I felt like a Hollywood movie star walking through the doors of this glamorous art deco building that has overlooked the Pacific since 1939. Although fully renovated in 2008 it was difficult to tell the original features from the new additions — the chrome flourishes on black and white decor made everything look shiny and new.
After check-in I rode the obviously original, four-people-at-a-squeeze lift up to my floor. The L-shaped open-air corridor leading to my room overlooked a courtyard pool and relaxation area on one side, while the rooms offered sea views. My plush double-roomed suite came with matching his and her bathrooms, and every item of furniture was distinctly art deco — although the free wi-fi was a pleasingly modern touch.
Santa Monica’s celebrated beach was visible from my room, but the views were much clearer at the Suite 700 rooftop bar, where the panoramic vistas extended from Venice to the east, past the famous pier and all the way up to the mountains behind Malibu in the west. Grabbing a cocktail, I relaxed around the fire pit and waited for my sweet fries and salsa. With live music in the background I chilled out in true LA style, surrounded by fellow in-the-know tourists and locals.
Words By: Lauren Smith
Address: 1301 Ocean Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90401
Contact: T: 310 394 2791. www.shangrila-hotel.com
Price: Rooms from $375 a night
Published in the Winter 2013/14 issue of ASTAnetwork