My Favorite Hotels in Santa Monica

Santa Monica

 Credit: Lowes

Even if you don’t live in the Los Angeles area, if you visit over time you become either an East Side person or a West Side person.  Only natural that this is defined be a freeway; do you live on the East Side or the West Side of the 405.  I am a West Side devotee, specifically Santa Monica.  As a New Yorker, walking to dinner, the grocery store or a bar just feels natural. Couple that with being able to walk to the beach and Santa Monica has everything a traveler could need.  There are endless choices for hotels in the area but to date I only see four real options.

1.  Shutters on the Beach

Shutters on the Beach

Credit: Shutters on the Beach

For when you have a very big anniversary or somehow have convinced your boss that staying on the beach is essential to your success.  A typical night will run you $600 or more for a chance to step out of the hotel and onto the beach.  This is all about location, location, location.  A premium hotel with a premium location.

Pros:  Great location; gorgeous rooms.

Cons: Expensive.

Shutters on the Beach
1 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405

2.  The Viceroy Santa Monica

Credit: Viceroy Santa Monica

A block behind Shutters on Ocean Avenue, the Viceroy gives you a great view of the ocean for around $375 a night.  During the week the rates used to dip below $300 per night so it was my preferred option for business travel but that hasn’t happened in quite some time.  It is a lively place to stay with a buzzing par and pool area and solid food.  Plenty of space to take meetings and great proximity to the beach and restaurants.

Pros:  Great location; ocean views for many rooms; pool; solid food options

Cons: The bar and pool can turn into a scene.

The Viceroy Santa Monica
1819 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401


3.  The Huntley Hotel

The Huntley Hotel

A really great option when every other hotel in the area is quoting you a rate of $350 or more a night.  It is a great location with easy access to the beach or dinner.  The view from the bar and restaurant on the roof does not suck and could be in fact one of the best views in town.  Think a W hotel with more of a beach vibe than city.

Pros:  Great location; an insanely nice view; reasonably priced.

Cons: Huge hotel; slow elevators; dark.

The Huntley Hotel
1111 2nd St
Santa Monica, CA 90403


4.  Palihouse Santa Monica

Palihouse Santa Monica

Credit: Palihouse Santa Monica

In my opinion the winner of the group.  Priced around $300 a night in a residential area near the beach and an easy walk to dinner, this newly renovated gem is a fun hotel.  Best described as the place I would like to come to when I have my nervous breakdown.  A small hotel with interesting rooms and great common space.  Don’t let the no liquor license or air conditioning scare you both end up being a positive.

Pros:  Great location; huge rooms most with full kitchens; bocce court in the front yard.

Cons: Limited food menu; no dinner options; expensive parking.

The Palihouse Santa Monica
1001 3rd St
Santa Monica, CA 90403