PHOTO: The Los Angeles sun certainly touches the quaint confines of the Marina del Rey Hotel. (Photo courtesy Marina Del Rey Hotel)
There is a moment when you spot a boat wading by the Marina Del Rey bay and the last of the drops of pool water evaporates from your sun-kissed legs, that the stress really begins to melt clear off. Then again, it could also be the bloody good Bloody Marys they have at the revamped Marina Del Rey Hotel.
The hotel was nice enough to welcome my wife and I for a couple of nights to tour the location and sample one of its suites.
I have to say that the offer to review a hotel that recently enjoyed a $25 million renovation to coincide with its 50th anniversary in 2014 couldn’t have come at a better time. I was doing a little renovating of my own at the house and my wife was, at the time, nine months pregnant.
We drove all of a few minutes from Venice to a place I never knew existed, which is just part of its unending charm.
When you live in Los Angeles, you end up looking for momentary respites away from the normal congestion or wide expanse of LA. Marina Del Rey is already an oasis amid a concrete jungle, but the Marina Del Rey Hotel, built in 1964, is particularly tucked away – just off Admiralty Way, which itself lines the marina beautifully.
You are just an Uber ride from Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City and other parts of Los Angeles’ Westside. Yet, as you watch people paddleboard across the water from your room, you are in a different world altogether.
(Photo courtesy Marina Del Rey Hotel)
It’s that rare location that has amazing access to entertainment but also boasts a unique sanctuary in an otherwise cacophonous town.
Andrea Murray, General Manager, echoed the sentiment: “The Marina del Rey Hotel offers a gorgeous waterfront location that’s close to many LA attractions, but far enough away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Surrounded by boats, yachts, and stunning water views, escape to our waterfront paradise just moments from LA.”
Marina del Rey offers some fine culinary choices such as Killer Shrimp, Leona or nearby Sugarfish.
You are also only a short ride away from Venice and all it has to offer along its famed Abbot Kinney or Main Street collectives, and if you choose your time window correctly, you could be just about anywhere within the city in about 20-25 minutes.
As Murray notes, LAX is all of a few miles away. As for what you get at this boutique hotel that boasts 155 guestrooms and nine suites, Murray continues: “On-site, the Marina del Rey Hotel features an infinity pool and sundeck overlooking the marina. Rent a daybed, enjoy a poolside cocktail, and relax in luxury.”
While you can rent a bike from the front desk, our mode of entertainment on this warm Saturday was to sit all day by the pool, which led to sampling of some food from the adjoining SALT Restaurant and Bar and one (or a few) Bloody Mary cocktails.
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Going from a lounger to the heated pool and back again was just the kind of daytime dance that I needed.
With stress dutifully beat back into oblivion, it was time to retire to the room, which was connected to a parlor for what was a magnificent looking suite, providing breathtaking views of the marina situated just outside the sliding doors to the balcony.
As for the décor, even walking the halls led to momentary fits of refreshment. The colors were so bright and inviting that you felt rejuvenated just by meandering about the location.
Christina McCain-Franklin, Design Director of Pacifica Design Group, explains: “As guests enter the hotel’s lobby, they must pass through the seamless blue window — reminiscent of a waterfall. Highlighting the grand height of the hotel’s two-story atrium, a flock of white seagulls fly overhead - bringing the marina indoors. Both playful and unexpectedly artistic, the tone is set.”
As for the details: You do have to valet your car if you are arriving by that method to the tune of $30 a day. There is complimentary Wi-Fi access, which was fast by my account. There is also poolside service for light meals and drinks as well as 24-hour room service.
Whether at the pool or in the room, the hotel garners a homogeny you appreciate immediately.
McCain-Franklin continues: “The understated marina atmosphere is carried throughout the hotel and into its Guest Rooms and Suites. Private guest balconies, enclosed with blue glass, provide the perfect spot to sit and admire the waterfront views any time of day, while first-floor guest rooms offer a cabana-style patio.”
You certainly get that regardless of where you choose to laze about on the property. The hotel radiates a simple cool that placates the nerves and freshens the senses, but, as I’ve mentioned, you don’t have to stay all day and night.
The greater Los Angeles area is calling, and you just so happen to be on its front porch.