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The Sun Has Shone On Oceana Santa Monica's New Renovations

April 16, 2013 at 9:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's Guess the Hotel revealed!

We could have picked plenty other parts of LA for our West Coast jaunt this weekend: Downtown LA, West Hollywood, Studio City, or maybe, if we were feeling reaallly generous with ourselves, Beverly Hills. But no, we had to be stubborn about it and go after beachy, balmy Santa Monica.

The sun, the sand, the waves, we wanted it all. The only problem was, luck wasn't on our side, and the weather all weekend stayed cloudy and in the 60s.

Harrumph.

This gave us a good chance to acquaint ourselves with our room, a spacious Ocean View Suite at the Oceana Santa Monica (ocean views are normally a good thing, but this time it just reminded us how we were missing out on quality sprawled-out-on-the-beach tanning time).

Inside the room, we caught up on work, watched Gladiator on TNT, and even played a few rounds of checkers with our friend. (Yup, that's right! The mystery flip-top checkers board table we showed you yesterday is indeed found at the Oceana Santa Monica.)

Then, just as we were getting ready to check out, we saw shadows start to become defined on our wall, and realized—gasp!—the sun was finally coming out! And just in the nick of time. So we did what any hotel geek would do and scoured the property to take photos of the hotel the way it's meant to be seen.

Click through for our photo gallery of the sun-drenched lobby and pool courtyard!

Though we were perfectly happy with our suite, it's the lobby, restaurant, and courtyard that had our real attention, as they were the focus of a major renovation that just finished up several weeks ago. The results are impressive—classy, beachy, and literally bursting with greenery. In fact, we kept feeling like we had wandered into a secret garden that just happened to have formed itself around a hotel. But hey, that's California for you.

The Lobby:

Topped off with a pointed glass roof, the lobby is a simple, relatively small room with a set of high-backed blue armchairs in one corner, and the check-in desk in the other. Like a beautiful beachfront home (which is what this hotel mostly feels like), the lobby doesn't feel like a lobby, but just a pleasant, sun-filled room you pass through on your way to your room.

Our second-floor room, as seen from outside the hotel!

Tower 8:

Part of the hotel's new incarnation is Tower 8 restaurant, which is located next to the courtyard (and even has a few tables set up outside, if you feel like dining next to the pool). The inside is blue-and-white themed, with a prominent wooden counter at one end where breakfast is served in the morning. A white brick fireplace gives the whole place a homey charm.

Meanwhile, the menu (we sampled a melt-in-your-mouth Flat Iron steak with caramelized shallots, smoked tomato butter and Yukon Gold potato wedges, $26) is full of local, seasonal fare, and that's all thanks to the new chef, Josiah Citrin, who's got two Michelin stars under his belt. Citrin gets many of his ingredients directly at the Santa Monica farmers market—and, believe us, you can taste it.

The pool and courtyard:

Finally, we were a little sad that the bulk of our stay didn't allow for pool-lounging in the sun. Regardless, we still liked what we saw: all the rooms look down on the adorable inner patio, which is lined with deck chairs, and there's even a small tree growing in one corner. Once the sun did come out, we saw several kids splashing around in the pool with their parents, and everyone just sitting out relaxing in the quiet, peaceful haven.

The pool itself is small, but then again, this isn't Vegas or anything. Sometimes intimate is better.

We paid a media rate of $150/night during our stay at the Oceana Santa Monica, but all opinions expressed are our own.

[Photos: HotelChatter]

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