But go a little lower, and a combination of surrounding buildings and sun trajectory meant that, during the early evening, the north side of the hotel was bathed in the sun...
...while the south side was completely in the shade.
Obviously the direction you really want to face at the Erwin is west, towards the ocean – but there’s only one category of room that does that, the Ocean View King Suite. If that's out of your budget, according to the descriptions on the Erwin’s website, all other categories face either north or south, and all have private balconies.
Our elementary school-level science says the light situation would probably be reversed in the morning, so if you’re a lark, maybe you’d prefer the south side. But with the sun setting over the ocean, and the people-watching being at its best come the evening, we’d say asking for a north-facing room is overall by far the better bet. The best part about this? It’s the same for all categories, so you don’t have to get a suite to benefit.