July 31, 2019
As the dog days of summer slip into fall and kids return to school there’s still time to have a memorable summer experience – and the good news is you won’t have to go far!
Welcome to staycation 2019 and the Downtown Los Angeles explosion of exploration. The epicenter in DTLA is the JW Marriott Hotel.
First remove any previous notions you may have of what a hotel is because the JW Marriott reimagined the experience for business travelers, families and weekenders looking to relax. And boy did they nail it!
Amongst the newer developments in DTLA, the JW has a glitzy geometric glass exterior and is perfectly located at L.A. Live - the nerve center of social interaction.
Tons to do around the JW including a concert at either the Staples Center or Microsoft Theater, eateries including Wolfgang Puck, Katsuya, Rosa Mexicano and Shaquille’s, dance at the Conga Room, explore music history and present at the Grammy Museum, or people watch along the corridors that connect each venue.
The real excitement, however, is to be found inside the JW Marriott’s expansive lobby and entrance areas. It has the liveliness of Time Square in New York during the day and the robust party vibe of the Vegas strip at night.
Enjoy a meal and drink at the neon infused Glance Lobby Bar. Decorated with vibrant colors and boasting one of LA’s most delectable menus, it’s a great spot to meet with friends before or after a concert or Lakers game, or to simply enjoy on a date night.
Be sure to check with the concierge’s desk and ask about any current promotions including free wine tasting, vouchers for a free movie at the Regal Cinemas, or free popcorn from Lucky Strike (bowling).
The amenities of the hotel are impressive with spacious rooms featuring impressive views of the city. The JW Marriott has perfectly balanced classic elegance with a modern touch. Yes, the décor is trendy, but the underlying feeling you get from entering the hotel is classy and sophisticated, both timeless features.
Staff is more than willing to serve and accommodate needs and are amongst the friendliest ever encounter by this writer.
Now that you are situated, your staycation can get underway.
Refresh yourself by lounging poolside with the sun doing its magic of replenishing the spirit. DJs and servers are the norm on weekends.
You may want to rejuvenate at the Spa Sanctuary featuring a unique Garden to Glamour Treatment known as the Watermelon Vodka Tini Body experience. Also, the staff at the spa are experts at providing CBD facial and body treatments to relax your muscles and ease any tension – these are a must try.
Once you are ready to take on the nightlife be sure to include a stop at WP24 on the Ritz-Carlton side of the JW. Located on the 24th floor the restaurant bar combo has stunning views of downtown and has an abundance of rich appetizers on one end and full meals at the other. The bar features abstract specialty drinks your waiter will be more than happy to share with you; if you really want a memory try the Hot Child in the City drink made with Mescal.
An absolute must experience is the JW’s Mixing Room. A bar, restaurant and dance club rolled into one with live DJs playing music of all genres to the delight of visitors. Meet new friends, enjoy a romantic night with your special friend, or, as I did, meet one of the members of a band just coming off stage from their performance at the Staples Center.
The great thing about the JW is it doesn’t feel like a hotel, instead you get the sights and sounds of colorful city inside, the vibrancy of a club or music festival outside and the attentiveness of staying with family.
Pricing for rooms varies and there are local and monthly promotions available. Based on the amenities and offerings of the JW and where it is located, stays are reasonably priced and affordable.
If you are still looking for that summer getaway, we recommend the JW Marriott in the Los Angeles area. And don’t forget Labor Day is just around the corner!
Summer at the JW Marriott includes:
Tiki Thursdays at The Mixing Room – every Thursday classic tiki cocktails, Polynesian bites along with live entertainment and vintage luau décor. Tiki Thursdays happen every Thursday through Sept. 5th.
Ice Cream Bike – the popular JW Marriott Los Angeles ice cream bike and floral installation returns offering a classic Instagram photo opportunity in the hotel lobby. Guests will enjoy complimentary ice cream samples every Friday, 4-5 pm, starting July 12th.
Visit: JW MARRIOTT
Get Ready to Depart to the Otherside
The crew of the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor awaits your visit to their all new attractions and mazes this Halloween season.
Arguably the best space utilized for scare, the Queen Mary's history of hauntings adds to the creepiness and allure.
A carnival of carnal activities and deviance lines the exterior of the ship with pre-boarding frights including flamethrowers bursting high into the night sky, sinister swings direct from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, sliders and monsters roaming about seeking the weak to feast upon and decadent enticements of food and drinks.
Rave to a DJ until your hypnotized or board and meet your fate on any one of the five mazes. Remember The Captain and Graceful Gale want to put you at ease during your stay, so be sure to canvass and enjoy the lounge areas with hookahs.
Overall Dark Harbor is becoming the go-to SoCal attraction replacing the tired and aging designs of others. It certainly has the best overall value and parking and the ability to stay aboard the ship in one of its many suites after you explore its haunted hulls.
Dark harbor runs September 27 thru November 2nd.
AAA discounts are available for members and guest can choose between general admission (with Fast Fright or Evil Express entrance accommodations), VIP or Ultimate Scream experiences featuring secret bars, private tours and escorts and more!
Visit DARK HARBOR today for your tickets.
Knotts Scary Farm - Not So Much
This is the oldest of all the Halloween themed events taking place over the next month in SoCal - and it's showing.
Nine mazes, including seven from years past along with two new mazes fill the theme park, which is decked out in macabre features. Unfortunately there are more misses than hits this year even with slightly altered maze structures for the older returns.
The Depth, a maze that features water elements (including a full on waterfall) has visitors meeting a kraken like monster (we think that's what it's supposed to be) while trying to avoid becoming soaked. Although the water elements are interesting they are not scary - strange yes, but not horror-driven.
The other mazes are predictable and because of crowd size don't allow for tension build up as visitors are crammed into mazes without much separation between groups.
Pricing ranges from $42 to $99 (without fast passes) with parking at $22. Hotel packages are also available.
Parking is an issue with lots packed and walk time from your spot to the entrance a trek for some. Overcrowding is also a problem - so much so that waitlines are often the scariest thing about Knotts Scary Farm. If you want a fast pass you will need to shell out more cash ($85). Knotts Scary Farm runs through October 31st.