Santa Monica


Photo of Santa Monica

About Santa Monica

Sunny and beachy with a lively mix of Hollywood celebrity, the super rich, hippies, surfers, bathing beauties and regular folk, Santa Monica is a more relaxed and inclusive version of L.A.. Friendlier, prettier and more culturally varied, it's both a destination in its own right and a great base for a stay in L.A.. The best places to stay in Santa Monica are generally beachside beauties with spectacular Pacific views, but our Guru’s selection also includes some properties further inland in the heart of the hive.

Things not to miss:

  • The long, long stretch of yellow beach is what put Santa Monica on the map in the first place, a welcoming stretch of gold on the other side of the Hollywood Hills from L.A..
  • The famously fun Santa Monica pier was the very end of Route 66 and has been delivering entertainment since construction in 1908. There’s the fun fair and arcades, restaurants and bars and also the free concerts and outdoor cinema.
  • Underneath the pier is an aquarium, just south of the pier is the original ‘Muscle Beach’ and a ‘Chess Park’.
  • Rent some in-line skates and cruise around, or find a spot to people watch and grab a white Russian or sarsaparilla.
  • Third Street is the local shopping strip - pedestrianised and with a Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Then maybe check out the local street art at Streetcraft L.A.? Or the gallery art - still often a bit cheeky and political, at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Or stroll around beautiful Palisades Park on the cliffs.

Just remember to plan ahead if you want to book one of the best places to stay in Santa Monica - it's a busy, year-round destination.

For fun

  • The Viceroy Santa Monica is a glossy beach-side hotel with a colonial atmosphere and a lively destination bar and fancy pool.
  • The 70 room Oceana Beach Club Hotel is a bright, buzzy property with wonderful beach views and colourful decor.

For a city break

  • Santa Monica can be a great place to stay on an L.A. city break, and the Palihouse Santa Monica makes for a spacious, comfortable base with its 36 rooms and suites. This is a welcoming spot popular with long-stay visitors.
  • The Huntley is ideal for a city break, with spacious rooms, wonderful ocean views and the perfect central location.

For superb value

  • For a very reasonable way to stay right by Venice Beach, check out The Rose Hotel, a comfortable, yet chic boutique hotel with 11 spacious, minimalist rooms and great views.
  • For around £125 per night you could stay at the Channel Road Inn, which is just two minutes walk in the other direction from Santa Monica beach. This inn was a Colonial Revival home in a residential street and has been tastefully converted. The 15 rooms are light and simple and they do complimentary wine and snacks in the afternoons.

To relax

  • Shutters on the Beach is a sleek and stylish property with three gourmet restaurants, a spa, fitness centre, pool and private beach. All done in classic Californian cool.

For Venice Beach Chic

  • Exhibiting all the features that attract bright young things to Santa Monica, The Kinney is an excellent contemporary hotel. With stylish rooms, buzzy communal areas and close proximity to some of the city's finest night spots, this place was designed for a lively weekend in Santa Monica.

For an apartment or beach house

  • For those looking for some extra privacy, we recommend you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • For air travellers, the LAX (9 miles) is nearby as well as Bob Hope Airport (26 miles).
  • Santa Monica and the surrounding region is perfect for exploring by car, so visit our car hire partner Rentalcars.
  • Skip the summer crowds and visit Santa Monica from January to April, when sunny weather and cheap rates prevail.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Santa Monica

Best Hotels in Santa Monica

  • The Rose Hotel Santa Monica (Venice) 11 rooms from £125

    Restaurant  -  No in-house restaurant, but fabulous bakery, croissants on offer and fab fresh fruit juices from a nearby juice bar.
    Fishing  -  Along Venice Broadway at the pier is a great opportunity to do some fishing.
    Great walks  -  Along the beach or through town.
    Surfing  -  Very popular here.
    RestaurantViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    In the Bohemian sector of LA in Venice, overlooking Venice beach. This chic, charming, contemporary boutique hotel offers comfort, location and is visually pleasing. Rooms are spacious, airy and minimal in decor. Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast before a day on Venice Beach or exploring LA. See More

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  • Channel Road Inn Santa Monica 15 rooms from £152

    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Air conditioningSpaGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A tasteful renovation of this shingle-clad Colonial Revival home makes this an enchanting seaside base. It sits on a peaceful residential street, just 2 minutes from Santa Monica beach. Light rooms with warm, simple but luxurious decor. Free afternoon wine, tea & snacks are the cherry on top! See More

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  • Oceana Beach Club Hotel Santa Monica 70 rooms from £200

    Active Holiday  -  Swim in the heated outdoor pool, take surfing lessons, try yoga, explore the hikes in Temescal Canyon- a perfect active holiday
    Beach Life  -  This hotel sits on Santa Monica Beach, looking out over the Pacific Ocean. A shuttle service or bikes take you to the beach.
    Local exploring  -  This bright and colourful hotel is only 1 mile from the shopping on Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier.
    Total relaxation
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet

    Bright and lively hotel by the Santa Monica Beach with wonderful Pacific views. The rooms colourfully create a sense of sunny optimism, with home-y, comfortable features in large contemporary rooms. With a heated pool and only seconds from the beach, it's perfect for both relaxing and active trips. See More

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  • The Kinney Santa Monica (Venice Beach) 68 rooms from £179

    City Style  -  A hip hotel designed for the young and social.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A hip hotel boasting a Venice beach address. Vibrantly styled rooms feature bright colours, clean lines, contemporary art and luxury bathrooms. A pool, ping pong tables and terrace complete with fire-pits encourages socialising. The perfect base for the young and trendy. See More

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  • Palihouse Santa Monica Santa Monica (California) 36 rooms from £195

    Great walks  -  Santa Monica Pier is great for an evening stroll or Palisades Park in the day time.
    Sights nearby  -  Third Street Promenade is lively and promises to always have something going on.
    Fishing  -  Just off Santa Monica Pier try your hand at catching some fish.
    Local markets  -  Check out the locals farmers market during your stay.
    Air conditioningPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    1929 Mediterranean inspired hotel in residential Santa Monica offers both long-stay and weekend break suites. Welcomed by a roaring fireplace at reception the rooms mirror the essence of home. Spacious, contemporary and comfortable it is perfect for local exploring, doing some work and relaxing. See More

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  • The Georgian Santa Monica 84 rooms from £201

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly located on Ocean Avenue, just steps from the beach and a short stroll to the iconic pier
    Local markets  -  Sample local produce at the Santa Monica Farmers Market
    Full of character
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    An elegant hotel boasting an Ocean Avenue postcode, just a stroll from the iconic pier. Rooms are classically designed but the feel is clean and contemporary. A sophisticated restaurant serves simple, yet well executed, dishes. With on-point service and wonderful ocean views, this property is a hit. See More

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  • Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Santa Monica 347 rooms from £267

    Families  -  With poolside games, the beach right there, and a number of family-friendly sights nearby
    Beach Life  -  Offering a perfect setting on Ocean Avenue just steps from Santa Monica beach
    Restaurant  -  Choose between Ocean & Vine or Blue Streak for the best in Californian cuisine
    Local markets  -  Sample local produce at Santa Monica Farmers Market
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    An idyllic coastal stay located right on Santa Monica beach. Light and spacious rooms all have private balconies and large rain showers - suites come with free-standing bathtubs. Both restaurants boast iconic views of the pier. As suitable for families as it is for couples. A luxury escape. See More

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  • Ambrose Hotel Santa Monica 77 rooms from £284

    Business meetings  -  Stylish meeting spaces, vibey outdoor terrace, proximity to the airport and great local area make this perfect for team meetings
    Local exploring  -  A calm and quiet base for exploring all Santa Monica has to offer; beach, restaurants, shopping, arts and culture
    Sights nearby  -  Explore Santa Monica's famous pier and acquarium or head into Los Angeles for the day
    Great walks  -  Go for a stroll in the famous Palisades Park
    Air conditioningGardenDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Luxury boutique hotel in Santa Monica with laid-back California charm. Public areas ring with Art Deco glamour while 77 light-filled rooms feel zen with minimalist decor and soft palettes. The terrace is a great place to spend evenings. Free rides in the electric car up to 3 miles are complimentary. See More

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  • The Huntley Santa Monica (California) 204 rooms from £312

    Sights nearby  -  Santa Monica Museum of Art is worth a visit.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningRestaurantViewsParkingNo pets

    The ocean views and top location matched by the lively atmosphere make this a great hotel. Rooms with all mod-cons, marble bathrooms and spa baths. Restaurant offers contemporary Californian dishes and unique crafted cocktails in the skies. Venice beach has water sports, the pier for fishing and LA. See More

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  • Santa Monica Proper Santa Monica 271 rooms from £312

    Foodies  -  Award winning chefs at the on-site Onda restaurant serve up a range of local produce in Mediterranean and California style
    Designer  -  Rooms plush with Aesop amenities, Parachute robes, custom throws and Egyptian cotton linens, designed by Kelly Wearstler
    Beach Life  -  A short walk or drive away from the world famous Santa Monica and Venice Beaches
    City Style  -  Located in stylish Santa Monica with great links to downtown LA and Hollywood
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViews

    A chic contemporary design hotel located close to Santa Monica beach. Spacious rooms are designed with natural materials and indulgent bathrooms benefit from Aesop products. With excellent bars, restaurants and wellness facilities, this is an undeniably luxurious destination in its own right. See More

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  • Casa del Mar, Santa Monica Santa Monica 129 rooms from £334

    Local exploring  -  Wander down to the Santa Monica pier or into the city, with lots to explore close to the hotel
    Beach Life  -  Set on the seafront in Santa Monica, this hotel makes a great option for a luxury beach break
    Romantic Break  -  The bright and airy suites are perfect for a romantic getaway, with a spa bath in every room
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the neighbouring Santa Monica pier, featuring a classic seafront amusement park and aquarium
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolPet friendlyViewsParking

    This stylish hotel is located on the oceanfront in Santa Monica, California. Airy guestrooms create a luxury Mediterranean feel with white linens against oyster accents and dark wood furniture. Meanwhile, the suites feel homely with eclectic objets d'art. Head to the chic Terrazza for nightly music. See More

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  • Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Santa Monica 297 rooms from £389

    Beach Life  -  The Beach Club covers a private area of white-sand Santa Monica beach. Enjoy butler service, beach volleyball and boogie boards
    Families  -  Kid's will feel pampered with children's bathrobes, buckets & spades at the beach club, special minibar items & toys on arrival
    Sights nearby  -  Head into central LA for the day and visit Universal Studios, Melrose Avenue and Dolby Theatre
    Great walks  -  Stretch your legs in the gorgeous 26 acre Palisades Park, just next door
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    Uber-luxury historic beach resort. This grande dame has been around since 1921 and knows what it's doing. Rooms, suites and bungalows are spread over five acres of lush palm-filled grounds with ocean views everywhere you look. Five-star amenities compliment the pared-back classic luxury aesthetic. See More

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  • Viceroy Santa Monica Santa Monica 170 rooms from £425

    City Style  -  The chic choice- champagne upon arrival, in room spa services, avant guarde interiors, hip bar and penthouse suites.
    Chic  -  Trendy-chic with cutting edge designs.
    Swimming Pool  -  Luxury Outdoor Pool
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, Mr & Mrs Smith

    A glossy beach boutique hotel with a colonial atmosphere and cutting edge designs. Chic white furniture and beautiful sea views. Luxury pool area with private cabana lounging. Smart cocktail bar and elegant lounge. A lively destination near the beach - the hotel bar is a hotspot. See More

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  • Shutters on the Beach Santa Monica (California) 186 rooms from £443

    Beach Life  -  With its stunning beachfront location, you can't be better placed to enjoy both city and beach.
    Great walks  -  Grab a gelato and take a stroll down the popular Third Street Promenade.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolPet friendlyDisabled accessViewsParking

    A stylish beachfront property providing the ultimate low key luxury stay in Santa Monica. With three gourmet restaurants, a spa, fitness centre, pool and private beach there is no end to the ways you can relax and unwind. Rooms are classic California cool design with nautical colours and balconies. See More

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