REVIEW: Hilton Garden Inn, Marina Del Rey
By Helen Wright
- Location Marina Del Rey, Mother's
- Bed comfiness 8/10
- Pool Yes
- WIFI Free and strong
- Parking Self parking $20 per night
- Best thing? Location
- Worst thing? Business-style rooms
- The all-important plug by the bed? Yes!
I’ve been a long-time fan of Marina Del Rey, the calm and chilled out beach district on the edge of Los Angeles. When we lived in Venice Beach in 2005, we always arranged for our guests to stay in Marina Del Rey because this cosy corner of the city is ideal for visitors looking to relax and enjoy the LA sun without getting too caught up in the madness of the city. Plus, hotels here are better value for money than in the wider known Santa Monica and Venice, despite being just minutes along the beach. In our post about where to go if you have a stopover at LAX (Los Angeles International), we recommend Marina Del Rey because it is easy to get to from the airport and has a lot to offer visitors for a short stay, including great shops, restaurants, water sports and a beach!
Where to stay in Marina Del Rey?
On our most recent visit, we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, Marina Del Rey and we were really impressed. The hotel is across the road from the harbour and the famous ‘Mother’s Beach’ and walking distance to Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Abbott Kinney BLVD (for shopping). If you only have a short time in Los Angeles and want to stay along the coast, location-wise, you can’t beat this hotel which is good value for money and close to the water and famous sunsets.
Rooms with room to move
From outside, the hotel has a funky, colourful theme but inside, standard bedrooms are the expected classic theme, common of Hilton across the USA. There was a more neutral, business feel to the bedrooms than around the hotel itself, but not everyone is looking for kooky colours and the rooms are very pleasing, relaxing, clean and comfortable. Our room had two double beds and lots of floorspace, so we had no trouble squeezing in a travel cot for Finn. In fact, even with the cot in place, there was a lot of room to move and store our suitcases (and pram), which is very handy when you are staying with an energetic two-year-old.
Can’t fault the beds and pillows, which were really comfy – erfect after a long flight from the UK. There was the usual offering of a big TV, fridge and coffee machine and patio doors led onto a small balcony. Ours had a view of the carpark but it was nice to have a little bit of outside space to sit and relax. I also really like having the choice to let fresh air flow into the room, instead of relying on air conditioning. There was also a large closet with plenty of space to hang clothes and store big suitcases.
Classic bathroom with a great shower
There was nothing really stand-out about the bathroom, but always grateful of super cleanliness, plenty of towels and a large mirror (with decent lighting!). Products were from famous brand Neutrogena and perfectly pleasant. They were also gentle enough to use on our toddler, which is great. Often mid-range hotel toiletries can be too harsh or chemical-based to use on young children. I have noticed this with Hilton properties in the USA recently, but the shower head was excellent – super powerful and wide enough that you don’t have to wriggle around to stay under the water. Just what you need after a day at the beach. There was a decent-sized bath, again, handy if you are staying with kids.
Head outside to soak up the LA charm
It was the outside areas of the property that really gave this affordable hotel a premium feel. The pool area is spacious, with a decent-sized pool and hot tub. There are sun loungers provided and not too much of a scrum to get one if you want to plan a lazy day in the sun. The pool is next to the road but it’s not a busy street and you are very protected from anyone passing by. If you are using the hotel for a stopover in LAX, this is an ideal place to chill out and relax, without being in a stuffy airport hotel.
We were in an interior room (with an inside corridor), but I also noticed the hotel had bungalow rooms that had patio doors that opened onto little areas with outside space, which was really cute. The upper rooms in this part of the hotel also had wider, more spacious balconies. The hotel overall is extremely clean, bright and pleasant.
As well as the pool area, there are lots of other places to relax including a cosy lounge with fireplaces, work/business areas and sofas. Outside, there is a sun deck with a seating area, outdoor games and parasols for shade. From here you can eat and drink from the hotel restaurant until 11pm. There is also ice cold water, fresh fruit and biscuits available for guests in the lobby, which I thought was a cute touch. Staff were so friendly and they made a big fuss of Finn, which is always a great way to get the parents on side! They also had lots of knowledge about the local area, good food recommendations and sightseeing advice.
Walking distance to the beach
From the hotel, you can reach the family-friendly Mother’s Beach in less than five minutes. This is a great beach for kids, with a huge playground, shallow water, soft sand and lifeguard’s on duty. You can also do watersports such as stand-up paddle, kayaking or sailing in the harbour. Boats are docked in the marina, a bit further out, but the water is clean enough for swimming and watersports.
Just a short walk along the water’s edge and you will reach Venice Beach, where you can follow the path right up to Santa Monica and Malibu. We rented bikes (there are rental shops all along the front and you can also hire them directly from the hotel) and spent the day cruising up and down. The hotel is also close to Abbot Kinney Blvd for shopping, the Marina Del Rey farmer’s market and there is also large supermarket (Ralph’s) less than ten minutes walk away. If you are planning a boat excursion from the marina, you can also easily walk to the pier from this hotel so it is ideally located for whatever you plan to do in Marina Del Rey.
We had a nice stay at the Hilton Marina Del Rey. It was good value with a lot of little extras that we appreciated. Location-wise it was perfect, especially if you are in LA without a car and want to stay around the beach area. Everything we needed was on our doorstep!
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