- No soundproofing between adjoining rooms
- Pricey parking: valet-only
- Fee to access the gym
- Unreliable Wi-Fi is charged per day
- Late check-in; later than at most L.A. hotels
Towering 45-foot palm trees reach up toward the enormous glass skylight in the Loews Santa Monica's atrium lobby. Offset from the corridorlike lobby is the hotel bar, Ocean and Vine restaurant, and Papillon, a fireside lounge with a stunning view of the ocean. In general, the hotel feels like a stunning office building, perhaps because it caters more to its business clientele than families and leisure travelers. The hotel boasts 20,000 feet of space for events and conventions, as well as several large ballrooms. Many of its year-round guests are there on business, and some of the hotel's few free amenities seem to cater to them: free coffee in the room and a free newspaper delivered to your doorstep each morning.
But that's basically it in terms of free amenities. The Internet costs is charged per day and is spotty at best. The gym has an entrance fee, but that includes any classes that might be going on that day, as well as access to the steam room and the sauna. The business center is charged for the mandatory first ten minutes, and then by the minute after that. Bicycle rental ranges in price per hour, but if you're paying the high price per night for valet parking, you might as well drive around the area.
Many families choose Loews because they trust the brand's family-friendly reputation (the "Loews Loves Kids" program), and it does offer kids' menus by the pool, in-room childproofing, and clean, spacious guest rooms, each with a separate sink/vanity area and toilet/bath to make sharing a room much easier for families. But the hotel isn't actually on the beach, it's across the street, which isn't the safest thing for young children.
Loews has a big staff to help with just about everything, and while it's not personable, it's efficient.
Like at most hotels in this price range, the service at Loews isn't tailored to a guest's personalized stay or contemplating his or her every need. But there are many people on staff who can answer questions and field requests, so guests are never left unattended to for too long.
Located on the southern end of Santa Monica, Loews is close to a more secluded section of the beach as well as local attractions, shops, and LAX Airport.
Santa Monica is a beach town rich with shops, restaurants, and a tourist-attracting pier with games, rides, and an iconic Ferris wheel. Loews is quite nicely situated close enough to walk to the pier or the Third Street Promenade (a sort of outdoor strip mall), but also far enough away that the streets aren't congested, and guests can take walks down sections of a not-too-busy beach.
Though it is located on Ocean Avenue like many other beachfront hotels (like the Casa Del Mar), Loews is not actually on the beach. Instead, you need to exit the back door of the hotel, cross the street, walk past the lovely garden (a sort of ready-made wedding location), and then you get spit out right at a wide expanse of beach with a gym and a bicycle rental shop. The path to the beach isn't too attractive, and there seems to be a private house that shares the path, but getting to the beach doesn't take too long and it isn't too big a hassle.
More family friendly than most hotels in Los Angeles -- great pool, fun location, and kids' menus poolside and for room service
Simple poolside fare, an overpriced "farmers-market inspired" restaurant and sushi bar, and a fireside lounge; better, more affordable options are just a short walk away.
There are countless options for food in Santa Monica, including about 20 chain and locally owned restaurants of all types on the Third Street Promenade alone. To a large extent, these restaurants should rule out dining at the hotel, unless you want to eat by the pool (there's a great kids' menu) or indulge in the view while saving cash at the hotel's happy hour at the Papillon lounge.
Everywhere, there seemed to be housekeepers. As a result, the hotel was quite clean. The pool area, however, had many untidy deck chairs and lounging areas, and it took some time after a guests left for chairs to be prepared for others to take their place. But the guest rooms were very clean.
All pets are welcome -- any type, any size.
With the "Loews Loves Pets" program, guests can bring any animal on vacation -- a staffer claims a guest once brought a tiger -- for a cheap onetime per stay fee. No weight restrictions either. But because dogs are barred from the restaurant and pool area (where food is served), guests won't find much room to let Fido run.
Most ceremony and reception options are prepackaged, though some personalized services are available.
Drinks: An open bar ranges in price per person (two hours required). Also note that there's an additional bartender fee
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