The Best Hotels Near Santa Monica, California

The Culver Hotel offers luxurious rooms in a National Historic Landmark
The Culver Hotel offers luxurious rooms in a National Historic Landmark | © Timothy Swope / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Naomi Chadderton
18 November 2020

Home to one of the most popular beaches in the Greater Los Angeles area and, of course, its famous pier, Santa Monica is a picture-perfect enclave. It has miles of pristine beaches open to all, fresh meals prepared straight from the farmers’ market and rooftop bars with stunning panoramic views. No matter where you choose to stay, these eight hotels are perfectly positioned, allowing you to enjoy all that the city has to offer, with options to suit all budgets.

Palihotel Culver City

Boutique Hotel
Palihotel Culver City
Courtesy of Palihotel Culver City /

In the heart of Culver City – one of LA’s more laid-back neighborhoods – you’ll find the perfect spot to get to know the real La La Land. The Palihotel is a boutique property popular with trendy media types, and its rooms feature custom-made art and retro dial phones. Some rooms even open out onto a shared courtyard, which is ideal for solo travelers. It doesn’t have a pool or a gym, but you can tuck into unpretentious French cuisine at Simonette, a great spot for late-night oysters.

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The Culver Hotel

The Culver Hotel, Culver City
Courtesy of the Culver Hotel /
The Culver Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, has a colorful past – rumor has it that the munchkins from The Wizard of Oz (1939) had many raucous nights here. It’s perennially popular with Hollywood thanks to its 1920s glamour and chic European vibe, and rooms are equally luxe with crystal chandeliers, antiques and reimagined vintage finds. Brunch is an LA institution, and there’s no better place to enjoy it than at the hotel’s outdoor restaurant, Le Jardin, which serves up unmistakably Californian dishes made from seasonal ingredients.
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The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey

Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey / Expedia

Sitting on one of the world’s largest man-made marinas, the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey is a waterfront destination hidden away from the hustle and bustle of LA city life. While it’s not on the beach, it’s minutes from Santa Monica, so you can feel the sand between your toes in no time. Its guest rooms and suites are bigger than most in the city, too, all offering mesmerizing views of the ocean, marina or city skyline. Elsewhere, there are tennis courts, a waterfront pool, a spa and a restaurant.

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Grafton on Sunset

Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of The Grafton on Sunset /
A boutique hideaway on LA’s vibrant Sunset Strip, this quirky hotel marries an urban style with rock’n’roll chic. By day, relax with a cocktail around its impressive saltwater pool flanked by plush daybeds, and by night, enjoy live music by the guitar-shaped bar before heading out to explore the area’s neon-lit nightclubs. Edgy elegance continues throughout the rooms with mirrored walls and metal accents, along with MP3 players so that you can continue the party.
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AIR Venice

Independent Hotel
Courtesy of AIR Venice / Expedia

Sitting in a prime position on Venice Beach’s Ocean Front Walk, this beachside bolthole oozes contemporary SoCal vibes. All of the apartment-inspired rooms come with stylish monochrome decor and sweeping ocean views – you’re so close to the Pacific you can basically roll out of bed and onto the sand. Boutique shopping, oceanfront dining and buzzy nightlife are all a stone’s throw away. What more could you want?

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  • Venice Breeze Suites

    Serviced Apartment
    Courtesy of Venice Breeze Suites / Expedia

    Whether you’re in town for a few days or a few months, you’ll feel right at home at Venice Breeze Suites. Studios and one-bedroom suites come with every amenity you could ever need, including fully equipped kitchens, complimentary wifi plus a rooftop terrace with a barbecue, dining tables, sun chairs and stunning views of Venice Beach and the Venice Boardwalk. There’s no better place to soak up the Southern California sunshine.

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    Andaz West Hollywood

    Courtesy of Andaz West Hollywood – a Concept by Hyatt / Expedia
    Once the favorite hangout of legendary rockers in the mid-’60s, Andaz West Hollywood has many stories to tell. Sitting on the lively Sunset Strip and within walking distance of excellent restaurants, bars, clubs and music venues, this high-rise hotel provides large airy rooms (upgrade for a balcony or marble bathtub), the highest rooftop pool in LA and a 24-hour fitness center. You can also enjoy a complimentary nightly wine hour before stepping out to explore the area’s famous landmarks.
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    Kimpton La Peer Hotel

    Chain Hotel
    Courtesy of Kimpton La Peer Hotel / Expedia

    Icelandic designer Gulla Jónsdóttir is behind the eclectic interiors of Kimpton La Peer Hotel, merging art, fashion and architecture with concrete and leather walls, white oak flooring and bronze columns. In true LA style, rooms feature custom-made furniture, dangling chromatic lights and unexpected touches, such as golden balloon-style rabbit statuettes. Feeling indulgent? Opt for the penthouse and its deep-soaking tub and sprawling private terrace. At night, its patio bar adorned with Gaudí tiles serves up some of the city’s best CBD-infused cocktails.

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    These recommendations were updated on November 18, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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