Marriott is Changing Perceptions Through Innovation

When I was a kid, my family and I would drive every year to Boston to stay at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. It was so exciting because we got to stay in a hotel and when you’re a kid-that’s the coolest thing. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe I loved staying in hotels like that because they were so bland. I had long thought of Marriott as being just that: bland, stale and a place my parents would stay.

For years I thought that, and as other hotel chains launched boutique style hotels and as boutique/lifestyle hotels became the new trend, I forgot about Marriott. Recently, I rediscovered Marriott and realized they are changing things about their hotels and their guest experience.

The exterior of the Marriott Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, California

Last week I stayed at the Marriott Marina del Rey out in Los Angeles. I had actually been to the ‘Glow’ bar at the hotel once before but didn’t even realize it was inside a Marriott-at the time a few years ago, that would have been unfathomable to me.

Glow Lounge and Bar at the Marriott Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, California

However, Marriott has been reimagining their guest experience, transforming its lobbies and public spaces for the next generation of travelers. They have redone several of the ‘Great Rooms”, meaning the main lobby area.

Great Room inside the Marriott Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, California

They have knocked down walls, put up cool fixtures, added communal seating, enhanced the lobby bars and food and made Internet free for its guests. This is to lure the guests out of their rooms and into a cool atmosphere. It makes guests want to stay in the hotel itself and not just to sleep. Marriott is becoming an innovative brand for my generation and the generations to follow.

Sunset View atop the Marriott Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, California

The Marina del Rey Marriott offers the perfect blend of work and play. It has over 18,000 sq. ft. of conference, meeting and event space. This includes weddings from their amazing rooftop area where many movies have actually been filmed including ‘Valentines Day’ and several other high profile Hollywood films.

Great view from atop the Marriott Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, California

As I mentioned ‘Glow’ earlier, it is one of the coolest hotel lounges and bars I have been to in the world (and I’ve been to plenty). It was actually rated one of the top 10 hotel lounges in the U.S. and I couldn’t agree more.

Glow Lounge and Bar during the day at the Marriott Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, California

It has a cool communal vibe with open sofa areas, good food, drinks, and that cool LA vibe to it. It also features some tucked away areas for a little more privacy. The best thing is it’s open and connected directly to the hotel ‘Great Room’ so it feels like an extension of the lobby.

Glow Lounge and Bar sitting area at the Marriott Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, California

Marriott is becoming extremely innovative with their redesign of several hotels and they have become acutely aware of what the modern, young, savvy traveler is looking for. The Marriott Marina del Rey is a great example of what Marriott is doing. It is leading the pack in the campaign to change hearts and minds of peoples’ perception of the old Marriott. I will say this, they’ve changed my mind and next time I am back in Los Angeles, I will be at the Marriott Marina del Rey again!

Disclaimer: I was compensated financially by Marriott for attending an event at the Marriott Marina del Rey and given free hotel accommodation. However, the views expressed in this article are solely my own.


  1. Hey Lee, I’ve been to Glow, I live not too far from there actually in Venice Beach. Great spot I completely agree and there are a lot of celebs that hang out there. Nice rooftop shot by the way.

  2. Awesome hotel Lee and great bar. I am a Marriott guy, I always stay there for work so yes I agree they can and have been stale but their rewards program is great and they do seem to be changing. Glad to see they are reaching people like you.

  3. I haven’t stayed in a Marriott in years and you made me laugh because it reminds me of my parents too. They actually recently came to visit me in New York and they stayed at the Marriott! I’m not sure but I don’t think that’s one of the hotels they’ve redone.

    • haha that’s funny. I haven’t been to any in New York so I can’t comment on them but I am sure they’ll be changing soon if they haven’t already.

  4. Great article and nice meeting you the other night!

  5. I’m a Marriott lover too and have stayed in them all over the world for work and used my points to stay at their resorts for vacation. I’ve never stayed at that one in LA, I will have to check it out.

  6. Did you pay to stay there? This reads like another of your paid trips. I still laugh when I read your San Juan puff piece.

    • Hi James, I did not pay to stay there, I was attending a sponsored event at the hotel but I wouldn’t write I liked it if I didn’t or certainly say that others should stay there-that’s for sure!

  7. I also live not far from the Marriott in MDR. It definitely has a cool lounge. Haven’t seen anything else in there but I have heard they do good weddings. Cool article, love seeing local things on sites like yours!

  8. I stay at Marriotts on most of my travels. The Renaissance line is phenomenal. One of my favs is the Mayflower in DC (just posted a review abt a week or two ago) but the one in Paris near the Champs Elysees is another favorite.

    • I love the Mayflower-stayed there for a fraternity formal in college, I didn’t realize that was Renaissance…I have never stayed in a Renaissance that I knew of off the top of my head…will have to check it out. Love Paris and will keep it in mind next time I am out there! Hope all is well buddy!

  9. I’m not usually brand loyal when it comes to hotels, especially when I depleted all of my Intercontinental points. This Marriott looks pretty cool. If this is the direction they’re going then I could be swayed to change my ways.

Speak Your Mind