What was once a beach club for Hollywood starlets in the Roaring ‘20s has become an elegant luxury hotel in Hotel Casa del Mar. One of just two properties in Santa Monica located on the sand, with an obstructed view of the Pacific Ocean, this red-brick building brings Mediterranean sophistication to southern California in a surprisingly quiet hotel that is the very picture of oceanfront splendor.
The grandeur of the Hotel Casa del Mar begins immediately upon entering. The double staircase foyer is further accentuated by Spanish tiled floors and a large Venetian chandelier that illuminates your first steps into the hotel. Head upstairs to check-in with a knowledgeable staff who will present you not only with your room key, but with vouchers for your welcome beverages (which you’ll be only too happy to use at the Terrazza Lounge, which lies just beyond the front desk).
Rooms are located both above and below check-in level, and while you may think that you’d prefer a higher floor, the first and second levels provide almost instantaneous access to the beach (and breathtaking views to boot). Regardless of which of the 129 rooms (and 16 suites) you end up in, Hotel Casa del Mar has taken the same painstaking attention to detail to each of its accommodations. Four-poster beds are large and comfortable, outfitted with Italian linens. Crisp, white curtains are helpful in keeping out the bright Santa Monica sun from beaming through large windows, but can be thrown open to reveal views of the ocean or the inner courtyard.
Lest you forget you are at a beach-front resort, rooms are decorated with a range of nautically themed accouterments, including seashells, porcelain anchors, and seascapes. With soothing shades of green, grey, and blue throughout the rooms, it would be easy to spend your entire vacation inside the hotel.
The bathrooms are all spacious and well-appointed, with Italian marble finishes and of course, a whirlpool bathtub to help you unwind after a long day at the beach. And if you’ve brought a little one along, don’t worry – there are rubber ducks for their entertainment. Malin + Goetz bath products can help you wash off the day’s sand and stress as well.
While we’d recommend a run on the beach (or some yoga) for your fitness activities while in Santa Monica, those who prefer a gym can find a small fitness center with cardio machines and free weights. However, the real draw comes in the form of daily fitness classes, like Beach Boot Camp, Pilates, and more (these are all included in your $25 resort fee, so take advantage). There’s also a swimming pool and hot tub on the fifth floor, with a great view of the ocean, and if you’re looking for the ultimate in R&R, check out the Sea Wellness Spa whose treatments include ocean-sourced ingredients for your body wraps, massages, and facials.
Simply put, if you’re looking for a beachside escape from the hustle and bustle of the greater Los Angeles area, it’s hard to find a more beautiful hotel than Hotel Casa del Mar. While the sister property, Shutters on the Beach, may be the more famous of the two hotels, we love the quieter feel, the spacious rooms, and the absolutely stunning views that the Hotel Casa del Mar has to offer all year round.
Location: Santa Monica, California
The Vibe: Laid back oceanfront luxury that embodies Southern California meets Mediterranean sophistication
Food + Drink: There are three dining options at Hotel Casa del Mar – the Terrazza Lounge, Patio del Mar, and Catch. Head to Catch for the raw bar and a slightly more elevated, romantic setting. Check out the Terrazza Lounge for a drink and some fresh appetizers, or Patio del Mar for al fresco dining.
Amenities: spa; fitness center; swimming pool; restaurant; bar; concierge; ballroom; meeting spaces
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The stunning lobby is as comfortable as it is beautiful, and thanks to the plethora of comfortable couches, you could literally spend all day gazing out at the ocean while sipping on a martini (or two).
5 Nearby Attractions: Santa Monica pier; Venice Beach; Third Street Promenade; Pacific Coast Highway; Santa Monica Place
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs?: If you’re willing to walk just about 20 minutes (less than a mile) from Hotel Casa del Mar, you’ll find the buzzy hotspot Elephante, which is one of the most perennially popular restaurants in the city. Walk in the other direction, and you’ll find yourself in artsy Venice Beach, where you could easily spend your entire day.
Rooms: 145 rooms and suites
Pricing: Rooms start at $650/night
Closest Airport: Los Angeles International Airport
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