On weekends, we enjoy discovering new places in the surrounding area. Although we rarely stay at the same hotel twice, we recently re-visited The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey as it was the host hotel for TravelAge West Trendsetter Awards dinner in which we were the 2016 Finalist for Best Use of Social Media!

Front Desk
Front Desk


The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey is situated south of Santa Monica on a beautiful, yet quiet marina. Although there are only a small number of shops and restaurants in the immediate vicinity, the property is very close to the nearby beach towns of Venice and Santa Monica. Tom and I brought our bikes on our first visit last September. We rode along the excellent system of bike paths adjacent to the beach. Our bike trip took us to Santa Monica, where we strolled along the Third Street Promenade and grazed on treats that we purchased at the Saturday farmer’s market. When we returned to the property, the valet suggested we lock our bikes up on the rack adjacent to the entrance. Unfortunately, the next day when we checked out, our bikes were missing!  If you decide to bring your bikes, we highly recommend bringing them to your room to avoid dealing with the hassles of trying to remedy the problem.  *Note-the hotel and management helped us along the way to rectify the issue*

Property and Activities

Pool Area and Tennis Courts

The hotel is a hybrid city/beach property with a light and airy aesthetic. However, the footprint is compact and doesn’t have the grandness of nearby Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel (hence, the more “city” hotel vibe). There is a lovely outdoor pool area that boasts a fantastic view of the marina. For more physical activity, check out the tennis courts and break out a sweat at the state-of-the-art fitness center. On our recent second stay for the awards dinner, we became acquainted with the ballroom and banquet facilities. The rooms, staffing, and food and beverage service were top-notch. If you are looking for a place to host an event, consider Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey.


Cast and Plow is the property’s excellent dining option. The menu focuses on small plates that feature local farm and sea to table ingredients. The view of the marina from the restaurant was stunning which compliments the modern California cuisine. Because of this, we chose to dine outside.  My favorite dish was the California tomato and burrata salad while Tom preferred the scallops. We recommend eating before dusk to watch a most spectacular Southern California sunset.


For a luxury hotel, the rooms are on the smaller side. Once again, this is why I feel the property is a city-beach hybrid, rather than a true beach resort. However, the rooms painted with a light blue and grey color scheme that lends itself a calming and tranquil atmosphere. The bathroom was also compact but efficient in the use of space.

Club room

Club room treats
Club room treats

We almost always recommend upgrading to a club lounge level when it is available. We stayed at this property on two occasions and during our first visit last fall; we opted for this upgrade. The lounge offers food and beverage service from morning to night. We like to start our day off with a light meal of fresh fruit, yogurt, and coffee before heading to the beach.  Since we had to work, we chose to do so in the lounge as it provides a great space to conduct online work. Also, it helps to have snacks available to fuel us as we toil on our computers. And naturally, the concierge service is very personalized and treats each guest individually. Regretfully, we didn’t choose to upgrade to the experience on our second stay. The club experience is that special!


Searching for a wedding venue is a daunting task. If you are looking for a beautiful seaside setting close to Los Angeles, we highly recommend The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. On both of our stays at the property, Tom and I were impressed with the lovely elegance that set the backdrop for wedding ceremonies and receptions. We can tell that the participants and guests enjoyed themselves immensely.

Mom’s notes

Ritz Kids is a children’s activity center within the hotel. One notable activity is a scavenger hunt throughout the property. However, Ritz Kids at this property is much more subdued than other Ritz-Carlton properties. Once again, this is more of a “city” hotel.


The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey is a beautiful property located close to beaches, LAX, and the greater Los Angeles area. It serves as a great home-base to do some Southern California discovering. If you are searching for a high-end venue with top-notch views to host your wedding or special event, this place is it!

Virtuoso Amenities  

For 2019:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Continental breakfast to be used either in Cast & Plow Restaurant or through In-Room Dining
  • Choice of a full-day bicycle rental for two people or a 1 hour on-site Tennis lesson ($120 value, once per stay
  • Early check-in, subject to availability – 4 pm late check-out
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Contact Us for additional details on this hotel or your travel need.