We live 12 miles west of downtown LA, so why book a suite for two nights in a Ritz Carlton so close to home? (1) We paid a pretty penny for the package on a charity auction because (2) July 4th weekend, we could watch the entire city’s firework displays from the rooftop pool AND get reacquainted with our downtown for a unhurried few days.
Let’s just talk about hotels. You know we travel a lot and stay in such places as safari tents, renovated banks, sheep ranches, cliffside palaces, wineries, blah blah blah. But we frequently stay in Hampton Inns and Residence Inns by using points. THOSE modest places provide free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, free parking (often), some have barbecues and fridges, let alone full kitchens in the Residence Inns. And free USA Today.
If cheap places offer all that, it can be kind of a downer that the Ritz Carlton doesn’t. Waaa. The suite DOES include its own foyer, powder room, living room, bar, dining room, master bath, master bedroom and dressing room, but:
- No in-room fridge. DON’T TOUCH the mini bar unless you want to pay. So, if you have leftovers from dinner, nowhere to store. We used the ice bucket to chill a few yogurts.
- Wi-Fi is $13 a day. Not our thing to pay for that anymore.
- In-room movies, $14 to $17+. Nope.
- $42 a day for parking. Gulp, but no choice there.
- No breakfast included, unless you want to pay $150/day for the Executive Lounge.
- No newspaper at our door.
- Air conditioner just as sleep-depriving as any other hotel EXCEPT more confusing controls.
- A bedside clock that didn’t work. I think someone took the batteries out – possibly it ticked?
- Re-lent-less music at the pool — with all the lounge chairs, nooks and cabanas there was not ONE PLACE to relax and read without hearing that music. Even during the fireworks, Katy Perry wailed.
But then, what DO you get in a suite? Lots of atmosphere, elbow room and decor to make you Feel Like A Rich Person. Strangely, the décor is a bit on the frumpy side for being such a new hotel.
- I mentioned all the rooms. Plenty of places to spread your stuff around, including an actual desk and rolling chair if you felt like writing letters on the provided, embossed Ritz stationery.
- Three TVs. One, a liquid screen, in the bathroom mirror.
- Several iPod decking stations.
- One of those pod coffee makers. Kinda fun.
- Ritz Carlton bottled water, yes that is free.
- Good sized bathroom amenities, all the goodies. Plus sunscreen, water and towels at the pool.
- Thick, cozy bathrobes.
- Nick knacks, like pretty bowls and vases, all around.
- Killer views – we faced west and north from the 22nd floor.
- Very nice and capable employees, lots of attention and help with whatever we needed.
- Courtesy limo if you need a ride in one direction. Then cab back (or take the Metro, which we did when we went to dinner).
This was my favorite lamp – the chandelier, slightly tangled with the crystals and fishing line. I tried to untangle some of it but after a while, I had other things to do.
Probably the most fun feature was the TV in the bathroom mirror. I do love watching TV in the bathroom, not a lie.
Ritz Carlton Los Angeles, 900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 743-8800, http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/LosAngeles/Default.htm