Undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, Marriott Manhattan Beach is currently transforming into the Westdrift Manhattan Beach, its first “Autograph Collection” hotel in Los Angeles, with an expected opening in January.

Maureen Leary, director of sales and marketing, said the renovations at the 392-room hotel on 26 acres are inspired by the history of Manhattan Beach. The makeover features a nine-whole golf course, an indoor/outdoor restaurant lead by executive chef Octavio Sabado, 23 meeting rooms and a cross-fit inspired fitness center. 

The name Westdrift is a “mash-up” of the westerly winds that blow off the ocean that created sand drifts during the city's early days. While developers in the community had issues with the sand, the developers of Waikiki Beach, with its large rocky beach, were in need of “surgery fine” sand that Manhattan Beach had to offer.

“Over a decade, a couple of brothers had the ingenious idea to sell our gorgeous sugar-fine, white sand to Waikiki,” Leary said. “So they loaded it into shipping containers, put them on a train to San Pedro, and barged them back to Waikiki. All the sand, next time you're in Oahu, you can thank Manhattan Beach.”

Leary added, “There are a lot of fun stories about Manhattan Beach … we're all about story telling and creating an experience for guests.”

From its exterior paint and entrance and lobby, which is inspired by the Manhattan Beach Pier, return visitors will notice little of the old Marriott.

“We're creating something new and fresh .. it's a full gut of the hotel,” Leary said.

For more information, visit westdrift.com.

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