Los Angeles in Nov (First time too)

Sep 27th, 2007, 10:05 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I agree with denise -- I don't think of Marina del rey as the "beach" and it's not all that close to Torrance. I have a friend who lives in Marina del rey and we always go to Manhattan or Hermosa when we want the beach.

If you're going to stay that far from Torrance, you might as well stay at Shutters on the beach in Santa Monica for more of a true luxury "beach" feel. It's not that far from BH, but I think it would have a totally different vibe from the Beverly Wilshire.
cheryllj is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 10:07 AM
  #22  
lvk
 
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I'm with Denise on this one (big surprise! )

I understand that the Ritz MDR is definitely more posh and has more amenities than the Beach House, but Marina del Rey does not give you that beach feel you say you are looking for. You will be in a marina, not on a beach. Your view will be of the boats and a bunch of high rises (widely known as "where divorced men go to live when their ex's get the house").
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Sep 27th, 2007, 10:24 AM
  #23  
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Uh oh, I guess I was deceived by the map and photos and thought the Ritz would have lots of ocean views and be like being on the beach, but obviously not.

We'd also be closer to Santa Monica and Venice Beach which sounds like fun. We checked Shutters earlier and it was full.

Time to rethink the beach issue again. Being close to the family in Torrance is not an issue. Being in L.A. is way closer than Ottawa.
IdaC is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 10:45 AM
  #24  
 
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If you tried Shutters and it was booked, there's also Loews and the Viceroy. Get an oceanview suite, which I'm sure will fit your "luxury" requirement.
cheryllj is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 11:30 AM
  #25  
 
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I have to throw in my two cents for Hermosa Beach, too. It's a complete SoCal beach experience, that you won't get in Marina del Rey. You will be able to hear and see the waves in HB, and the surrounding towns are just as "fun" as Venice.

Ivk, I had no idea there was a Segway Tour here in Manhattan Beach. I guess that is because it is at night along the Strand, when the sidewalk is empty!
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Sep 28th, 2007, 08:29 AM
  #26  
lvk
 
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It occurs to me, that if you want to splurge on pure, oceanfront luxury, you should spend at least one night at the Montage.

www.montagelagunabeach.com
lvk is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 06:22 PM
  #27  
 
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Beverly Wilshire is ok. I would much prefer Hotel Bel Air myself.

As for the beach, the only good thing about the location of the Ritz in the Marina is that it's very close to many great restaurants. However, if you're staying there to be close to the beach, you should instead stay ON the beach at either the Viceroy, Loews, or the Fairmont. Hermosa or Manhattan beaches are also good ideas if exploring those areas interests you. Both of the other options are more "central" to LA tourist spots, however, these beaches have their own downtowns and beach feel different from more metropolitan LA of Santa Monica.
smartcookie is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 08:17 PM
  #28  
 
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Hotel Oceana on the beach in Santa Monica just opened. It's brand new and looks very nice. Check it out here: http://www.hoteloceanasantamonica.com/
smartcookie is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 09:11 AM
  #29  
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There are obviously lots of hotel options. We have definitely decided to stay in L.A. the week.

My husband has booked us into the Ritz as we've had some very good experiences at other Ritz hotels and the concierge was very helpful on the phone. He's thinking of chartering a boat with a captain from the marina for a few hours. We have never done any boating before. Would this be worthwhile?

Being serious bikers and having looked into the bike paths a little, he is also planning to bike down to Torrance one day for lunch with the family and then back.

Is that feasible and/or a nice way to see the beaches?

The Beverly Wilshire is a Four Seasons hotel and we have had some excellent experiences with them as well, but that is not as definite. Looks like a great location for walking around.

Other definite plans

Getty - 1 day
Segway tour of downtown + Disney Concert Hall - 1 day
Venice Beach - evening walks from the Ritz

Possible plans
Universal Studio VIP tour - 1 day
Aquarium - 1 day

Am I missing something fabulous? I don't want to overplan, but I don't want to overlook anything great either.

We plan to do San Diego on another trip when the water is warmer and THEN we will do Hermosa Beach too.





IdaC is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 09:24 AM
  #30  
 
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I have to take issue with smartcookie's reco of the Oceana. It's NOT new and it's NOT on the beach (which is down a steep bluff and across a major road).

It IS, however, very nice.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 09:34 AM
  #31  
 
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Some other comments:

-- The Ritz-CARLTON Marina del Rey is different from other R-C properties in that it's less super-luxury than luxurious business-oriented hotel. You don't get the same feeling of being pampered as you'd get, say, down in the Dana Point property (R-C Laguna Niguel). It's nice, no question (their restaurant, jer-ne, is excellent), and MdR isn't the worst place to stay in LA, but let's not delude ourselves. It ain't on the beach and it ain't the Montage down in Laguna.

-- smartcookie seems to be a bit confused about what constitutes "being on the beach". The Loews Santa Monica is, indeed, beachside. The Viceroy, however, is a block away, and you pass between two hotels that ARE on the beach (Casa del Mar and Shutters on the Beach). The (Fairmont) Miramar (smartcookie, you're not from Santa Monica, are you? No one from SM calls that hotel anything but "the Miramar") is historic and quite nice, but it's across Ocean Ave. and up a steep bluff from the beach. You'll SEE the beach, but you won't have sand drifting in.

I'm glad to see people have clarified distances in this huge, sprawling, messy, wonderful area. Maps can be so deceiving!
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 10:27 AM
  #32  
 
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rjw - you are right about the Oceana. It is not new but it is newly remodeled. It is certainly not on the beach. I got a chuckle out of the that one and the suggestion of the Chateau Marmont.

Ida - I was going to suggest the Ritz to you, too. If you're in Santa Monica at sunset, at least stop by Shutters for a drink and a nosh. It's a beautiful place.
TTess is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:39 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Welcome to Los Angeles. FYI, there is a very cool site I just found out about that you can get awesome, really nice restaurant reservations.

How it works you acquire them from someone else who couldn't make it but for a small fee of like $10.

http://www.TablePronto.com

I got Asia De Cuba reservations for a Friday the morning of at 8:30pm for $15 bucks for me and my wife. Was fun.

Also, stay away from the beaches in Long Beach.

Cheers!
Jon
EatingJon is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:15 AM
  #34  
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After the responses on this forum, we did some research and found out there is a film festival in Santa Monica when we arrive. We've rearranged our schedule so that we go to the Beverly Wilshire first and then go to Shutters later in the week when they have space.

Revised Plans - From Downtown
Getty - 1 day
Segway tour of downtown + Disney Concert Hall - 1 day
Window Shopping on Rodeo Drive

From Shutters
Long Beach Aquarium - 1 day
Santa Monica + Venice Beach Segway tour + evening walks

Universal Studios does not make the cut this trip.

Any suggestions on downtown things to do we shouldn't miss?

Thanks to all who have given me advice here. It made me realize that the Ritz might not be quite the L.A. experience we were looking for and that trying to do San Diego as well would be way too stressful.

We're leaving in about 2 weeks so I'm really starting to get excited about being there.


IdaC is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 10:09 AM
  #35  
lvk
 
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I think that you are still confusing Beverly Hills with Downtown Los Angeles. The Beverly Wilshire, where you are staying, is in Beverly Hills, about 13 miles west of Downtown LA. I'm not sure what time your Downtown Segway tour begins, but leave yourself at least one hour to travel east on the 10 freeway, and to find your tour departure point. (Like any other downtown area, LA's has a maze of one-way streets.)

While in Downtown LA, you might also want to check out Olvera Street (if your tour doesn't already take you there).

From Beverly Hills, a drive westward on Sunset Blvd. to Pacific Coast Highway, then northward to Malibu is always nice. Also, an evening drive along Mulholland Drive to see the twinkling lights of LA on one side, the San Fernando valley on the other.
lvk is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 11:55 AM
  #36  
 
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Also give yourself plenty of time to go from Santa Monica to the Long Beach Aquarium. With traffic on the 405 freeway, it could take you an hour to get there. It could take you less time depending on when you are going. My daughter who lives in Long Beach has been going to Santa Monica frequently for auditions. During the middle of the day, she can make it in little over a half an hour. Other times of the day, it's an hour. So just be aware of that and schedule accordingly. I haven't been to the Aquarium yet but will go at Thanksgiving. My DD and her boyfriend went recently and really like it. While you are in Long Beach, have lunch or dinner. Lots of choices close to the Aquarium.
paula1470 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:55 PM
  #37  
 
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Santa Monica to Long Beach is a pain in the butt. Actually almost anywhere from Santa Monica is, but the closest attractions would be Venice Beach, Malibu and one or both of the Getty museums. You might want to switch your itinerary around. Unless you are a real aquarium fan, I might even give it a miss.

Do you think a studio tour might be more interesting to you? You could do that from the Beverly Wilshire, which is closer to downtown LA and Hollywood attractions.

mlgb is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:01 PM
  #38  
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Wow 13 miles takes an hour +? Thanks lvk for that info. I'm used to looking at maps, but not that used to navigating distances in cities with lots of one way streets.

On the map the Beverly Wilshire LOOKED pretty close to Downtown and Long Beach didn't look too far from Santa Monica.

Obviously, I'm going to have to adjust my expected travel times.

Neither my husband and I are very tolerant about sitting in traffic so I will have to factor my errors in judging travel times into my itinerary and will make some adjustments.

Any suggestions about luxury hotels in "Downtown" L.A.?
IdaC is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:34 PM
  #39  
 
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I would not split up your hotel stay unless you really really think it is that necessary. Personally, I would just stay at Shutters the entire time if I were you. To get to downtown LA from Santa Monica is easy logistically since you basically just take the 10 freeway all the way there. Traffic on that freeway get get bad close to downtown, but if you don't drive during rush hour, it can be avoided as much as possible. Without traffic, that drive is only 25-30 minutes. It is normal in LA to drive 30 mins between various neighborhoods, so no reason to pack and repack and switch hotels. Santa Monica is a good place to stay.

Downtown will take you about half a day including what you have planned there and Olvera St. From there, you can take Olympic Blvd and drive to Hollywood and West Hollywood for the evening. Check out the walk of fame and then head to the Grove/Farmers Market for dinner. The next day, you can walk around Santa Monica, then drive to Venice. Afterwards, you can go to Beverly Hills and walk around Rodeo Drive and have dinner there. On another day, check out the Getty, have lunch there, and then drive down Sunset Blvd all the way to the beach and have dinner at one of the Malibu restaurants on the beach (Geoffrey's, Gladstone's etc). I would also skip Long Beach if you are on a limited schedule. I would NOT miss Santa Monica, Venice, and driving down Sunset if you have to cut things out.
smartcookie is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:37 PM
  #40  
 
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oh yes, I would NOT miss the Getty either.

Btw, are you spending the entire 7 days in LA now? If so, you don't have to cram things in as I listed above. And you can also fit in a trip to Laguna Beach, an hour south, and Long Beach on the way there.
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