The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
What We Love
- Marina views
- Water-focused Spa del Rey
- Fleet of rental cruiser bikes for pedaling to the beach
What To Know
- The hotel is on a marina, not the beach; Venice Beach is a 15-minute walk
- Valet-only parking is pricey
- Proximity to LAX makes it popular with business travelers
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Set on the waterfront of a small-craft marina, the Ritz-Carlton is a traditional stay done in typical clubby Ritz-Carlton fashion with marble and dark woods in public spaces. The 304 Guestrooms are done up with more nautical flair with yellow, blue, and gold hues and Marina Terrace rooms come with a water view. More spectacular marina views are on hand at jer-ne (pronounced “journey”), serving California cuisine with a focus on local seafood and produce.
In the Area
When it’s time to escape the business conference or when you’re ready to hit the beach book a bike and pedal a few minutes to Venice Beach. One of Los Angeles’s most famous neighborhoods, Venice Beach is known for its boardwalk where countless vendors hock their wares and the famed muscle beach weightlifters-slash-performers flex their muscles. A few blocks from the sand, Lincoln Boulevard is where most of the restaurants and boutiques are located. Here you’ll find Casablanca, an eatery where the decor recreates its namesake movie’s set. The food is a bit lackluster, but the environs — and the tequila cart — make up for it. For a taste of German, pay a visit to Wurstkuche for sausages and craft beer in a bright, exposed brick and concrete cafe. Like the tats you’re seeing on the Beach? Get inked at Black Diamond Tattoo, where resident artist Shingken, from Tokyo, pens beautiful patterns.
How to Get There
During recent L.A. area wildfires, we had to leave our home and we were able to grab the last room at the Ritz-Carlton MDR. We showed up in the middle of the night and they were very kind. Our room was comfortable but needed a little updating with the lighting. And there was no refrigerator. Views were good and all staff members were very polite.
I stayed here for 4 days and came away with very mixed feelings.
The property is fantastic -- located on the Marina, new & clean, great pool & gym areas, nice restaurant on-site, basically all the things you'd want from the Ritz in LA. Strictly from a point of view of having nice surroundings and a beautiful home for a stay in MDR, it's definitely 5-star.
But the service was repeatedly lacking, in various little ways that added up to a subpar experience for me. It started with a bumpy check-in: our room wasn't ready yet, and as we waited in the lobby there was apparently a shift change and we were forgotten about. The staff apologized and gave us some lunch credit at the restaurant (nice!), but it also seemed to be understaffed or mismanaged for lunch that day and it took way too long to get a burger and pay.
On our last day, I checked out in the morning then spent the afternoon at the gym + pool before heading to the airport. Unfortunately the gym shower was closed for rennovation and there was nowhere else to wash up -- but none of the staff were aware of this (the front desk having explicitly told me in the morning that I could shower & change in their facilities after checking out), and I got sent from one department to the next until concluding that I'd just have to take my evening flight covered in sweat & chlorine.
Little issues like these aren't a big deal, but they can add up in a way that kills the overall experience, especially when paying a high nightly rate to stay at the Ritz. Overall hotel grounds & facilities were awesome, and all the individuals I interacted with were trying their best to provide great service. They just seemed hamstrung by a lack of information, empowerment, or something like that, originating at the management level.
Very nice hotel, after all it is the Ritz with beautiful artwork throughout. We were greeted with the option of a glass of champagne. Easy checkin into a king room on the 1 floor. Room was nice with very large patio with table and 2 chairs, No View on this low of a floor which was somewhat disappointing, but we werent spending much time at hotel for the 5 days that we were there so decided it was fine. My sister stayed on 7th floor and it was much nicer. Also the neighbor had a bit of a party one night that somewhat "spilled" over onto our patio. We are easy going and it ended early enough so it did not warrant a complaint. Others might not have liked this though. We wanted to play tennis but they had a kid tennis school going at the times we wanted to play. Fortunately a family member has club membership next door at the Tennis club. Nice pool area, hotel is located right on the marina. They have hourly or daily Bicycle rentals available, as well as the scooters and bike rentals on the sidewalk just outside hotel. Killer cafe (24 hours) is a quick walkThe Cast and Plow restaurant looks beautiful with a very nice menu. We did not eat here as we had other plans, but enjoyed cocktails at the bar, and the brunch buffet looked very good. Normally, we rent a car when visiting but decided because the parking rate is so high that we would just Uber and that worked great.