Pavlo has been working as a travel writer for more than 8 years, and his work has been featured in CNN Travel, BBC Travel, Time Out and Fodor's, among others. Changing cities and continents is a lifestyle for Pavlo, he has been to more than 40 countries across the globe. He can’t get enough of exploring the world and loves to share this passion through travel writing.
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California sunsets are simply more fabulous in easygoing Santa Monica. Southern California’s favorite oceanside getaway is a vibrant, life-affirming place with excellent beaches, a variety of happenings, and an ultra-eclectic restaurant scene. A colorful crowd of tourists, Angelenos, Hollywood moguls, big screen stars, and British expats graces these Pacific shores giving it a cosmopolitan edge. And then there’s an iconic Santa Monica Pier, an extra-photogenic sunset watching spot, once an end of mythical Route 66.
Of course, such a place would be incomplete without great accommodation helping you to savor it on your own terms. That’s exactly why we’ve prepared this list of top hotels in Santa Monica that take you right into the center of the beach action.
If luxury is something you want from your stay in Santa Monica, stay at the sumptuous Shutters On The Beach. Hedonist to the core, it is situated right on the beach with sand touching the terrace of its classy restaurant. Such a stunning location means unforgettable room vistas, a permanent soothing ocean breeze, and the best spots for observing magnificent sunsets. You’ve got a rich room selection starting from classic superior and deluxe ones and going as far as the over-the-top Pacific Suite and absolutely overwhelming Beach House Suite. The outdoor pool here is a special Instagram moment and the Wellness Center is a go-to spot for self-indulgence. On-site Coast Beach Cafe and Bar has a premier ocean view accompanying your drinks, and the elegant 1 Pico invites on the Southern California food exploration. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the best beachfront hotels in California.
It’s all chic and glamour at Casa Del Mar. Looking like a gargantuan villa from the beach, it delivers an exclusive treatment. Taking inspiration from the Meditteranean coast playbook and adding a cinematic Californian flair, it’s one of the top Santa Monica hotels. The beach is right at your doorstep, allowing for effortless scenic walks and water fun. Romantic ocean views define airy rooms, and the Santa Monica Pier is a short stroll away. For the highest degree of hotel luxury, opt for a Penthouse Suite, a magnificent choice coming with a hydrothermal spa bath. You’re close to everything this beach town is famous for while enjoying your private Californian retreat in style. Also, be sure to try the inventive seafood dishes at the on-site Terazza Lounge and Catch restaurants.
Delightful terracotta colors define this brand new addition to the trendy hotel scene of Santa Monica. With designs from celebrated Kelly Wearstler, careful curation of each detail, and the commitment to provide a high-end stay in the heart of the town, Proper Hotel will satisfy even the most demanding pleasure-seekers. You’re going to love the rooftop pool area, which is basically an aesthetic statement providing sweeping 360-degree views of Santa Monica and the ocean. This is an urban hotel, so you will have a chance to properly feel the beat of the downtown with the Santa Monica History Museum nearby, a plethora of exciting foodie spots in the neighborhood, and a walking distance to the oceanside Palisades Park and Santa Monica Pier.
The views are spectacular at Huntley Santa Monica Beach, a top four-star choice next to Palisades Park. The well-designed rooms and suites here feature that legendary vista of the ocean line meeting the Santa Monica Mountains, and it’s impressive both during the mornings and in the dreamy evenings. The luxurious amenities like 60” HDTVs, Bvlgari bath products and designer furniture don’t hurt too and create a sophisticated atmosphere. 3rd Street Promenade, a paradise for shoppers, is just a block away, and you won’t spend more than 5 minutes walking to the Santa Monica Pier and the beach. The crown jewel of the hotel is the rooftop restaurant situated on the 18th floor and boasting marvelous panoramas of the surroundings. Guests loved the attitude of the accommodation’s staff and noted a convenient location.
“Spectacular Santa Monica gem”, “uber accommodating staff”, and “simply beautiful” are among the words that the guests of Oceana used to describe their experience. It’s boutique, chic, and oceanside doing the job of providing a luxurious stay very well. The aquamarine decors go gorgeously with the ocean panoramas right in front, there is lots of natural light, and the rooms are generously spacious. Everything is organized with a breezy retreat in mind. The pool area is privately found in the courtyard, the wellness center boasts a variety of treatments, and there are two on-site restaurants for exclusive dining. In short, you wouldn’t want to leave this place as everything is here for a hedonist break. In case you’d like to experience the outside, Palisades Park is right at your entrance with easy access to sprawling Santa Monica Beach.
Some prefer to be right in the epicenter of Santa Monica fun, some choose a calmer, more reflective approach to a stay. For the second category of travelers, there’s Ambrose Hotel. A stylish boutique lodging, it is tucked away from the Pier bustle in the quiet residential neighborhood deep into the townscape of Santa Monica. The hotel has thought about every design aspect to provide a genuine break with comfortable rooms, a cool selection of additional amenities, and cozy outdoor space. The pretty terrace features a fireplace and bears Southern California aesthetics to get you in the vacation mood. Should you want to get to the heart of Santa Monica amusement, they’ve got you covered too. There’s an option to have a Tesla ride to any point within the 3-mile range, as well as a bicycle rental to explore the town on two wheels.
Slick minimalist-industrial design, closeness to the Santa Monica Pier, and fantastic ocean views are what you’re getting at Shore Hotel. The devotion to sustainability standards is another great thing about this accommodation. It’s environmentally conscious, has a comprehensive stance on reducing the carbon footprint, and leads a special green program striving to make a difference. All of it definitely makes Shore Hotel stand out among the town’s lodgings. And with a location like that and the comfort of the rooms, it’s a perfect combination that works if you’re looking for a convenient place to stay in the heart of Santa Monica. Another thing of note is a superb outdoor swimming pool with views of both the ocean and a Pier with a Giant Ferris Wheel.
Let’s say it, Santa Monica is definitely not the cheapest place to visit in California, and finding affordable accommodation may at times be quite a challenge. SureStay Hotel fills this gap with a value three-star offer and a convenient location between the Santa Monica Airport, the downtown, the beach, and LAX. A versatile setting allows you to be more flexible, which is a piece of great news. The luxury of the oceanside lodgings is not to be found here, but you’ve got exactly what’s needed for a budget break. The rooms are smartly furnished and spacious, the outdoor area is nicely landscaped, continental breakfast is included, and the WiFi is free. Refrigerators and microwaves in the rooms are definitely a plus, and you’ve got HDTVs to watch your favorite content.
Having been a staple of Ocean Avenue for several decades, Viceroy Santa Monica has recently undergone a stylish transformation and has leveled up its proposition. The result sees this oceanside lodging getting a more fashionable, more exclusive look with pretty outdoor swimming pools surrounded by palm trees, chic cabanas, an airy lounge area, and the on-site Sugar Palm restaurant, which is perfect for upscale dining and drinking. Steps away from both the Santa Monica Pier and the sandy beach, Viceroy is that luxurious city escape your style-seeking soul asks for. Here you will have a proper relaxation time hiding in the comfort of uber-voguish rooms while being minutes away from the pulsating city life of Santa Monica.
One of the best value choices in Santa Monica, Ocean View Hotel is your best compromise between the price and the proposition. The location is unbeatable, true to its name, the lodging features a prime, unobstructed water view. And you’re also in the very center of the town, within walking distance of everything that makes Santa Monica famous. Rooms are well-illuminated and come with gorgeous panoramic balconies. The hotel is family-friendly, and many guests noted how convenient it was to stay here with kids. Whether you’re coming here on a long weekend to escape LA’s concrete jungle or want to have a prolonged Santa Monica escape, the mix of the perfect setting and the great amenities does the trick giving you an amazing accommodation experience.