This colorful, ever-so-Venice Beach hotel sits two blocks inland from Ocean Front Walk’s surreal and sometimes seedy carnival, and conveniently near the hip, Abbot Kinney shopping corridor. It followed up a major 2009 rehab with new carpets in beachy colors that enhanced the spacious guest rooms’ post-modern vibe in 2012, while surfboards and a mural by L.A. tattoo/graffiti artist Norm brought public spaces into sync with the outer edges of Southern California culture. (Guest rooms are a bit more subdued.) A new locavore restaurant and bar, Barlo Kitchen & Cocktails, replaced Hash. Summer 2014 brought menu makeovers: The weekend Barlo Brunch Club made its debut, presenting a vintage cartoon display to go with the a vintage cereal buffet and classic brunch items tweaked Southern California-style, such as chorizo omelets and duck-and-bacon sausage; the rooftop High Lounge, famous for its 360-degree views, added small plates inspired by street food from throughout the world. The Erwin is just far enough from the beach to comfort families and seekers of respite from the hijinks, yet close enough to take in the show by small doses. If you’d rather your beach time not include street performers, tattoo artists, skaters and assorted hangers-on, look elsewhere.
- Frommer's Staff