Day 15 – Flight to L.A. – Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey

November 8th, 2022

Today feels like a really short one as far as the Lice Blog goes but in reality, it was a long hard day, but there is not much to talk about. We left Maui, Flew to L.A, Taxi to Marina Del Rey where we stayed in the Ritz Carlton…that’s about it. But we can elaborate a little.

Leaving Maui

Kahului Airport Tram

We had made sure we were 95% ready to go last night so the morning was just a few last-minute packing activities (like drying the clothes from last night’s sprinkler disaster!)

After we finished off anything we had left for breakfast we gave the Condo a once over, loaded up the car, and headed off, just a little teary-eyed. Our flight was at 12:40 so we left the Condo around 9 am. It is a short drive over to the airport, but the traffic can be bad, especially with the work taking place in Wailea. But we seemed to miss the worst of it and arrived with lots of time to spare.

We handed back the Hire car with no issue and caught the tram over to the terminal, we checked in using Alaska’s automated terminals that they make you use and then headed through security. Again this can be bad, but there were very few queues and we were in departures with plenty of time to spare.

Hawaiian Airlines Lounge

We have a Priority Pass as part of our Amex Platinum card and decided to check the included Lounge out. It was provided by Hawaiian Air and is incredibly basic. It barely even counts as a lounge. All that is included is hot and cold drinks and a few basic snacks, and we mean basic, some pretzels and Biscoff, that was it.

Instead, we headed out to California Pizza Kitchen grabbed a Pizza, and ate in the lounge. We are not sure if that is ok, but they didn’t provide food so we brought our own.

We are very glass it was free as altogether this is not a good lunge option. But it gave us a quiet and comfy spot to chill out before the flight.

Alaska Airlines Kahului to Los – Angeles LAX

Getting out of Kahului proved to be nearly as challenging as arriving! There had been a medical emergency on board the inbound flight and the oxygen cylinder needed replacing before we could get away.

This along with more delays due to ground control and ATC meant we left nearly an hour late. But favorable winds would mean an arrival pretty much on time.

As with the outbound flight, Alaska offers a pretty basic service. Soft drinks, Tea, and Coffee are provided for free and you can purchase alcohol and food, but we just had soft drinks and had eaten at the airport. The plane was really nice, it was A321Neo and offered a much better experience than we got on Hawaiian Airlines, now really aging A330s. Alaska is in the process of retiring these pretty new aircraft and soon they will be operating a brand new fleet of 737Max

Overall while there was nothing outstanding about Alaska, there were no problems at all. We would not hesitate to use them again in the future. We always seem to have issues of some kind when we fly Hawaiian.

LAX to Marina Del Rey

LAX Shuttle to Transport Hub

At LAX we had another long wait for the bags to come through, we normally don’t notice this as we travel internationally, and the bags are usually waiting for us after immigration! Once they all came through we headed outside to the usual Chaos.

The Ground Transportation Hub has been moved at LAZ and you can no longer get an Uber from the Airport concourse. This is usual now at most airports and we are used to getting a bus or hiking out with our luggage to a Parking lot somewhere. However, at LAX, all modes of private transport have been moved offsite, including Taxis!

So we waited for the Bus to take us to the Hub, only to find A LOT of people in front of us. This first bus was filled, as was the second, but we were in front of the queue for the next.

L.A. is a City where it never rains, is perpetually sunny, and drought is infact the biggest issue. Not for us however as we often elicit a rainy response to our arrival. And this was no exception the Bus chugged through the dark rainy evening and dropped us off at a very busy and very soggy Transport hub. They really have not properly developed this concept and all the hub consisted of was a heap of traffic cones a few barriers and some makeshift tents to keep the rain off. It’s hard to believe this is the 3rd busiest airport in the world, it is an absolute c***hole!

The Queue for an Uber was madness, and after checking the app, the price had surged to $50+ we refuse to pay for Uber Surges so headed over to the taxi rank. This looked really large but was moving fast. We got a cab at around 10mins and he estimated a price of around $20. Off we went into the night nearly 2 hours after landing, in the pouring rain. It was hard not to feel a little melancholy after waking up in paradise this morning.

Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey

Our arrival at the Ritz Carlton certainly helped ease those blues! On arrival a team of luggage handlers descended on the Cab, whipping out our bags and ushering us inside. We were dealt with by an excellent Check-in assistant who talked us through the rather lengthy list of perks we were getting for our stay.

We booked through the Fine Hotels and Resorts booking system on our Amex Platinium, and this comes with a lot of benefits. For this stay, we were getting Late Check-out, $100 to spend in the resort, Free breakfast, and a double room upgrade (if available), after chatting away he confirmed the upgrade to a Marina View Suite and gave us directions to our room, the luggage would follow us up later. We were using this trip to review the Amex Platinum and overall we were having a great time of it with this hotel the icing on the cake.

We got to the room and were pretty blown away, we had a fantastic view out of the double windows of the marina (and the rain that was lashing it) and a huge space with multiple seating options, a giant king bed, a double bathroom, and every amenity we could think of. We had a small plate of Macarons provided on arrival as the final flourish.

We were very happy with this choice, but out of all the perks, the 4 pm checkout was the most valuable for us. We had a late flight tomorrow and needed somewhere to spend the day, so being able to stay in a 5-star hotel suite for the day was a very enticing prospect.

It was now pretty late and we were tired and not really in any mood to head out to the hotel restraint. it looked very nice but just seemed like too much effort right now, we would need to get changed as we were pretty raggedy after the flight and we would need to interact with people, which we were too tired for. So instead we hopped into the complimentary dressing gowns and rang down for room service. We would not usually do this, we always feel you pay way over the odds for average food, but we had $100 credit so screw it!

We ordered a cheeseburger and chips, Chicken Burger and Chips, a couple of beers, and a glass of wine, and the bill came to almost exactly $100, this would normally make us cry, but as it was free, all was good.

The room service was no food on a tray either, in less than 15mins the bellhop was at the door with a full table on wheels set with silver service and an ice bucket. This felt extremely decadent and as we sat tucking into our burgers in our dressing gowns we really felt like we were living a very different lifestyle from what we were used to.

We then just relaxed for the evening, watching the results roll in from the Midterms, and being amazed at the rain teeming down over the Marina. This was the perfect way to recharge ready for an arduous flight back home tomorrow.

Only we had received a little news this morning that may make that flight just a little more tolerable…

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Day 16 – Venice Beach – Virgin Atlantic LAX to London Heathrow >>>

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