The Residence Inn Manhattan Beach
More Like an Apartment Than a Hotel
by Courtney Caldwell
For the past two years our editors have been visiting and reviewing suite hotels all over the U.S. to compare features and amenities. We’ve covered Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Homestead Suites, and Extended Stays so far and they are all as different from each other as a Chevy is to a Cadillac. While they all offer varying degrees of amenities and target specific demographics they all have one thing in common, a kitchen or kitchenette for preparing your own meals. That’s one of the attractions of a suite hotel because it saves families traveling together or women traveling alone a lot of time and money while on the road.
Personally, I have been more impressed with some more than others but in the end it really all depends on your needs. If saving money and simplicity is your goal, then the Extended Stays of America are about as bare bones as you can get but certainly adequate and inexpensive enough to meet all your needs. If a little more style and a lodge-like atmosphere is more your style then the Homewood Suites chain does a superb job at making you feel right at home. In fact, I didn’t believe it could get much better than a Homewood Suites until a recent stay at a Residence Inn in Manhattan Beach, California. All I can is WOW! This chain has risen to the top of my recommended list.
Keep in mind that prices do vary from hotel to hotel depending on location, location, location so rates won’t be quoted in this review but rather we suggest that you call or visit their website for their rates available at the time of your stay as they also vary according to season.
Now let’s get to the good stuff. What I loved about the Residence Inn was their two story penthouse suites, which provided a sense of apartment living rather than staying in a hotel. They do offer one and two bedroom suites where one bedroom is on the second floor with its own bath and the other on the first floor behind French doors also with its own bath. Don’t assume a ‘penthouse suite’ is out of your range. Some of these suites can go for as little as $149 per night depending on when you stay, which in my book is a lot of bang for the buck.
The living room area is large and some suites come with a fireplace but you must request it at the time you make your reservations. What I really enjoyed about this suite was the total separation of the bedrooms from the living room space providing privacy for all. The living room couch also doubles as a sofa bed, which can easily sleep one full size adult comfortably or two kids. That means the Penthouse Suites can sleep up to six with ease.
The fully applianced kitchen is an extension of the large living room but is nicely separated by a full size table that seats four comfortably. There is a full size refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and plenty of cupboard space, which is stocked with plates, glasses, silverware, pots and pans, and colanders. All you need to do is buy your own food and you’re good to go. In fact, you don’t even need to do that if you’re not up to it as this Residence Inn offers ‘complimentary’ grocery shopping for you. They also provide a free breakfast buffet in their main lobby only steps away.
All suites are Internet ready so no matter where you use your laptop you’re wired in. In fact, there is a desk in each bedroom but there’s no need to feel trapped there by wires or hot spots. Internet access is just as available in the kitchen, living room or if you’re sitting on the pot!
Not all Residence Inn suites are two stories. Some of the smaller suites are all on one floor so it’s important that you know their layouts and what your needs are before you make your reservation. If you go to their website they show photos of their layouts, which would be worth the time exploring before making your reservation so there are no surprises when you arrive.
If you’re traveling with children then I recommend the two bedroom suites. Or, if you’re traveling with a business companion the two room suites are large and private enough to share without falling all over each other plus it will save you or your company the cost of having to rent two rooms.
Closet and draw space was ample in both bedrooms and each bedroom had its own television set. Plus, there was a third 46 inch flat screen TV in the living room so just about everyone in your group can watch whatever they want, which helps avoid conflict while on the road. Gotta keep those kids happy!
The Manhattan Beach location sits only blocks from one of the most beautiful beaches in America. While you can’t see the beach from this property, you can easily walk to it if you felt up to it. Manhattan Beach is a very upscale community with great shopping, many unique restaurants, and plenty of places to go and things to do, many of which are within walking distance with the right pair of shoes.
Manhattan Beach runs along the 405 California Interstate, which runs north to south. This is an ideal location if you want to visit the beaches and also have business to tend to from Los Angeles to Irvine. Keep in mind that when visiting California everything is a long hike so a car is necessary to get everywhere unless of course you’re planning to sit tight in Manhattan Beach during your entire visit.
One of the things I strongly recommend is having dinner at one of the great restaurants at the end of Manhattan Beach Boulevard at least once while you’re there. You’ll enjoy not only an awesome dinner but also one of the world’s best sunsets. It will take your breath away!
The Residence Inn Manhattan Beach offers plenty of other great amenties too. There’s a full sized heated pool on the property, a barbeque pit, a coin operated laundry room, dry cleaning, a Jacuzzi, an exercise room, basket ball and tennis courts, small business center, free wifi and printer for business documents or boarding passes, an onsite minimart, even logs for your fireplace can be purchased at the front desk. There is also 24/7 security at the entrance and front desk.
The Residence Inn also has a long standing relationship with Hertz Rental Cars, which means you can rent your car directly from the Hertz phone in their lobby. And if they don’t work for you, there’s an Enterprise Rental directly across the street.
They are also pet friendly allowing up to 2 small pets at a time.
I feel like I’m gushing about this place but I can’t help it. It’s all that and more. Of all the suite hotels I’ve personally reviewed the Residence Inn Manhattan Beach is by far the best chain I’ve come across so far. And, it’s perfect for women business travelers as it offers all the comforts of home. In fact, I didn’t want to leave as it felt like I was giving up my apartment for good. It’s very easy to become acclimated to a Residence Inn Suite as if it were your own and I for one can’t wait to go back as soon as possible.
For more info on the Residence Inn Manhattan Beach, click here.
If you go: Here’s what you can expect:
All Suite Property with private entrances.
Full Kitchen Suites with Microwaves, Stoves, Utensils, and Large Refrigerators
Complimentary Breakfast Buffet Daily with waffle station, coffee, tea and juice
Social Hour: M–W nights: Light Dinner Snacks, Salad, Beer and Wine
Complimentary Parking and Free WIFI in the guest rooms
Business Center use & Guest Laundry Facility
Heated Outdoor Pool and Jacuzzi with BBQ and sport court area
On Site Exercise Room with New State of the Art Equipment and personal TVs
Hotel is just blocks from Ralph’s Grocery and Mall
New! Shuttle to beach/downtown for only $5.00!
Shuttle to Restaurant and Theaters complimentary and by Appointment
Pet friendly /Ask about our policies and fees