The Ritz Carlton, Los Angeles
With so many luxurious choices to stay at the beach, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills, it is sometimes easy to overlook downtown Los Angeles as a destination. But with a resurgence of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment, downtown L.A. has something for everyone. Kids included! Poshbrood recently checked out the new 123-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel at L.A. Live which just opened in 2010. Tall and sleek, the 54-story tower shares space with the Ritz-Carlton Residences and their sister property, J.W. Marriott. However, the Ritz Lounge and 26th floor rooftop pool are reserved exclusively for Ritz guests.
When we arrived early in the season, we were given a POLO (Protect Our Little Ones) kit complete with outlet protectors and thermometers in case of illness. Luckily they were not needed! First and foremost, we headed to the rooftop pool for some water play. Except for our presence, it was serene and relaxing. During the high season, the rooftop bar, ION, is open and cabanas are available for rental. If you are looking for more action or need a poolside bar, Ritz guests are free to use the pool at the J.W. Marriott. After the kids were wrinkled as prunes and dragged from the pool hours later, the hotel arranged for us to visit the adjacent Grammy Museum. The hotel can also arrange passes to Lucky Strike or ESPN Zone as well. The Grammy museum had tons of interactive stations and music for kids to listen to, as well as electric guitars and drum sets on which to play. When we visited, there was an exhibit on John Lennon as well as Bob Marley that was super cool, mon! You can check their online calendar to see what's up next.
After working up an appetite, we skipped dining out, and headed back to the hotel. The dining options on-site include the LA Market, glANCE Wine Bar, the Mixing Room, and Wolfgang Puck's renowned WP24 restaurant. Our gang ate at The Mixing Room, located in the JW Marriott lobby. The bustling atmosphere made us less conscious of our kids' robust noise level, and they had great kid's options on the menu. Best of all, the service was swift! For those who combine their stay with a show at the Nokia theater or STAPLES Center, the LA Market has a reasonable and tasty-looking pre-show menu.
For those who live in the L.A. area, the hotel is perfect for those who don't want to fight L.A. traffic before or after an event. The night we were there we ran into families who had tickets to the Madonna concert, and turned it into an overnight. Others may come after a movie premiere at the Regal Cinemas. During our stay, the LA Film festival was screening a new James Franco movie, after which he was the guest of honor at WP24. *Sigh!* If only we had arranged a sitter and had the right connections!
The excitement of our night included watching two kids' movies On Demand and raiding the minibar candy selection (which I don't recommend...it definitely adds up!) But it was fun staying up late in our luxurious beds and enjoying all the modern amenities of the hotel, including 24 hour room service. We stayed in a Deluxe room with two doubles that was just as nice, but much hipper, than the other Ritz hotels at which we have stayed. Junior suites and adjacent rooms are available if you need more space. After an earlier than usual breakfast in bed, we hit the pool one last time before heading out. Next time, we plan on checking out the Spa, which looked divine. Look at this glam spa lounge where you sip champagne pre-treatment. LOVE.
Rooms start as low as $309 a night. Small pets accepted. Book through Poshbrood/SmartFlyer to get best rooms at best rates and other added amenities.
Submitted by Martha Wittenberg, LA mom of two, doctor, runner, wife and travel addict.