Of all the hotels in Santa Monica, Casa del Mar has always been my favorite.
It's one of the few hotels in Santa Monica located right on the sand and beach. It's also one of the most historic and elegant structures within city limits.
It is elegant but never stuffy, however. And whether you hail from far or near, Casa del Mar provides the ultimate escape from daily life and routine - a serene place to unwind the kinks of daily life, sink your toes in the sand, and let the lull of the surf take you to your happy place.
Case del Mar opened in 1926 as an exclusive beach club and hotel where the partying was hearty and L.A.'s elite came to see and be seen. That is until World War II started, and proved to be the ultimate buzz-kill for the elite playground.
Shortly there after, Casa del Mar was converted into a military hotel. After the war ended, however, it never quite regained its following.
Enter new owners in 1999, who spent $50 million restoring the historic landmark to its former grandeur, creating an elegant and sophisticated European-style hotel.
Today Casa del Mar is a chic beachside hotspot for a new generation of hearty partiers. One major attraction is the hotel's Terrazzo Lounge, whose curated cocktails and live music have attracted both a new generation and new wave of locals.
Weekends at Casa del Mar heat up with the pulsating beat of electro-lounge DJs, who start spinning at 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
Catch restaurant overlooking the sand and sea serves up market-fresh fish dishes for lunch, dinner, and brunch under the seasoned eye of Managing Chef Sven Mede.
"Our ethos at Catch is straightforward: source the freshest seasonal seafood and locally grown produce, and prepare each dish with refined technique, simplicity, and attention to detail," Mede says. "Great product means great food, and that's what our guests will experience here."
Dinner at Catch Restaurant is always a special treat, but Sunday brunch offers so many wonderful choices... Our personal favorites, however, are the dungeness crab florentine and lemon and ricotta pancakes with blueberries and creme fraiche.
The hotel's129 recently renovated guest rooms (including 17 suites), are replete with a style evocative of a chic, romantic beach estate.
Each room has high ceilings, and stately windows framed by luxurious ivory sateen draperies with a dramatic arched valance, sumptuously dressed beds, and big, Italian-marble bathrooms.
It's easy to find a room or suite with views of the Pacific Ocean, many with balconies. So if your dream is to drift off to sleep to the sound of waves crashing, Casa del Mar has your room.
While the place is historic, the technology has kept pace with the times. All guest rooms sport the latest technology, including flat-screen televisions, wireless internet access, and iPod docking stations.
This is a pretty good overview of the hotel filmed by a recent guest and published on Youtube:
Rates start at $525 nightly. For more information or reservations: 800-898-6999; or contact the hotel direct at 310-581-553.
Visit Casa del Mar's website for more information.
Get a list of the Top Santa Monica Luxury Hotels here.