We’ve been to the Santa Monica Loews hotel many times, but always for a conference and never as a pampered guest. We much prefer the latter!
Located right on the beach, the hotel has a scenic view of the Pier, which is especially beautiful at night when the Ferris wheel is all a glow. Take a stroll on the beach, eat on the Pier, rent a bike, or just enjoy the vista. For the really lazy, there’s the lovely fireside lounge, where you can get a drink and watch the world go by.
With 342 rooms, including 13 one-bedroom suites and 4 custom-designed luxury suites, most with views, it’s not a small hotel, yet after one day it has a luxurious, yet friendly feel, which is mostly due to the warm, professional service.
We loved the fire pits at night, overlooking the Ocean, and the main restaurant, Ocean and Vine is 5 star. Featuring the restaurant’s signature “farm to table” California cuisine, everything we tried was excellent. (There’s also 24 hour room service.) And did we mention the view?
For a casual meal, try Papillon, which offers food outside, as well as some comfy seating inside and features the same panoramic view of the coast line.
Like all Loews, the hotel welcomes kiddies and has plenty of activities, plus kids under 12 eat free.
For the Spa Queen in the family, there is the newly re-vamped eco-friendly Ocean Spa and Fitness Center complete with four rooms for body and facial treatments.
The pool is a favorite of all the kids we saw, but is shrouded in shade much of the day, so not the best for sun worshippers, though you can move down to the area around the fire pits.
There are always special deals to check the website before you travel.
By Evan Hosie