To me, the Ritz Carlton Los Angeles at LA Live, is quintessentially Los Angeles: glitz, glamour, and grandeur all wrapped up into a very private, very VIP experience for its guests. The hotel is situated at Downtown LA’s bustling city center and shares the building with the JW Marriott, but the second you walk into the Ritz Carlton’s private lobby you feel that you’re being transported to an urban oasis. Located on Fl 22-26 of a 54 story sparkling modern glass building, The Ritz Carlton has just 123 rooms- each featuring a wall of windows looking out onto the cityscape and the Santa Monica mountains. It’s one of the newest and most talked about luxury properties in LA, so when I was in town last month, I made a point to check in- and check out the Ritz Carlton.
In many ways, it’s almost as if the Ritz-Carlton is the anchor of LA Live. The building, designed by renowned architecture firm Gensler, rises higher than any other structure at and is at once elegant, sophisticated and majestic. I’ll admit- I spent a lot of time just looking at the exterior of the property- whether walking on the streets or laying out at the roof deck pool. In many ways, the opening of the Ritz-Carlton signified the rebirth of downtown LA. In 2007 when I visited, I never thought about hanging out downtown, but now it’s a destination in its own right with charming bars and world renowned restaurants popping up on every block. It’s a perfect location for any first time, or frequent, LA visitor.
LA Live is the epicenter of a lot of LA culture- music, shows, dining, sports- and thus draws a bustling crowd. The Ritz Carlton rises above the scene and serves as a private oasis for those who want to be at the center of it all, but also want to be in their own space and on their own time.
The Ritz-Carlton is an intensely private space, especially if you contrast it to the JW Marriott located in the same building. Whereas the JW Marriot is large with elevators running up and down the spacious lobby filled with cafes and boutiques, the Ritz-Carlton lobby is hidden, small and tranquil. Checking in, as always, is easy and guests are immediately escorted to their rooms. In an added layer of security , two floors are reserved as private floors, and can only be accessed by switching elevators on certain levels. This is a great option if you prefer extra privacy (or if you’re a celebrity!) but if you are prone to getting lost, you may want to request not being booked on those floors.
Even the entry level rooms at the Ritz-Carlton LA are spacious and open to an expansive city scape. As a new property, the rooms feature an incredible array of modern amenities- such as built in TVs in the bathroom mirrors, ability to connect your laptop to the in room HDTV as well as stream TV onto your personal laptop, iPod docks, Nespresso machines and more.
The modern bathrooms are particularly spacious and the stone walls, and color palette of browns and blues are soothing and spa like. The bathrooms feature a rain shower head and a large soaking tub, separate room for the toilet and a large dressing and washing area. The only thing that would’ve made the bathroom experience cooler is if the glass separator at the bath actually opened up into the room.
All in all, I loved my stay at the Ritz-Carlton LA and the warm hospitality of the property made my entire LA visit very enjoyable. The chic contemporary design makes this one of the most modern Ritz-Carlton properties I’ve visited- a hit with this urban minded traveler. Yet it also delivers that Ritz-Carlton sensibility that I’ve come to love and rely on- top notch service, the best locations, privacy, award winning restaurants, attention to detail, and ultra luxurious spas. The Ritz-Carlton at LA Live counts many famous faces as fans and guests, but what makes it so wonderful is that it treats every one who checks in as if they were celebrities in their own right.