Staying near the water in Los Angeles is a wonderful way to really feel like you've gotten away from it all. And if boats and water views are part of that vacation dream, then the newly reopened, completely renovated Marina del Rey Hotel is the place to be.
Once a tired old spot in the massive marina (which is located just to the north of LAX), these days the hotel is a stunning destination, complete with a new modern design, fabulous ocean and marina views from all the rooms, a heated swimming pool and a restaurant with terrific food.
Yes, the hotel – a part of the Pacifica Hotels chain – is now a four-star beauty.
The gorgeous outside deck of SALT restaurant at Marina del Rey Hotel — Photo courtesy of Marina del Rey Hotel
From the moment you enter and gaze up at the spectacular white-seagulls-in-flight sculpture that rises two stories above you, it's obvious that attention to detail has been an integral part of the renovation, which took the old hotel down to the studs.
What has risen now is a modern luxury hotel, with rooms outfitted with 55-inch flat-screen televisions, beautiful bathrooms, comfortable beds and either a balcony or a patio, offering a terrific view of the massive main channel of the marina and the ocean beyond.
At Marina del Rey Hotel, the swimming pool overlooks the marina — Photo courtesy of Marina del Rey Hotel
There is complimentary WiFi; gourmet coffee in the room (so no wandering into the lobby in your pajamas in search of a cup of joe); and even bicycles for rent.
You can use those to ride up to Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier on the Strand (the 26-mile-long beachfront cement path), or forgo the riding and just hang out by the pool and watch the yachts go by, as you sip a craft cocktail delivered directly to your beach chair.
The comfortable interior of SALT, the restaurant at Marina del Rey Hotel — Photo courtesy of Marina del Rey Hotel
It's easy to watch the ships sail by – and to catch a brilliant sunset, too – at SALT, Marina del Rey Hotel's lovely restaurant. Helmed by Chef Mark Gold, the eatery is open for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner.
Happy hour is a great time to visit if you're not sleeping at the hotel, for you can try the incredibly luscious house-made avocado hummus (a decadent yet healthy appetizer) for just $5, along with a selection of draft beers and good wines for that same tariff.
A bedroom with a view — Photo courtesy of Marina del Rey Hotel
Hang onto that picturesque table for dinner to watch the color-laden sunset and then sample some of Gold's market-driven delights, including the delicately delicious lobster pasta made with inaniwa-udon noodles or the massive shellfish platter, chockablock with Maine lobster, Dungeness crab, briny oysters, clams, mussels and huge Mexican prawns.
And if spending the day frolicking in sunny Southern California takes too much out of you, there's always the 24-hour room service at the Marina del Rey Hotel to depend on.
So any way you experience it, this is an excellent place to while away a few days in the perpetual summer climate that makes Marina del Rey, in particular, and Los Angeles, in general, such a grand place to visit.