There’s no shortage of lively areas and diverse communities in Los Angeles to explore when visiting the region. While the choices may seem vast, there’s one choice that even locals can’t argue has the best of everything in one place: Santa Monica.
We’re talking gorgeous beaches. We’re talking world-class shopping. We’re talking quintessential California restaurants. And all of that is here in Santa Monica and all within walking distance. By Breanna Wilson
SANTA MONICA COMPARED TO HOLLYWOOD
While Hollywood may be known for its glitz and glam, luxury, too, abounds at Santa Monica hotels, but with the added value of being at the beach. What makes staying in Santa Monica the best are the ocean views, local vibes and the fact that you can regularly find some of Hollywood’s most elite hanging out here. Mere steps from the beach is the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, which has welcomed beach-loving jetsetters for more than a century. When the sun goes down, the vibe turns up at The Bungalow, the Fairmont’s standalone beach house bar and restaurant that’s popular among locals. Also just off the beach is the Viceroy Santa Monica. Let the day go by while cozying up in the lush cabanas lining the pool, but don’t miss the sunset while dining al fresco on the Cast patio.
SANTA MONICA COMPARED TO BEVERLY HILLS
It’s no secret that Beverly Hills is known for its luxury and high-end shopping. Yet there’s no part of Los Angeles that has the varied shopping that Santa Monica does. Montana Avenue is home to more than 100 shops alone, without mentioning Santa Monica Place, Third Street Promenade, and Main Street. And there are no shortage of luxury hotels lining the beach and Ocean Avenue. Just south of the Santa Monica Pier are some of Santa Monica’s top luxury hotels, including Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar. These Santa Monica hotels couldn’t be anymore convenient, with the beach, Santa Monica Pier, and Third Street Promenade all within a short walk.
SANTA MONICA COMPARED TO DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
Having grown considerably over the last several years, Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is traditionally considered the most urban part of Los Angeles. But if experiencing a boutique urban lodge hidden within one of Santa Monica's quiet residential neighborhoods, then look no further than the Palihouse Santa Monica. In continuous operation since 1927, this Santa Monica hotel exudes history with its Mediterranean architecture, yet is steps from the best of urban Santa Monica, such as the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Farmers Market. With only 36 guest rooms, this property is ideal for visitors craving style, personality and a unique traveler experience in a city setting.
SANTA MONICA COMPARED TO OTHER LA BEACH COMMUNITIES
While Los Angeles’ beach cities have no shortage of beachfront hotels, no community offers better value through their properties like Santa Monica. Santa Monica’s shoreline is dotted with luxury hotels offering beachfront / oceanfront access and walkability to lively restaurants and bar options with ocean views and laid-back patios that are much more commonplace. Hotels like the Hotel Shangri-La at the Ocean (with its stylish rooftop bar overlooking the Pacific Ocean) and Huntley Santa Monica Beach (with its 18-story Penthouse bar and restaurant) embody the progressive mentality that is Santa Monica with their upscale rooms, Pacific Ocean views perched above Santa Monica and modern amenities.