MARINA DEL REY – Given some memorable experiences at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here in Montreal, I was very eager to spend some time at the Marina del Rey location during my family’s recent visit to California.

I had never been to Marina del Rey before. But the lyrics from singer Marc Jordan’s classic tune,  “Living in Marina del Rey” have been ringing in my head for decades.

Set in the heart of the Los Angeles coastline, Marina del Rey (www.visitmarinadelrey.com) is a waterfront playground with endless harbor views and a relaxed “California cool” vibe on LA’s bustling Westside. Its prime location is four miles from LAX, steps from world-famous Venice Beach and is easily accessible to major Los Angeles attractions like Santa Monica and the Getty Museum. With year-round sunshine and average temperatures in the mid-to-high 60s, the breezy, cool and idyllic way of life in the Marina appeals to visitors and locals.

Tucked along the Pacific coast between Venice Beach and peaceful Playa Vista, The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey (www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/marina-del-rey) is one of the most ideally located luxury hotels near Culver City to explore Southern California’s most eclectic stretch of coastline. Literally meaning “sea coast of the king,” Marina del Rey is aptly named, as it is home to more than 7,000 pleasure boats and yachts in one of the largest man-made marinas in the world, as well as shopping and gourmet dining.

Marina del Rey Ritz-Carlton

The beautiful waterfront pool

The hotel is conveniently located near some of the most sought-after tech companies such as YouTube, IMAX and the future Google campus. It recently underwent extensive guest room enhancements, finishing one of its premier ballrooms that overlooks the marina.

It was very exciting to spend the day at this Marina del Rey location and receive a private tour of the facility. From private Juliet balconies off of every guest room, or from a restaurant terrace where handcrafted cocktails around a fire pit stir inevitable conversation, this is one fine luxury hotel. It features 304 guest rooms and suites with private balconies featuring marina and city skyline views. There are Exclusive key-access-only Ritz-Carlton Club® Level rooms, L.A.’s only waterfront pool and whirlpool and a newly renovated lobby lounge. I was thoroughly impressed with the state-of-the-art fitness center, with eucalyptus steam rooms, full showers, restrooms and keypad lockers with safe.

My family and I were escorted to the poolside and shown to a beautiful private cabana. Inside there was a comfortable couch, a television with a remote control, a fridge stocked with waters, soft drinks, fresh fruit and a basket full of delicious snacks. On a small table there was a selection of nice magazines. Outside the covered structure were three padded lounge chairs with towels and large shade umbrellas. We were provided with a menu to the Waves Poolside Bar & Grill. After one of the staff members brought us a bottle of champagne we placed our order, a superb hamburger with salad, a chicken sandwich and some chicken strips. It all arrived promptly and perfectly prepared.

The pool was refreshing and the whirlpool even more so. Using our pass key, we took a leisurely stroll outside the grounds to admire the marina and the many different boats.

Director of Sales and Marketing Ed Curry gave me a tour of the facility. The Cast & Plow Restaurant off the lobby offers one of the prettier patio layouts I have seen. At the gift shop Curry told me that skateboards actually represent the top-selling item. “We can’t keep them on the shelf long enough before we need to order more,” he said.

Up we went to the 12th floor to see one of the beautiful guest rooms with a view and then down a short flight of stairs into the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Concierge Club Lounge. This beautifully designed room is open to all guests for an extra charge of $250 a day for snacks, drinks and a private place to relax.

This is a hotel I’d definitely like to enjoy an extended stay at some time in the future.

Mike Cohen’s email address is info@mikecohen.ca. Follow his travels at www.sandboxworld.com/travel and on Instagram @mikecohencsl

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