begin dropping familiar names from all periods of Hollywood history from the Silent Era to present day. Just to give you an idea along just this one road: Joe E. Brown, Howard Hawks, Talia Shire, Lauren Bacall, Peter Ustinov, Terry Semel, William Friedkin, set location for 9-5 (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton) and Hart to Hart (Robert Wagner, Stephanie Powers), Sonja Henie, Sherry Lansing, Joseph Pasternak, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Brian Wilson, Janet Gaynor, Howard Hughes, Grace Kelly, Elvis Presley, Majel Barrett/Gene Roddenberry, Cary Grant, Ray Milland, Basil Rathbone, Carol Bayer Sager, James Burrows, Richard Gere, Red Skelton, Jerry Herman, David Wolper, Jim Backus, Alfred Hitchcock, John Barrymore, George Sanders, Peggy Lee, Mick Fleetwood, Rita Hayworth, John Forsythe, Dennis Franz, Robert Loggia, Dennis Wilson. There are many more streets in Bel-Air, too, and lots more names to drop as we slowly cruise through the area. And do not forget there are Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills to explore, too.
A Favorite Bel Air Road on Our Private Tour
Bel Air is a neighborhood in Los Angeles. A very nice neighborhood. Mansions, swimming pools, gated driveways, security guards, prep schools for the rich and famous and a favorite destination on a Los Angeles private tour. Sure, Beverly Hills has celebrity homes that we often take our guests to see. Beverly Hills has wide palm tree-lined avenues city parks and the Golden Triangle, the business and shopping district that includes Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard. Bel Air, on the other hand has the Hotel Bel Air, distant and secluded, a beautiful and fancy hideaway for the five-star hotel crowd. Otherwise, we show off narrow twisting streets passing by homes of historic Hollywood importance. There are also fabulous gardens and lollipop trees. Join us on an inspection tour when you visit Los Angeles and we will see where Fresh Prince lived, the home of Ronald Reagan, where the Beverly Hillbillies lived (sorry, not in Beverly Hills at all), the ruins of the estate of Johnny Weissmuller and many other great homes and gardens to go along with all the stories our guides can share of the residents, then and now, of Bel Air.
Our Private Tour Through Bel Air Pays Respects to Nancy Reagan
Memorial wreaths, flowers and mementos on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are regular sad sights on a private Los Angeles tour with us. We make it a point to locate those stars who have recently passed away and show our guests the regard that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, residents and visitors have for the entertainment figures honored with stars on the famous sidewalk. We were a little surprised and pleased to see flowers appearing as we passed by the estate of Ronald and Nancy Reagan in Bel Air soon after Nancy’s passing was announced. In this verdant neighborhood of Los Angeles (despite the drought) the small floral arrangements appearing around the perimeter were eyecatching and pleasing. We had been fortunate over the years to see Mrs. Reagan from time to time when we stopped for lunch at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She never lost her “Hollywood” dazzle and attracted our gaze from the moment we saw her in the busy restaurant. We will certainly visit her (and Ronald Reagan) where they are buried at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. Many of our luxury tour guests request that we make the drive up from Los Angeles to see what we think must be the best of the presidential libraries. The facility is a must see for our guests interested in California presidents and American history.
Our Private Tour Guests Get to Know Bel Air
This six square mile neighborhood of Los Angeles between Hollywood and the beach – one of the least densely populated areas of the city – is essentially a residential area with winding forested streets along large well-landscaped properties adjacent to UCLA. When we are pointing out homes of past and present celebrities we find ourselves quite busy around here. We also love to take our guests up to the Hotel Bel Air, secluded and quiet, a perfect getaway for movie stars and statesmen wanting to be away from the busy hubbub of Beverly Hills and other parts of Los Angeles. It is a nice place for a secret rendezvous or simply a meal at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air. Our private Los Angeles tour often begins at this hideaway in the hills when our guests are also guests of the hotel. From notables like President and Nancy Reagan to more obscure heroes of moviedom like Irving Brecher we point out lots of homes, some even recognizable from their use in movies and television. Two large gates lead into the neighborhood from Sunset Boulevard and we make use of a couple of less obvious ingress and egress roads depending on what we are showing our guests. What we are not certain of, however, is whether there is or is not a hyphen in the name Bel Air.
There was a time when Santa would rap his greetings here atop the Fresh Prince’s house in Bel Air but not so much these days. Will Smith has moved on (and over toward Calabasas) and the new residents speak more conventional English. Our private luxury tour guests always love seeing this very visible colonial mansion as we pass by when sightseeing celebrity homes throughout Bel Air (Beverly Hills and Brentwood, too!). Our guide, Jeff, who took this photo, really has some great stories to tell as he drives his guests through this pretty neighborhood.
This time of year brings the special treat of holiday decorations on and around the homes both during the day and illuminated after dark. A custom tour of Christmas decorations is a fun thing to do around Los Angeles this time of year.
The spacious Eurocopter TwinStars we use for our private luxury helicopter tours over Los Angeles have excellent viewing in all directions from their large windows. As we approach Bel Air from the ocean in this photograph you can see how much fun we have taking pictures of our guests using their cameras to capture every moment, every mansion, every feature of this great city. Not very long after this moment we were hovering in front of the Hollywood sign.