The best hotels in Santa Monica almost all have their own spa, or offer spa facilities in the room or by the pool. Most of the top hotels also have easy access to the beach and the famous Santa Monica Pier, with some, like Shutters on the Beach, being right on the beach.
Many visitors choose a Santa Monica hotel for a Los Angeles vacation because it offers the feel of a beach vacation with access to the main Los Angeles sites. It's about 16 miles from Santa Monica to Universal Studios in Los Angeles, mostly on I-10, although it can take up to an hour in the Los Angeles traffic. Many people, though, think it a price worth paying to be able to sight-see in LA in the day, and stroll along Santa Monica Pier as the sun goes down.
These, then, are some of the best Santa Monica hotels which have spa facilities or services:
Miramar Hotel and Bungalows
The fabulous Fairmont is one block back from the beach, and has its own Exhale Mind/Body Spa. There are five therapy rooms and a special area that's devoted just to nail care. There are also Mind Body classes for guests to attend, covering such subjects as Improving Your Posture and Focusing Your Mind. The Fairmont also has a terrific restaurant, FIG, where we were lucky enough to dine one night and you can read our review here.
Hotel Casa del Mar
A 10-minute walk south of Santa Monica Pier, the Casa del Mar is right on the beach and one of several legendary historic Santa Monica hotels. Dating from the 1920s, these days it is a luxury resort with its own pool, gym, restaurant, and Sea Wellness Spa. The spa takes a more holistic approach to well-being, and the hotel has a Master Pilates instructor, and encourages guests to get fit by walking and exploring Santa Monica. There are scenic jogging routes too, and private yoga sessions on the beach, as well as a creative range of massages and therapies.
Monica Beach Hotel
Loews is on Ocean Avenue, just back from the beach and near the entrance to Santa Monica Pier. Its Ocean Spa offers indulgences like age-defying facials and heated lava shell massage. This is what they say about their signature Beachcomber Massage: The Beachcomber Santa Monica Massage features warm tiger clam shells that have been collected from the sea. Each shell is infused with self-heating, mineral-rich kelp and seawater to provide an unforgettable heated massage experience that melts muscle tension away. Sounds good to us!
Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot
The Merigot is next to Loews, so another great location just back from the beach and near the Pier. The Spa here has been called “one of the most unique spas in Los Angeles” by the Good Day LA TV programme, and its vast range of treatments include body wraps, facials, pregnancy massages, and side-by-side massages in the Couples' Suite.
Shutters on the
Shutters is one of the most famous hotels in Santa Monica, and it is, as the name says, right on the beach – which is just a few yards stroll away. It has a pool, gym, two restaurants, bicycles for guests, and yoga sessions on the beach. Its ONE Spa has a range of funkily-named treatments like the Surf's Up hydrating treatment or the Beach Buff Swedish massage, scrub and buff, with treatments and products designed by LA-based Ole Henriksen.
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Road maps of the Pacific Coast Highway or PCH are essential for anyone planning to drive the trip, and detailed routes are available for free download via these links to the Mile by Mile website.
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To help you in choosing your Pacific Coast Highway hotel, guesthouse, inn, bed-and-breakfast, resort, motel or other accommodations, we've prepared our Pacific Coast Highway Hotels Guide. In it we do mini-reviews of accommodations along the Highway, from Seattle to San Diego, through Washington, Oregon, and California.
In all there are over 200 hotels listed, complete with 8 pages of color maps showing the towns where our recommended hotels can be found. There are both alphabetical and geographical indexes, helping you plan your journey.
We also include color photos of all the hotels that are our Personal Favorites. Here's the link to read more about our ebook guide to Pacific Coast Highway hotels.
The 2016 edition of our Hotels Guide is available with maps and color photos (if you have a color reader) in the US Kindle Store for only $4.99 and in the UK Kindle Store and other Kindle stores worldwide at prices based on the US price.
If you want a paperback edition of the 2016 guide with only black and white photos and black-and-white maps, it costs $6.99 at the US Amazon Book Store and £4.99 in the UK Amazon Store.