It’s been pretty amazing to watch downtown Los Angeles transform over the past decade. It’s gone from being an almost abysmal office zone that shut down at 5:00PM (when office workers went home) to a 24-hour, lively and exciting region of Los Angeles. The opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall led to the introduction of high-end restaurants to fill the stomachs of cultured concert-goers, which led to more shops renting storefronts, which led to the Los Angeles Convention Center stepping up its game, which led to MORE travelers discovering downtown… Culminating, perhaps, in L.A. Live. This entertainment complex, an epicenter for concerts, sport events, and other big, fun activities has really solidified the “new” downtown Los Angeles. Two adjoining hotels are in the thick of things; the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott hotels are connected, upscale, and thoroughly integral to the renaissance of downtown Los Angeles. The JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live recently hosted an event for Los Angeles Online Travel — and it’s easy to see that this hotel handily provides everything a cosmopolitan city traveler would want in urban lodging.
JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live is an upscale hotel with an emphasis on business travel (see its proximity to the Los Angeles Convention Center). The 805 luxury guest rooms and 73 high end suites reflect this, with amenities befitting the upscale surrounds. At 1,500 square feet, the suites are large enough to hold some business meetings in and of themselves. There’s a fee for wi-fi, but it is fast and reliable — better than can be said at some other hotels. The Marriott family makes group bookings easy for business travel and group events like weddings, as well. Total meeting and event space is 100,000 square feet. Rest assured, you’ll find what you need for your business trip here.
There is a coffee house (yay!) called Illy Espressamente. It’s very casual, and a lovely break from the usual Starbucks on the ground floors of so many hotels. The gLAnce Wine Bar, in the lobby, is a “see and be seen” sort of spot where many of LA’s beautiful people enjoy themselves (and many tourists enjoy watching them enjoy themselves, of course). While casual, people tend to dress up for gLAnce in a way they forgo at Illy Espressamente. The ION Rooftop Pool Bar is great fun — this is where the Los Angeles Online Travel meet up was — and the staff is happy to help move space heaters around if the night gets chilly. It’s a very LA experience to have small plates and drinks while watching the floodlights hit the sky above Nokia Theatre and the Staples Center. LA Market Restaurant is one of the best hotel restaurants you’ll find downtown (another being the Ritz-Carlton’s WP42, right next door). Kerry Simon’ the “Rock & Roll Chef,” uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and puts a creative Southern California twist on many entrees.
Of course, this is downtown Los Angeles, and there are a whole lot of restaurants within walking distance. L.A. Live is home to one of my favorite high end sushi restaurants, Katsuya, as well as a Lawry’s Carvery, the painfully hip tourist attraction restaurant Rock n’ Fish, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, rowdy ESPN Zone Los Angeles, and many more places to have a sit down meal or just grab a quick bite.
JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live is a fantastic luxury business hotel, and it fits right in with the downtown Los Angeles ethos. People planning business trips in Los Angeles will find all their needs handily met here. And it’s a great place to spend the night, even for locals, who are going to a game or concert. This Marriott does downtown right.