What was once a beach club for Hollywood starlets in the Roaring Twenties has become an elegant luxury hotel at Hotel Casa del Mar. One of two Santa Monica properties located on the sand, with a view Obstructed on the Pacific Ocean, this red-brick building brings Mediterranean sophistication to Southern California in a surprisingly quiet hotel that is the epitome of beachfront splendor.
The grandeur of Hotel Casa del Mar begins at the entrance. The double-staircase lobby is further accentuated by Spanish tile floors and a large Venetian chandelier that illuminates your first steps into the hotel. Head upstairs to check in with knowledgeable staff who will not only present you with your room key, but also vouchers for your welcome drinks (which you’ll be only too happy to use at the Terrazza Lounge, which is located just beyond the front desk).
Rooms are located both above and below check-in level, and while you might think you’d prefer a higher floor, the first and second levels offer almost instant access to the beach (and breathtaking views to boot). No matter which of the 129 rooms (and 16 suites) you end up in, Hotel Casa del Mar has brought the same meticulous attention to detail to each of its accommodations. The four-poster beds are large and comfortable, fitted with Italian linens. Crisp white curtains are helpful in blocking the bright Santa Monica sun from beaming through large windows, but can be opened to reveal ocean or interior courtyard views.
Lest you forget you’re at a beachfront resort, rooms are decorated with an array of nautical-themed accessories, including seashells, porcelain anchors, and seascapes. With soothing shades of green, gray and blue in all 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 tub to help you relax after a long day at the beach. And if you’ve brought a little one with you, don’t worry, there are rubber duckies for their entertainment. Malin + Goetz bath products can also help wash away the sand and stress of the day.
While we recommend a beach run (or yoga) for your fitness pursuits 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. (all are included in your $25 resort fee, so take advantage). There’s also a pool and hot tub on the fifth floor, with gorgeous ocean views, and if you’re looking for the ultimate in relaxation and relaxation, head to 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 beachfront getaway away from the hustle and bustle of the greater Los Angeles area, it’s hard to find a nicer hotel than Hotel Casa del Mar. While sister property, Shutters on the Beach, perhaps the more famous of the two hotels, we love the quieter vibe, spacious rooms, and absolutely gorgeous views that Hotel Casa del Mar has to offer year-round.
Location: Santa Monica, California
Evaluation: Five stars
The atmosphere: Laid-back beachfront luxury that epitomizes Southern California meets Mediterranean sophistication
Food + Drink: There are three dining options at Hotel Casa del Mar: Terrazza Lounge, Patio del Mar, and Catch. Head to Catch for raw bar and a slightly higher romantic setting. Head to Terrazza Lounge for drinks and chilled appetizers, or Patio del Mar for al fresco dining.
Approvals: spa; Fitness Center; swimming pool; restaurant; bar; concierge; ballroom; meeting spaces
Our favorite thing about the hotel: The gorgeous lobby is as cozy as it is beautiful, and thanks to the plethora of comfy sofas, you could literally spend all day gazing 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 Square
Neighborhood personal recs?: If you are willing to walk about 20 minutes (less than a mile) from Hotel Casa del Mar you will find the bustling hotspot Elephant, which is one of the most popular restaurants in town. Walk the other way and you’ll find yourself in arty Venice Beach, where you can easily spend the whole day.
Rooms: 145 rooms and suites
Pricing: Rooms start at $650/night
Nearest airport: Los Angeles International Airport
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