As I start writing this I am cozy on a nice suede couch in the earth-toned lobby of the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn (hotel) in Marina del Rey.
get this — I can actually post this from the hotel because it actually allows guests to have wi-fi access for free.
Now, you may be thinking…what’s the big deal about free wifi?
So here’s how wi-fi tends to work in the USA. For some reason I have yet to understand, the more reasonably priced hotels offer free wi-fi for guests but the high-end hotels change from $10-$25 per 24-hour period for wi-fi. (At $25 it’s part of a “resort fee.”) Holiday Inn, a chain at which I have elected to stay at and hold events, led the way with access by offering free wi-fi since 2005. Business class hotels followed, and Hilton Garden Inn falls into this category.
So, back to this new Hilton Garden Inn… Being here for it’s ribbon-cutting opening, I learned that the entire Hilton Garden Inn brand is (a) more reasonably priced than other Hiltons and (b) provides free wi-fi. And, that’s not just wi-fi for room guests; it’s also for restaurant, bar, lobby guests. Now, you may be wondering if that means anyone can drive by, sit outside, or walk in and get online. Fortunately, no. Instead, the hotel’s front desk staff will give you the required password. (And I must add here that the Marina del Rey Front Desk staff — Laurie Hill, Philicia, Troy and Drew, are fantastic from what I have seen and , and Jason-the-night-manager really cares as well.) I am not yet sure what level of security is at the Hilton Garden Inn (it’s AT&T Wayport and I’m just learning the details of Wayport) — but I am happy there’s a password. (Please still use your computer or device’s personal firewall, too.) Another great feature: they won’t charge you to print. Logical and helpful, isn’t it? I am always impressed when a hotel prints something for me instead of gouging me for a piece of paper and some toner.
I love Marina del Rey so I am happy to see this hotel here.
It’s no secret to my friends and business associates that I’m not a Hilton fan, so that’s saying a lot.
As someone who lives in Los Angeles (sort of), I love that it’s possible to come by car, park and come in for a drink or snack or meal without first being confronted by a parking fee. (No, this doesn’t mean anyone can park here free to spend the day elsewhere in the Marina and it is not for late night or overnight parking.) I’m looking forward to coming by, enjoying the fresh ocean air and the village-like hotel surroundings as I split an ice cream-topped brownie with a friend.
I also like the decor, environment, and attitude of this new hotel. It’s not cookie-cutter.
Part of the reason is that the hotel maintains the structure, the “bones” as one woman called it, of the original hotel that was there before. (I’d never noticed a hotel there before and I’m told that’s because it was quite run down and didn’t fit into this beautiful road that partially encircles the beautiful marina.) I had the honor of sitting with the architects — David A Thiel Jr and Jeff Schabell of AGI (Architectural Group International). The changes they made work to provide more nice spaces and more flexibility.
To the side of the main building, there are several bungalow style rooms. Each is different. One has a spiral staircase. One is a split level. All are perfect for families or for business meetings/sleeping accomodation. There’s an outdoor pool in the corner by the bungalows. I, of course, had to sit down in the chairs in some of those bungalows to try out the desk space and see if it’s actually good to work at. It is.
And, by the way, if you are wanting to stay overnight in a hotel in the Marina del Rey area or perhaps anywhere from Santa Monica down through the marina area, this may be the best price you will find this close to the water. (There are lower-end hotels not across from the water for $30-$100 less.)
Fabulous Catering Department Food
Someone at the grand opening commented that the hors d’oeuvres were excellent, asking who catered it. Funny! We’re standing right in front of the hotel’s event room, on the event patio, being served by hotel staff. The “caterer” was the hotel — of course! And the food was perfect. Ah, those Lamb Chops were sooo tender and sweet and the shrimp were huge. They even served mini Mac and Cheese finger food.
If you seek a hotel room or restaurant at the water’s edge with a full view of some of the sailboats and motor yachts, you’ll need to stay on the other side of Admiralty Way. But if you’re cool walking across the street to that water, and if you love taking walks, and you want the more reasonable prices, you’ll love this new hotel.
And speaking of the water side, the same hotel group, Pacifica Hotel Company, also opened a new hotel building, Jamaica Bay Inn, on the water side of Admiralty Way in 2010. Remember though, this is a marina, not a beach area. Waterside is not beach. Marina del Rey was actually man-made, carved out to create the many quays (pronounced keys) to accommodate boats. For beaches you’ll want to go up or down the coast.
I think this will be a good place for meetings and events as well.
4200 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, California, 90292