As locals, we think the best boutique hotels in Santa Monica are ideal for visiting Los Angeles. Enjoy those California beach vibes and still be close to everything.
Nestled along the dreamy coastline of California, Santa Monica boutique hotels lure you in with their laid-back vibe, therapeutic retreats, and top-notch ocean views.
From beachfront bungalows to stylish urban getaways, the best hotels in Santa Monica complete any visit to this palm-fringed city.
Whether you are looking for trendy boutique or luxury hotels in Santa Monica, each hotel below is in a great location and offers personalized service with well-appointed accommodations.
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Planning your trip to Santa Monica last minute? Here are the tours and hotels we recommend. You will also find 25 Best Things to do in Los Angeles and 15 Mistakes to Avoid When Visiting Los Angeles helpful.
- TOP EXPERIENCES & TOURS IN SANTA MONICA
- Full Day Tour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, & Beaches – see LA’s iconic sights
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour – Explore Hollywood sets including Central Perk from Friends
- Beginner Surf Lesson at Venice Beach – coolest water activity
- BEST HOTELS IN SANTA MONICA
- PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR SANTA MONICA
Where to Stay in Santa Monica
Wondering where the cool hotels in Santa Monica are? Here are some of the best areas to stay in Santa Monica!
Santa Monica Beach By the Pier
Experience the beach lifestyle of Santa Monica by staying near the famous pier that marks the end of Route 66!
Walk on wide sandy beaches, enjoy amusement park fun, ride on the bike path, and witness breathtaking sunsets with classic coastal vibes.
You’ll find some of the best hotels in Santa Monica along this area. Our top choice by the pier is Shutters On the Beach.
Downtown Santa Monica
If your trip is all about shopping, dining, and entertainment, choose a Santa Monica hotel downtown!
One of the most popular spots, 3rd Street Promenade is a car-free zone that connects with Santa Monica Place, an open-air shopping mall.
Here you’ll find restaurants and clothing stores and a selection of smaller brands. Our top choice Downtown is Santa Monica Proper Hotel.
For anyone seeking breathtaking ocean views and a more tranquil setting, staying near Ocean Avenue is ideal. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and has a long park with a walking path and plenty of space to exercise or picnic.
Additionally, there are bridges to get over to the beach for a pleasant escape from LA’s hustle and bustle.
You can enjoy leisurely strolls along the palm-lined streets, experiencing California living at its finest. Our top choice away from the crowds with ocean views is Oceana Santa Monica.
Best Boutique Hotels in Santa Monica
Shutters On the Beach (Beachfront 5-star Santa Monica Hotel)
Lining the sandy shores of Santa Monica State Beach, Shutters On the Beach (9) offers a slice of luxurious coastal living in California.
With its inviting beach-house ambiance, this Santa Monica boutique hotel is full of modern comforts dressed in elegance.
The rooms and suites feel subtly beachy with shades of white and blue upscale decor. Some rooms have balconies with painted plantation shutters and ocean views, while all have jacuzzi tubs.
Amenities include a lobby with a stunning fireplace, an onsite restaurant, a popular beachfront cafe, and a heated terrace with Pacific Ocean views. There’s also a bar, a seasonal outdoor pool, and a spa.
This is easily one of the best hotels in Santa Monica on the beach.
• What guests like most: relaxing, prime location, beautiful • Consideration: restaurant gets busy
Casa Del Mar (Most Historic of Luxury Hotels in Santa Monica)
A 1920s Renaissance Revival hotel, Casa Del Mar (8.8) is located steps away from Santa Monica Beach. As one of the best luxury hotels in Santa Monica, its Mediterranean-inspired architecture and elegant interiors create an atmosphere of classic luxury.
Decorated in a soothing palate of coastal colors, rooms, and suites offer modern amenities and luxurious bathrooms, with many providing picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean.
The signature restaurant, Catch, serves exquisite coastal cuisine. With its oceanfront pool, rejuvenating spa, gym equipment, and attention to detail, Casa Del Mar is a dreamy escape.
• What guests like most: excellent customer service, live music restaurant • Consideration: not a lot of outdoor spaces
Viceroy Santa Monica (Trendy Boutique Hotel in Santa Monica with Cabanas)
For a favorite among cool hotels in Santa Monica, Viceroy Santa Monica (8.3) has a modern vibe with a California beachfront atmosphere.
Right on Ocean Avenue, you’ll be a block from the beach and steps from all the trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants on Main Street.
All rooms come with all the comforts you’d expect from a 4-star hotel in Santa Monica. They are nicely designed with soft, warm colors and big windows – many with Pacific Ocean views and large marble bathrooms.
There’s a hip poolside bar with private cabanas and an extensive deck, a renovated lounge, and an indoor-outdoor restaurant. There’s also a paid breakfast and free bikes.
• What guests like most: chic vibe, nice rooms, yoga on the beach • Consideration: no coffee machines in room
Santa Monica Proper Hotel (One of the Best Boutique Hotels Santa Monica Offers)
Santa Monica Proper Hotel (8.8) is one of the newest design hotels by the beach. It’s the perfect place to stay for foodies and those looking for the coolest rooftop pool on the Westside.
The hotel is home to two of the best restaurants, Palma and Calabra on the rooftop with dazzling ocean views.
This chic Mediterranean restaurant with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating is as good for a Hollywood power lunch as a delish lunch by the pool.
The rooms and suites are bright and airy with stylish contemporary furnishings. Beautifully designed with neutral, earthy colors and gleaming wooden bathrooms with walk-in showers, the peaceful retreats are the perfect escape from urban life.
Amenities include a lovely rooftop pool zone, free loaner bikes, surfboard rentals, two restaurants, a bar, breakfast, and a wellness center.
• What guests like most: very stylish, good gym, rooftop • Consideration: no beach view from rooms
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (Best Bungalow Rental Santa Monica Hotel)
Dating back to 1921, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (7.8) is an inviting, storied, 4-star hotel in Santa Monica. It’s spread across five acres with rooms and bungalows and is one of the best hotels in Santa Monica.
The 31 bungalow-style accommodations offer a secluded retreat, each providing a private patio or balcony. Hotel rooms have pretty palm tree/ocean views and suites with separate living areas.
Enjoy the onsite FIG restaurant and lobby bar. Whether you choose to stay at the Fairmont, do not miss FIG at 5, the popular happy hour from 5-6 p.m., or drinks at The Bungalow.
The Exhale Spa has massages, facials, and a menu of fitness classes. Afterward, relax at the outdoor pool, heated in the off-season.
Most of all, the ideal location is set at the top of the California incline, making a scenic drive up Pacific Coast Highway or beach access easy.
This is an ideal pick for a boutique hotel in Santa Monica if you are staying in the bungalows or one of the best resorts in Santa Monica if staying in the hotel.
• What guests like most: well located, trendy, pool • Consideration: large hotel with more than 300 rooms
Oceana Santa Monica (Amazing Santa Monica Boutique Hotel with Poolside Bar)
Across from the palm-fringed Palisades Park, Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts (8.8) is a suite-only hotel in one of Santa Monica’s most coveted neighborhoods.
You’ll have the beach as your backdrop and plenty of sumptuous amenities to keep you entertained.
Bright rooms have cool and funky furnishings, many of which look out over the ocean and/or the park. Take advantage of the complimentary minibar and sleek Italian marble bathrooms.
As the rooms are only suites, you’ll also have a separate living area with plenty of seating.
Amenities include an airy restaurant serving Southern California cuisine, an outdoor pool with a cocktail bar and exterior fireplace, and free bike rentals.
Enjoy the fitness center, guided hikes, and Saturday surf lessons as well! This is an amazing Santa Monica boutique hotel for a fun-filled stay.
• What guests like most: stylish, big rooms, poolside services • Consideration: smaller bathrooms
Huntley Santa Monica Beach (Best of Upscale Hotels in Santa Monica, California for Families)
Huntley Santa Monica Beach (8.7) is a tall, contemporary hotel in Santa Monica set one block from Third Street Promenade and the weekly Farmers Market.
Despite its central location, the hotel is nestled on a residential street giving it a peaceful vibe.
Thoughtfully designed coastal rooms and suites feature modern amenities and panoramic windows showcasing coastal beauty. Suites add luxury soaking tubs and extra living space.
Many rooms sleep 4, making it one of the best hotels in Santa Monica for families. Plus, free bikes and guided hikes are a bonus!
The rooftop restaurant on the 18th floor is a long-standing Los Angeles favorite that offers innovative cuisine and outstanding ocean views. There is also a fitness center, swimming pool, and cafe onsite.
• What guests like most: luxurious and spacious rooms • Consideration: upscale prices
The Georgian Hotel (Best of Historic Hollywood-esque Santa Monica Hotels)
The Georgian Hotel (8.7) is a historic 1930s gem combining old-world, whimsical charm with a distinct oceanfront ambiance.
Its colorful Art Deco architecture and warm hospitality create a unique vibe reminiscent of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Recently refurbished, the rooms/suites are fabulously decorated with whimsical Art Deco decor and luxurious white marble bathrooms. The suites add minibars and separate bedrooms.
Enjoy coastal cuisine at the Veranda Restaurant or unwind at the speakeasy-style bar. This is one of the best hotels in Santa Monica for a mesmerizing trip!
• What guests like most: feels like another era, beautiful • Consideration: no pool
Ambrose Hotel (Best Sustainable Santa Monica Boutique Hotel)
If you’re looking for a relaxed and eco-friendly boutique hotel in Santa Monica, the Ambrose Hotel (8.7) offers a cozy escape in a serene residential area.
The rooms and suites showcase contemporary design with a touch of zen. All come with bathrobes, walk-in showers, and organic minibars.
Amenities include free loaner bikes, a complimentary shuttle service, beer/wine tastings, organic coffee served in the lobby, and a 24-hour fitness center.
• What guests like most: spacious rooms, Tesla car service, freebies • Consideration: away from beach crowd
Palihouse Santa Monica (Historic Mediterranean Top Hotel in Santa Monica)
Another historic hotel dating back to the 1920s, Palihouse Santa Monica (8.4) is a unique Mediterranean Revival-style boutique hotel. The building is spacious and includes 38 classic-style rooms.
All the rooms feature a distinctive mix of vintage and quirky design elements and come with high-end Egyptian cotton bedding. Upgraded rooms add separate bedrooms. There’s also a studio with a kitchenette.
During your stay, unwind in the inviting lobby lounge or dine at the on-site restaurant.
It’s a little tucked away but still just a short walk from 3rd Street Promenade.
• What guests like most: nice location, stylish and quirky, dreamy • Consideration: no wine/liquor on site
Shore Hotel (Oceanfront Santa Monica Beach Hotel)
Located on Ocean Avenue, the Shore Hotel (8.4) is one of the best hotels near Santa Monica Pier. It has spacious rooms, a contemporary design, and a commitment to eco-conscious hospitality.
You’ll enjoy stunning views of the ocean or cityscape from your room, each designed with sustainability in mind. All also come with private balconies or patios, and some are oceanfront.
Relax by the heated pool, work out in the fitness center, or dine at the Mexican-style restaurant during your visit.
• What guests like most: perfect location, staff, amenities • Consideration: small outdoor pool
The Pierside Santa Monica (Relaxing Hotel in Santa Monica, California)
The Pierside Santa Monica (7.7) is like a beachside retreat right in the hub of the city. This charming Santa Monica boutique hotel offers a cozy ambiance and personalized service, creating a homey atmosphere.
The rooms and suites are individually decorated with neutral tones that feel very calming. All include coffee makers and bathrobes, plus fantastic views of the city or ocean.
Looking out over the beach, The Pierside is a fantastic base combined with its heated saltwater pool, restaurant/bar, and gym.
• What guests like most: comfortable rooms, close to everything • Consideration: undergoing construction
Final Thoughts on Best Hotels in Santa Monica
Soak up the beauty of this coastal paradise by booking a stay at one of the best boutique hotels in Santa Monica!
Spend days relaxing at the beach, shopping, enjoying the fun of the pier, or doing LA Day Trips from this central location.