The Hotel Bel-Air has a history of over half a century. It has all along been a favorite of the rich and famous. It had been shut down for two years for an extensive and comprehensive renovation. The completely renovated hotel has been reopened on October 14. There was a discordant note created by the ex employees of the hotel who were laid off when the hotel was shut down for renovation. Their numbers add up to 250 and they are protesting the selective rehiring of former union workers.
The hotel is spread over 12 acres of prime property in Los Angeles and serves as an exclusive Hollywood retreat. Alisha Mahon, a hotel spokeswoman said that the celebrities come to the hotel to escape. The hotel provides an ideal and intimate hideaway and the Hollywood celebrities find the location very convenient as it is just minutes away from Beverly Hills, Century City and Rodeo Drive. The hotel was first launched in 1946 and boasts of high profile patrons like Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.
Jobs are scarce in America and the union UNITE HERE Local 11, which represents 20,000 Southern California hospitality workers is fighting for the ex employees of the hotel to get priority hiring consideration as jobs open up and reasonable compensation for what they’ve already lost. Leigh Shelton, spokesperson for the union informed that a group of protestors will march from the hotel down Canyon Road to Sunset Boulevard to press for their demands. The hotel is now owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei. The multimillion dollar renovation has added new amenities to the hotel and increased the number of rooms from 91 to 103. Rooms at the newly renovated Bel-Air start at $565 per night; the palatial presidential suite goes for $13,500 per night.