If you seek true five-star luxury in Los Angeles and want to be right on the water, The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey is your only serious option. Located on the marina (the world’s largest) the hotel offers endless ocean views, luxury accommodations and amenities, delicious food and easy access to LA’s Westside and the surrounding areas.
To do the Ritz-Carlton in style, I drove Cadillac’s amazing 2016 CTS-V sports sedan. With 640 HP, this beast is ready for the track, but also provides Cadillac’s iconic style and luxury. My trip involved a detour to Palm Springs and it made the drive back to the marina quite exciting. The hotel is extremely convenient for Los Angeles visitors as it’s only about 15 minutes from LAX and 15 minutes from Santa Monica dining and shopping. It’s also a five minute drive to the 405 freeway and the rest of the sprawling city.
The hotel oozes luxury but never forgets it’s next to the ocean. Design is elegant yet comfortable in the public spaces and the service, as one finds at all Ritz-Carltons, is personal and attentive. The Ritz-Carlton’s marina views and convenient location make it a popular gathering spot for locals, especially for special family occasions, holiday meals and weddings. The entire Marina del Rey area is a fun resort destination in the heart of Los Angeles.
My room with a view
I had one of the hotel’s Club-level, king guestrooms, with a 180-degree view that stretched from the buildings of Westwood on one side to the boats and the marina on the other. Although classified as a “partial marina view,” the perspective from the 12th floor, the hotel’s highest, offered amazing views across the Westside and south towards Playa Vista, along with a wide swath of the marina too.
The room size was standard for a luxury hotel, with the highlight being the large sliding glass door opening onto a Juliet balcony with that beautiful vista. Style was modern and contemporary, with a light color palate that worked well in the seaside environment. Local touches like seashells in the artwork also reflected the marina location. There was a small seating area by the big window, complete with a large armchair and table. We had breakfast there as there was a second large armchair on the other side of the workdesk, in addition to a desk chair. It was all very functional and made great use of the space. The bathroom was very well appointed with marble floor and shower / tub surround, along with a marble vanity top. Asprey amenities were featured and the fixtures and hardware had that luxury feel that separates a Ritz-Carlton from a corporate chain hotel.
Cast & Plow is the Ritz-Carlton’s restaurant, offering a mainly organic, locally-sourced menu. We had a wonderful dinner in the lively space that started with some authentic Southern cracklings, served with a bacon sriracha and blue cheese sauce. Next was a cheese tasting that featured some of those locally sourced products. For the mains we went for the Petaluma chicken and the duck leg, both were prepared perfectly and deliciously. A waterfront restaurant, Wave Poolside Bar & Grill, is also seasonally open during the summer months.
In-room dining offers a lot of options from the Cast & Plow menu and all the items focus on the locally-sourced, organic theme. A room service breakfast of waffles with maple syrup, organic, local eggs, berries, ham and fresh orange juice was delicious and promptly delivered. One negative, don’t try to order a Coke, as the Ritz-Carlton only serves Pepsi.
Pool, spa and fun
The resort’s 7,000 square foot Spa del Rey is filled with all the expected luxury amenities and treatments, and takes advantage of the waterside location with some beautiful views. There’s a large pool and large whirlpool (the only waterfront ones in LA) and they’re both open 24 hours a day. Beyond the pool, there are two tennis courts and a full-size basketball court as well. An extensive Ritz Kids program offers a range of activities for younger guests. The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey is also perfectly situated for long bike rides (rental bikes are available) or a range of watersports like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and sailing.
Get out on the water
Any stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey should involve some kind of activity actually on (on in) the water. We walked a few minutes down Admiralty Way to Pro SUP Shop’s rental area. A few hours in one of their two-person kayaks, exploring the marina and the placid Mother’s Beach area was an amazing way to spend the afternoon. They rent a variety of watercraft and offer lessons and extra help to first-timers.
Follow luxury travel writer Freddy Sherman on Twitter – @luxuryfred