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15 Best Hotels in Santa Monica, CA

Written by Brad Lane
Aug 21, 2019

With seaside views and Southern California's consistently sunny weather, hotels in Santa Monica are in hot demand. Millions of tourists from around the world book hotels in Santa Monica each year, making early reservations recommended. Some of the best hotels are near the Santa Monica Pier, a vacation landmark and one of the top attractions of Santa Monica, at the center of the sprawling Santa Monica State Beach.

Adjacent to Palisades Park, Ocean Avenue is the main waterfront drag in Santa Monica and is lined with local restaurants and some of the best hotels. Some of the most luxurious hotels can also be found near Ocean Avenue and the Santa Monica Pier. Dependable and more budget-friendly accommodations are farther inland and still within easy walking distance of the ocean.

Whether for families, couples, or business travel, another consideration when choosing a hotel is the access they provide to downtown. Many hotels offer quick access to prominent downtown districts like the 3rd Street Promenade, filled with shopping opportunities and street music. Pet-friendly hotels in Santa Monica are also available.

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Best Luxury Hotels & Resorts in Santa Monica

1. Hotel Casa del Mar

Photo Source: Hotel Casa del Mar

Overlooking the ocean, a few blocks south of the Santa Monica Pier, this five-star accommodation offers seaside luxury and class. An ornate central lobby, with views of the ocean, greets guests with chandelier light upon arrival, serving as just the first touch of luxury offered upon any visit. Extending from the extravagant common space and lobby of Hotel Casa del Mar, the sea-breeze rooms and suites add an extra layer of ocean comfort.

Rooms at Hotel Casa del Mar range from superior to deluxe, some with patios and views of the ocean. Suites like the Ocean View Suite at Hotel Casa del Mar feature extra amenities like fireplaces, Italian marble bathrooms, and big bay windows overlooking the surf. On-site eating and entertainment at Casa del Mar includes the Terrazza Lounge and American seafood restaurant, Catch. For extra comfort and pampering, the on-site Sea Wellness Spa features a long menu of spa services.

The oceanfront location of Hotel Casa del Mar also lends quick access to the rest of downtown Santa Monica, including the 3rd Street Promenade. No vehicle is needed when visiting Casa del Mar, and the classic Italian Renaissance exterior of the hotel is easy to keep in sight while enjoying a full day of vacation activities. Other hotel amenities include a relaxing beachside pool, hydrothermal tubs in each room, and complimentary stunning sunsets every evening.

Accommodation: Hotel Casa del Mar

2. Shutters on the Beach

Photo Source: Shutters on the Beach

The sibling hotel and next-door neighbor of Hotel Casa del Mar, Shutters on the Beach enables guests to reach the ocean in minutes. Reminiscent of Cape Cod ocean cottages, this five-star hotel could be categorized as light and breezy with a touch of class. The laid-back ocean vibe of Shutters is perhaps best exemplified in the Living Room lobby lounge, featuring modern art, comfortable furnishings, and expansive views of the ocean with shuttered patio doors.

Offering over 180 rooms and a dozen suites, accommodations at Shutters on the Beach vary, with ocean views, fireplaces, and living space. All rooms and suites feature an ocean-inspired decor complete with luxury linens and spacious bathrooms. For dining outside of the Living Room lobby, the on-site Coast restaurant is highly regarded in Santa Monica as one of the best seaside restaurants in town.

Accommodation: Shutters on the Beach

3. Huntley Santa Monica Beach

Photo Source: Huntley Santa Monica Beach

Tucked into a quiet residential street blocks from downtown, this luxury hotel offers over 200 premium rooms with a view of either downtown or the ocean. Suites at Huntley Santa Monica Beach include extra special amenities like open spa baths, separate living and sleeping spaces, and an intimate window nook with great views.

Popular for special events and family celebrations, Huntley Santa Monica Beach has a great reputation as a postcard wedding venue.

The hotel is steps from the manicured Palisades Park overlooking the ocean. Other attractions near Huntley Santa Monica include the Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade. The Penthouse restaurant on the 18th floor of the hotel features a stylish and romantic interior that really glows come sunset. Twenty-four-hour room service is also available at the hotel.

Accommodation: Huntley Santa Monica Beach

Best Hotels near the Santa Monica Pier

1. Shore Hotel

Photo Source: Shore Hotel

With a solar-heated swimming pool, drought-resistant landscaping, and plenty of natural light throughout, the Shore Hotel is the city's first LEED gold certified hotel. Alongside eco-conscious design and facilities, the Shore Hotel has a great location surrounded by many attractions of the area, including the Santa Monica Pier. Within equal walking distance, guests at the Shore Hotel can also access Santa Monica State Beach, Tongva Park, and the 3rd Street Promenade.

Every room at the Shore Hotel features views of either the ocean, city, or landscaped gardens, with in-room amenities including private balconies, pillow-top mattresses, and rain showers.

The flat-rate valet service and central location allows guests to forget about their vehicle during vacation, and for day trips to nearby Los Angeles, the Shore Hotel features on-site car rentals.

Packages at the hotel include bed and breakfast specials and early bird discounts for advanced reservations.

Accommodation: Shore Hotel

2. Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica

Photo Source: Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica

A unique oceanfront hotel in Santa Monica oozing with character and class, Hotel Shangri-La has been providing guests with a memorable experience since 1939. Designed with a maritime and luxury ocean-liner motif, rooms at Shangri-La feature stately decor and great views of the ocean or city.

Within walking distance of the Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica State Beach, Hotel Shangri-La has a cabana-lined pool, which is a popular place to enjoy the warm weather and ocean breeze.

Accommodation: Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica

3. Viceroy Santa Monica

Photo Source: Viceroy Santa Monica

A luxury hotel just south of the Santa Monica Pier, Viceroy features a sleek, modern design in all their rooms, suites, and poolside accommodations. A great location to walk to area events like Twilight on the Pier, the Viceroy is also within easy commuting distance to the 3rd Street Promenade and the rest of downtown.

An ideal hotel for a relaxing vacation, Viceroy also caters to business events and big gatherings with over 10,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor event space available.

Accommodation: Viceroy Santa Monica

4. JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot

Photo Source: JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot

With oceanfront views, including the lighted Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier, this luxurious hotel features spacious rooms, on-site dining, and rejuvenating spa services. With pet-friendly accommodations available, rooms at this JW Marriott feature a modern design with marble bathrooms, private balconies, and luxury linens. The on-site Cézanne restaurant includes French-inspired cuisine, and the Le Troquet Patio is popular for socializing as the sun sets over the nearby ocean.

Services at the Spa Le Merigot include body wraps, facials, and couples' massages—and the spa terrace outdoor pool offers another great way to unwind. For extra room and exquisite indulgence, the hotel features a variety of suites with plentiful space and ocean views. The shopping and cultural attractions of 3rd Street Promenade and Montana Avenue are also within easy walking distance of the hotel.

Accommodations: JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot

5. Ocean View Hotel

Photo Source: Ocean View Hotel

Featuring a central location and scenic views from every room, this family beach hotel is primed for a Santa Monica vacation. Alongside fresh baked cookies and spacious courtyard rooms, guests at Ocean View enjoy extra amenities, like complimentary beach towel usage and day-of-departure luggage storage.

The multilingual staff at Ocean View accommodates guests from across the world, and the sunsets enjoyed from the in-room balconies often serve as a capstone to any visit.

Accommodation: Ocean View Hotel

6. The Georgian Hotel

Photo Source: The Georgian Hotel

On Ocean Avenue and within eyesight of the Santa Monica Pier, the iconic Georgian Hotel features a classic Hollywood ambience fueled by an Art Deco design. Attracting international guests and celebrity visitors, every room and suite at The Georgian Hotel features modern and comfortable furniture and great views of either the ocean or surrounding downtown district. A great place to enjoy area attractions, including the 3rd Street Promenade, The Georgian Hotel is right across the street from the palm-lined Palisades Park.

Popular with hotel guests and the public alike, the hotel's ocean-facing Veranda Restaurant features brunch and dinner with a view. Guests at The Georgian Hotel are also encouraged to enjoy the restaurant's offerings from the comfort of their own room. For other great dining options near the hotel, downtown Santa Monica is right outside the front door and filled with many local restaurants and cafés.

Accommodation: The Georgian Hotel

Best Hotel for Families in Santa Monica

1. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Photo Source: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

A block away from the Santa Monica Pier and adjacent to the Original Muscle Beach, this four-diamond hotel offers the perfect luxurious beach getaway for the whole family. Kids under 18 stay for free at this family friendly hotel, with nearly 350 rooms available. Alongside the stylish and welcoming lobby, one of the most popular common spaces at Loews Beach Hotel is the ocean-facing, heated pool surrounded by lounge chairs and a poolside pampering service.

The adjacent ocean and amusement park of the Santa Monica Pier is often the first choice of entertainment for families staying at Loews Santa Monica, and the beach hotel provides all sorts of rentals, including bikes and boogie boards to get them there.

Numerous dining options at Loews Santa Monica offer meals with a view. The contemporary Ocean & Vine restaurant within the hotel features fresh-caught seafood and ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.

Accommodation: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Best Boutique Hotels & Resorts in Santa Monica

1. The Ambrose Hotel

Photo Source: The Ambrose Hotel

Offering a boutique home away from home on a quiet residential street, The Ambrose Hotel offers a true escape from the hustle and bustle of Southern California. Close yet seemingly far from the shopping and entertainment of downtown, The Ambrose Hotel features comfortably crafted rooms and suites with a modern design. Some overnight spaces at The Ambrose Hotel feature hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, and private terraces.

The common spaces at the Ambrose encourage extra relaxation with natural light and soothing hues, including a living room, library, and landscaped courtyard. The Apiary Event and Meeting Space at the hotel is often popular for business gatherings and large group celebrations. The complimentary continental breakfast at The Ambrose Hotel goes beyond the average muffin and instant coffee selection, featuring house-made goods including eggs, empanadas, and quiche.

Accommodation: The Ambrose Hotel

2. Palihouse Santa Monica

Photo Source: Palihouse Santa Monica

Previously known as the Embassy Hotel Apartments, Palihouse Santa Monica has been in continuous operation since 1927. The history of this classic Santa Monica hotel speaks for itself in the stately lobby and turnkey living spaces. Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood minutes from downtown, this boutique hotel and long-term residency getaway features nearly 40 classic guest rooms and numerous studios and suites with full kitchens.

Fine dining is offered through the Palihouse Santa Monica with an all-day menu and seasonal entrees, many of which are crafted with ingredients from the local Santa Monica Farmers' Market. Catering to luxury seekers, business travelers, and anyone looking for a little extra room, the apartment-style layout of Palihouse Santa Monica offers a true home away from home. Guests at the Palihouse Santa Monica tend to enjoy the casual sophistication alongside every stay.

Accommodation: Palihouse Santa Monica

3. Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

Photo Source: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

A luxurious beach resort that covers all aspects of a Southern California vacation, this popular four-star hotel encompasses over five acres atop a bluff overlooking the ocean. Ideal for couples, honeymooners, and those looking for a special retreat, the bungalows at Fairmont Miramar offer a memorable experience.

Featuring private access, the bungalows are unique on the Southern California coast and provide a true luxurious getaway with separate rooms, full kitchens, and stylish furnishings.

Other rooms at this renowned hotel near the Santa Monica Pier include ocean-view and tower suites, with sprawling balconies and stunning vistas. The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows are a popular venue for weddings and other large events, with amenities like the Starlight Ballroom and Sunset Terrace.

Spa services are also available at this resort hotel, as well as dining in the Lobby Lounge and the Mediterranean-inspired FIG restaurant.

Accommodation: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

Best Budget Hotels in Santa Monica

1. Sea Shore Motel

Photo Source: Sea Shore Motel

A mile south of the Santa Monica Pier, the Sea Shore Motel offers the best value without sacrificing a quality stay. Family-owned and operated since 1972, the rooms at the Sea Shore Motel feature modern furniture and comfortable decor, providing a great night's sleep after spending the day exploring nearby attractions.

Santa Monica State Beach is a short walk or bike ride from the front door of the Sea Shore Motel, making this affordable motel popular with families and budget travelers alike.

Accommodation: Sea Shore Motel

2. Santa Monica Motel

Photo Source: Santa Monica Motel

Near Santa Monica College, this affordable hotel has a great reputation for comfortable rooms and friendly staff. It's located within seven blocks of some of Santa Monica's most popular attractions, including the Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade, and the low overnight rate at the Santa Monica Hotel lets guests spend their vacation budget elsewhere. A popular spot for the value and location, this family friendly motel often books out months in advance.

Accommodation: Santa Monica Motel

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