A Grande Dame On the Beach
Posted Feb 5, 2017
This hotel was one of the first "skyscrapers" on Ocean Boulevard. I love that the hotel has some history, hosting the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Al Capone and other big shots and luminaries from Santa Monica's early days.
The rooms are smaller then the modern rooms we're used to today. The rooms were very clean, while keeping some of the original details. My bugaboo is a clean bathroom. The tiles looked like they were from the 40's, but the grout was new. We were able to fully open the window, to let in the ocean breezes and gaze out on the palm trees that line the park along the ocean. At night, when Ocean Boulevard quiets down, you can hear the waves. My only negative was that the bed was a little bouncy. Other than that, the amenities were fine, in-room coffee from a Keurig machine.
There's a tiny bar in the lobby, and you can sit out on the veranda, overlooking the park, while sipping your martini.
The staff is friendly and attentive. One bellhop took us to see the abandoned speakeasy in the basement of the hotel. It still has the red leather banquettes from the 1930's, along with pictures of the movie stars that frequented it during prohibition. They are beginning a renovation, and I think the place will be hot when it's done.
The location couldn't be better, steps from the ocean, the pier and around the corner from the promenade, which has many shops and interesting characters.