Best Hotels to Stay at in Hip, Gorgeous Santa Monica

When it comes to vacation spots in Southern California, it's hard to beat Santa Monica, a vibrant west coast neighborhood of Los Angeles. With great shopping, gorgeous beaches, trendy restaurants and bars, tree-lined walking paths and the famous amusement park fun that is found at the Santa Monica Pier, it's a great place to spend a week's vacation or a weekend getaway. Lucky for travelers, Santa Monica also has an excellent assortment of hotels to stay in while visiting. Beach lovers will enjoy staying at one of the beachfront resorts that have pools, beach activities and a plethora of ocean views from the property. Those looking to dive into Santa Monica's more eclectic side can find an enjoyable stay at one of Santa Monica's boutique hotels located just a short walk off the beach. Luxury bed and breakfast accommodations are also a great option while in Santa Monica. Though you'll be hard pressed to find accommodation that's a steal, there is still a wide range of prices for hotel stays and you can find a good deal without breaking the bank if you're on a budget or you can go all out and splurge for a top of the line stay if you're looking for a luxurious vacation. 


Channel Road Inn is a luxurious bed and breakfast located in the heart of Santa Monica. The rooms of Channel Road Inn are large, bright and airy with sumptuous bedding with homey touches like fresh baked cookies. Many of the rooms also have romantic fireplaces and hot tubs with jets. To remind yourself you're staying in a lovely little beach community, opt for a room that provides you with an ocean view of the Pacific, which is just a short distance away. Every morning, you'll get to dine on a delicious and varied breakfast buffet and in the afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres are provided.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: Channel Road Inn is a bed and breakfast style accommodation in Santa Monica that gives your stay a personal touch.

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The JW Marriott Le Merigot Hotel is located right next to the famous Santa Monica Pier and is adjacent to the sandy beach. The location makes it ideal for those looking for a family-friendly vacation or a beach vacation. The guest rooms of the hotel feature Italian linens and iHome docking stations. You'll also find fast Wi-Fi and spacious desks, making this a good hotel for someone traveling for business who also wants to enjoy the Santa Monica coastline. JW Marriott Le Merigot also has a spa and fitness center plus excellent onsite cuisine, including the award-winning California-French fusion cuisine at Cézanne restaurant.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: The JW Marriott Merigot Hotel caters to families, couples, and business travelers and has a beachfront location right next to the famous Santa Monica Pier.

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Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel offers beachfront accommodations in Santa Monica that are upscale, family-friendly and convenient to Santa Monica's top sites, including just a short walk to the Santa Monica Pier. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel has a large pool in the middle of the property with plenty of lounge chairs to lie on and soak up the southern California sunshine. Take a break from the pool to go for a swim in the nearby ocean or retire to your room. The guest rooms at Loews Santa Monica are appointed with pillowtop mattresses, 300-thread count sheets, on-demand movies, 24 hour room service and balconies – many of which have ocean views.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: Enjoy the surf and sunshine at the beachfront Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, an upscale hotel that is also family-friendly.

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Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts
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Enjoy a fun and relaxing getaway at the Oceana Beach Club Hotel in Santa Monica. The hotel is located just a short walk across the street to the beach, though you may find it hard to leave the hotel thanks to all its amenities. Enjoy the large pool with comfortable recliners and lounge seating around its perimeter then pamper yourself at the onsite spa. You may also want to take part in one of the weekend surf lessons. For dinner, eat at the onsite Tower 8 restaurant which serves up fresh southern California-inspired cuisine. The rooms of the Oceana Beach Club Hotel are bright and airy with iPads, high speed Internet and the option of suites with private lanais.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: The Oceana Beach Club Hotel is a resort-style hotel located close to the beach and has activities for guests such as surf lessons and yoga.

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Sea Blue Hotel
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You may get a certain song stuck in your head while staying at the Hotel California, but it'll be worth it to lay your head down at night in this iconic hotel. The Hotel California is located just steps away from the beach and is surprisingly affordable for its location. You'll immediately feel in a California state of mind upon arriving to the hotel with its surfboard sign and laidback yet upscale decor. You'll get complimentary breakfast, getting your energy up for a short walk to Third Street Promenade and an even shorter walk to the Santa Monica Pier. The Hotel California also has free Wi-Fi.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: The Hotel California is an iconic hotel steps from the beach with surfer-inspired decor and free Wi-Fi and breakfast.

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You're bound to be impressed once you see how expansive and inviting the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows is. With multiple entrances, including a gated parking lot, you have easy access to the beach or nearby Third Street Promenade. Each guest room at the Fairmont has elegant and luxurious touches, however the garden bungalows are truly special with private patios that are great for families. The onsite restaurant, FIG, provides excellent cuisine that is made with local, organic ingredients. Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows also has another restaurant onsite called the Bungalow plus a relaxing pool area. It is also home to an Exhale Spa location.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows has luxurious guest rooms and secluded bungalows ideal for families in an excellent area of Santa Monica.

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Hotel Casa Del Mar
Photo courtesy of Casa del Mar Hotel

Hotel Casa del Mar is located right on the beach in Santa Monica. The brick building houses luxurious rooms inside that are decorated in relaxing blues and grays with comfortable touches like wicker furniture on balconies and four post beds that will make you feel as if you're in your own little beach house. Each room also comes with an iPad. West facing rooms have gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Pier a short distance north along the sand. The Casa del Mar also has an onsite restaurant, spa, pool and free Wi-Fi but perhaps one of the coolest aspects of a stay at the Casa del Mar is access to the hotel's Audi A8 house car for those staying in one of the suites.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: A beachfront hotel with luxury touches and onsite amenities including a pool, spa and restaurant plus free Wi-Fi.

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Georgian Hotel
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You're going to feel like you've stepped onto the pages of the Great Gatsby the second you see the bright teal exterior of the Georgian Hotel with black and white striped accents. Inside, you'll find guest rooms in soothing muted colors with amenities that include goose down bedding and free Wi-Fi. Upgrade to an oceanview room for an added dose of opulence. The hotel has 84 rooms, which are on the large size for a boutique hotel with a prominent history as the Georgian has, having been built in 1933. Enjoy the onsite restaurant with its pleasant terrace and then amble a short walk down to the Santa Monica Pier.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: A historic boutique hotel that has a "roaring 20s" vibe with 21st century musts like free Wi-Fi and luxurious bedding.

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The name says it all: Shutters on the Beach is located right next to the sandy coastline Santa Monica calls home. Though the gray paneled exterior with white shutters seems more reminiscent of an east coast abode, the hotel is still welcome in the hip Santa Monica neighborhood and visitors will love how relaxing it feels. The rooms have a beachy feel with neutral decor and large windows - many of which have views of the Pacific Ocean. For a truly relaxing stay, opt for a balcony room with panoramic views overlooking the ocean. Shutters on the Beach also has an onsite spa, pool and three acclaimed restaurants.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: A relaxing beach respite that manages to feel secluded while still being close to all the hip Santa Monica fun.

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Though it looks a bit unremarkable from the outside, once you step inside the sophisticated Viceroy Santa Monica, you're in for a treat. Luxurious rooms with pillowtop mattresses and elegant furnishings await you. Rooms also come complete with a fully stocked minibar and luxurious body and hair products. Many rooms also have a sitting area with views of the ocean, which is just a short walk away. The Viceroy also has many amenities throughout the hotel that guests can enjoy, including a relaxing library, two pools with sumptuous lounge seating, a large fitness center, and an onsite bar and luxury restaurant.

Recommended for Santa Monica's Best Hotels because: The Viceroy has large rooms with elegant and luxury touches and is a short walk from the beach with two onsite pools.

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Meet Gina Douglas Tarnacki

Gina Tarnacki is a freelance writer and marketer and an avid traveler. When she's not busy finding a creative way to squeeze in a few more vacation days so she and her family can explore the...  More About Gina