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Hotel Casa del Mar - Review

Pacific Glamour a Shell's Throw from the Beach

The pool at Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica’s landmark on the sand

The setting alone is enough to sell Hotel Casa Del Mar. It’s just a shell’s throw from the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, and an easy walk to the best this beach city has to offer: Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, Palisades Park and Main Street. But this property doesn’t rest on its location laurels alone.

Originally opened as a hotel and beach club in 1926, when Santa Monica was a flourishing weekend escape for local luminaries, it has had an eclectic history, with stints as a military hotel during WWII, headquarters for a drug therapy program and a Pritikin Longevity Center. Fortunately, developers recognized a good thing and nabbed this beautiful example of Renaissance Revival architecture, which they restored to the tune of $50 million and reopened as a luxury hotel in 1999. The original furnishings may be long gone, but the opulent 1920s ambience is back, making this the classiest lodging on the beach.

While Hotel Casa Del Mar looks imposing from the outside, it is in fact a boutique property, with just 129 rooms and suites. Guestrooms are billed as Riviera in style, but we also detect tasteful tropical plantation influences and colors inspired by the golden tones of Tuscany. Among the designer touches are Victorian-style bamboo headboards, hand-painted armoires, wooden Venetian blinds and lavish bathrooms with white Italian Calacatta marble, silver leaf light fixtures, pedestal sinks and Jacuzzi tubs. There are also a trio of penthouse suites (one with its own exercise studio) and a two-bedroom Presidential Suite. The best accommodations include views that sweep the coastline from Palos Verdes to Malibu.

The guest rooms at Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, California come in beautiful golden tones
The ornately decorated guestroom at Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, California
Golden tones
Light-drenched guest rooms

Beachfront surroundings make this a natural choice for wedding receptions and nice option for corporate gatherings—6,800 square feet of event space include the 4,800-square-foot Colonnade Ballroom adorned with Venetian glass chandeliers. The Pacific Ocean atmosphere also draw locals, who like to gather in the lobby lounge to sip drinks, nibble on reasonably priced small dishes and gaze at the sunset. Jazz draws a laid-back crowd on Wednesday nights; weekends are much livelier, to the point that a line forms just to get in the bar.

For fine dining, try Catch for fresh seafood and shoreline views or The Lobby Lounge for a light appetizer and a cocktail. Those wanting exclusivity can slip out for a bite to eat at the guests-only Palm Terrace by the pool. From a full spa with al fresco massage cabanas to a plunge pool and Jacuzzi set into a garden deck, Hotel Casa Del Mar woos with resort extravagances and seduces with quiet, soothing sophistication.

Hotel Casa Del Mar
1910 Ocean Way
Santa Monica, CA 90405
800-898-6999, 310-581-5533

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