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Hotel Casa del Mar
Santa Monica, California

by Sarah Shuckburgh

Utter luxury in a historic landmark building right on the beach at Santa Monica.

From 1926 to 1941, Club Casa del Mar was the most opulent beach club in southern California. Years of decline followed, but the hotel reopened in 1999, after a $50 million refurbishment which recreated the “European” elegance and grandeur of the 1920s.

First Impressions:
The seven-storey building is the oldest along the seafront - in Renaissance Revival style, with iron balconies, red tile roof, and a façade full of sculpted cupids and angels. The interior is all brand new and lavish, with curved staircases, chrome, palms and unusually loud carpets. Staff at the front desk are wonderfully attentive.

Most of the 129 rooms overlook palm-trees and beach, and all have a European Riviera feel - white, cool and stylish. Bathrooms are opulent, with white Italian marble, whirlpool baths, traditional white porcelain basins, and thick robes. Three two-storey penthouse suites have fireplaces, dining rooms, and one or two bedrooms. The presidential suite is like a rooftop house, with three bedrooms, sitting and dining rooms, sauna and mini gym.

Come for:
Pampering after a transatlantic flight - the hotel is only 8 miles from Los Angeles International airport;
Outdoor massage, in private cabanas overlooking the ocean;
The charm of Santa Monica town, with its historic pier, lively Third Street Promenade, elegant shops and art galleries;
To watch beautiful people hanging out in the lobby lounge, listening to live music and watching sunsets through 20-foot windows;
Bicycle along the oceanfront to Venice Beach, with its muscle-builders and alternative therapists;
The lovely year-round climate - averaging 70s and 80s.

Not suitable for:
Unruly children
Laidback beachbums

Eating in:
*The Oceanfront restaurant serves Californian cuisine, and has glass walls on to the beach.
*“High Tide” afternoon tea, with cucumber sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly on banana bread, and blueberry muffins.
*24-hour room service.

Eating out:
Fine dining in Santa Monica, including the Casa del Mar’s more relaxed sister hotel, Shutters, right next door.

Hotel Casa del Mar
1910 Ocean Way
Santa Monica
California 90405
001 310 581 5533
001 800 898 6999

First published by Travel Intelligence Ltd

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