A pristine Art Deco masterpiece, this eight-story ocean-view (but not quite beachfront) hotel became one of Santa Monica’s first “skyscrapers” when it opened in 1933. It was a favorite haunt for the movie industry elite, and Bugsy Siegel was rumored to have been the man behind the basement speakeasy that now serves as meeting and event space. The bright, meticulously restored lobby oozes classic Hollywood atmosphere, and the delightful veranda with teak furniture overlooking the ocean remains from those storied days. Guest rooms in peachy-buttery-coffee hues are outfitted with 1930s-style furnishings and Art Deco fixtures, and stocked with luxury amenities.Most have at least a partial ocean view, but you’ll need to be above the third floor for full-on panoramas. There’s no pool or spa, and the beach is a five-minute walk trek down the bluff and across a footbridge over PCH—a little shorter than at some of its blufftop neighbors.Tip: Rooms facing the ocean are smallish and get some noise from Ocean Avenue; request a room on the north side for water views sans noise.
- Frommer's Staff