My Sneak Peek at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Downtown

This Monday, I arranged to take a hard-hat tour of the construction at the new J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton downtown at the L.A. Live arts and entertainment complex right near the Staples Center that's set to open in February. The soaring glass tower that houses the two hotels is the first new skyscraper to be built in downtown Los Angeles in nearly 20 years, and is meant to be one of the anchors of the burgeoning arts, dining and entertainment scene that is starting to regenerate in the area.

Though the two hotel chains are owned by the same company and do share property footprints in other locations, this venture is the first of its kind for Marriott and Ritz where both hotels are housed in the same building. In addition to the 878 Marriott and 123 Ritz guest rooms, there will also be over 200 private Ritz residences on the top floors (starting at nearly $1.5 million for a one-bedroom). There will also be seven restaurants and bars, two pools, a spa, and 77,000 square feet of meeting spaces.

Whew! That's a lot to digest, but take a look at my exclusive HotelChatter story for all the fun details, including just how hideous the neon orange vest they made me wear for safety was...