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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!
Hotel Renovations / Photo Gallery / Beach Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / Hotel Pools / Hotel Restaurants / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
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.
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!
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.
Hotel Weddings / Hotel Contests / Viceroy Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / Proposal Packages / Wedding Packages / Hyatt Hotels / Key West Hotels / → All Tags
Fly over the Pacific Ocean just before popping the question, thanks to The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica.
June is just a month and a half away and you know what that means--wedding season kicks off once again! (Yay! Boo! Uggggh.) But for hotels, the wedding season is practically a year-round thing. So if you're looking for the right way to propose, or if you're in the midst of planning a destination wedding or even if you're just looking for the chance to get a free wedding, start with these three hotels right here:
· The Shore Hotel Santa Monica: The Ocean Avenue hotel, practically an aisle march away from the Santa Monica pier and beach, has put together the Proposal By The Shore package which gives lovebirds a private helicopter ride over iconic LA landmarks with a special landing at a private and secluded spot overlooking Malibu beach. Once that's over a gourmet dinner will be provided on the beach at sunset with a personal beach butler, where presumably the question should be popped. (Sorry, ring not included.) The next morning, guests are treated to a massage at the holistic Tikkun spa nearby. Starting at $1,399, the package also includes overnight accommodations (of course) and a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. The package must be booked at least 72 hours in advance. Call the hotel at 800-599-1515.
The Loews Santa Monica about a month ago.
As the chilly 65-degree weather sets in here in Santa Monica, forcing Angelenos to wear a scarf with their uniform of jeans and flip-flops, one hotel along the beach has been making good use of the off-season by doing some upgrades.
The Loews Santa Monica has been steadily working on their facade since at least November. The hotel told us today that the renovations are expected to last until February. While there is no work going on inside the hotel or the guestrooms, guests are being diverted to the left of the entrance until the work is finished.
Not that you would know that if you visited the hotel's website which makes no mention of renovations, not even during the booking process. Annoying. Room rates are also not affected too much. The hotel is currently asking $318 a night next week. Just in case you're curious, the weather should be around mid-60s. Not quite beach weather but it does beat snow.
Hotel Fitness / Hotel Yoga / Los Angeles Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / West Hollywood Hotels / Beverly Hills Hotels / Eco-Friendly Hotels / → All Tags
How's this for a yoga studio?
Los Angeles is a mecca for the yoga community, so it's no wonder there’s a heaping sun salutation's worth of glamorous hotels available for nomad yogis. Below, we've tracked down 5 of the hippest, most yoga-friendly hotels in LA for your next visit. Now, take a big breath, and let's begin!
Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, CA (pictured): How about an hour of yoga amidst lapping waves on the warm Santa Monica sand? Shutters offers yoga on the beach every Thursday morning at 8am, free to hotel guests. To participate, simply reserve your spot with the concierge desk by 6pm the evening prior. The next morning, meet in front of the hotel and saunter down to the sandy beach, stopping just in front of the water to embark on an hour of stretchy, sandy serenity. Yoga mats and towels are provided. Guests can also book personal sessions if it’s just too embarrassing to face plant in the sand while trying to balance on one leg.
Hotel Rooftops / Rooftop Bars / Romantic Hotels / Venice Beach Hotels / Warm Weather Hotels / Beach Hotels / Phoenix Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Santa Monica Hotels / California Hotels / Lindsay Lohan / → All Tags
Even though its winter, you can still take advantage of the relatively drama-free weather on the Left Coast where the rooftop shenanigans live-on. Remember, these haunts are available year-round and come with a side of schwanky--hold the frostbite. So grab your date and enjoy these rooftop destinations for your next romantic romp west of the Mississippi.
Suite 700, Hotel Shangri La, Santa Monica, CA
Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica's Suite 700 open-air bar & lounge is the epitome of swank with its Art Deco Hollywood glamour combined with epic views of the Pacific sunset. It's no wonder the hotel was named after the earthly paradise James Hilton spoke of in Lost Horizon. Treat your date to a fire pit and some popcorn chicken avec cocktail, and get lost watching the flames. Or watch the killer sunsets. The nice thing about Shangri-La is you can stay indoors in the lounge if it's breezy, or venture onto the rooftop, so its the best of both. Weekends can be crowded, so try a weeknight or just come early if you want some elbow room.
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Hey LA peeps, got any plans for the weekend? Whaddya say to baking a birthday cake for The Shore Hotel's one year anniversary? What's that—you're actually a pretty dab hand in the kitchen? Well then, this might interest you, as the Santa Monica hotel is giving away a $1/night room to the person who bakes them the best birthday cake*, no singing required.
Meanwhile, here's a (not so) small consolation prize for those of you who like food and like hotels but don't want to do any of the work: Eater LA reports that the Shore's highly-anticipated restaurant, Blue Plate Taco—which we've been drooling over for, oh, about a year now—has finally opened.
If you’re staying at Santa Monica’s Fairmont Miramar tonight or will be there early tomorrow morning, you’ll be treated to a special show—a view of the Space shuttle Endeavour being carried on the back of a specially modified Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft.
The Endeavour will leave, weather permitting, Edwards Air Force Base around 7:15 a.m. Friday morning, to tour, then enter the Los Angeles airspace around 10:30 am before it retires at its permanent home—the California Science Center. Naturally, because of security issues, timing isn't exact.
Lucky hotel guests can witness this historical moment by taking the elevator to the 10th floor, and climbing the exit door to the Fairmont’s rooftop. We're thinking this a better option than say, rubbernecking on the freeway or getting caught in congestion in some of the most popular fly-by areas.
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We usually flock to hotel lobbies to admire their artwork, slurp down specialty cocktails and entertain ourselves with some people-watching (tourist or local? trophy wife or escort?) but over at the Casa Del Mar this treasured ritual of ours could soon be replaced with mind-reading.
Yes, thanks to these newfangled gadgest from Necomini we can see what it's like to be in Sookie Stackhouse's shoes for once. Kind of.
The futuristic headsets called. Necomimi Brainwave Catears, are on loan to guests at the hotel's Lobby Lounge bar. Here's how they work: One sensor is placed on the user's forehead and another is clipped to their ear. And atop their head, sits a pair of giant cat ears. As the sensors monitor the user's brainwaves, the ears will move accordingly. Apparently, the ears perk up when the user is "alert" and will drop down when the user is relaxed or "in the zone."
We've been known to swipe some hotel swag during our stays--toiletries, slippers, notepads, pencils and the like but when it comes to hotel beach bags, we don't mind having to pay up, especially if it's a limited edition one like this tote that designer kate spade did for Shutters On the Beach in Santa Monica.
The bag features a blue and green "solar" print from Florence Broadhurst, the late Australian textile designer whose collection kate spade has been incorporating into her looks. The bucket tote is relatively simple, with an open top, an interior pocket and leather-trimmed handles but it also comes with hangtag noting the exclusive collaboration. Plus, it totally matches the green kate spade bikes on loan at the hotel.
Interested in owning this bag for yourself? Only 100 bags will be available at the hotel and through their online shop at ShuttersBeachStyle.com for $198. With room rates hovering near $500 at the hotel, think of buying the bag as a cheaper way to "experience" the hotel.
Hotel Day Trips / Santa Monica Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Spas / Hotel Bicycles / → All Tags
We love luxury hotels but we can't always afford to stay in them. Thankfully, hotels these days are way more than just rooms for paying hotel guests. Between visiting the lobbies, bars, restaurants, and spas inside these upper echelon hotels, it's practically as good as staying the night. Here's our latest installment of how to quench your champagne tastes on a Coca-Cola budget with a Hotel Day Trip.
We hit up Shutters on The Beach the other day for a quick lunch at their beachfront restaurant, Coast. If you can't afford one of the $400+ rooms at the hotel, doing a casual brunch or lunch (or even dinner) at Coast is the affordable alternative to experiencing the hotel.
Our go-to order is the tomato soup ($11) with mini-grilled cheese sandwiches and a side of french fries ($5). But the fish tacos ($15) and the caesar salad ($13) are tasty and filling as well. And if you come on Farmer Market Wednesdays, the chefs at Shutters will incorporate their freshest findings from the Santa Monica Farmers Market into a three-course Market Dinner for just $29.