Travel

By Kimberly McDonald

You hear the name Ritz-Carlton and you immediately think luxury; It’s the reputation the international hotel chain has earned for itself. Stay at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, and you’ll understand why that reputation exists.

The space is absolutely gorgeous. Elegant European decor mixes with interesting, whimsical, and even somewhat ethnic touches. Rich woods and fabrics envelope you as you look out over the largest man-made harbor in the world, Marina del Rey.

The rooms are well appointed and very comfortable. Marble floored bathrooms are spacious and the tubs are perfect for a relaxing bubble bath. Amenities such as twice daily housekeeping, turndown service and 24-hour room service may seem standard, but the staff at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Ray takes the experience a step further. They go out of their way to ensure they meet your every need.

One of my favorite features was the pool. Perhaps it was the landscaping, or the music wafting our way from an outdoor wedding ceremony that took place on the hotel grounds. Perhaps it was the staff or the great menu provided by their poolside Restaurant and bar, Wave. Whatever it was, I really enjoyed lounging at this pool during the day.

The property also boasts a state of the art fitness center with free weights, traditional aerobic machines, and more. There are also onsite tennis courts and they even loan bikes for the day, if you want to ride along the water to the marina shops. They also offer massages (get the best of both worlds, like I did – a poolside massage) and facials, by appointment. Offerings such as the Chai Soy Mud Wrap and the Rosemary Tri-Crystal scrub put a unique spin on classic spa treatments.

Jer-ne, voted Best of LA for fusion cuisine by LA Magazine in 2003, upholds its reputation with interesting concoctions and fresh seafood meals. From specialty fruit smoothies each day to the chef’s special daily entrees, this is signature southern California eating – healthy AND delicious. Good thing, too, because the hotel happens to be situated in an area where there isn’t really any appealing alternative close by. That is, unless you check out a bike and head over to the shops and restaurants on the marina, which is doable.

If you’re traveling to LA and want relaxation, great food, a hospitable and professional staff, and a base away from the hustle and bustle (but close enough to hop in a car and be back in the action in no time), the Ritz Carlton Marina del Ray is the place for you. Pack your bathing suit, and prepare for the star treatment.

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/hotels/marina_del_rey/

Originally published November 2005
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