Last Updated on January 17, 2021 by Katrina

Santa Monica beach hotels
Photo credit: Shutters on the Beach

Santa Monica offers everything you’d want in a Los Angeles getaway, from great beaches to celebrity-chef restaurants and A-list shopping. There’s also the ever-present possibility of seeing a movie star, perhaps strolling down Montana Avenue with coffee in hand. Families will also find much to love, especially the old-school amusement park at the Santa Monica Pier. Hotels here may not be for the budget-minded, but plenty offer good value for what are clearly memorable stays. Here are five beach hotels in Santa Monica worth the splurge.

Shutters on the Beach (1 Pico Blvd.; 310-458-0030) Ocean Park

Not many LA hotels actually sit on the sand, but this timeless Cape Cod-style hideaway has a perch right on Santa Monica State Beach. Inside, the 198-room hotel feels like the ultimate beach house, with four-poster beds and elegant-easy-chair décor. As one TripAdvisor reviewer says, “it’s a true home away from home—somehow this property manages to evoke the opposite of a hotel, and the feel of staying at someone’s house.”  A Yelp user reports that “we were able to get a table right at the window with beautiful beach front views as the sun was setting.”

Casa Del Mar (1910 Ocean Way; 310-581-5533), Ocean Park

Set in a 1926 Renaissance Revival building, this plush oceanfront hotel on Santa Monica’s Silicon Beach shares the same owners as Shutters on the Beach. This place embraces its Mediterranean spirit with dark woods, crisp blue-and-white décor, and sweeping views of the ocean that can stretch as far as Malibu or Palos Verdes. One TripAdvisor reviewer deems it “casual yet refined. The atmosphere in the lounge and the sunsets on the beach are the best value in Santa Monica.” Casa Del Mar also makes a great place to dine, with seafood and cocktails at Terrazza Lounge and Catch. “Live music in the background and seeing the lights from Santa Monica Pier makes it even more inviting,” says one Yelp reviewer.

Loew’s Santa Monica Beach Hotel (1700 Ocean Ave.; 844-292-5291) Ocean Park

This 347-room hotel on the north end of Santa Monica beach is sleek, contemporary and sunny.  There’s an ocean-view pool and two restaurants that draw on fresh seafood and local ingredients.  While the hotel does not sit right on the sand, on TripAdvisor reviewer notes “there was  just a quiet street and building separating it, and with the amazing views we felt like we were right on the beach.” Travel + Leisure gives it points for being family-friendly, too. “The tots will be more than occupied with the beach, pool, and nearby Santa Monica Pier, plus skate, bike, and rollerblade rentals.”

JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot (1740 Ocean Ave.; 310-395-9700) Ocean Park

With its contemporary aesthetics and onsite spa, the Merigot channels a French ambience, including its Cézanne Café and Le Troquet patio lounge. Despite the location facing Santa Monica Beach, it also offers a more moderate room rate for this area. One Yelp reviewer notes that “the location is perfect—a few minutes’ walk from the beach.” A TripAdvisor user also liked that “the hotel has towels, coolers and beach toys available to grab and go as you exit to the beach. They’ve really thought of everything in the way of anticipating their guests’ needs.”

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (101 Wilshire Blvd.; 310- 576-7777) Wilshire Boulevard

This AAA Four-Diamond hotel may sit on bluffs above the beach, but part of L.A’s A-list charm is feeling above it all.  Stay in the Palisades Wing, built in the 1920s, to get that Old Hollywood vibe. Or choose one of the 31 residential-style bungalows, where Marilyn Monroe was once a regular.  A Google reviewer says, “It has the grace of an old fashioned, updated property.” Reviewers also gush about the high level of service. One traveler on TripAdvisor raved about the bartender “who went above and beyond making me drinks off the menu. Maybe if you’re lucky … he will make you a whisky smash. ”