Thursday, May 30, 2024

Renaissance to revamp, rebrand as Marriott Downtown Long Beach (new bar and restaurant included)

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The Renaissance at Ocean Boulevard and Pine Avenue is undergoing a massive, interior revamp and will rebrand as the Marriott Downtown Long Beach when it formally reopens in the coming weeks. It will come with a new restaurant and lounge area, a concierge lounge, revamped pool area, and more when the hotel fully reopens.

Inside the soon-to-reopen Marriott Downtown Long Beach

The Renaissance’s last major renovation and upgrade was a decade ago in 2014, when a $8M, nearly three-month-long renovation was headed by Los Angeles based design studio, Creative Resource Associates; the overhaul was entirely interior-centric, focusing on the room, conference halls, and leisure spaces.

This current renovation and rebranding technically began last year in May of 2023 when it first announced its $5.6M renovation of its 374 rooms back in June of 2023 as the beginning of an entire rebranding toward Marriott Downtown Long Beach.

“We wanted a contemporary bayfront look for the rooms that says ’casual elegance’,” explained interior designer Karen Rodgers of design firm Looney & Associates. “We let more light in with sheer window coverings and created new window seats that invite guests to take in the views. At the same time, business amenities in every room have been improved.”

It will also become home to the second M Club, Marriott’s concierge lounge for its Bonvoy members, joining the existing M Club at the Marriott Long Beach Airport location in East Long Beach. This private club features a complimentary breakfast buffet for its members, as well as complimentary snacks, access 24/7, special events, and can act as a private dining space should you not want to eat at the restaurant (and instead, have it delivered to you at the M Club).

There will also be a convenience market, opening June 1, featuring a variety of grab-n-go snacks, refreshments, and such.

Marriott Downtown Long Beach’s new restaurant and lounge, Local Current, brings on a Long Beach mixology master

There is very little information about Marriot Downtown Long Beach’s new restaurant and lounge, Local Current, minus a very market-y description that says the restaurant “mirrors the coastal allure by weaving together ‘Local’ and ‘Current’ in a metaphorical dance with oceanic currents.”

But there is one certainty confirmed: It will be home to some of the city’s best cocktails thanks to its newly minted bar manager Dane Olson, the man who helped bolster the Long Beach Bartenders Guild’s foundation, co-hosted cocktail competitions, and previously headed the bar at Navy Proof, one of Long Beach’s most underrated bar spaces under his tenure.

And given the upcoming focus on cocktails and food across the street at the opening-in-the-Fall Fairmont Breakers—bringing on three bars and two restaurants—Long Beach’s hotel culinary scene is climbing up in stature.

Why hotels like the Marriott Downtown Long Beach are important

2023 has marked a wild year in numerical terms for the hospitality and tourism industry—in part, heavily to the thanks of Visit Long Beach and Meet Long Beach, our city’s tourism and convention arms: The convention center saw the highest-ever revenue in 2023, and most events in a single year than ever before. This summer, Long Beach for the first time ever had a higher hotel room rate and occupancy than its biggest competition, San Diego.

The tax money drawn in from its hotel stays through its events and conventions? $37.5 million in 2023, a nearly 15% increase over 2022 and that money—minus 3% for the Meet Long Beach and Visit Long Beach entities—goes directly back to the city. They are economic drivers and their ability to stay maintained and upgraded is what drives things like conventions, events, and tourists to come in.

We need to celebrate our hospitality industry more: They’re an essential part of our economic backbone.

Marriott Downtown Long Beach is located at 111 E. Ocean Blvd.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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