Located in a residential neighborhood, this is a nest for the traveler who values peace and quiet above proximity to the beach. Its Arts and Crafts design brings the Asian influences of that movement to the forefront in its serene Japanese garden with reading nooks, a koi pond, fountains and artwork. The hotel’s efforts to recycle or compost 75 percent of its waste, and its use of locally grown organic foods and environmentally sensitive cleaning products, earned it a LEED “green” certification. (Hybrid cars get preferential parking here.) But it’s the included amenities that win guests over: underground parking, breakfast, bicycles and shuttle service around Santa Monica in an adorable, biodiesel-fueled London taxi. Guest rooms are luxuriously furnished in keeping with the Arts and Crafts theme, with solid, dark wood furniture and textiles in rich, earthy colors. The beach is about 2 miles away, so don’t plan on walking it every day unless you’re looking for a workout.
- Frommer's Staff