If there’s one special place you want to stay in Santa Monica, it’s near the beach. No other Los Angeles beach city has as such a great variety of hotels overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
At the beach
One of the many things that sets Santa Monica apart from other cities is the number of hotels that are either directly on the beach, or just off it, perched on Ocean Avenue and overlooking the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Ocean. Two Santa Monica hotels that are closest to the water are the luxurious Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar, located just a couple of blocks south of the Santa Monica Pier, directly on the beach. Shutters' beachfront location features everything from oceanfront bar and restaurant views at Coast and The Living Room, a full gym and spa, to surf lessons and yoga on the beach. Equally as breathtaking and with historic charm, Hotel Casa del Mar offers some of the best views in town, whether it be from a hotel suite, the outdoor pool deck or dinner at seafood restaurant, Catch.
Near the pier
There are several hotels located just steps from the Santa Monica Pier. A couple examples are Shore Hotel and Wyndham Santa Monica - At The Pier. The boutique, LEED Gold-certified Shore Hotel has made a name for itself for eco-conscious amenities such as low-flow water fixtures and recycled building materials. Downstairs, at Blue Plate Taco, enjoy outdoor dining while watching people stroll along Ocean Avenue. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel (pictured above) features a heated pool and Jacuzzi and beachfront restaurants, including Ocean & Vine. Offering a family-friendly setting in the heart of the action, Wyndham Santa Monica - At The Pier offers easy access to the Pier, Santa Monica Beach and Third Street Promenade. And, just up Colorado Avenue are Hampton Inn & Suites Santa Monica and Courtyard by Marriott Santa Monica. Both hotels are adjacent to the Metro Expo Line, which makes for great locations to base yourself and explore greater Los Angeles as well.
On Ocean Avenue
A number of Santa Monica hotels are perched on Ocean Avenue overlooking the Pacific Ocean and within a few blocks of the pier. From the Palisades bluff, they offer great Pacific Ocean views, such as Ocean View Hotel offers renovated accommodations, with most rooms offering private balconies. The JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot has a full spa and gym, while its signature restaurant, Cézanne, is an award-winning eatery that serves a California take on French-inspired cuisine. Viceroy Santa Monica offers an ultra-chic getaway, with its poolside bungalows, and has been featured in numerous fashion spreads, movies, music videos, and guides to top L.A. dining.
There also are a number of boutique options along Ocean Avenue that sit within a few blocks of both the beach and Santa Monica Pier. This includes the Hotel Shangri-La and The Georgian Hotel, both of which boast Art Deco style that dates back to the 1930s. Each hotel is multiple stories, and each features unobstructed sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. The Hotel Shangri-La has the added benefit of the only rooftop bar in Santa Monica, ONYX. If you're looking for something more private, The Cottage offers vacation rentals with a three-night minimum. For budget hotel options in Santa Monica, there’s the Seaview Hotel, Ocean Lodge Hotel Santa Monica Beach, and Sea Blue Hotel, all of which are located on Ocean Avenue just a few blocks to the pier. On the cover of Ocean and Wilshire is the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. This Santa Monica hotel offers something for everyone, as there are luxurious hotel rooms in the 10-story Ocean Tower and 6-story historic Palisades wing, and 32 bungalows that are ideal for families or larger groups. Popular spots for dining and drinking can be found here, including FIG Restaurant and The Bungalow.
Within a 15-Minute Walk
For a mix of city meets beach, stay in Downtown Santa Monica at hotels such as Huntley Santa Monica Beach or Hotel Carmel. Huntley Santa Monica Beach, a modern luxury hotel, is a designer's paradise, not to mention features The Penthouse which offers 360-degree views of Santa Monica. Hotel Carmel is near it all - just one block from Third Street Promenade and conveniently located to the beach and Santa Monica Pier. There's also luxury hotel, Santa Monica Proper Hotel, which has 271 rooms, a lobby bar, restaurant, rooftop bar and pool and Surya spa. And, just a few blocks away are the luxury hotel, Oceana, on Ocean Avenue and Idaho, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Santa Monica on 4th Street, Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica on Pico Boulevard and Bayside Hotel and just off Main Street. All of which offer guests more of a neighborhood feeling while still being easily accessible to nearby attractions.
You don't need a car
The great thing about all of these hotels in Santa Monica is that they are not only within walking distance of the beach, but also the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade. Thus, a car isn’t even required since all of these hotels are a five to ten minute walk from a majority of Santa Monica’s attractions, restaurants, and bars. Our transportation guide has additional information about using bus, bikes and walking in Santa Monica.