This shingled gray and white confection has a small edge over its sibling Casa del Mar, with balconies on every guest room (the two are the only Santa Monica hotels opening directly onto the beach). Rates escalate with the extent of the ocean view, from no view in the least expensive rooms on up through seven levels plus three levels of suites. The interiors designed by Michael Smith, known for his work in the Obama White House, produced large, airy rooms in blues and whites that call to mind an oceanside mansion in the Hamptons. The decor is chic and homey at the same time, with throws draped casually over chairs upholstered in plaids and stripes. Some have fireplaces or whirlpool tubs, and all have operable floor-to ceiling windows. It’s a short, pleasant walk along the beach to the Santa Monica Pier, but there’s plenty to keep you at the hotel. Tip: The hotel, though adult-oriented, tends to fill up with kids in the summer. If you’re sensitive to rollicking children, best to plan a visit before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.