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Which hotel, BW Venice or SM?

Old Jun 9th, 2005, 03:27 PM
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Which hotel, BW Venice or SM?

I was just talking to BW. Both have pretty good rates. Basic difference is BW in Santa Monica has double beds, not queen and costs more b/c it is in SM. Venice is a little less with queen beds. Both have contintental breakfast, not a big selling point for me. But location wise, is there much difference between the two does anyone know? Thanks in advance...
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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If you're talking about the Best Western Ocean View in Santa Monica, I work three blocks north of it. Good location, unimpressive digs (you're paying for ocean views and a shorter walk to the Pier). You're paying for the nearness of the Third Street Promenade (yawn) and the Pier.

If it's the Best Western Gateway Hotel in Santa Monica, don't even consider it. It's two miles from the ocean, across from world-famous St. John's Hospital (the rich and famous have kicked the bucket or cheated the Grim Reaper in its hallowed halls).

The Best Western Marina Pacific in Venice Beach gets good reviews on tripadvisor.com. You're a block inland, just off of the busy intersection of Windward Ave and Pacific Ave, but you're also a block from the Boardwalk. The neighborhood is funky and edgy in a good way-- very artsy-- and full of galleries, coffeehouses, good restaurants (Joe's is a quick walk away), and the like. Hey-- Anjelica Huston lives in Venice with her husband (Mexican sculptor Robert Graham), as does Dennis Hopper, and didn't Julia Roberts live there at one time? It's pretty gentrified, even given its slightly downmarket-of-Santa Monica vibe. It's also superexpensive to buy real estate there.

The two areas are quite different. This section of Santa Monica is safe middle-class; Venice is young and hip. Santa Monica is a powder-blue Toyota Camry with a sunroof and a Céline Dion CD in the stereo; Venice is a Day-Glo yellow Subaru Impreza with 18-inch alloy wheels, a "Democracy Now!" bumper sticker and a home-burned CD featuring the EP of a friend's punk rock band (named Colostomy Bag Ladies).
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 11:23 PM
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LOL, rjw

Lee Ann
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Thanks for your reply, rjw. Too funny.

You know, I have not been to Venice Beach for many years. OD really loves SM for the shopping, but apparantly there is a free shuttle from the VBBW to SM. Will be fun to try something different. We won't be there over the weekend, but hopefully VB will still be kickin.

Any recs on where to eat, shop, hang out in Venice Beach?
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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rjw: WOW...I wish YOU could have been my tour guide when I briefly saw Venice Beach!! Too bad I spent most of my time sitting in a bus on some junky side street (waiting for 2 lost girls to come back). I did notice that "things" are a little quiet around 10:30 in the morning in VB. But some of those homes on the canals were lovely and unusual. Only wish I had more time to explore.
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 12:25 PM
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The Boardwalk is of course the hangout choice. There's a joint called the Sidewalk Café that was always fun when I was a Westside boy (but I only work up here now and live in dumpy Long Beach). Joe's is an American Cuisine eatery on Abbot Kinney that gets great write-ups. Amuse Café is nearby and is highly-regarded, as is Lilly's, Hal's Bar and Grill, Chaya Venice, Axe, etc. Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom is great for a quick sandwich (guess what their specialty is?). For a coffeehouse, there's the Cow's End on Washington, and other locals-only joints around your hotel. If you go up Main Street into Santa Monica (a mile, maybe), there are other eateries-- diners, sit-down places, pubs, etc.

It's been a while since I've hung out in Venice, so I'm hoping some real Westsiders can chime in.
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 03:05 PM
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Wow, thanks for all the great recs. We'll have to try them all, LOL. Why have I heard of Chaya Venice? Is it a celebrity owned eatery or something?

Joe's sounds like our style. Are most of these places in the same area?

What about shopping? Thanks.
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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How about I give you a website with some examples?

http://www.venicebeach.com/shopping.php

There's also shopping up on Main Street in SM, so you're not just stuck shuttling up to the Third Street Promenade for the big Banana Republic Mother Ship store....
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 04:18 PM
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Will check it out. Thanks again. Can't wait to go.

One more question. I have been double checking our decision to stay at BW. I also found the "Ambrose" hotel in SM for close to the same price. Also includes continental breakfast. So, one is funky beach, the other is feng shui LA.

Being that we are trying to show 18 OD a good LA time, do you think we would enjoy the Ambrose? Am kind of wondering why it is only $165 when other "nice" hotels in the area are 150...
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Old Jun 11th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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The Ambrose is nice indeed. But it's also two miles from the beach. It's also across the street from St. John's Hospital. Between the BW Venice and the Ambrose, an 18-year-old would find the former much more fun. The latter is great when a loved one is recovering from a procedure at the hospital. There's nothing particularly fun around it, however.
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Old Jun 11th, 2005, 11:14 AM
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Got it. We are going to stay in Venice. Sounds perfect. Thanks again for your "expertise".
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