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Part of the City of Los Angeles, backing up to the Santa Monica Mountains, Bel Air is indisputably home to the rich and famous. Devised in the early 20th century, Bel Air is 20 miles west of Downtown Los Angeles and has at its core one of the nation's most august icons, the Bel Air Country Club. Driving through Bel Air, though, reveals little, as its expensive homes are hidden behind gates and within lush foliage. Meeting venues in Bel Air are similarly discreet.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the main airport servicing this neighborhood. In the Los Angeles suburb of Westchester, the airport is 16 miles south of Bel Air and reached by driving down I-405, while the closest convention center is Downtown's Los Angeles Convention Center, with 720,000 square feet of exhibit space and 147,000 square feet of meeting space, which is approximately 10 miles away to the southeast.
Technically, Bel Air has only one hotel, the opulent, 103-room Hotel Bel-Air, which will reopen this summer after two years of renovations that have added a spa and 12 new hillside villas that promise some of the best views in California. It is possible, however, to stay elsewhere and just come for the rarified air. Nearby hotels sit on Bel Air's borders, either in Beverly Hills, Westwood, Brentwood (at least Brentwood hotels that sit alongside I-405, the division from Bel Air) or on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which abuts Bel Air in the neighborhood of Westwood. These area hotels include the 208-room Angeleno, 160-room Luxe Hotel, 258-room W Hotel Los Angeles-Westwood and 61-room UCLA Guest House.
Bel Air meeting venues and restaurants are also few; the two exceptions are the Bel Air Bar & Grill that sits on I-405 (the J. Paul Getty Museum is opposite it, but that is in Brentwood) and the Champagne Bar at the Bel-Air Hotel. Serving contemporary American fare, the Bel Air Bar & Grill can host private parties, as will the Champagne Bar when it reopens later this year with the rest of the hotel. UCLA's campus (see guide on Brentwood/Westwood) in Westwood, which is adjacent to Bel Air, does have event spaces.
Fun fact: The Beverly Hillbillies was actually filmed in Bel Air; the Clampetts' house being 750 Bel Air Rd.
For all venues in the area, browse the Los Angeles event venue directory.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Approximate taxi fare: $58 USD
Los Angeles International Airport, commonly called "LAX," is the main airport serving the Los Angeles area. It is the fifth-busiest airport for passenger traffic in the world and third-busiest in the U.S. It operates as a main hub for United Airlines, a secondary hub for Delta, and is a main city for Southwest, Alaska, and American Airlines. LAX serves 69 international and 87 domestic destinations. All international arrivals and departures are serviced through the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
To get from the airport to a given destination, there are a number of options which include taxis, rental cars, door-to-door shuttle vans, long-distance vans, public buses, direct-to-airport buses and the Metro Rail Green Line (light rail). Taxis are a $42 flat fare from LAX to downtown L.A., about $35 to Hollywood, about $20 to Santa Monica, $25 to Beverly Hills, and from $45 to $60 to Pasadena and the Valley; all include a service charge of $2.50 and a $15 minimum fare for service starting at the airport. Two ride-share van companies serve the airport: SuperShuttle and PrimeTime Shuttle, and fares are typically $20-$55 per person depending on the destination. Many area hotels will provide complimentary shuttle service from the airport, so check this option before booking another service. There are 10 rental car companies with airport curbside drop-off and pick-up shuttles, and 30 other rental car companies that are accessible by placing a phone request for a pickup shuttle at the airport. The Metro Rail Green Line accesses the Metrolink and Amtrak system by a free shuttle and can take you as far north as Santa Barbara, as far east as San Bernardino and as far south as San Diego, and to many points in between. Public buses with service to the airport include the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, the Torrance City Transit and the Culver City Bus Lines.
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