On the heels of a recent trip to Turkey–a trip that absolutely blew me away in terms of Turkey’s relativity to world history, I decided to spend some time away from home, in my home town of Los Angeles. In residence at the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles—Club Level, of course, for several glorious days, was exactly that: GLORIOUS!
Located on the edge of downtown, with easy freeway access, not to mention a barrage of nightlife and entertainment at LA. Live (think: a hot “scene,” with tons of great restaurants, club life, a movie theater and the Staples Center), the five star Ritz Carlton Los Angeles is the perfect getaway to vacillate between between a socialite or recluse!
The 54-story tower where sister property–JW Marriott, occupies the first 21st floors via a separate, more convention type of entrance, offers The Ritz-Carlton hotel’s guests a much more intimate environment for entering, exiting and check-in to its 123 guest rooms and suites located on the 22-26th floors. In fact, I never even saw the entrance for The Ritz-Carlton Residences that occupy floors 27 to 54. But repeatedly, I did bump into Billy Crystal and his entourage on the elevator. In true L.A. style, I paid him no mind whatsoever—didn’t even look his way! lol
Club Level Lounge
Frequent visits throughout the day to the Club Level Lounge on the 23rd floor afforded the further experience of numerous food presentations beginning each day with breakfast. Unlike many other Ritz-Carlton properties,there is no outdoor space or balcony for the Club Level Lounge. But the views to be had from the glass exterior walls stretch from downtown and through the entire city, to the Pacific Ocean. Between spectacular views, decadent food presentations/beverages (soft, hard and in-between) and some of the coolest hotel guests I’ve ever come across in any Ritz-Carlton property, it was on and popping in the Club Level Lounge.
But here’s where they stole the show: A visiting friend who found sheer delight in one of the breakfast menu items was met by one of the Club Level Lounge attendants who had discovered her fond feelings toward the item (which for the life of me, I can not recall what it was). He had totally taken the liberty to tastefully wrap (in true Ritz-Carlton fashion) a portion for her to depart with to be enjoyed at her convenience. Now, that’s class and good service!
The second floor is home to the Ritz-Carlton Spa. Words such as heavenly and angelic came to mind as I entered the spa, where many things shimmer. Quite honestly, it caught me by surprise in the sense that the norm is a more dimly lit spa adorned mainly by candles and soothing fragrances. But the experience of a Hot Chocolate Stone Massage absolutely blew me away.
Beyond the thought of the sheer decadence of chocolate, the benefits include:
- The high caffeine content stimulates the circulation, allowing blood to naturally rejuvenate and heal skin. Antioxidants also give skin a plumper, firmer feel and helps cells build collagen and elastin, as well as work to prevent damage by free radicals – the culprits responsible for aging skin and loss of elasticity.
- The natural oils found in cocoa butter, combined with other traditional massage oils, work into skin to give it deep moisture. A chocolate massage is beneficial for extremely dry skin, or for use on specific rough patches such as knees, elbows and soles. The antioxidants found in chocolate also help the skin retain moisture long after the massage is over.
- Dark chocolate is especially rich in antioxidants, which can boost the cardiovascular system. Chocolate can also positively affect the brain by causing feelings of euphoria – even the smell of rich chocolate can give a person the mental and physical benefits normally enjoyed with consumption.
As part of Valentine’s Day and the CDC declared American Heart Month celebrations, which happens to be a great time to celebrate the extraordinary and often untold historical contributions made by African Americans during what is also recognized as Black History Month, the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles Spa is offering a special $400, 75-minute escape for couples—SWEET ON YOU PACKAGE
- Side-by-side Hot Chocolate Stone Massages with rose petals and candlelight
- A romantic champagne bath and “sugar therapy” house-made sweets to share
- Enjoyed within the Spa’s intimate couple’s suite
A Sweet Chocolate Takeaway
Don’t let it end without some chocolate for the takeaway. Give him or her handcrafted chocolates by John Kelly.
Nowadays chocolates have taken a turn. Sure, the thought of truffles will always ignite a spark in the eyes of the true chocolate aficionado, especially at John Kelly. Their signature item is called “Truffle Fudge,” due to its creamy consistency, which will make you close your eyes and forget all about sex–at the moment! But how about the modern day addition of carmel and French Grey, Mediterranean, or Hawaiian Red Alaea sea salt? That’s how they get down at John Kelly, where you can partake of the pleasure from as little as $6.50 for a single flavor gift box, to a $99 gift tower assortment. Honestly, these are the freshest, most delicious, creative chocolates I have experienced in a mighty long time!
In Los Angeles, John Kelly has stores in Hollywood and Santa Monica, in addition to the hotel lobby (follow the corridor from the Ritz-Carlton, to the JW Marriott side) . Not in Los Angeles? Don’t worry, an online order will ship practically anywhere you desire. But I promise you, a more delicious chocolate you may never find!
Click here for more information about the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles.