Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

The Ambrose
1255 20th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: 310-315-1555, 877-AMBROSE
Fax: 310-315-1556

The Non-Hotel

The Ambrose emerged in Santa Monica, Calif. as the materialized vision of Deirdre Wallace, a hotelier’s daughter making her mark on the boutique hotel world. Having grown up in a hotel industry family, Wallace has paid more than the cursory attention to details in the many hotels and resorts she has frequented on her travels. And, she has poured all her accumulated wisdom into the Ambrose, billed as the "non-hotel."

A cozy guestroom at The Ambrose
Peaceful Spaces

"When our guests spend time with us, we want them to experience luxurious repose." says Wallace.

That means fusing 20th century Craftsman design with an Asian influence steering away from the cool and edgy feel of a lot of hip urban properties. It also means elements of delightful surprise for a health-conscious, eclectic clientele: Elixirs are served in the Asian-style garden with soothing fountain, Koi pond and faint sounds of Ambrosial chants; the fitness room features Pilates mats and a ballet bar; specially selected organic wine is offered in the hotel's Living Room.

The hotel's craftsman design translates into a peaceful and quiet Entry Foyer/Living Room with Asian carpets on hardwood floors, handsome rocking chairs and the cozy Fireplace Library with views onto the tranquil garden. Ambrosial chants are piped into the environmental music system.

The garden at The Ambrose An outdoor fireplace at The Ambrose
Outdoor Fireplace

Finishing touches in a guestroom
Pretty Details

Many guest quarters feature terraces with outdoor fireplaces. Other Ambrose signatures include: Frette cotton kimonos; Matteo Italian bedding; Aveda bath products, individual Pilates mat instruction upon request; complimentary organic Continental breakfast as well as 24-hour organic in-room dining menu provided by Santa Monica's acclaimed Urth Caffe. Also on tap: Sunset manager receptions with ambrosial elixirs and organic wine; local transportation in a London taxi; complimentary storage lockers for repeat guests.

The 77-room urban hideaway is tucked away in a residential district, just one block from Wilshire Boulevard, and within a five-minute drive from the Pacific Ocean, the pedestrian entertainment street "Third Street Promenade" and the fashionable and chic Montana Avenue.

Going to the Los Angeles area? Check out our guide.

(Updated: 03/26/08 ET)

Sip your way through wine country with GAYOT's list of charming inns and resorts, featuring vineyards from Napa Valley to Long Island, New York.
Go off the beaten path and explore GAYOT's Top 10 Extreme Hotels, which feature one-of-a-kind accommodations for a truly unforgettable experience.