This horseshoe-shaped hotel prides itself on its eco-friendly sustainability and backs up that claim with solar panels, drought-resistant greenery, low-flow showers and a variety of other energy saving techniques. Beyond its green footprint, the hotel itself sits directly across from the ocean, and a block from the Santa Monica Pier, and provides its guests with unbeatable views in a laid-back environment.
The hotel was built in 2011 and houses 164 rooms and 20 suites. Rooms are divided by the view, with ocean-facing as the premium choice. Standard rooms are equipped with free coffee, free Wi-Fi and docking stations for your iPhone. All guest rooms have either a balcony or patio.
Request an ocean-facing room with a balcony to watch the sunset.
Guests should be aware that the bathrooms are see-through (that includes the toilet) but there are drop down shades for privacy. The hotel uses Lather bath products, which are locally sourced.
The hotel sells a plush starfish in the rooms for $20, and all proceeds go to Heal the Bay, a non-profit organization to keep Santa Monica’s beaches clean.
The lobby is modern and minimalist with giant windows looking out to the ocean. It’s not a big hangout spot, and guests typically post up while waiting for their rooms. There is also a Sixt car rental station if you’re looking to drive to Malibu for the day.
The guest-only, solar-heated pool sports ocean views and has plenty of deck chairs. There’s also a hot tub. During the summer, the hotel has Summer Soiree nights that features an acoustic band.
The small fitness center’s floor is made from recycled tires and offers guests 24-hour access to weights, treadmills, bikes and more.
There isn’t a restaurant on-site, but a small eating room where guests can snack on breakfast, lunch and dinner items. If you’re looking for something a little heartier, modern Mexican joint Blue Plate Taco rents space in the front of the hotel. Room service is also available from 6 am-10 pm.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you want a more substantial food program out of your hotel, you won’t find it here. You will have to find substantial food programs elsewhere, like at restaurants.
Some of the non-ocean-view rooms surround a lush garden that’s equipped with heat lamps and lounge chairs. It’s also the only pet-friendly part of the hotel.
It’s only an 8-minute walk to the nearest metro station and tourists can take the train from Santa Monica to Hollywood, Downtown and Universal Studios. The hotel is really in a great walking area, and taxis, Ubers and Lyft rides are ubiquitous. The hotel has a Sixt rental car station in the lobby if you want to get to non-metro linked places around the city.
Tip: The hotel also has a couple of beach cruisers that guests can take out for a stroll.
Blue Plate Taco is attached to the hotel and is a great option for modern Mexican cuisine. Boa Steakhouse (5-minute walk) and Robata Bar Santa Monica (5-minute walk) are great options for upscale steaks and Japanese skewers respectively.
Ye Olde King’s Head (6-minute walk) is a solid English pub for great beers. Chez Jay (5-minute walk) is a Santa Monica dive bar--if you don’t mind sticky floors.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Eco-friendly travelers will appreciate the lengths this hotel goes to in order to limit its footprint on the environment. The stylish design, beach-facing rooms, and heated pool will attract young couples and families alike and the location is perfect for restaurant, nightlife, and attractions within walking distance. There are some limitations: there’s no spa and food options are minimal, but overall, this beachfront property will have you breathing in the fresh sea air and relaxing in style.