90292 Travel Guide
The new TV show, "Jane The Virgin" is not just the answer to the prayers of "Ugly Betty" fans, who have been in mourning since the show went off the air a few years ago. "Jane The Virgin" is also extremely clever and funny, yet unabashedly apologetic about its soapy premise.
That premise involves Jane, a virgin who's about to get engaged, getting accidentally inseminated by a distracted gynecologist, who just happened to use her brother's last surviving sperm which he had frozen before his chemotherapy treatment. (It's the brother of the gynecologist, not Jane's. No one is ready to see a show about accidental incest. No one.)
Further complicating matters is that Jane happens to work for the brother, named Rafael, and they even shared a kiss once upon a time. Obviously, her fiancée is not pleased. About the baby and about her job working for the baby's daddy.
Meanwhile, Jane's mom, a wannabe singer, has recently been in bed, er, in touch with Jane's father, who Jane has never known about. And Jane's father just happens to be a big time novella star of a show that Jane is addicted to watching. Ay, Yi, Yi!
But for us hotel nerds, we like a different kind of drama in play on, and off, the show.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / Los Angeles Hotels / Marina del Rey Hotels / Doubletree Hotels / Hilton Hotels / → All Tags
$7.5 million of refreshments went into both an interior and exterior spruce-up, ranging from a new lobby and revamped pool area to refreshed guestrooms. The last stop on the renovation track has been the opening of restaurant Barbianca Local Kitchen. More shots from inside below.
What better way to kick off the holiday weekend than by sampling a chilled s'mores concoction on the waterfront? That's what we did today at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey in Los Angeles.
The hotel recently opened a brand new, farm-to-table restaurant concept called Cast & Plow. Previously, this space was home to the stuffy JER-NE restaurant. But the entire dining room, as well as the extended lobby space, was gutted to create a light, airy and breezy social setting, complete with flat-screen TVs and communal tables with outlets.
Cast & Plow prides itself on locally sourcing ingredients and the menu even shows you exactly where the food comes from in California. The shareable dishes like a cheese plate ($14), kale chips ($7) and avocado & chips ($12, the avocado is mixed with blue cheese and sriracha) make Cast & Plow a great place for a quick bites while larger entrees like the chicken sandwich ($17), a local cod with grilled corn ($24) and an all-natural prime beef hamburger ($19) give you an excuse to linger and admire the incredible view. Boats, boats, and more boats!
Hotel Spas / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Marina del Rey Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Natura Bisse / → All Tags
We've become accustomed to ultra-luxe hotel spa offerings from facials done with real diamonds particles to body treatments made with fossil stone and even the rare stem cell treatment. But the Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey celebrated the grand opening of their new Spa Nautica in a highly unusual way--with a special bubble filled with 99.95 percent pure air from Spanish toiletry brand, Natura Bisse. But there's more.
Inside the bubble, the spa performed complimentary 30-minute "Direct Affect" facials on party guests using carboxitherapy (C02 to combat the signs of aging), which "produces an explosion of oxygen resulting in a visible revitalization of the skin." Um, yes please.
Sadly, the bubble was just an opening trick and it's already been popped, er, taken down. However, the Direct Affect facial is available at the spa for $85. It's done in one of the spa's seven treatment rooms, not a bubble. There's also a super luxe facial being offered called the "Diamond Experience Cryo-Repairing Lifting Facial" which lasts 90 minutes and costs $325, but is a serous anti-aging treatment that involves an "intensive mio-facial lifting massage" and "cold lifting" which repairs damaged DNA. But of course, you can get an regular old massage and body treatment at the spa too in case the complicated words scare the living daylights out of you.
Concierge Interviews / Concierges / Video / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Marina Del Rey Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Have you ever flirted with a hotel concierge? In our series, Concierge Interviews, HotelChatter goes behind the Front Desk and gets chummy with the men—and women—whose job it is to never say no. Filmed inside various lobbies, courtyards, and bar lounges, each video will offer a glimpse into the world of hotels from the people who know them best. Got a burning question you'd like us to ask? Or have someone in mind for us to interview? Email us your requests!
When people think of visiting Los Angeles, they think of the Hollywood sign, Rodeo Drive, the Santa Monica Pier, the Kardashians and wherever Lindsay Lohan has gotten into her latest mess. But just below the hipster corral of Venice Beach is Marina del Rey, which is an actual marina with real boats and yachts. And the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey is right on the waterfront near all the action. Need proof? Check out this view from one of the guest rooms.
Concierge Amanda Kinsley, who's been at the hotel for 11 years, gives us the lowdown on the property, her craziest request so far (it involved moving a college student into the dorms), her suggestions for approaching the concierge and why Marina del Rey should be the respite from your Hollywood tour. And...action!
Hotel Thefts / Hotel Art / RItz Carlton Hotels / California Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel Pastors / → All Tags
The tiny portrait (it only measured 11" x 6"!) was finally recovered Monday evening—in the pastor's office of an Episcopal Church! What is it with scandalous pastors this week? Someone reportedly saw the missing artwork at the church and alerted the authorities. Though, to be fair, Father Mike Cooper hasn't been arrested, nor have detectives figured out exactly how the sketch traveled twenty-odd miles from the hotel into his office. Maybe it just needed some fresh air.
Hotel Art / Hotel Crime / Los Angeles Hotels / Ritz Carlton Hotels / Police Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Hotel Fires / → All Tags
On Saturday, a $250,000 Rembrandt etching known as "The Judgment" disappeared from an exhibit in the hotel lobby. So how exactly does a 350-year-old lithograph just vanish? Well, that's kinda what police are trying to figure out. In the words of the LA County Sheriff's Department:
"When the curator that was attending to the art exhibit turned back to the exhibit, he noticed immediately that this individual drawing...was gone."
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Marina Del Rey Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel Construction / Free WiFi / → All Tags
The LA hotel scene has definitely been quiet, almost sleepy, when compared to the nonstop action of NYC. So when we hear of a new hotel--even if it's just an extensive remodel or rebranding of an existing one--we get super excited.
The latest hotel to enter the market is the Jamaica Bay Inn in Marina del Rey. This is actually an old Best Western that's getting an extensive reno to transform itself into a "beachfront resort-like setting" and to transport guests to a faraway Caribbean resort.
Each guest room is a private, peaceful oasis with an understated yet elegant island-inspired décor. By making use of tropical textures like rattan, rich woods and leather, the design captures the essence of sophisticated island living.
Upgraded amenities include complimentary high-speed wireless Internet throughout the hotel, luxuriously comfortable bedding, environmentally friendly, luxury bath products, granite countertops and much more.
Many rooms feature their own private balcony, providing city views on one side and views of the beach, marina, pool and gardens on the other.
2009 is the year we all became reacquainted with a newly-reformed Britney Spears—a grown-up pop princess who grew back her long locks, kept crazy public outbursts to a minimum, and made sure the public knew she was no slacker in the parenting department. We're well-accustomed to seeing paparazzi pictures of Britney with sons Sean Preston and Jayden James, and this past weekend, the happy family threesome spent some quality time as well-monied families are wont to do: with an afternoon by the pool at The Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey.
Amazing weather often encourages bike riding which in turn breeds bike thieving. Not at the Marriott Marina del Rey.
Come May 1 the hotel will start their free bicycle valet service! Those valet guys who previously were parking CO2 emitting wheels, are now safely parking and watching those of the two-wheeling variety. (We're guessing parking a Schwinn is a lot less fun than parking a Lamborghini.)
The hotel's bike valet is their attempt at reinventing the "biker bar," alleviating LA traffic and of course luring Angelenos into their destination bar, Glow (above). Patrons can cool off in the pool and chow down on free appetizers. Just be sure to wait 20 minutes before jumping in the pool.
As we were recuperating from illness in bed on Friday night, we found ourselves watching (and Tivo-ing for later) the good, the bad and the incredibly cheesy movies from the past. (Coyote Ugly anyone?) And amidst this sadfest, we found ourselves watching The Parent Trap remake with Lindsay Lohan and the late Natasha Richardson who passed away last week after a tragic fall on the ski slopes
in Montreal of Mont Tremblant in Quebec. Gotta love the Encore channel's timeliness touch.
Aside from watching Richardson, we were also captivated by the young Lohan. It's hard to believe with all her recent tabloid drama these days, that she was actually once a precocious little red-headed child. They do grow up fast.
But what also got our hotel geek radar going was a hotel pool scene which we instantly recognized as The Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey.
We spent the weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey and kind of loved it. But only kind of because, well, luxury on it's own isn't quite good enough. Check out our video tour of deluxe room 822 or keep reading for a full review.
This is the only Ritz in LA, but it's not exactly in LA. We had to get over to Hollywood for a meeting and it took over an hour--and that was on the weekend. However, if you don't need to go farther than LAX or Santa Monica or if you're just looking to hang out just at the hotel, it's great. It's real close to quirky Venice Beach and the Marina del Rey marina is right there if you're a boating junkie.