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Casa del Mar 4.5

Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located right on Santa Monica Beach, within walking distance to the pier
  • Palatial building with a historic past and Mediterranean villa vibe
  • Large rooms with huge jetted tubs, upscale coffeemakers, and tasteful decorative details 
  • Beachside outdoor pool and whirlpool 
  • Catch American restaurant with stunning ocean views and a raw bar
  • Popular bar and cafe with cozy cabana-style seating
  • Modern, well-equipped fitness center
  • Full-service spa 
  • Beautiful event rooms with on-site catering
  • Private surf and yoga lessons on the beach (for a fee)
  • Valet parking available (for a fee)

Cons

  • Daily resort fee
  • Fee for valet parking (typical in Los Angeles)

Bottom Line

The luxury Hotel Casa Del Mar offers something truly special in Los Angeles: it's one of only two hotels with a coveted stretch of sandy Santa Monica Beach real estate and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. The overall vibe is Mediterranean villa meets Southern California. It has a hopping Hollywood bar scene, Catch restaurant, full luxe spa, and a pool with beach views. The 146 opulent rooms were designed by Michael Smith, and feature huge jetted tubs and fun touches like rubber ducks. The downsides? Resort and valet parking fees. The location can only be matched by its neighboring sister property, Shutters On The Beach, which shares this sandy spot. 

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Scene

Steeped in history and loaded with luxurious, beach-y details 

Originally built as a fancy beach club in 1907, the Hotel Casa Del Mar is a historic landmark. It went through a period as a rehab center before becoming the Pritikin Longevity Center. In the late '90s, Casa Del Mar officially opened its doors as a luxury hotel and was subsequently restored. Another major makeover conceived by Obama White House designer, Michael Smith, took place in 2015. The result is a luxurious atmosphere with loads of Mediterranean villa and beach details. The entrance, under an arched stained-glass window opens onto duel sweeping staircases below an iron chandelier strung with multicolored glass. The lobby -- redecorated in sun-bleached hues of sandy blue -- is furnished with colorful bookshelves, shell art, potted palms, and nautical antiques in a maritime theme matching the views that sweep out from the hotel's terrace onto the famed stretch of Santa Monica Beach. Guests are a mix of overnight tourists, business travelers, and locals power players enjoying drinks and meals at the restaurant. 

Location

Right on the beach in Santa Monica, walking distance to its famed pier

Casa del Mar is right on the beach in the beach loving neighborhood of Santa Monica. Farther north on Ocean Avenue (the nearest main road) locals run, walk their dogs, and do boot-camp exercises with personal trainers along the seaside cliffs in Palisades Park. The hotel is ideal for beach activities, but a bit farther from tourists attractions in Hollywood. 

  • Directly on Santa Monica State Beach
  • 15-minute walk from iconic Santa Monica Pier, with a Ferris wheel, video game arcade, and assorted carnival-style amusements
  • 20-minute walk from famous Third Street Promenade, a pedestrian-only outdoor mall with shopping, a movie theater, and chain restaurants
  • 10-minute drive to popular Venice Beach, with skateboarders, surfers, art galleries, and hip restaurants
  • 30-minute drive to Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills, for high-end shopping and swanky mansions
  • 30- to 45-minute drive to Universal Studios Hollywood theme park
  • 30- to 45-minute drive to Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame, and Grauman's Chinese Theatre
  • 30- to 45-minute drive to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Rooms

Ocean-inspired rooms with calming color palettes and luxe finishes -- some beach views

At 400 square feet, Hotel Casa Del Mar's average room is a nice size. Interior designer Michael Smith infused the rooms with a coastal decor and a beach-blue palate. Deep cherrywood tables and four-poster beds are paired with white built-in dressers and work desks. Big 42-inch flat-screen TVs are nestled into the hutch above the work space. Many thoughtful touches give these rooms the feel of a high-end residence: book shelves with real books, silver alarm clocks, vintage toys, and working binoculars. Keurig coffeemakers come standard, while Suites upgrade to Nespresso machines. The Penthouse Suites are massive: they used to be racquetball courts. The bathrooms are covered in white Italian marble walls and floors, with glass walk-in showers and big separate jetted soaking tubs. All bathrooms are stocked with Malin + Goetz toiletries and a playful rubber ducky. Sixty rooms have full or partial beach views, and some look toward the iconic pier. 

Features

Catch restaurant, popular bar scene, an ocean-facing pool, plus a full spa and modern fitness center

Features at Casa del Mar mostly revolve around the hotel's uninterrupted ocean views. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby's Terraza lounge have beautiful views of the beach that inspire locals and guests to linger. The indoor cabanas create alluring semi-private seating areas with plush couches under striped awnings, and the place tends to foster a Hollywood cocktail scene with daily live events. The bar ages its own spirits in white oak barrels with crafted cocktails. The lounge serves food starting with breakfast, and there's an extensive raw bar at night. The casual fine-dining restaurant, Catch, has a live jazz brunch and a dinner menu that ranges from Wagyu to Black cod, with crudo and sushi rounding out a wide selection of American favorites. Catering is available for the hotel's beautiful event rooms, and The Colonnade Ball Room (a popular wedding venue) can host up to 300 people.

The outdoor pool and whirlpool are on a sundeck facing beachfront views. But the beach itself is the main attraction, offering the quintessential L.A. scene of palm trees, golden sand, and ocean waves. Beach cruiser bicycles can be rented (for a fee), and the hotel offers surf lessons. Kinesis strength training and yoga classes, as well as private trainers, are available for fitness sessions on the beach. For indoor workouts, the fitness center is equipped with treadmills, bikes and ellipticals, weight machines, balance balls, and free weights. Sea Wellness Spa doesn't have a sauna or steam room, but there are five treatment rooms and more services on offer than just the usual massages, including exotic treatments involving gemstones, magnets, and mud infused with diamond dust.

Note that there's a daily resort fee and valet parking incurs an additional cost. 

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Things You Should Know About Casa del Mar

Address

1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, California 90405-1083, United States

Phone

(310) 581-5533

Also Known As

  • Casa Del Mar Hotel
  • Casa Del Mar Santa Monica
  • Hotel Casa Del Mar

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • Ocean View four Bedroom Suite
  • Ocean View One Bedroom Suite
  • Ocean View Room
  • Ocean View Three Bedroom Suite
  • Ocean View Two Bedroom Suite
  • Palm Terrace Room
  • Partial Ocean View One Bedroom Suite
  • Partial Ocean View Room
  • Partial Ocean View Two Bedroom
  • Penthouse
  • Premier Ocean View Room
  • Presidential Suite
  • Santa Monica One Bedroom
  • Superior Room

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