If you’re looking for 5-star accommodations on the beach in Santa Monica, you’ll find it at Casa del Mar. Inside this 100-year-old building is a Mediterranean haven with multiple restaurants and bars, unbelievable service, and an international clientele who love being on the beach--which is directly outside. Away from the tourist throngs of Santa Monica’s streets, but close enough to touch it, this beautiful property is the perfect escape for privacy-loving entrepreneurs, romantic couples, and well-to-do families looking to get away (without being too far away).
YOU SHOULD KNOW There’s a $25 "resort fee," but that includes daily fitness classes. So, you should probably utilize those fitness classes since you're already paying for them.
Not every room has an ocean view, but the ones that do are spectacular. Nautical Mediterranean themes highlight the accommodations, which come with free Wi-Fi and fully stocked Keurig coffeemakers.
Peek-a-boo bathrooms are great for flirtatious folks, but might not the best for families--or people who generally like privacy. Sunken tubs and rubber duckies encourage a playful vibe, and Malin+Goetz products are to die for.
If you loved the products they use in the hotel spa, there’s a "Bathroom Mini Bar," where you can purchase the items before you bathe.
A perfect place to hang out, the lobby is akin to a Mediterranean living room with mismatched wicker furniture, throw pillows, and small palm trees strewn throughout. Off the lobby are the two signature restaurants, two bars, and indoor lobby cabanas for bottle-service lovers. There’s live entertainment every night which ranges from jazz trios to DJ beats.
The small lounge pool dates back to the 1920s when swimming laps definitely wasn’t a thing. But the expansive deck offers full food and beverage and plenty of sun chairs to tan on while looking out over the waves of the Pacific.
Six treatment rooms including a couple’s massage room make up the hotel's spa. Guests can get everything from facials and manicures to body wraps and yoga sessions.
A small fitness center has basic cardio machines and free weights--but with the hotel resort fee, guests have access to daily classes including yoga, Beach Boot Camp, Pilates and more.
Both restaurants are worth trying here. Terrazza Lounge offers breathtaking ocean views with casual Italian/Cali cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Catch is the signature seafood restaurant with the same views and remarkably fresh fish for dinner.
The lobby bar is almost always bustling with activity as nightly entertainment brings in locals and hotel guests. Off the main lobby is a wine room that’s open Thursdays through Saturdays and often offers guests free tastings with the in-house sommelier.
Casa is on the southern end of the busy Santa Monica streets, but it’s still a very walkable area. If you want to get to Venice beach, you can take a lengthy stroll along the beach on the Ocean Front Walkway, but it’s much quicker to just hail a taxi. If you want to avoid traffic, walk to the Downtown Santa Monica Train Station (15-minute walk), which can take you to Downtown LA, Hollywood, or Universal Studios.
Although it’s a far cry from the craziness of Venice Beach, walking around on the Ocean Front Walkway at night can sometimes be a little unsafe.
Next door is sister hotel Shutters on the Beach with fabulous Mediterranean restaurant One Pico (1-minute walk). If you’re looking for a great breakfast with strong coffee, try Cora’s Coffee Shoppe (3-minute walk).
The bars at Casa are always fun, but if you want to stretch your legs and find something more casual, check out Chez Jay (10-minute walk), which is a Santa Monica dive bar institution.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This secluded Mediterranean palace is just out of the way enough to feel private while still being within walking distance to just about anything in Santa Monica. The lobby is usually buzzing with Silicon Beach entrepreneurs and international tourists, as well as couples acting all romantic while sitting by the windows and staring out over the water. The service at this hotel is exceptional and there’s very little they can’t provide. If you want a little beach hideaway that still feels like it’s part of the city, this is the place for you.