One of Santa Monica’s only hotels right on the beach, this 1926 former Italian Renaissance Revival beachclub has a whiff of a European palace about it. The property was converted into an opulent hotel by the owners of adjacent Shutters on the Beach in 1999, and they did not skimp on the luxurious linens or Italian marble. The enormous lobby’s plush yet casual living-room style furniture sets the mood, carried out in guest rooms with solid European-style wooden four-poster beds and armoires set off by sea green and ocean blue walls and textiles. Most have sea views, abundantly displayed through floor-to-ceiling windows. Catch Restaurant, with small plates and ocean-inspired entrees, and Terrazza, a cafe and lounge that replaced the Veranda lobby lounge in summer 2014, take full advantage of the views of the oean and Santa Monica Pier. The valet parking fee is onerous, but the hotel dropped its Wi-Fi charge in 2013.
- Frommer's Staff