The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica overlooks the Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica Beach and is a short walk from Santa Monica Pier.
Guest Review by Lynn Houghton
All Photos (c) Lynn Houghton
In its heyday, Santa Monica was a glamorous hang-out for the Hollywood rich and famous. A testament to this are the stunning Art Deco buildings that still populate downtown.
This city is also famous for its vast golden sand beaches and Santa Monica Pier, which incorporates the Pacific Park theme park, seafood restaurants including local haunt The Albright, and an aquarium. The people of Los Angeles, numerous vagabonds, and visitors all flock to these shores throughout the entire year.
A high bluff overlooks the beach and here you’ll find a strip of green park, which extends along the entire length of Ocean Avenue. Unique landscaping includes fantastic, gnarled ancient trees alongside the ubiquitous palm trees.
This is the location for the Hotel Shangri-La. Situated at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Arizona Street, the hotel is renowned for its ocean views.
Built in 1939, the Art Deco building was once a combination of apartments and hotel rooms. It has an architecture that resonates with other structures in the vicinity. The black and white theme has pink flourishes - such as the reception area’s flowers and towels in the pool area – and is cool and inviting. Black, white, red, gold, and silver are the colours used throughout the hotel’s 70 rooms and suites.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the Hotel Shangri-La is the outdoor Courtyard Deck. This 10,000 square ft. leisure area has pool, cabanas, a Jacuzzi, lounges, a ping pong table, and a bar. The hibiscus, palm trees, olive trees and other plants and trees scattered about give a tropical ambience to the surroundings.
The property has 30 apartment-style suites with distinctive bathrooms, fully kitted-out kitchenettes that include dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, and dining room table plus living-rooms.
The 1,200 square-foot Terrace Suite on the 6th floor has distinctive black and gold wallpaper and its original fireplace. Its sublime views of the city and the ocean from its wrap-around balcony are breath-taking. An equally large suite on the second floor has two bedrooms and is often used for families. The sunburst rug is a stand-out as is the full-sized bathtub in the master bedroom.
The Ocean View Deluxe rooms are decorated throughout with dark furniture, while the patterned gold wallpaper behind the beds is attractive. Amenities are excellent and include a coffee station, plasma screen TV, and mini-fridge. The white tile bathroom and rain shower cubicle are spacious with plenty of room for toiletries, hair dryers, and more.
Although, the Pacific Coast Highway runs between the wide expanse of golden beach and the cliffs that separate it from the city, the road is completely hidden if looking out to the ocean from the Shangri-La. And, let’s face it, the absolute delight of staying at a beachside hotel is those spectacular views.
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