As I was arriving very late in Los Angeles, I planned on staying at a hotel near the airport before continuing on the next day to Long Beach. I know, it’s a short drive from LAX to Long Beach and traffic would be great around midnight, but midnight in Los Angeles means 3 a.m. for me being on East Coast Time. Another factor for doing this was that the hotel I would be staying at, the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, had a rate for this night of over $300 compared to the Airport Marriott rate which was half of that. This also came in with one of my Amex Offers. The hotels I usually stay when transiting through LAX, the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport and the Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport were sold out for this night.
I booked the hotel shortly before leaving Orlando, as I was hoping one of the other hotels might open up for the night. As they didn’t before departing MCO, I booked the Los Angeles Airport Marriott to make sure I have a hotel when arriving in LAX. The flight got delayed by half an hour, which American Airlines announced already by 11 a.m. through a notification in the app and email. Why it was delayed, I have no idea. New departure time was now 9 p.m. and the boarding process was tedious. It took until 9 p.m. to get the people on the plane, some couldn’t find space for their carry on in the overhead bins, so they just let it sit in the aisle and hoping we would take off. After boarding was finally completed, there was a lavatory issue. As I was sitting in the second row, I could see the Captain and crew try to figure out what was going on. The captain made an announcement over the PA that there is an issue with the lavatory and that he won’t take off without working lavatories. I really respect that decision. It is a 4.5-hour flight and there with no lavatories, oh I don’t want to imagine what could go wrong. Even tho I never used the lavatory for the whole flight, plenty of other people did. It was a quick fix to get the lavatories fixed. When the plane arrived the tank of the lavatory system was never dumped and therefore the indicator showed a full tank. No technical issues, just some human error, which can happen. Luckily nothing serious and the crew realized it before take-off. And off we went with another 30-minute delay.
Once we landed in LAX it was a strenuous process to reclaim my bags. All three of my bags had the priority label on the tag but only one bag made it to the baggage claim which was announced and listed on the monitors. There was only a handful of luggage pieces coming out before the system shut down and all the passengers were still waiting for their bags. Finally, after a long wait period, an announcement over the airport PA system that the remaining bags will now be delivered on a different carousel. So we all had to walk over to another baggage claim, which was a short walk away from the current.
Location & Check-In
The Los Angeles Airport Marriott is located only a short shuttle right down W Century Blvd. After I finally got all my bags, I walked out to the island for Hotel Shuttle Pick-Up. I and a few other people were waiting for our shuttles to arrive. Then the shuttle, which serves the Airport Marriott and Renaissance Hotel, was coming up towards us and I and a handful of other people tried to wave it down but the shuttle just kept going, without even slowing down. I assumed it’s probably full. The next one took another 10 minutes to arrive and I was the last one to get on, with even the aisle of the shuttle full with bags. Some other people cut me off to get on the shuttle, which seems to be very common in the United States. People cut you off during the boarding process, baggage claim and even for airport shuttles. Unbelievable, but I am used to it and as long as I made it on, I didn’t care much. As it was already past midnight, I really wanted to go to the hotel and check-in. As I was the last one in the shuttle, I also was the first one off. Luckily the Airport Marriott was the first stop, as all my luggage was blocking the aisle for other people to get off.
After I got off the shuttle, I tipped the driver and headed inside the hotel. Check-in counters are located off to the left and this hotel has actually a pretty big check-in area with multiple stations with dedicated stations for elite members. However, as it was past midnight only two people were working the front desk and the line was long as a whole Aeromexico crew was in front of me. A third receptionist came out and took care of the flight crew, which made me the next one in line.
First the usual procedure by showing credit card and I.D. followed by a welcome greeting as an Ambassador. My receptionist excused herself really quick and went to the back office and was back within a minute. She upgraded me to a suite, which I didn’t even ask for during check in but I was still happy to receive the upgrade. She explained to me a few of the amenities of the hotel and that I have access to the M Club Lounge on the 18th floor as well as breakfast hours. I stored two of my bags with the bellman before heading over to the elevators and up to the 17th floor.
After exiting the elevators I followed the sign indicating that my room would be down the right hallway. I kept walking and my room was coming up as one of the very last ones on this floor.
King Deluxe Suite (Room 1745)
Because of the long flight, I was tired but still excited to see what the suite would look like. I used my room key to open the door and when I looked inside I was like thinking, did they give me the wrong room. The first impression I got was, this is not a suite, but a super tiny King room. When you first open the door, you just see a small room in front of you and a King bed. I walked down the small entryway of the room into the actual sleeping area and there it was. Another door leading to a separate living area.
On the right side after walking into the room is a closet with a PJ, iron, ironing board, coffee maker and in-room safe while on the left side is a “guest bathroom”. It’s kinda strange, they have the guest bathroom in the bedroom which only has a toilet and vanity with a mirror but no shower. It has a decent size though.
There is a nightstand on either side of the bed and both sides have multiple power and USB outlets to keep your phones and gadgets recharged. Both sides also have lights and reading lights. Opposite of the King bed is a big flatscreen TV.
Once you step through the before mentioned door you walk into the living space of the suite. Immediately to the right is the entertainment area with a sofa bed opposite of another big flatscreen TV. In front of the sofa are a small cocktail table and a cube seat which can be used as a footrest. Past that is the dining area with a long table seating 6 people. On the other side of the room, opposite to the dining table is a bar area with sink and refrigerator as well as another closet with an in-room safe, coffee maker, PJ, iron, and ironing board. The bar area has another door to enter the suite from the main hotel hallway which uses the same room key. For your safety, make sure you use the deadbolts on either door.
Now the master bathroom is on the left side as you walk into the living space while coming from the bedroom. This bathroom is huge with plenty of space and in my opinion a little bit to much space. This part could have been narrowed down a little bit and therefore over some extra space for the living room. The master bathroom is back on back with the “guest bathroom” in the sleeping space of the suite. The wall could have been offset to actually have the master bathroom in the sleeping space and just a small guest bathroom for the living room part of the suite.
The master bathroom also has a vanity with a corner lit mirror. Inside the big walk-in shower, you have the regular overhead shower head and a more European style removable showerhead as well. The toiletries on the vanity are from Thann.
What’s surprising is that the living room, bedroom, and the master bathroom have it’s own climate control systems. Unfortunately, the A/C system makes a weird and kinda loud sound every now and then. Sound like water flowing in a pipe but loud. It only lasts for a few seconds but especially at night, you will notice it. As I am a deep sleeper, I have no issues with it, but could be for other kinds of sleepers.
Both, the bedroom and living room, have floor to ceiling windows. While there is one in the bedroom, there are two in the living room. There is no balcony and the view is facing east where you can see planes approaching both runways at LAX. Other than that, no interesting view. Pool-view rooms are located on the opposite side of the hotel tower.
The main lights are controlled by motion sensors, which only work when it’s dark in the room. You can always turn the lights on manually by pressing the button below the motion sensor or even disabling the motion sensor altogether.
One thing I missed in the room was a work desk. I used the large dining table, which was a perfect alternative and provided lots of space to set up. On the other side, it would be great to have a small corner in the room with a dedicated work desk and office chair. In that case, you can use the dining table, if you stay multiple days, without removing your set up every time.
The Los Angeles Airport Marriott has quite a few things to offer for its guest. The lobby level, which I consider the main level of the building houses all the restaurants, bar and Starbucks besides of course the check-in counter. There is a pretty well-sized gift shop next to the check-in area which offers more than just some snacks and drinks. You can buy souvenirs, postcards, some clothing and more here. Opposite of the gift shop are monitors showing departure times at LAX and two workstations to print boarding passes. The business center is in this hotel a FedEx business center offering also shipping solutions and more. This is convenient but I don’t like this kind of business centers, as you get charged for everything, even printing a piece of paper. Close to the FedEx Business Center is an on-site Hertz rental car counter and a hair salon.
The main lobby area also features a great place to hang out and meet with friends and colleagues. There is a big seating area around the restaurants with even a fireplace.
On the 1st floor, which is one level below the lobby is the fitness center. Exiting the elevator you have to walk down the long side of the hallway almost to the end before you reach the fitness center which is on the left side. It is accessible with your room key. This fitness center is amazing. It really is more than the standard hotel fitness center with a treadmill and some weights. Here you have all kinds of workout equipment. Size-wise I count it towards one of the bigger fitness centers I have seen so far. From the windows of the fitness center you have a view of the pool area, I call it an oasis. Why?
The giant heated outdoor pool is in the middle and is surrounded all the way by the main hotel tower and the annex building which has only five stories but all the rooms facing the pool have a balcony, even the once on the main tower but only up to the fifth floor. I also like the shape of the pool, as it is not your boring rectangular pool just placed somewhere in the middle. The hotel calls it “Tropical Resort Style Outdoor Pool”. On one side of the pool, there are a bunch of loungers to relax and soak up the California sun. While other parts have more intimate seating areas. Next to the pool is also a whirlpool, also one of the bigger once I have seen. The pool area is surrounded by green artificial grass and palm trees.
An added extra is the Sweet & Hot Music Foundation Walk of Fame, honoring great artists and composers who have contributed to America’s Golden Age of Popular Music. Follow the trail along the pool. You don’t have to go to the overcrowded “Walk of Fame” in Hollywood, here you can do it in your bathing suit. But the Los Angeles Airport Marriott has more for you. Especially if you are a selfie geek and avid Instagrammer. Use one of their art walls in the pool area to take pictures of yourself and share it with the world.
Dining at the Airport Marriott
The Los Angeles Airport Marriott has three main restaurants with one of them always open. So no matter what time of the day, you can always swing by for a bite to eat. These are the three restaurants:
- JW’s Steakhouse
- Hangar 18 Bar + Kitchen
- Social Market & Eatery
All three are located on the lobby level (Floor 2) and easy to find. With the Social Market & Eatery primarily open for breakfast, the other two are great options for dinner. Lunch is available at Hangar 18 Bar + Kitchen. A Starbucks is also located in the main lobby and opens already at 5 a.m. for the early bird. To top off the dining experience at the hotel, you are able to order room service 24 hours a day.
M Club Lounge
The absolute dining highlight for me was, however, the M Club Lounge located on the 18th floor on the south side of the building with great views of runways 25L and 25R. Access to the Club Lounge is restricted and you are eligible to access it if you book a room which comes with Club Lounge access or you are an elite member with Marriott’s loyalty program Bonvoy (former Marriott Rewards). I love the lounge because of its design and location. Perfect for an aviation geek and probably one of the best spots to watch above mentioned runways. One of the best features of the lounge is, that it is open 24 hours a day. During the unattended hours in the morning, afternoon and late night, you can come in grab some light snacks and beverages. Alcoholic drinks are only provided during the operation hours of the bar (5 p.m. – 11 p.m.).
The breakfast, which is complimentary when you have lounge access, was decent. You get the usual continental breakfast with scrambled eggs, toast, cereals, fruits, yogurt and an assortment of juices and coffee. It’s nothing fancy but it gives you a great start in the day and I love that they already open breakfast at 6 a.m. throughout the week.
Inside the lounge, you find many different types of seating. You have the bar and regular dining tables but there are also tables with a TV next to them and power outlets to set up your laptop. In the corners, you can find some more comfy loungers and chairs to sit while enjoying a glass of wine in the evening.
Last but not least, there is a small business center located around the corner of the bar. There are two workstations and printers available to use.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.