During my family’s recent stay in California, we were excited to spend the day at the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey.
First a bit about the Marina del Rey Jewish community. The Marina Shul (www.marinashul.com), run by Chabad, is located at 2532 Lincoln Boulevard. Under the direction of Rabbi Yossi Naparstek and his wife Faigie, the Marina Shul was founded in 2002. It offers Daily Shacharit services, Shabbat & Holiday services, adult education courses, community holiday celebrations and hospital and nursing home visitations. Many have experienced traditional shabbat and holiday meals at the Marina Shul. In addition, others have benefited from the Rabbi’s counselling. The Marina Shul has fast become a “one-stop” address for the Jewish community. Each Passover, the shul has a community seder.
There is also the Chabad Jewish Community Center of Marina del Rey (http://www.chabadofmarinadelrey.com) located at 2929 Washington Bvd. Rabbi Danny and Rebbetzen Sonya Yiftach-Hashem lead the congregation. Meanwhile, the Pacific Jewish Center is a unique Torah community, located in the Venice/Santa Monica vicinity. Sixty years ago, “The Shul on the Beach” was part of a thriving Miami Beach-type Jewish coastal community. Over time, suburbanization and the introduction of air-conditioning took their toll. The community was down to one shul (this one) and no minyan. In the late seventies, Rabbi Daniel Lapin and Michael Medved joined together to begin a revitalization campaign which had a tremendously positive affect not just on this Shul, but on literally hundreds of mostly young people seeking to raise the level of their Jewish identity. The Rabbi and Michael merged with a handful of elderly Jews who were struggling to get a morning minyan and keep the shul. Shortly after an arrangement was made between the established congregants and the new members, the morning minyan and Shabbos services were humming with young and old voices alike and what threatened to be the extinction of a historic Jewish landmark had a new breath of life blown into it.
Over the past three-plus decades, Pacific Jewish Center has grown into a community with a local core of approximately 50 families and friends, plus hundreds who attend our weekly programming. Membership includes families with children of all ages, elderly couples and singles, young singles and many visitors. Pacific Jewish Center is filled with a warmth and caring which is world renown. PJC is known as well for its thirst for learning. The congregation also owns another property within a few blocks of the heart of the community. The one building on this property serves as a Bais Medrash as well as the PJC office.
With regards to the Jewish community, Curry is proud to say that the Ritz Carlton is a very popular destination for Jewish celebrations. Private Jewish events take place at the hotel on a regular basis. “At The Ritz-Carlton, diversity is valued,” Sales and Marketing Director Ed Curry told me. “We are proud to have members of the Jewish community on our team as well.”
Set in the heart of the Los Angeles coastline, Marina Del Rey (http://www.visitmarinadelrey.com) is a waterfront playground with endless harbor views and a relaxed “California cool” vibe on LA’s bustling Westside. Its prime location is four miles from LAX, steps from world-famous Venice Beach and is easily accessible to major Los Angeles attractions like Santa Monica and the Getty Museum.
With year-round sunshine and average temperatures in the mid-to-high 60s, the breezy, cool and Idyllic way of life in the Marina appeals to visitors and locals.
Tucked along the Pacific coast between Venice Beach and peaceful Playa Vista, The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey (www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/marina-del-rey) is one of the most ideally located luxury hotels near Culver City, to explore Southern California’s most eclectic stretch of coastline. Literally meaning “sea coast of the king,” Marina Del Rey is aptly named, as it is home to more than 7,000 pleasure boats and yachts in one of the largest man-made marinas in the world, as well as shopping and gourmet dining.
The hotel is conveniently located near some of the most sough-after tech companies such as YouTube, IMAX and the future Google campus. It recently underwent extensive guest room enhancements, finishing one of its premier ballrooms that overlooks the marina.
We are big fans of the Ritz-Carlton property in our native Montreal, so it was very exciting to spend the day at this Marina del Rey location and give a private tour of the facility. From private Juliet balconies off of every guest room, or from a restaurant terrace where handcrafted cocktails around a fire pit stir inevitable conversation, this is one of the finest luxury hotels in Marina del Rey. It features 304 guest rooms and suites with private balconies featuring marina and city skyline views. There are Exclusive key-access-only Ritz-Carlton Club® Level rooms, L.A.’s only waterfront pool and whirlpool and a newly renovated lobby lounge. I was thoroughly impressed with the state-of-the-art fitness center, with eucalyptus steam rooms, full showers, restrooms and keypad lockers with safe.
My family and I were escorted to the poolside and shown to a beautiful private cabana. Inside there was an extremely comfortable couch, a television with a remote control, a fridge stocked with waters, soft drinks and fresh fruit and a basket full of delicious snacks. On a small table were a selection of nice magazines. Outside the covered structure were three nicely padded lounge chairs with towels and large umbrellas to block the sun. We were provided with a menu to the Waves Poolside Bar & Grill. After one of the staff members brought us a bottle of champagne we placed our order, a superb hamburger with salad, a chicken sandwich and some chicken strips. It all arrived promptly and perfectly prepared.
The pool was refreshing and the whirlpool even more refreshing. Using our pass key, we took a leisurely stroll outside the grounds to admire the marina and the many different boats.
Curry gave me a tour of the facility. The Cast & Plow Restaurant off the lobby offers one of the prettier patio layouts I have seen. At the gift shop Curry told me that skateboards actually represent the top-selling item. “We can’t keep them on the shelf long enough before we need to order more,” he said.
Up we went to the 12th floor to see one of the beautiful guest rooms with a view and then down a short flight of stairs into the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Concierge Club Lounge. This beautifully designed room is open to all guests for an extra charge of $250 a day for snacks, drinks and a private place to relax.
This is definitely a hotel I’d like to enjoy an extended stay at some time in the future.