Hip in an unlikely place

Special to The Times

IT’S the flicker of candlelight, the lick of a fire, the aroma of the ocean breeze. It’s the crowd, effortlessly good-looking without pretense, and the stuffed sofas that make it impossible to be uncomfortable.

Glow in Marina del Rey is the most enticing club on the Westside. The fact that it’s located at a Marriott hotel is in many ways astounding.

“Glow has brought a very hip new energy to the area,” says Valerie Arais, a marketing executive who frequents the harbor-front nightspot. “It’s kind of funny because you get here and you completely forget you’re in the Marriott. You’re totally transformed and lost among these fire pits.”

Although the Marriott might be getting a late start into the hotel lounge arena, it’s making up for lost time. Its recent decision to partner with boutique hotel mogul Ian Schrager shows how serious it is about getting into the game.


“Marriott’s seen a huge opportunity to grow into the hip sector of the industry,” says David Sigauw, the director of sales and marketing for the hotel. “What you see here is a big step in that direction.”

Glow sets a unique precedent for the Marriott. It’s a one-of-a-kind outdoor lounge, similar in vibe to the rooftop bar at the Standard downtown but without the kitsch. It’s located on the first level of the hotel, within view of the lobby. Think palm trees, waterfalls and dining under starry skies.

“Glow was designed to really appeal to the senses,” says Sigauw, who helped retool the night life at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood before joining the Marriott. “The smell, sound, warmth of the fire pits -- it’s very nature driven.”

Unlike many hotel bars, which require guest lists or proof you’re staying at the hotel, Glow is accessible. You can swing by in the early evening when the sun’s still out or you can wait until night falls, when the venue heats up, with DJs filling the space with soothing ambient sounds, down-tempo beats and breezy funk.

Although Glow opened at the beginning of the summer and has been an instant hit -- attracting such celebs as Jack Nicholson and Lindsay Lohan -- there are no plans to duplicate it any time soon. As Marriott expands its boutique business, the aim is to create spaces unique to the areas surrounding the hotels.

For Glow, that’s its proximity to Marina del Rey’s harbor and the ocean, making it ideal for its open, outdoor vibe. Even as the temperatures get cooler, there are ample fire pits to keep hopeless romantics warm at night.

“It’s one of the classiest places I’ve seen in L.A.,” says Damian Chapa, an actor who is living at the hotel. “I also like the fact it’s near the beach. I have asthma, so I can breathe better.”

There’s little doubt that the beach is “in” these days.

“If they had Glow when I was in college, I would never have gone to Hollywood or gone down to Silver Lake,” says Arais, a graduate of Loyola Marymount. “With Glow, you don’t have to make that huge trek out to Hollywood to get that sense of night life.”




Where: 4100 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey

When: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily

Price: No cover

Info: (310) 578-4152;