The white boutique hotel overlooking Santa Monica beach is Hotel Shangri La and it’s a real landmark, having stood on Ocean Avenue since 1939. The art deco hotel has 71 rooms, all with ocean views, and it’s attracted celebs, presidents and the rich and famous over the decades.
We checked into Hotel Shangri La for one night at the beginning of autumn, where temperatures were a modest 32 degrees with a cool sea breeze. Our room had two separate bedrooms and bathrooms with amazing views over the Pacific. The decor is in-keeping with the art deco vibe, although it could do with a bit of a facelift. No complaints about the huge and super comfy bed though.
We spent the majority of our time by the pool – the black and white striped sun loungers and hot pink towels give the area a modern look set against the backdrop of the pristine white hotel. The staff are on hand for whatever you might need, and as doing nothing is hungry work, we tucked into Asian lettuce cups plus hummus and flatbreads poolside.
The rooftop is a bit of a hotspot, meaning it gets quite busy for picture time when the sun goes down. Whilst it is one of the best places in the area to capture the view, a design refresh wouldn’t go amiss. Drinks prices here aren’t too far behind The Beverly Hills Hotel, but this is LA and that doesn’t seem to stop people heading on up to watch the sun sink down over the ocean.
The rooftop also boasts a brand new restaurant, ONYX, though it was sadly out of action on our visit. All in all, the pool is the draw for us at Hotel Shangri La, with the view from the rooftop ultimately being better than the space itself. However, the staff and 24-hour concierge are super helpful and we enjoyed our time there.
Prices start from £226 for a timeless luxury room.
1301 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States