Hotel Review: Premium Ocean View Queen – Loews Santa Monica Beach (California)

  • Larry Heath
  • June 28, 2016
  • Comments Off on Hotel Review: Premium Ocean View Queen – Loews Santa Monica Beach (California)

How many times have you been promised an “Ocean View Room” only to find out your hotel is miles away from the Ocean and you can only see it with a pair of binoculars (BYO, of course). Well we have found at least one hotel that proves itself worth every buzz word in the brochure. Say hello to the view from the balcony of our “Ocean View Room” at the Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monica, California:

Photo: Debra Heath. The incredible view from our balcony.
Photo: Debra Heath. The incredible view from our balcony.

Yes, this is one of those hotels that actually delivers what it says, and looks just as good as the postcard. But it doesn’t stop at the view. These rooms are among the most comfortable I’ve stayed in. The Premium Ocean View Queen Room had two Queen Beds, with a stunning Samsung TV (it’s what looks like a mirror on the wall below), while the room sits with a simple yet perfect beach design. The carpet bringing the waves into your room; the walls blending into the sand.

oceanviewqueen

The room was very much built for two, with incredibly comfortable, thick robes for both guests, as well as complimentary bottles of water, and two sinks in the bathroom. Special mention also has to be given to the thick and incredibly soft carpet that sits under the sinks, and the handy magnification mirror. The only downside to the room is that the sinks share an open plan with the beds – so a late night wash may wake your second party.

The shower, meanwhile, is divine, and the massive mirror has backlighting, the intensity of which can be adjusted via touch on the mirror – something I’ve never seen in a hotel before. It even includes the option of a night light mode. The high quality skin and body products included come from Italian company [comfort zone], with the tag of “Your Private Ocean” for select products keeping to the theme of the hotel.

bathrooms

Though the hotel was built in 1989, the rooms feel brand spanking new – and there’s a reason for that. All the rooms in the hotel have been recently renovated, with the hotel just completing their room upgrade last month and about to start on a new lobby (so please excuse the dust on your next visit). Their incredible pool deck (pictured at the top of the article) was recently renovated, too. The major new addition to the outdoor set up are the fire pits, which have also been added onto the balconies of 10% of the rooms in the hotel. Sadly we didn’t get our own, but you can join us in enjoying the view of the photos below:

firepit

Not a bad way to end a day by any standards.

Sitting on the luxury side of the price range, it won’t surprise you that some things are more affordable than others in this hotel. Wi-Fi is complimentary for up to three devices, and is fast and reliable. Valet, however, will set you back $46.50 a day (including taxes) – which can end up doubling the cost of your rental – and you don’t have many other options to store your car. An incredibly convenient on site Hertz rental, however, could be a good option if this is the only hotel you’re staying in; renting a car when needed, and catching public transport or affordable Ubers otherwise. And though “public transport” may have once been a dirty word in Los Angeles, now with the direct Expo train line from Downtown LA to Santa Monica, it – often combined with an Uber – means this is a city you can (finally) get around without a car, safely and affordably. And this isn’t just a way to save money – in a city with roads as busy as Los Angeles, it can actually save you time.

The dining options at the hotel are all accessible on the level of the lobby, with Ocean & Vine serving as its main restaurant (with exceptional views on its balcony). We only enjoyed a breakfast there, but it was excellent (we do recommend the Eggs Benedict). As the day continues you can also enjoy a drink at the Papillion Bar or in the Fireside Lounge. Next to the pool you’ll also find the Beach Barn. Though it’s only open on the weekends for much of the year, through Summer it’s open daily, and here you’ll be able to find juices, ice creams, smoothies, gelato and the all important CANDY! For the kids… of course…

beachbarn

For those who can’t get enough exercise on the beach (no trip to Santa Monica would be complete without a walk up to Venice), the hotel has a massive gym with classes (access is just $10 a day), and a spa attached to that. Elsewhere you’ll find a business centre, function rooms and all the standards you’ve come to expect from any hotel in the Western world – though the grand piano, sitting by the window, overlooking the beach, may be one of the many things that sets this hotel apart from the rest. And their service is just that little bit better too.

Honestly, the only true complaint about this hotel is that the photos don’t do it justice. It’s one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever had the privilege of spending time in, and that view is worth flying over for alone.

The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is located at 1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401. For more details about the hotel and to book yourself a night, head to their official website.

The writer stayed as a guest of the hotel. Photos supplied by the hotel except where mentioned. All prices in US$. 

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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.