Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
1700 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, California, 90401 U.S.A. Tel : 310.458.6700 Fax: 310.458.6761 Email: email@example.com Web site: www.loewshotels.com
One of a cluster of oceanside and oceanfront deluxe hotels on the beach at Santa Monica, Loews is one of the finest. To keep abreast of the new JW Marriott Le Merigot and the competing Casa Del Mar, and Strutters on the Beach, Loews underwent a $15 million redevlopment in the early 2000s. I had stayed at the property before so I was much looking forward to a return visit. I drove into the driveway on a breezy Friday afternoon and headed into the reception area which is at ground level from Ocean Avenue, but is actually the fourth level of the hotel. My reservation was found and check-in proceeded smoothly. I had snagged somewhat of an upgrade even though I had booked a 'premier ocean view' room. I then decided to park the car but on entering the parking area I noted that the hotel only had valet parking. I then had to turn around on the busy Ocean Avenue road to re-enter the driveway. After a couple of minutes I managed this and then handed the keys to an attendant who handed me a ticket which also contained the telephone extension to call when the car was required. I took my own carry-on bags in to the far (ocean) end of the building to one of three elevator banks in the building. I then went up to the 7th floor and found my way to the end of a corridor to Room 754. On enterting there was a hallway of about 12 feet by about 6 feet from which I turned to face the room. The first thing that struck me was the panoramic view of the white sand and sea of Santa Monica Beach, with the Pier to the right. Glass sliding doors opened on to a balcony (unfurnished). The room was quite spacious and very modern in a contemporary style. There was a full length couch with a back rest on which you could lie down, a king size bed with two small single drawer bed chests either side, each with a lamp. On one there was a phone and on the other a deluxe digital clock radio and cd player. The bed coverings were very classy as was the huge bedhead. A large timber cabinet stood opposite whioch contained the Tv, a mini-bar stocked with snacks and beverages, three large drawers and a safe. On top was an ice bucket and glasses, and a bottle of Evian Water ($6.95). There was a table alongside the counch and there was a nice sized office desk with lamp and phone and an extension board if you needed to make it bigger. Two very nice arm chairs on either side of the desk meant you could take in the view while you worked, or if the sun was distracting you could face the other way. The wardrobe had sliding doors with full length mirrors. The bathroom had a full size bath and dress area with basin, and then a sliding partition led to a separate shower, which was double-sized, and the toilet area. All was of a first class standard. There was even a miniature TV on the base. In fact if there could be a criticism the bench space was far too small and the little space that was there was was cluttered with the TV, a basket of duplicate guest amentities, flannels, a folded hand towel, a tissue dispenser and three glasses. There were some small picture wall shelves, however these contained ornaments. The room had two telephone lines so you could work online whilst making or recieiving telephone calls. Some nice prints and beautifully blending wallpaper touched off the room which was about as nice a hotel room as you could get. I then decided to explore the hotel. There were lounges and tables on each floor facing the ocean where guests can just go and relax or have a read. There were a number of meeting rooms throughout as well. On level 4 where the lobby was again there was a large area with lounges scattered throughout. There was also a lobby bay which they call Papillon Lounge. Just outside there was the pool and a whirlpool and a terrace directly facing the beach. The area had a number of tables set up for lunch with plate mats and cutlery rolled into serviettes. I ordered a light lunch and enjoyed it watching the sea, in some absolutely delightful surroundings. There were palm trees in the pool area and in front of the hotel. Even in the foyer there are now large palm trees which really set the scene for a relaxing stay, when you are just minutes away from bustling Los Angeles. Later taking the lift down to the 1st level you walk out on to a road and directly opposite is the beach, one of the widest I know. Just 150 yards away is the Santa Monica Pier and you can see the Ferris Wheel rolling around to the shrieks and laughter of the kids. Its a glorius day and the hotel is difficult to fault. Later that night I enjoyed a few drinks at the Papillon Lounge. A very nice setting and drinks and complimentary snacks were promptly served. I then decided to check out the Lavande Restaurant, a fine dining room that has received reviews in the Los Angeles papers. It was superb. In all the hotel met and exceeded expectations, and is well worth recommendation.