The 9 Best Beach Hotels in Los Angeles

LA's beachfront communities offer a true taste of California living
LA's beachfront communities offer a true taste of California living | © Chris Putnam / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Molly Codyre
27 May 2020

Known for its balmy weather, lengthy coastline and palm tree-lined streets, LA is as good a tropical holiday as any. Forego the inner neighborhoods and opt for one of the city’s many beachfront communities to learn the real benefits of California living.

Running all the way from the outlying beach town of Malibu down to Huntington Beach (some 50 miles/80 kilometers away), Los Angeles is home to a lot of coastline. While the inner-city and Hollywood-fringing neighborhoods have their perks, few of the world’s cities live up to LA when it comes to beach beauty – especially when you consider its year-round sunny skies. Head for the golden sands and fall asleep to the sounds of the Pacific with a stay at one of these oceanside hotels.

Hotel Maya, Long Beach

Chain Hotel
Courtesy of Hotel Maya / Expedia

Hotel Maya feels more Mexican resort than city escape, as the Long Beach hotel is a sprawling estate with ocean views, an enormous pool and a real tropical feel. With a climate like LA’s, it would be easy to treat this like a beach holiday and spend your days soaking up the rays – the poolside cabanas will make that seem particularly appetizing. However, with Hollywood just over a 30-minute drive away, you’re close enough to the action to sightsee in the morning and be back poolside in time for afternoon cocktails.

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Venice Breeze Suites, Venice Beach

Serviced Apartment
Courtesy of Venice Breeze Suites / Expedia

A few morning coffees on this hotel’s roof terrace and you may be tempted to never leave LA. And who could blame you? With the vibrant Venice Boardwalk in front (a prime spot for people-watching) and the golden sand beach just beyond, you are truly spoiled at Venice Breeze Suites when it comes to location. The in-room kitchens offer the perfect opportunity to make the most of the views over the Pacific Ocean – pop over to the local Whole Foods like a true Angeleno and whip up a meal at home – you won’t find a restaurant in the city with a better outlook.

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Hotel Erwin Venice Beach

Boutique Hotel
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Courtesy of Hotel Erwin / Expedia

Colorful and vibrant rooms are the go-to at Hotel Erwin. Line drawing-printed wallpaper, tangerine-reminiscent lamp shades and bedside tables that could double as contemporary art sculptures all help create a fun decor that’s matched by brilliant views of the city, the coast or Venice. High Rooftop Lounge is a favorite with locals, serving up delicious cocktails as a DJ spins music every night of the week – all in an open-air beachfront location. It is the perfect place to watch the sun go down over the Pacific with a pre-dinner drink before heading out to explore Venice’s vibrant dining scene.

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AIR Venice Beach

Independent Hotel
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Courtesy of AIR Venice Beach / Expedia

The open-air, studio-style rooms at AIR Venice Beach – with their exposed brickwork and monochrome color palette – would feel more NYC than LA if it wasn’t for the incredible views through the enormous windows. Looking out over the Pacific Ocean and the palm-lined Venice Boardwalk, the setting is quintessential Los Angeles. Rooms are sleek and low-key with in-room coffee machines and plush queen beds that ensure you have all the energy you need for a big day of exploring. With many of the city’s attractions just a short drive or bus ride away, this is beachside city living at its best.

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Sea Blue Hotel, Santa Monica

Budget Hotel
Sea Blue Hotel
Courtesy of Sea Blue Hotel / Expedia

Set just back from the sand, Sea Blue Hotel is a true beachside bolthole, decorated throughout in a Cape Cod-style color palette of crisp whites and sky blues. From surfboard headboards, to cushions emblazoned with “vitamin sea” and framed posters of The Endless Summer (1966), there’s a SoCal beach house vibe that surfing enthusiasts will love. Beat the crowds to Santa Monica’s historic pier, getting an early morning spin on the ferris wheel, before grabbing a breakfast of açaí bowls and sweet corn fritters at local favorite Little Ruby.

Channel Road Inn, Santa Monica

Bed and Breakfast
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Courtesy of Channel Road Inn / Hotels.com

You’ll find this quaint inn at the quieter northern end of Santa Monica, just a five-minute walk from the beach. Housed in a shingle-clad Colonial Revival home built in 1910 – a building that is relatively rare in this part of the country – many of its original features remain. Channel Road feels as much like a peaceful countryside stay as it does a boutique inn, and the madness of central LA is just a 30-minute drive away. Rooms are cozy, decorated in mint green and periwinkle blue, and adorned with floral motifs in the way of chintz bedspreads and cushions. Innkeeper Dominique serves up a wonderful breakfast buffet, and makes chocolate chip cookies for you to devour on arrival.

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Oceana Beach Club Hotel, Santa Monica

Boutique Hotel
Oceana Beach Club Hotel
Courtesy of Oceana / Hotels.com

Housed in a 1950s-style former apartment building, Oceana Hotel seamlessly combines modern Art Deco-accented decor with a beach-chic vibe. The hotel is arranged around a hacienda tiled central courtyard with a kidney-shaped pool lined with cabana-style loungers. Rooms feature four-poster beds and marble bathrooms, in a beachy palette of sand beige and deep-ocean blues, mirroring the scene outside. Forego the wait at local restaurants and opt for the in-house guest-only eatery, which serves up a very Californian menu inspired by market food, with incredible views over the water.

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Viceroy Santa Monica

Boutique Hotel, Luxury
Each room at the Viceroy Santa Monica is bright and modern
Courtesy of Viceroy Santa Monica, Los Angeles

Bringing a slice of Old Hollywood glamour to the beach, Viceroy Santa Monica is an ultra-chic waterside stay. Rooms are Art Deco in style, with mirrored walls, pin-stripe carpeted floors and mid-century furnishings. An indulgent hour can be spent soaking in the marble bathtub with a room service drink or two. If you’re looking to throw something of a gathering, rope in some friends and hire out one of the poolside cabanas, where a summer afternoon is best toasted with a glass of ice cold rosé.

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Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica

Hotel
Shutters on the Beach
Courtesy of Shutters on the Beach / Hotels.com
Sitting stoically on the sands of Santa Monica beach, Shutters on the Beach is an iconic building, loved by both locals and visitors alike. Artwork by David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein in the lobby allude to the hotel’s standing with the city’s creative crowd. Rooms embody a kind of eccentric beach-chic style, with mismatched pillows and Persian rugs alongside (you guessed it) white shuttered windows and wicker balcony furniture. Facilities are abundant, with a gym, spa and cabana-lined pool with views of the ocean. The three beachfront dining and drinking venues may require booking ahead but are worth the hassle – they have some of the best views in the city alongside menus that focus on market produce.
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These recommendations were updated on May 27, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.