Ocean Avenue is where you'll find Santa Monica beach hotels for every budget - from the don't-ask expensive to the shoestring budget-friendly.
Ocean Avenue runs parallel to Santa Monica State Beach and is home to the Santa Monica Pier.
Staying in Santa Monica doesn't get much more scenic or convenient than a hotel on Ocean Avenue.
So let's get to it - what are your options for beach hotels? Budget-friendly hotels start at $150 per night. And If you're really in the mood to splurge, top Santa Monica beach hotels can make your visit luxe and dreamy - for a $300 or more per night starting rate.
While Santa Monica is famous for its expensive beach hotels, the truth is that there are budget-friendly hotels here, too - and some are even steps from the beach.
The Bayside hotel is a stone's throw from Santa Monica's best attractions. Ocean views, courtyard, and economy rooms ensure these Santa Monica accommodations suit everyone's needs and vacation budget.
All rooms are non-smoking, and many have full kitchens. Rooms start at $128 per night. 2001 Ocean Avenue; (310) 396-6000.
Hotel California is a laid-back, beach-style hotel with 26 California-themed rooms (including surfboard headboards) just a short walk along a small private footpath to the beach and less than a block from the Santa Monica Pier.
The hip, So-Cal vibe, and matching decor make the Hotel California one of Santa Monica's most popular places to stay.
(Of course, having breakfast included probably helps, too.) Rooms start at $259 a night. 1670 Ocean Avenue; (310) 393-2363.
The Ocean Lodge Hotel has maintained its historically significant 1950s-style architecture for more than 50 years.
Today Ocean Lodge has grown and updated for today's visitors, featuring all the modern amenities necessary to meet the needs of travelers from around the world.
With a backdrop overlooking the Santa Monica Pier and beaches, the location is second to none, affording guests the best of Santa Monica at budget-friendly prices.
Rooms start at $199 per night. 1667 Ocean Avenue; (310) 454-4146.
The Seaview Hotel is a 1950s art deco gem one block from the Santa Monica Pier and beaches on Ocean Avenue.
The cozy rooms feature fresh colors, trendy furniture, and each room includes free wireless WiFi, a flat-screen television, and complimentary daily maid service.
Rooms start at $125 per night. 1760 Ocean Avenue; (310) 393-6711.
In Santa Monica, it seems, if the price is no object - you really can have it all. Here's a peek inside Santa Monica beach hotels' ultra-luxe shining stars.
Casa del Mar is one of my very favorite places among all Santa Monica beach hotels.
I love the elegant, beach-chic decor, its sweeping views of the Pacific from virtually every inch of the resort.
Its prime location can't be beaten: Casa del Mar is just a short walk from both the Santa Monica Pier and the shopping and restaurants at the 3rd Street Promenade.
Rooms start at $525 per night. 1910 Ocean Way; (310) 581-5533.
What's not to love about the Fairmont Hotel & Bungalows a historic hotel perched on the bluffs of Ocean Avenue? This is a hotel that takes privacy and service to a whole new level - even for Santa Monica.
Hollywood celebrities including Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, and Marilyn Monroe visited the Fairmont frequently, finding the tranquil haven they sought from fans and the prying eyes of the media. Rooms start at $356 nightly. 101 Wilshire Blvd. (at Ocean Avenue); (310) 576-7777.
When the Georgian Hotel opened its doors in 1933, it quickly became a rendezvous hot spot for stars of the silver screen, including lovers Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.
The notorious Bugsy Siegel and comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle had martinis and enjoyed jazz on the oceanfront veranda although the hotel opened during prohibition. Rooms start at $221 per night. 1450 Ocean Avenue; (320) 395-9945.
The first time I noticed the Hotel Shangri-la Santa Monica was in the fall of 2008. It had just reopened following a $30 million renovation.
Today, the white, 7-story hotel is impossible to miss with its sleek, streamline modern architecture and Art Deco design.
But there's more to the hotel than just a pretty facade, including a rooftop pool with a steamy social scene that's among the hottest places to see and be seen in Los Angeles.
Rooms start at $305 per night. 1301 Ocean Avenue; (310) 395-9945.
The French-themed Marriott Santa Monica is an Ocean Avenue luxury resort close to the sand, with excellent views of the Santa Monica Pier and beach from the hotel pool, and many guest rooms.
The Marriott's stand-out offerings include a deliciously decadent European-style spa, an intimate lobby lounge with fine wines and rare liquors; an expansive fitness center, sauna, and steam room; to keep you busy when you're not lounging by the pool.
Rooms start at $269 per night. 1740 Ocean Avenue; (310) 395-9700.
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel holds the distinction of being one of Santa Monica's premier pet-friendly and family-friendly resorts. (It's home to Loews Loves Kids, a program complete with custom-designed activities, toys, and family fitness programs.)
You definitely won't lack for things to do here: You can take a fitness class (indoors or out) at the award-winning fitness center, relax at the eco-friendly Ocean Spa featuring an organic body and facial treatments, or chill beside the oceanfront pool.
Rooms starting at $395 per night. 1700 Ocean Avenue; (310) 395-9700.
This New England-style cottage resort - with its grey shingled siding, flower-covered trellises, and cabana-striped awnings - channels Cape Cod in all its glory.
Shutters on the Beach Hotel also holds the distinction of being one of just two Santa Monica hotels that are right on the beach.
The guest rooms and suites at Shutters are stellar; service impeccable and the ocean-view bars and restaurants unparalleled. Your West Coast retreat with an upscale East Coast vibe awaits. Rooms starting at $539 per night. 1 Pico Blvd.; (310) 458-0030.
The 162-room Viceroy Santa Monica is known today for its hip, local crowd, ocean views, and plunge pools with a sexy poolside scene.
It's also known for its funky decor. Think yellow benches, kelly green armchairs and white porcelain dog lamps (yes, you read that right) in guest rooms.
I've always loved the seemingly discordant decor for its sophisticated vibe that makes for a lively setting for sunset cocktails.
Rooms starting at $340 per night. 1819 Ocean Avenue; (310) 260-7500.
How does a city with a vast, 3.5-mile stretch of coastline play host to so many luxury resorts and hotels?
Even more curious is how they blend perfectly into the landscape, and how celebrities from around the world come to these resorts and boutique hotels with little fanfare.
How does Santa Monica pull this off? Magic.