90403 Travel Guide
Oceana Santa Monica General Manager, Christoph Moje
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**A HOTELCHATTER EXCLUSIVE**
Los Angeles' Westside is finally getting the hip, urban hotel it desperately needs and just in time for summer, too.
Avi Brosh, the hard-working hotelier behind the Palihouse West Hollywood and the budget chic Palihotel on Melrose Avenue, has quietly snapped up the old Embassy Hotel Apartments near the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The spot will reopen this June as The Palihouse Santa Monica.
We didn't know the building was up for sale, let alone sold off to Brosh but he and his Paligroup team have already begun renovating the rooms. Billed as a 36-room "beach lodge", the hotel will have four room categories--classic guest suites, studio residences, one-bedroom residences and two-bedroom residences.
The classic rooms will be more of a typical hotel room size, ranging from 300-500sq.ft. while the "residences" will start at 600-sq.ft. and go up to 2,850-sq.ft. All but a few of the rooms will have kitchenettes, there's complimentary wired and wireless internet for all, Samsung 40" flat-screen TVs, AppleTV, and Dean & Deluca minibar treats.
A few months ago there was some concern about the pool scene at a new Hollywood hotel--the concern being that guests weren't always given priority access to the pool. Kinda shocking when you're paying close to $400 a night. But the boisterous party pool scene has become a bit of trend in Los Angeles, even at hotels that only allow guests to access the pool.
We've heard one guest complain about the pool at another hip LA hotel, saying they couldn't relax in peace and quiet by the pool, thanks to other partying guests. Again, not something you want to find when you're paying $400 a night.
Never fear, there's an antidote to the pool party scene in Santa Monica at the Hotel Oceana.
The hotel is located on Ocean Avenue near the beach and Santa Monica is definitely a bike-friendly city. (We like to ride ours to all the local pubs. Of course, we are never sober enough to actually ride them back home.) But riding the bikes along Santa Monica's beach path will take a bit of a trek down across the Pacific Coast Highway. This will definitely involve carrying the bikes.
You might be better off renting down on the beach. But for cruising around town, this is a great perk from the Oceana.
So we continue to geek out about Do Not Disturb signs (as well as in-room coffee makers) and today we thought we'd show you this cute little DND sign from The Hotel Oceana in Santa Monica. No, it's not real lambswool but it is soft to touch. So you can totally forgive us for swiping this from the hotel, can't you?
Just when you thought that wine and cheese hours at boutique hotels were kind of lacking, the hip beach-chic Huntley Hotel and its Penthouse restaurant have announced a new monthly wine and cheese tasting night with famed L.A. maître fromager Andrew Steiner starting Tuesday, April 7.
Steiner is known for his rollicking regular events at his eponymous cheese shop on Montana Avenue (where the sign above the door says, "This place stinks!"), especially the oft sold-out “beer and cheese nights,” and the tasting does cost just $40. The debut event will feature champagne and other sparkling wines paired with the newest selections from Steiner’s shop.
If you can’t make it that day, stop by The Penthouse for its new Sunset Hour happy hour Monday-Friday from 4:00-7:00pm. The special new menu is filled with appetizers like short rib tacos and crispy rock shrimp for $7 each, while beers will set you back $5 and glasses of wine $8. Sure beats the usual $15 or so they charge you for cocktails…
Spacious Rooms at the Oceana Santa Monica
$355 a night
We've noticed some pretty good rates for the often pricey Oceana Hotel.
Rooms that are normally $555 and up are starting at $355 and the Deluxe Signature Ocean View Suite which normally runs at $995 is only $505. Um, that's a savings of nearly fifty percent. Party at the beach! And unlike other hotels, you get what you pay for as all of the Oceana rooms are huge. It was a former apartment building afterall.
We're not sure how long these rates will be available--an email from them said book by October 31--but the same email offered promo code EFALL which turns out the same rates as an average search. So, there's a chance these deals won't last long. Book now.
If you're stuck in the drearier, colder parts of the world, we recommend planning a little vacay. We've got our hearts set on the deluxe ocean view room for only $385.
Have a hotel deal you think we should consider? Or have a destination and date where you want us to check for hotel rooms and rates for you? No guarantees on either, but you can try your luck by hitting us here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include "For Reader Deals" in the subject heading.
Since the Huntley Santa Monica reopened a couple of years back, there's been um-ing and ah-ing about whether it's really up to the luxurious standard it should be. This weekend the NY Times got around to checking the place out and they were pretty harsh.
The NYT reviewer Leah Rozeen had a few complaints about the Premier Room (#1404) she got to stay in. A cramped bathroom, a broken towel rail and no new towels at turn-down time, no comfortable armchair to read in and a room layout that didn't take full advantage of the ocean view were just a few of the negatives.
Last night was the official opening party for the Oceana Hotel in Santa Monica. As you may recall, we toured the place over the summer when it had just completed its top to bottom renovations and we really liked what we saw. Except the room prices which are $400+.
Nevertheless, the hotel threw a huge hotel opening party to let people know the Oceana Santa Monica and its beach luxury chic has arrived.
Last month, we checked out the Oceana Hotel in Santa Monica and pretty much liked what we saw, except for crazy expensive room rates.
But Eater LA managed to snag a one night stay at the place (thanks to an NPR-KCRW pledge) over Labor Day Weekend and has the inside scoop on the guests-only restaurant.
We held court at the The Ocean Lounge, a guest-only restaurant conceived by New York City's Jonathan Morr, that recently opened. (Morr will bring his BOND ST. to the Thompson Beverly Hills hotel soon.)
The restaurant offers a pretty lavish breakfast buffet in the morning with an array of Bread Bar baked goods, fruits, smoked salmon, yogurts, plus an a la carte menu. Scrambled eggs studded with ham and Emmenthaler cheese on rustic bread did us quite well.
Dinner is simple (steaks, seafood, a few pastas, sandwiches), but decent. Poolside cocktails are served all day, but it's not like the Backyard at the W or the Standard hotel pools. Here, it's quiet, laid-back, not crazy at all. And there's something to be said for a Grey Goose lemonade with watermelon ice cubes...sweet, cool watermelon ice cubes...
· Inside the Oceana Santa Monica Hotel [HotelChatter]
The hotel has been transformed from a ho-hum little hotel by the ocean to a bright and vibrant place worth checking out. Originally built as an apartment building in 1952, the current owners (who have a place by the same name in Santa Barbara) added seven new rooms and suites for a total of 70. And since this was a former apartment building, all but 12 of the accommodations have a separate living area. Suite, indeed.
Guests can also choose between Lanai suites, Ocean View Suites and Deluxe Ocean View Suite with Balcony which has prime views. For those looking to stay a little longer or who just like the added convenience, six of the suites have kitchenettes.
Of course, these are not the only changes at the Oceana. The renovations took place from top to bottom.
This week, we took an in-depth tour of the newly renovated Hotel Oceana in Santa Monica. While we were there, we snapped this shot of the hotel's Ocean Lounge on the first floor where guests can enjoy meals and cocktails. (There are proper dining tables off to the side.)
You may remember this hotel from a few months back when it was undergoing the changes and put up an "Extreme Makeover" sign causing us to believe it would actually be featured on the show, Extreme Makeover. Well, it was just a gimmick but the hotel has undergone some tremendous changes, all of which we like very much.
· Hotel Oceana Gets 'Extreme Makeover' [HotelChatter]