About gbooks

Our luxury travel service puts the ultimate touch on Journeys reflecting a unique experience of a lifetime; we design Legacy Travel for our clients. Our focus on bespoke Journeys entails more than a creative idea and a few reservations. We hand select our land teams, guides, behind the scenes experts - all who reflect our passion for excellence and personalized service. I’m passionate about travel and unique experiences; interested in meeting local people,studying architecture, discovering and learning as much as possible about every city I visit. I adore Paris, yearn to see more of Africa, a recent visit to Istanbul reminds me that there is much more to see in Turkey. A passage to India allowed me to explore the rich and diverse culture, and I barely scratched the surface of this amazing country. Love to sail, discover music and indigenous food of each region, seek out the best markets and design, and of course dine at the local restaurants. I particularly love roaming Africa, recently explored Argentina and India, which deserve another visit. A devoted Francophile, love all things Parisian, world music, excellent wines & champagne.

Hotel Bel Air and Beverly Hills Hotel – Sanity Staycation!

Hungering for human connection and needing fresh outlooks from home gardens, may I suggest the private suites and bungalows at Hotel Bel Air and Beverly Hills Hotel? Let me share a hospitality secret: The Dorchester Collection properties are one of the few firms who have retained and paid their entire staff, your first escape should not be to a downsized property which is now trying to open up, it results in too many people wearing too many hats… i.e. is the bellman also subbing as a housekeeper? Social Distancing was invented here long before the pandemic Bungalows and Suites ooze privacy and seclusion.

Beverly Hills Hotel Pool

Guaranteed five-star ambience and in a sheltered environment, a stay is enhanced with our Diamond Club Membership amenities. Guaranteed one category upgrade at time of booking for rooms, one category upgraded at time of arrival for junior suites (subject to availability). $100 hotel credit per stay for suites. Daily Full breakfast for two.

Hotel Bel Air Pool

Just weeks before the pandemic closures, I had business and client meetings in Beverly Hills and during that all too brief superb sojourn, I plotted a Hotel Lifestyle for myself. One of my dearest local clients strolled across the bridge over Swan Lake at the Hotel Bel Air, she exclaimed: I’ve crossed into the portal of happiness and enchantment, relaxation and calm! We chatted this morning and agreed the cozy private booths at Wolfgang Puck could easily be safe for a long evening of scrumptious food and rose bubbly. Or, assuming I stay in my sumptuous pool suite, we could carefully catch up across the loungers under the swaying palms.

Presidential Suite Hotel bel Air Private pool
Bungalow Bath Beverly Hills Hotel

Staycation – Just a short distance from breathtaking mountain ranges and sun-drenched beaches, it’s the ideal destination when you need a change of scenery and to take a break from it all. Whether you prefer the glamour and glitz of The Beverly Hills Hotel or the exclusivity of Hotel Bel-Air, both properties feature luxurious accommodations steeped in comfort and privacy. Acres of gardens, many suites with private pools, seclusion in plush surroundings.

Secluded dining at The Beverly Hills Hotel

Dorchester Collection Let us look after your safety – a long list of safety procedures for your stay. https://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/looking-after-your-safety/

An hour south by air to the tiny, ease in, ease out, Burbank Airport and you always guaranteed sunshine. One of the most luxurious, if not the most iconic 5-star luxury hotels in Los Angeles – the home of royalty past and present is royally perched on Sunset Boulevard. The Beverly Hills Hotel has years of narrative legends are stored in the vaults, most will tell you a side street is the main entrance – no bungalow visitor of importance ever strolls the iconic red-carpet hotel entrance. Power lunches or al fresco poolside dining on a pink lounger, 80-year-old palm trees swaying gracefully in the background. Suites with patios, enjoy a mini sunbath outdoors. The rooms are flooded with sunshine and plush furnishings. Bathrooms are old school, i.e. huge stylish spaces with enough room to practice your Oscar speech in front of the wall of mirrors. Comfort comes in the form of huge fluffy towels, a beautifully deep soaking tub and separate shower. Your suite is surrounded by twelve acres of tropical gardens and exotic flowers. The famed bungalows, if these walls could talk! Originally added to the gardens for families who wanted to bring their own staff, the bungalows now celebrate a legendary heritage. Sounds like a familiar situation, pack the kiddos, reject the daily routines and give everyone a reason to celebrate being alive and well.

Dessert Beverly Hills Hotel

The West Coast sisters in the Dorchester Collection of lovely hotels reside in a small pocket of Beverly Hills – like sisters, they each exude unique personalities. I happened to visit both in February. Equally enjoy them for innumerable reasons.


Hotel Bel-Air, despite the close proximity to downtown Beverly Hills shopping and culture, is surrounded by twelve acres of lush gardens and tucked into a pocket-sized canyon. Amid towering palm and silver leafed eucalyptus trees, the Spanish Colonial design is subtle and elegant. Suites with garden patios, private plunge pools are enchanting. Move up to the hillside rooms and relish the sweeping views of the canyon from your secluded plunge pool and deck. Amid towering palm and silver leafed eucalyptus trees, the Spanish Colonial design is subtle and elegant. A hidden sanctuary amongst the wooded hills, untouched by the clamor of life beyond the gates of Bel-Air. The most quintessentially private and exclusive hotel, delivering low-key elegance since 1946. Suites with garden patios, private plunge pools are enchanting. Move up to the canyon rooms and relish the sweeping views of the canyon from your secluded plunge pool and deck. On my last visit, yes, I escape here as often as possible, a bit of spring mist kept the fireplace in my suite crackling most of the day, a cozy enclave where I cocooned and worked in between meals with my clients.

The Dorchester team is passionate about creating the exceptional moments that turn into lasting memories. To add a special touch to your stay, staff can prepare a bespoke picnic basket, bring the spa to you with an indulgent bath or even give you the ingredients to mix up your own cocktails. This is your chance to escape from it all, without ever leaving the hotel. All experiences can be booked prior to arrival or arranged anytime during your stay.

A brief menu of personal individually priced options: Let us bring the bar to you with everything you need to shake up your own cocktails. It’s a chance to channel your inner mixologist and create our signature Pepino’s Revenge. Served alongside fresh house-made tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole. Picnic on your Patio – Experience the delight of dining al fresco with a delicious picnic from Wolfgang Puck on your private guestroom patio. Our menu includes your choiceof a bottle of white wine or champagne, artisanal cheese and charcuterie, a Mediterranean mezze platter, Santa Monica farmers’ market crudités, plus a selection of sandwiches and sweet treats.
Yoga in your room – For a welcome dose of workout motivation,we’ll bring yoga to your room at any time that suits. Fresh juice and healthy snacks are the perfect post-yoga treat.
All employees and guests are required to wear face masks or face coverings and maintain a minimum of 6-feet distance when interacting with anyone while on property. If you need a face mask, the hotel will provide them upon request.

To comply with social distancing guidelines, the following are open with limited occupancy: Polo Lounge, The Cabana Cafe, The Beverly Hills Hotel pool, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, the Hotel Bel-Air spa and the Hotel Bel-Air pool.

Private pool at Beverly Hills Hotel Bungalow

This is an especially stressful time, why not indulge in pampering and escape from the frenzy? Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel, two scrumptious properties, Five Star Luxury! Consider a dash away to the extraordinary, far from typical, Dorchester Sister hotels. A quick bay area/Burbank or LAX flight, the perfect mini escape, disappear and catch your breath for a few days, order in, hole up in a bungalow or suite or pony up for the grand Presidential Suite with pool, avoid the hysteria in superb comfort!

Wolfgang Puck restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air | Dorchester Collection
Wolfgang Puck, Hotel Bel air
Wolfgang Puck restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air | Dorchester Collection
Social Distancing has always been in place at Hotel Bel Air!

I am actually considering a partial hotel lifestyle, once we enter into ‘normal’ life again. A la Heloise, Elaine Stritch and Howard Hughes, who had a fondness for Bungalow 3 at The Beverly Hills Hotel, a 30-year fondness, in fact!

Call us for all the generous amenities bestowed! Admit it, you need and deserve a papering safe escape!

Sunday Brunch for two at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
Swan Lake Hotel Bel Air

The Beaumont Hotel – Crumpets Comfort Carbs

Still in need of Comfort Food as we enter a slightly less confined Shelter in Place?

The humble crumpet is thought to have originated in Wales and was traditionally cooked on a griddle when bread ovens weren’t available. In early years, crumpets were firm pancakes, but the addition of yeast in the Victoria era saw them develop into soft, springy crumpets. From the 19th century, the addition of bicarbonate of soda created the crumpet we know and savor today. Yeast is responsible for the delightful little craters that are perfect for soaking up warm butter.

Crumpet | food | Britannica

The earliest reference to crumpets dates from 1382, when John Wycliffe, the theologian and Yorkshireman, translated a word in the Latin Old Testament as “Crompid cake”:”a cake of a loaf, a crusted cake spreynde with oyle, a crompid cake”. The cake bears little resemblance to today’s crumpets – except in that it was cooked on a hot stone. The crumpet is the royal queen of the toasted snack – adaptable, soothing and utterly delicious. British folk have a global reputation for their affection of crumpets, a notion that has travelled to the far corners of the world.

The Royal crumpet is the perfect base for a wide variety of flavor combinations. Ranging from naturally simple to festive gourmet, there’s no wrong way to enjoy your crumpet. While they’re traditionally known for being a British go-to afternoon tea-time snack accompanied with a cuppa tea, crumpets are an adaptable tuck. Add gooey soft cheese for a savory snack, or an egg for brekkie, or smother with chocolate spread for dessert. Many opt for the simple yet classic: soft butter, butter and even more butter. Popular sugary toppings included fresh fruit jam, clotted cream, golden syrup, honey, or my favorite lemon curd.

This recipe is from chef Ben Boeynaems at the Beaumont Hotel Colony Grill, my favorite brekkie location!

Ingredients
1 1/2 c. bread flour

1 tsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. fresh yeast or 2 tbsp. dried yeast  

1 tsp. baking soda

14 oz. room temperature water  

1 tsp. salt

Preparation

  1. Mix everything in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  
  2. Cover and leave to prove until batter doubles in size and bubbles over the surface.  
  3. Put English muffin rings into a non-stick pan on a low heat and fill each ring three-quarters with batter and cook until the top has formed a skin.
  4. Remove the ring.
  5. Flip the crumpet and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Slather with creamy butter or fresh raspberry jam.

Crumpets were not bound by class restrictions: Unkempt urchins peddled crumpets on the streets of growing cities, providing warm and delicious snacks for the masses. At the same time, ladies and gentlemen in brick towers would delight on crumpets whilst, writing droll poetry and painting garden landscapes.

Cheers!