After a weekend getaway to Death Valley, I had to come back for a week of work in Long Beach. The prices of my favorite hotel in Long Beach, the Hyatt Regency Long Beach were too high for the upcoming week and I looked for alternatives in the same area. As there is no other Hyatt close by, I decided to check Marriott to find a former SPG property in the area. The only hotel with a decent rate of ~ $150 USD was the Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown. I booked my room via the Marriott app just before leaving Death Valley late Sunday afternoon. I was still hoping for a price drop at the Hyatt Regency, which didn’t happen. Oh well.
First of all, don’t let the hotel name irritate you. I knew where the hotel was located, as I have driven by the hotel multiple times before. Downtown, suggests, it’s actually located in Downtown. Which it is not. The Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown is located across the Los Angeles River on the Port side of Long Beach. However, some of the hotel rooms have a view of Downtown Long Beach. This area is actually called Queensway Bay. The hotel is located next to the Queens Way Bridge which leads to Downtown and has a walking path on either side of the bridge. On the other side of the hotel is a parking lot with a boat launch ramp. The small river-front trail behind the hotel leads all the way to the Queen Mary. If you take the trail heading north-west from the hotel, it will dead-end at a small park, which had a couple of homeless tents in there, but otherwise was clean and maintained.
Unfortunately, the Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown is located pretty remotely if it comes to all the attractions. The only close one here is the Queen Marry, but all the other stuff is across the bridge. It’s not a terrible walk, it will take you about 25 minutes walking to get to the Shoreline Village. But you are in luck. There is a bus stop right in front of the hotel on Queensway Dr. This bus stop is served by the free Passport Shuttle. There is one small issue with the shuttle service. If you want to take the shuttle back to the hotel from anywhere else except the Queen Mary, you will have to plan in a 15-minute stop at the Queen Mary. Every shuttle stops here for 15 minutes and the drivers take a break. I would almost suggest you walk from the bus stop to the hotel. It’s most likely faster than waiting for the shuttle to get back in service, as you have to exit the bus either way.
Arriving here for the first time was a bit tricky. I followed the instructions of my GPS, which told me to turn on to Queensway Dr and after that my location would be on the left side. So I kept my eyes open on the signs and there is a sign with an arrow to the left for the Residence Inn. Unfortunately, there is no left turn possible. The next left turn is only the exit of the hotel’s parking lot. You have to drive around the corner and then make a left to actually get to the gate which goes on to the parking lot of the hotel. I was able to found a spot near the main entrance and grabbed my bags to get checked in.
The front desk agent found my reservation right away and just had to verify my credit card and I.D. before handing me over my room keys. She also told me that I got upgraded to a Queen Marry view room, rather than the Harbor View on the other side of the hotel. To get to the elevators, you have to take the hallway to the left just past the front desk and you will see them on your left about half-way down of the hallway.
During my stay, the hotel launched a new program, which will give Marriott Bonvoy Ambassadors a small gift bag with goodies. In my case, it was two small bottles of wine. I even got a choice between red (Cabernet Sauvignon) and white wine (Chardonnay). I received mine, just before my last night, as I requested a late checkout with the front desk. It’s so awesome that they remembered me and gave it to me as well, even tho I was already checked in. Thanks a lot, you guys are awesome.
1 Kind Studio (w/Sofa Bed) Queen Mary View (Room 906)
My room was on the 9th floor and down the hallway to the left. It is the second room on the left side. Once you enter you have the kitchenette on the right-hand side. It comes with the basics you need for an extended stay in a hotel: Full-size fridge, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, dishwasher, silverware, dishes, and a sink. Next to the kitchen area is a small dining table with two chairs.
Opposite the dining table, against the wall, is a work desk with a chair, followed by a couch. After that is a small table which has a lamp on top of it. Another chair follows with a 90° offset. In front of the couch is a small cocktail table. The room has two windows which offer you a view of the LA River, Downtown Long Beach and the Queen Mary (partially).
Views from the Room
The TV is mounted on the wall between the two windows and swivels to be viewed from the couch, dining table or bed. Right below the TV is a closet with three drawers.
A king-sized bed sits centered against the wall to the next room. On either side is a nightstand with a lamp. Each lamp comes with two power outlets to charge your devices.
Just off to the right is a small entryway to the bathroom. The first part consists of the vanity and a closet with mirror-doors. Inside you find the usual stuff: hangars for your clothes, iron, ironing board and extra bedding for the sofa-bed.
A door separates this part from the toilette and the walk-in shower with a glass front. Inside the shower is a dispenser for body wash, conditioner, and shampoo.
Next to the room door is a menu to order food by “Order Inn”. The hotel itself has no onsite restaurant and only offers breakfast in the morning. However, I never used it, as there are a bunch of good restaurants just across the bridge.
1 Bedroom Suite (w/Sofa Bed) Corner Room with Queen Mary View (Room 1018)
During another stay at the hotel, I was able to get an upgrade to a corner room. Besides being a one-bedroom suite, these rooms offer amazing views. There are two different types of a corner room. The once with the room number XX18 are my favorite. These rooms face Downtown Long Beach and the Queen Mary. Rooms numbers XX17 offer you views of Downtown and the Port of Long Beach. I was given a choice and opted for the room with Queen Marry-view. Rooms facing the Queen Mary have a great view of the sunrise if there are no clouds. Rooms on the other side of the hotel get a bit of a sunset view but the hills west of San Pedro are blocking the view of the actual sunset.
To the right of the entrance is the kitchenette. The kitchenette is well equipped with everything you need to cook a small meal. If there is something missing, you most likely can borrow it from the front desk. The kitchenette also comes with a small dining table and two chairs.
The biggest difference between the Corner Room and all other rooms is the huge floor to ceiling window in the living room. It gives you unobstructed views of Downtown and the Los Angeles River. Just a great view to come home to after a long day.
In front of the window is an L-shaped sofa bed with a TV opposite of it. The TV sits on a closet with drawers, providing extra storage for your long term stay. Next to the sofa bed, in the corner, is a lamp.
Following the sofa bed towards the room door is a work desk with an office chair. I am so happy that not all hotels got rid of this amenity as it is essential for me.
The bedroom is divided by a door from the living area. There are two windows in the bedroom, one facing towards Downtown and the other window is facing towards the Queen Mary. In the corner just behind the bedroom door is another TV on top of a 3-drawer closet. The king-sized bed is centered against the back wall of the room. On either side is a nightstand with a lamp and power outlets.
A wall closet is located in the wall separating living room and bedroom. Next to it is the entrance to the large bathroom area. Inside is another wall-closet which has mirror-doors as well and a small shelf in the corner. Along the wall is a vanity with two bathroom sinks and a huge mirror stretching all the way across.
The actual toilet and shower area is separated by another door from the rest of the bathroom. Inside the shower are 3 wall-mounted dispensers for your shampoo, conditioner and body wash. This room is almost to big and wasted space but the other parts of the room are well sized as well, so you don’t really feel cornered.
Besides the size, which is probably similar to other one-bedroom suites, the highlight of this room is clearly the location in the corner of the building which offers amazing views. If you can, try to get one of these rooms. They are my absolute favorite here.
Let’s start as usual with the lobby. The lobby area at the Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown is huge. Plenty of chairs, couches, and benches to sit down. Very big open space with a lot of windows on two sides. This keeps the lobby area well lit during the day. The business center is hidden a little bit. It’s basically just two workstations and a printer on a table. There are also two TVs in the lobby. One on each side of the center column.
On the patio outback is a swimming pool with great city views. Next to it is a small whirlpool. Around the pool area are a bunch of pool loungers to soak up some sun. Depending on the time of year, in the late afternoon hours, the hotel building will block the sun from the pool area. So get there early. But no matter what time, the pool is always great to cool down during the hot summer days.
The patio also features a fireplace with seating around it. Next to it is a BBQ which is free to use for every guest on a first come first serve basis. Ask the front desk for all the equipment to do a BBQ.
A well-equipped and sized fitness center is located on the second floor of the hotel. Once you get off the elevator, just follow the signs. Don’t forget your room key to be able to enter the fitness center. The guest laundry facilities are located right next to the fitness center. Both are open 24 hours a day.
The Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown offers a full hot breakfast buffet, which is very close to other Residence Inn’s I have been before. The only noticeable difference here is the soda dispenser. Yes, they turn in on for breakfast and you can get all kinds of sodas. I never really craved soda in the morning, but there must be a need for it here. There is still the regular dispenser for orange and apple juice, as you are used to probably. Other than that, you have a great buffet with all the things you can imagine, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sausage or meat patties, cereals, yogurt, toast,…
Unfortunately, seating right next to the breakfast area is very limited. There are a few more tables on the far end of the lobby but it can get very crowded if you don’t show up early for breakfast.
From Monday through Wednesday they have a little social event in the lobby from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Mondays: Snacks and finger food like chicken wings
Tuesdays: Hot Dogs or Burgers from the grill
Wednesdays: Most likely a food truck parks right outside the main entrance
On all three days, the hotel offers free beer, wine, and sodas in the lobby during the social hours. The food truck charges separately for whatever you order from them.
Next to the front desk is a small market for the “immediate crave”. Most people don’t know about the complimentary grocery shopping service. Drop off your shopping list by 10 a.m. and one of the staff members will fill your fridge. The service is complimentary but the charges for the groceries will be posted to your account.
The location of the Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown is pretty good even tho it’s located away from all the hustle on the other side of the river. But this gives you a quieter experience. Unfortunately, parking is not complimentary. To get in and out of the parking structure you get an old-fashioned long ticket with a barcode. You have to enter this in the machine next to the gate to get in and out. Getting out is no problem, as it is on a straight run. The entrance, however, is a bit tricky and makes it hard to get close as it is in a curve. Also, the machine to scan your ticket is not very well lit. This makes it hard at night to find the slot. There is another machine right next to this one, to pull a new ticket. They should have combined both and put them in a little bit better position. If you drive a big car like an SUV, you will have to get super close to be able to use your ticket to get in.
I really liked the proximity to the river and that you had direct access to the riverfront trail. It is a nice stroll down to the Queen Mary or even over the bridge. Staff was always great and everyone tried hard to do their best. A big thanks to the ladies working the breakfast buffet, they were always quick to keep the buffet well stocked and help anyone out if they needed anything. In fact, the whole staff was super friendly and welcoming. It was always a great interaction with them. Well done!
Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown
- Great Outdoor Patio with Pool and Jacuzzi
- Social Event from Mon-Wed
- Nice and big Lobby
- Passport Shuttle Stop in Front of the Hotel
- No Complimentary Parking
- Not located in Downtown
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.