Luxury Hotels:Los Angeles-bound business travelers and pleasure-seekers find themselves drawn to the Marina del Rey Marriott — and with good reason. Not only is this beautiful harbor-side property located within walking distance of L.A.'s famed Venice Beach and just a few short miles from other key area attractions, the hotel itself offers everything needed to keep a weary traveler pampered, productive and otherwise pleased. But, take note: this is not your grandmother's Marriot, but rather a much more modern and chic version of the venerable global brand.
First and foremost are the rooms. The 10-story Marina del Rey Marriott boasts 370 rooms and 38 suites (junior, executive, presidential/chairman's, and conference) in all, each decorated with class, style and comfort in mind — and all with pristine panoramic marina, city or ocean views highly coveted in the City of Angels. The hotel's newly renovated rooms-all non-smoking-each feature a private balcony along with 32-inch high-definition flat panel TV with satellite channels and pay-per-view movies, coffee maker, safe, iron and ironing board.
Creature comforts include incredibly cozy linens, down comforters & designer duvets on a "Marriot Premier" bed, bathrobe, exclusive Beach Spray shower, and Bath & Body Works-brand aromatherapy toiletries. For business travelers or those who just like to stay connected, rooms are also equipped with a spacious desk, voice mail, two-line telephone, ergonomic workstations with connectivity panel, dataport, and available high speed Internet access.
The Marina del Rey Marriott also offers all the amenities that you would expect from a first-class hotel: in-room dining, on-site Hertz car rental service, concierge service, salon, gift shop/newsstand, laundry valet, spa services, turndown service, daily newspaper, full 24-hour business center — even a helicopter landing pad.
After a long day at work or play, this particular Marriott beckons you back to relax and unwind. The minute guests step into the expansive foyer with its adjacent lobby lounge, there is an urge to decompress in one of the many plush chairs or couches placed throughout. Soothing Earth tones, warm lighting, and an abundance of fragrant fresh flowers create an elegant ambiance. Or, guests can sip cocktails and enjoy lunch or dinner at the Marina del Rey Marriott's central lobby bar, which based on my first-hand observations, is quite popular.
For those looking for a place to convene with friends or colleagues amid fabulous food and drink, just off the Marina del Rey Marriott's lobby bar is its chic open-air Glow Lounge, voted one of the top ten hotel lounges in the U.S.! Glow has a decidedly trendy, communal vibe as guests relax in the outdoor resort-style couches all surrounded by gorgeous stone, water and fire features, bamboo, radiant amber glass décor accents, and soothing ambient music.
In the evening, Glow turns into a bona fide hotspot. Friday nights boast a live DJ and a lively, energetic crowd that grooves until 1:30 a.m. As a testament to its "cool factor," on the Saturday night of my stay there was a doorman at the entry to Glow checking I.D.'s and ensuring patrons adhered to an appropriate dress code (flip flops need not apply!). The place was downright packed.
Day or night, Glow patrons can enjoy eclectic culinary delights like the Ahi Tuna Stack with avocado and wasabi aioli or the Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs with mango and apple slaw, while sipping a Grapefruit Jalapeño Martini, Mangotini, or a Raspberry Limeade. Service here is top notch. Indeed, premium VIP bottle service and private cabanas are also available for those guests seeking an elite, private experience. Glow is open to both hotel guests and to the public seven days a week.
Also outdoors at the Marina del Rey Marriott is a heated pool with lovely water feature, grotto-esque tropical whirlpool Jacuzzi, and multiple cabanas with upholstered beds. Copious "Noodle" pool toys are offered for free to the kids' delight.
Health-minded guests take advantage of the hotel's on-site 24-hour Fitness Center that offers both cardio equipment and weights, 25 stations in all, while those looking for a respite gravitate toward the spa services offered by the property's Soul 2 Sole Salon. Available services include massage, body scrub, body wrap, facial treatments, foot bath, manicure/pedicure, paraffin hand treatments, and waxing.
Another Marina del Rey Marriot must is its Stones restaurant, which cooks up creative and contemporary California cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stones also offers a full selection of wine and spirits. Read my full Stones restaurant review here.
For those planning an upcoming event, conference or meeting in Los Angeles, the Marina del Rey Marriott is an ideal venue with 17 conference rooms and a whopping 18,000 square feet of available meeting space. The newly renovated 6,072 square foot rooftop California Ballroom itself accommodates up to 700 guests. The elegant Bay view Penthouse-Level Ballroom, with its stunning views, boasts fully 4,264 square feet with an additional 2,000 square feet of outdoor roof-top patio space. Both offer complete banquet and audio visual services, as well as wireless Internet access.
With the Marina del Rey Marriott's central location providing quick access to the beach, Santa Monica's popular Pier and Third Street Promenade, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Disneyland, Universal Studios and other popular locales, coupled with its abundant amenities and business-friendly features that keep road warriors well on track, this hotel truly has it all.
Merilee Kern is JustLuxé.com's "The Luxe List" Executive Review Editor. She scours the luxury marketplace for new and captivating product, service and travel "musts." Submissions are accepted via e-mail at Merilee@JustLuxe.com. View all of Merilee's Luxe List articles from here (scroll to page bottom) and follower her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor.