Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Erwin
1697 Pacific Ave., Venice, California 90291, United States See on Map
A beachy spot right off the Venice Boardwalk, Hotel Erwin attracts a young, creative crowd of international travelers and Silicon Beach executives who want to be near the water. This small, boutique is also known for having the best rooftop bar scene in all of Venice (and arguably all of LA).
Most rooms here have balconies with city or ocean views and the walls are decorated with the outlines of famous artist’s hands. Accommodations come with free Wi-Fi, in-room coffeemakers and work desks.
There’s no gym at the hotel, but ask the front desk for complimentary passes to Gold’s Gym or partake in free yoga at Muscle Beach. The hotel also has free Solé Bike rentals that are first-come-first-serve for guests.
Mod-styled bathrooms come with subway-tiled standalone showers.
A small lobby is just for checking in and passing through. There is a soft, multi-colored couch with surfboards on the wall that are worth posing in front of.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Venice is known to be one of the most eclectic and eccentric neighborhoods in America. With that eccentricity comes a largely sizable homeless population and petty crime. It’s generally a safe area with a steady supply of police, but keep aware of your surroundings at night on the Boardwalk.
Off the lobby is the hotel restaurant Barlo Kitchen & Cocktails. Here, diners can chow down on casual Cali-cuisine. A happy hour menu offers cheap bites, beer and wine from 5-7 pm.
High Rooftop Lounge is an impressive and very busy bar featuring an unbeatable sunset view. There’s usually a wait to get in, but if you can make it past the tough door, you’ll find happy hour specials during the week and DJs spinning smooth beats on Friday and Saturday nights and Sundays during the day.
Being practically on top of the Venice Boardwalk makes this area perfect for walking around. If you want to explore further, you can take one of the hotel’s bikes along the beach-side bike paths all the way up to Santa Monica. There’s no metro access in Venice (the closest stop is in Santa Monica), but buses come through the area regularly as the hotel is on a major thoroughfare. Renting a car here is an okay idea if you want to travel to Malibu or any of the South Bay beach towns--just know that parking will cost you around $40 a night.
Larry’s (3-minute walk) is a Venice Boardwalk café with an open patio, strong craft beer and wine collection and really good pizzas. Eggslut (2-minute walk), is an uber-popular breakfast spot with some of the best egg sandwiches in town.
Check out The Del Monte Speakeasy (3-minute walk) inside Townhouse Venice for classic cocktails and live entertainment. The Otheroom (4-minute drive) is an exposed-brick bar with incredible craft beers and wine.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you want to find a nice hotel that’s right in the heart of Venice, you don’t have to look any further than Hotel Erwin. While it won’t blow you away with its service or amenities, it will with its location. You’re walking distance to dozens of restaurants, bars, attractions and the beach. The highlight of the hotel (beyond the views) is the High Rooftop Lounge, which is the trendiest and perhaps best rooftop bar for music, sunsets and loads of playful flirting. Come for the location, stay for the bar and enjoy the Pacific Ocean right at your backdoor.
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