Wi-Fi throughout and bikes to borrow (covered in the amenity fee)
Valet parking available (extra charge)
No pool and not directly on the beach
Hotel amenity fee charged daily
Valet parking is pricey (typical for Santa Monica)
Huntley Santa Monica Beach is a design-conscious upper-middle-range hotel with gorgeous views of Santa Monica Beach everywhere from the rooftop restaurant to most of the guest rooms to the exterior glass elevator. The hotel underwent a massive refresh in 2017, and the result is interiors that are artistic and contemporary. Each of the 204 rooms comes with a tablet, 60-inch flat-screen TV, and Nespresso machine. Up on the 18th floor, The Penthouse Restaurant delivers gourmet cuisine and hopping weekend DJ sets. The hotel's location offers faster access to shopping at 3rd Street Promenade than it does to the beach. The biggest downsides? No pool and a daily hotel amenity fee to cover bikes and Wi-Fi. For something with fast beach access and slightly lower rates, check out the JW Marriot Santa Monica Le Merigot.
Renovated in 2017 for artistic and contemporary interiors -- but the ocean views are still the star of the show
The Huntley underwent a massive refresh of its interiors and rooms in 2017, bringing a sophisticated and contemporary look with whimsical details. The lobby features chic seating areas and faux fur, plus white tea light candles and a hanging fish art instillation on the wall. The back of the lobby holds a small grab-and-go cafe, plus an upscale boutique. Guests gather in the lobby, but its the 18th-floor Penthouse Restaurant (accessible via an external glass elevator with beach views) is where the real scene is located. The interior circle bar, gold-tiled columns, and elegant seats divided by curtains all add up for a club-like atmosphere, especially on weekends when locals and DJ sets amp up the party vibe. Panoramic ocean views are some of the best in Santa Monica. The hotel itself attracts mainly guests from the U.S. and abroad who come to shop and hit the beach.
On palm-tree lined 2nd Street in beachy Santa Monica
Sitting statuesquely on Santa Monica's palm-tree-lined 2nd Street, the Huntley towers over the houses and low-rise condos on this quiet residential street. It's steps from popular Third Street restaurants, cafes, shopping, and spas, and around the corner from Ocean Avenue and its unobstructed views of the Pacific. Though the hotel is one-and-a-half blocks inland from the bluff overlooking Santa Monica Beach, it's about a 15-minute walk to Santa Monica Beach, which entails crossing well-trafficked Ocean Avenue, cutting through Palisades Park, and traversing a footbridge over the Pacific Coast Highway.
Five-minute walk to 3rd Street Promenade and Santa Monica Farmers' Market
15-minute walk along the beach to Santa Monica Pier
20-minute drive to Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills
60-minute drive to Universal Studios
60-minute drive to Hollywood Boulevard/Grauman's Chinese Theatre
45-minute drive to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Contemporary rooms with chandeliers and tablets -- and some incredible ocean views
The rooms were redecorated in 2017, and now feature a contemporary and sophisticated aesthetic. They're decorated in muted, monochromatic tones and include fun decorative additions like hanging chandeliers, framed gemstones, and enormous vintage beach photos. Glass-fronted minibars display cold beverages and flat-screens TVs clock in at a whopping 60 inches. Wi-Fi is covered under the hotel fee. Other extras include a Nespresso machine, tablet, and bottled water from nightly turndown service. Deluxe Rooms average 350 square feet and hold one king, one queen, or two queen beds. Views range from city to mountains to partial ocean to full ocean (albeit from a block from the sea). Bathrooms either have glass showers or glass showers and soaking tubs. Toiletries, hairdryers, and robes are provided.
Many guests will miss having a pool, but there are attractive features here. Dining at the Penthouse enclosed rooftop restaurant, with its billowy white curtains and rectangular gas fireplace, is a favorite. The restaurant is open for all meals, plus has happy hour, weekend DJ sets, and 24-hour room service. For something faster, O Cafe in the lobby sells grab-and-go items and specialty coffees. The 24-hour fitness center has modern machines and weights. Wi-Fi and bikes to borrow are covered in the hotel fee. Guests can borrow beach towels from the front desk. Valet parking comes with a hefty fee, typical in Santa Monica.
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