Why would you take a family vacation to the beach and then stay at a hotel a mile and a half away from the beach? Because it’s much better to have a little extra room, especially when you’re traveling with teens. That’s why a Residence Inn is a great place for families and why the Residence Inn Manhattan Beach in southern California, is a good choice for a beach vacation, even though it’s more than a mile from the beach.
What Works for Families
Like all Residence Inn properties, a room here is more than just a hotel room—it’s a small apartment. Some of the 176 rooms here are two bedroom. Mine was a studio with a pull-out couch so no teen would be forced to share a bed with mom.
- The included breakfast is full, hearty and yummy.
- On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Residence Inn also offers a light dinner (e.g. BBQ), which can save a bundle of cash for a family with ravenous teenagers who spent the day working up an appetite at the beach.
- The rooms have a full kitchen, complete with cookware, dishes and utensils. There’s even a grocery delivery service—drop off your grocery list on your way to the beach in the morning and the goods will be delivered to your room later that day. Again, with ravenous teens, any way to save money on food saves money on travel.
- Free wifi.
- Small outdoor pool.
What Doesn’t Work for Families
While the website says the hotel is walking distance to the beach, it seemed a little too far. That means a visitor has to have a car (which you’re likely to need in Los Angeles anyway since the area is not really wired for public transit). You’ll need to drive to the beach and find parking. I had little trouble finding a spot on a cool, cloudy spring Saturday, but I suspect it would have been a much different story on a hot, sunny summer day.
The hotel offers queen size beds and pull-out couches. Since I most often travel with a 6-foot, 3-inch, 225-pound husband, a queen-size bed doesn’t really work for us. There is plenty of space in this hotel for a king size bed. It should be a king size bed.
$$ to $$$ depending on time of year and whether you choose a studio or two-bedroom.
The Residence Inn Manhattan Beach is just 4 miles from LAX, the main airport serving Los Angeles, and centrally located for day trips to the theme parks, Hollywood and the beach.
It’s an all-suites hotel, so it has the space a family needs to spread out a bit.
This is a pet-friendly place, but I did not travel with any pets nor did I see any at the property during my stay.
The townhouse style feels homey, the staff was unfailingly helpful and pleasant, the food was good and plentiful. The rooms were clean (a must-have no matter where you stay) and the beds were very comfy (an important but all-too-often neglected feature in family hotels).
Residence Inn is one of Marriott’s extended stay brands. I’ve stayed in several, including properties in Chicago and Dallas. I have never had a bad experience. Since many guests are there for long periods—business people who are on assignment out of town—the staff gets to know the guests and treats them like friends and family. That feeling translates to those of us who are more temporary guests as well.
There’s nothing worse than checking into a hotel with exhausted, crabby kids who are not on their best behavior and having the staff or guests give them the stink eye. I have never seen that happen at a Residence Inn, nor would I ever expect it to happen.
There is no restaurant onsite, but the breakfast and light dinners are served in the dining room. The surrounding area is filled with restaurants, including plenty of fast food and a yummy Thai place that was recommended by the friendly front desk clerk.