Santa Monica Area Luxury Hotels

Sep 15th, 2004, 03:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
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Santa Monica Area Luxury Hotels

I am planning kind of a suprise trip for my wife in October. We have a long weeked and I know that she would like to go to the Santa Monica area. We need luxury, budget is not an issue. However, if I am going to spend the money, then the place needs to be worth it. We are not limited to Santa Monica, just that general area, maybe even a bit north of there, but we would like to stay on the coast. Also, dining suggestions are welcome,,, anything from cool and trendy to the favorite not to be missed low key hang out of the locals. We are 30's and love to just go for the experience. Thanks
bdfisher is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 03:23 PM
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The Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica proper jumps to mind, being the local grande dame. It is a historic property and it shows in some aspects (room size), but on the other hand it oozes class.

Shutters on the Beach, also in Santa Monica almost directly on the beach near the Pier, is another option. Have not stayed there, and reviews are mixed. From what I gather it might be a bit expensive for what they offer, but it very well might still be worth considering.

Casa Del Mar is an All-Suite-Hotel that is supposed to be pretty luxurious, but to my knowledge does not offer an on-site restaurant, if that's of any importance.

The Loews in Santa Monica certainly isn't a bad property, either, though a bit non-descript.

Le Merigot is a JW Marriott property and quite expensive (and a few steps from the beach, if I recall correctly). It also receives mixed reviews.

For dining, Ocean Avenue Seafood offers good quality of what it name promises.
Michael's was one of the inventors of California Cuisine several years ago and is still quite good.
I Cugini serves pleasant Italian cuisine at not too high prices.
I keep hearing raves about Capo, which is said to be expensive, but gorgeous. I cannot confirm this from personal experience, though, as I have not yet been there.
hsv is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 03:33 PM
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Casa del Mar is a favorite of many on this board. I send clients to the Fairmont Miramar, and they all love it. Shutters on the Beach gets mixed comments on this board, but it's a good, relaxed choice. The Viceroy is a Brit-chic style boutique hotel, and sounds a bit too stylish for its own good. The Loews and the Le Mérigot (JW Marriott) are other choices, again getting mixed reviews.

Of these, I'd pick Casa del Mar. But then again, I work in Santa Monica, so my real choice would be the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point-- or the Montage in south Laguna Beach.
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 04:27 PM
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As a local, I can't really address the quality of rooms at Case del Mar, but we have had some extremely wonderful meetings and lunches in the Oceanfront restaurant at this lovely hotel.
Here's weblink to information about their restaurants:
Mommar is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 05:02 PM
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I have posted pretty extensively on SM hotels. I've stayed there alot over the last 10 yrs, sometimes several weeks at a time for work and have made the rounds of the nice hotels in SM (thanks to good clients). Casa Del Mar would be my choice for luxury. It is not all-suite. But the rooms are very large, high ceilings, very comfy plush European/Mediteranian style, great linens, large jacuzzi and marble in baths w/separate shower. It is in a great renovated classic old bldg (the old Pritikin Diet Center headquarters). Very different feel from Shutters next door. CDM is newer; Shutters is getting more than a bit worn IMO, and I really noticed it in my last stay there a few months ago. Shutters is more a classic CA style beach hotel, lots of pale blues and whites and seashells in the rooms, and the rooms are much smaller than CDM. One thing is that more rooms at Shutters are oceanfront and have small (tiny) balconies w/a little table and 2 chairs where you can have your breakfast or just sit. At CDM there are only a few rms. w/balconies; most rooms are good oceanviews w/full windows that almost go floor to ceiling but not w/balconies. Both hotels have very very good restaurants and room service. I like to stay at CDM and go over to dinner next door Shutters at One Pico. That is a good day. (Well, maybe a really good day was having Pierce Brosnan sit next to me at lunch at Shutters. That was memorable.)
But I am with rjw, if you can swing it, the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel is tres incredible, way beyond anything in Santa Monica. I like the Ritz Carolton Huntington in Pasadena also and stay there sometimes when doing work in LA, but you want the ocean instead of the valley and mountains outside your window.
If you can swing the $$$, CDM has great oceanfront rooms, and I think some of those are suites.
emd is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 04:45 AM
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Thanks for the info,,, anyone have more info on Ritz Laguna Beach??
bdfisher is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Website for the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel (in Dana Point):

Website for the Montage (in south Laguna Beach):

Both are quite expensive, the Montage jaw-droppingly so. Both are worth it. Montage's restaurant, Studio, is a foodie's fantasy come true, according to Zagat's and (it's really, really expensive too).

For a few less sheckels, the Surf & Sand in Laguna would be nice:

I do love that part of the coast....
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 09:07 AM
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I've stayed at both the leMerigot and the Ritz Carlton Dana Point. I was not very impressed with the rooms or service at either place.
If you can afford it, the Montage in Laguna Beach looks gorgeous, as does the St. Regis in Dana Point. (The St. Regis is across PCH from the beach, not right on it)
In Santa Monica, I'd choose the Casa del Mar. Shutters is undergoing renovations, it should be lovely when finished. One of my very favorite restaurants is Jiraffe in Santa Monica.
Little_Man is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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I've stayed at the R-C and was thoroughly impressed with the room I got and the service. Then again, we were putting on a conference, so we probably got a bit of a bump in the personal touches. All I know is, it was superb. Overflow clients who stayed at the St. Regis say that it was also very nice. I'd still stay at the R-C for the spectacular ocean bluff location. The teatime martinis are quite perfect as well. *hic*
rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
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