Santa Monica Travel Guide

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The Miramar's Iconic Bungalows Get a Well Deserved Makeover

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  Site Where: 101 Wilshire Boulevard [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
July 28, 2015 at 4:05 PM | by | ()

You don't have to be a star, baby, to bask in the sunshine and seclusion of the Miramar's reborn bungalows, but just in case, sign the guest book.

Alright then, you've heard the news but don't be too sad. We're still publishing until Friday.

Curious about Old Hollywood? Then go west to Santa Monica and check out the guest book at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. Better yet, sign it as you check into one of the 32 newly revamped bungalows, of which 22 are now open with the others scheduled for completion by August 1.

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Positano's Le Sirenuse Resort is Vacationing at Shutters on The Beach This Week

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  Site Where: 1 Pico Boulevard [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States
March 5, 2015 at 1:10 PM | by | ()

It's offseason in Positano forLe Sirenuse, the luxury Amalfi Coast resort, home to one of the best pools in Italy, but if you're in Los Angeles this week you can take in some of the Italian seaside living at Shutters on The Beach in Santa Monica.

For the second year in a row, the two hotels have partnered up for a week-long celebration of all things Le Sirenuse (pronounced like "Lay-sear-a-new-say." At One Pico, Le Sirenuse's hot Michelin-star chef, Matteo Temperini, has created a special menu of Mediterranean dishes, all made with local California ingredients.

Highlights include the mantecato (codfish), topped with a poached egg in a sweet garlic cream sauce with asparagus, along with a light risotto atop red shrimp carpaccio, and the Maine Lobster in olive oil broth. But of course, there is dessert--the insanely rich Guanaja chocolate cake served with raspberry sorbet, actual raspberries and a small gold leaf.

All of this can and should be paired with the specially selected white and red wines (Italian, obvi) and if you indulge in Limoncello shots, it is prudent to follow that up with an espresso, so that at least you can order your own Uber home.

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Stay Warm in One of Loews Santa Monica’s New Beachcomber Fire Pit Rooms

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  Site Where: 1700 Ocean Avenue [map], Santa Monica, California, United States, 90401
September 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM | by | ()

You can now stay warm while you chill out in front of your own personal fire pit at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel’s new Beachcomber Fire Pit Rooms and Suites, where temperatures December through February can plummet to a horrifying 50 F (that’s a shout-out to all of you tough northerners out there who can endure -20 F in January – we’re looking at you Fargo).

With direct access to the beach, these four stylin’ rooms all have terraces with private fire pits so that you can roast some wienies or pig out on s’mores in a more civilised way than backpacking with a tent in tow and searching for kindling (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

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Not a Fan of Soccer? The New Wine Game at Shutters on The Beach May Change Your Mind

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  Site Where: 1 Pico Boulevard [map], Santa Monica, CA , United States, 90405
June 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM | by | ()

If you're not a fan of soccer, or football, and could care less about who's winning or losing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, then shame on you, er, that's totally acceptable. But over at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, Calif., we think you'll find it hard to resist their own clever version of the tournament called, The World Cup of Wine.

The hotel's general manager, Gregory Day, and Master Sommelier, Peter Neptune, have created a wine menu that represents each of the 32 participating countries. Yes, some of the wines were harder than others to secure but as you can see in the menu above, Shutters is serving wine from the Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Mexico, Russia and South Korea.

Now, the way the game works is like this--once a team is knocked out, so is its corresponding wine. Adios Espana!

The hotel will be showing the games and offering the World Cup of Wine menu in their Coast Cafe and Beach Bar throughout the tournament which ends on July 13. Interested in spending the night? Rates start at $468 a night this weekend. Remember: USA plays on Sunday.

[Menu: Shutters on The Beach]

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Take Off in a Tesla at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica

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  Site Where: One Pico [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90405
March 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM | by | ()

One of the perks of staying in a luxury hotel is riding in the complimentary house car, which is often a car you'd never be able to afford in real life. We're talking Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous cars like Mercedes, Rolls Royce and Bentley. But now in Santa Monica, Calif., Shutters on The Beach is offering a very 21st century type of house car, one that's quickly become the new "it" brand in luxury--a Tesla Model S.

General manager Gregory Day said the hotel changes out their house car every year but have slowly been moving towards a greener alternative.

"We've always been heavy-Mercedes house," he said, while showing off the Tesla in the hotel's porte-cochère. "We had a CLS 550 when I got here and I think our next one we got, to make it more environmentally-friendly, we got a V6 engine, and then the last car we had was a S400 hybrid Mercedes," Day said. "But the more we learned about it, hybrid isn't that green in a sense because the battery, once it's done, there's no way to recycle it."

The hotel considered electric vehicles but Day said it was hard to find one that would also appeal to their high-end guests. So when the Tesla came out, the hotel dug both its sleek look and its technology.

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Le Meridien Returns to Los Angeles; Will Take Over the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica

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  Site Where: 530 Pico Boulevard [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90405
July 26, 2013 at 10:08 AM | by | ()

Fresh off a rather good review in the NY Times, the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica will soon no longer exist. But don't worry, it's not as dire as it sounds. Actually, the hotel is getting a brand upgrade to Le Meridien.

The hotel, which incidentally is managed by the Viceroy Hotels, will be known as the Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica. It will also receive another round of renovations to feature the signature Le Méridien Hub™ lobby experience, large-scale artwork, the exclusive Le Meridien signature scent, and the brand's UNLOCK ART program, featuring LM100 ™ artist designed key card collection and access to Le Méridien brand affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city.

Rates at the Sheraton start at $270 a night. The Le Meridien brand will officially take over sometime this fall. Rates will definitely go up then but don't worry, your SPG points are still good here.

Not only does this news mark a return to Los Angeles for Le Meridien (they used to be where the SLS Hotel now is), this is another example of the brand's push to expand their brand, right here in America. So far this year, we've seen Le Meridien take over existing hotels in Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte. We wonder who will be next?

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Palihouse Santa Monica Is Now Officially Open

June 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM | by | ()

When we toured the Palihouse Santa Monica a few months back, the hotel was still in the middle of transforming the old Embassy Hotel Apartments near Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade into hotelier Avi Brosh's vision for "Palihouse at the Beach."

But now the hotel is ready to show off its incredible design.

Here's a bunch of photos we've received from the hotel of the lobby and a guestroom. Take a minute and browse through these shots. We think you'll like.

Room categories are classic rooms, studio suites and one and two-bedroom "residences." Rates range from about $350 to $1,500 per night. But remember, that includes free WiFi, AppleTV, Dean & Deluca minibar treats and finally, a chic and sophisticated place to stay in Santa Monica.

[All photos courtesy of Palihouse Santa Monica]

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Prohibition Menus Come to The Georgian

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  Site Where: 1415 Ocean Avenue [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
May 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM | by | ()

Here's the latest happening in the luxury hotel world as told by Got a question about luxury hotels, the travel biz, and where to stay? Send it in and we'll have JustLuxe answer it.

If bartenders these days are to be believed, Prohibition was not the dangerous, skeevy, Mob-controlled booze era that history books and Hollywood movies have shown us. No, no – cocktailing during Prohibition was sexy and elegant, and when a bar today really wants to prove its mixology credentials, it rolls out a special Prohibition cocktail menu. The latest one to do so is The Georgian, Santa Monica’s distinctive Deco hotel and former hangout of Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and other Hollywood greats.

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How Mad is The Viceroy Santa Monica Right Now?

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  Site Where: 1819 Ocean Avenue [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
May 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM | by | ()

This is the scene these days on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and as you can see, The Viceroy Santa Monica is right in the thick of the construction zone (without having any work done to its own building.)

The construction, which has made this stretch of Ocean Avenue from Pico to Colorado a pain to get through, is all for the Ocean Avenue South, a luxury apartment project from Related Companies, with 318 residences as well as retail, restaurants and walkable plazas. The sales launch for the units should launch this summer with construction going for at least a year beyond that.

Which means that the entire north side of the Viceroy looks out onto a building site and much of its entrance is slowed down by the traffic caused by this annoying scene. While the Le Merigot Hotel and The Loews Hotel also have to put up with ugly construction views, at least their properties are across the street from the actual jackhammering.

Fortunately for the Viceroy, the noise doesn't seem to be bothering too many guests. All of their recent TripAdvisor reviews are really positive except this one which said the construction made it hard to enjoy being outside by the pool. The hotel's director of rooms wrote that work is "expected to lessen."

We sincerely hope so.

Rates this weekend start at around $300.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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Dishing On Dining Rooms and Disney Characters at Oceana Santa Monica

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  Site Where: 849 Ocean Ave [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90403
April 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM | by | ()

Oceana Santa Monica General Manager, Christoph Moje

Have you ever flirted with a hotel concierge? In our series, Concierge Interviews, HotelChatter goes behind the Front Desk and gets chummy with the men—and women—whose job it is to never say no. Got a burning question you'd like us to ask? Or have someone in mind for us to interview? Email us your requests!

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We Lived The Life Aquatic At The Shore Hotel

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  Site Where: 1515 Ocean Ave [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
April 22, 2013 at 9:17 AM | by | ()

Last week, we gave you our full review of Blue Plate Taco, the scene-y Mexican restaurant attached to The Shore Hotel. Despite reading constant positive reviews about this place, we were a little underwhelmed by the so-so tacos and poorly mixed cocktails.

Suffice to say, we were a little disappointed. However, there's still one (major) part of the experience that we haven't gotten to yet: our stay at the hotel itself!

We booked a Garden View Junior Suite, which, as the name implies, doesn't actually face the ocean but rather a small ground-floor patio tucked around the back of the hotel.

Far off in the distance we could spy a little bit of ocean, as well as the top half of the ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier. But the fact that we were staying at an oceanfront hotel (literally, on the "shore") never once escaped us. For starters, the lobby is a giant gray cube that lets in plenty of natural light, including views of the beach across the street.

More importantly though, the design is incredibly water-focused. Pretty much everything—from the stark silvery hallways to the pool to the guest rooms' aquamarine decor—made us feel like we were underwater.

Read on to see photos from inside and all around the hotel!

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Blue Plate Taco Next to The Shore Hotel Left Us a Little Blue

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  Site Where: 1515 Ocean Avenue [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
April 15, 2013 at 4:35 PM | by | ()

When The Shore Hotel opened in Santa Monica, Calif. over a year ago, we were excited that (finally!) a new, hip and eco-friendly hotel had opened just a mere two blocks from the Santa Monica Pier along Ocean Avenue. But we were equally, maybe more, excited for the Blue Plate Taco restaurant to open adjacent to the hotel.

The taco joint would be the third restaurant from the Blue Plate people who also have well-reviewed Blue Plate Oysterette further north on Ocean Avenue as well as popular breakfast spot, Blue Plate Kitchen inland on Montana Avenue. It took a while, but BPT finally opened last Fall, giving hotel guests a fun spot to grab margaritas, ceviches chips and guac, grilled corn and of course tacos. And we finally got to hit up the spot on Saturday night.

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