Santa Monica, CA

By Michelle Lyn

Los Angeles’ Westside has its fair share of swanky, beachfront hotels and although it’s not on the beach, Santa Monica’s Le Meridien Delfina is not to be overlooked. Tucked in a few blocks away from the coast, the hotel is centrally located and easy to access across from Santa Monica High School.

A recent renovation has added a hipster’s urban touch to an otherwise aging façade. Reclaimed wood floors, mid-century furniture and pops of color give it a youthful vibe, as do the old-school beach cruisers available for rent on the entrance patio. Stellar northwest balcony views give each guest an eyeful, from the beach all the way over to the Hollywood sign; not a bad spot to sit and have your morning joe.

Mornings
If you’re an early riser, walk the few blocks down Pico Boulevard and take advantage of Santa Monica’s sprawling beach, virtually empty if you time it right. L.A.’s manicured white sand beaches are the stuff California dreams (and Baywatch episodes) are made of. You might see some people heading out with boards, but there isn’t usually much to paddle out for right here. Best to just keep walking and enjoy the view.

Make your way to Main Street and head south to Rose for breakfast. Urth Caffe is buzzy and usually has a line out the door, but other local favorites like Oscar’s and Gjusta don’t disappoint. If it’s a Sunday morning, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the farmer’s market and nosh on street food.

Another morning option might be to start the day off with a massage. The nearby Fairmont Miramar Hotel is a secluded little oceanfront bungalow hotel, popular with celebs. Also popular is the Exhale Spa on property that offers various spa treatments and fitness classes. If you go this route, then head to Huckleberry Bakery & Café for a healthy breakfast that can be balanced out with one of their decadent pastries (try the Kougin-Amann).

Afternoons
On the Westside, you have two great options for shopping and people watching. Start out on Venice’s Abbot Kinney. It’s a winding street chock-full of restaurants, coffee shops, antique shops and trendy boutiques. TOMS has a unique café/retail store with a backyard to chill in, and Burro is great for gifts.

The next stop on the agenda should be the Third Street Promenade. Famous for street performers, many a young and up-and-coming artists have been buskers on this well-known outdoor venue. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself stopping to enjoy a street act—and then getting pulled in to participate. You can find most major shops on this strip, so pick up some cool new kicks or an outfit for your night on the town.

If you’d rather break a sweat and enjoy the coast rather than people-watch, grab those cruisers from the hotel and bike up toward Malibu. Mix business with pleasure and stop for drinks at any of the spots along the water, including Nobu, Moonshadows or Duke’s.

Evenings
Sunset drinks at the Lobster (at the base of the Santa Monica Pier) or Sushi Roku will start the evening out right. At Sushi Roku (one of the best sushi joints in L.A.), do not leave without having the Yellowtail Diced Chilies with Garlic Ponzu and Olive Oil—it will be a dish you won’t soon forget.

There are too many good restaurants to choose from, so why not have your own progressive dinner party? Next stop is
Tar & Roses for the Whole Fried Snapper, scored perfectly so you can pluck little cubes out to drench in dipping sauce.

Farther east, Baltaire is the new darling in neighboring Brentwood. This haute spot is dark, ambient and has old-school flare with servers in blazers who do elaborate table-side preparations, all to the backdrop of live music coming from a grand piano.

End with a nightcap at The Other Room, back on Abbot Kinney. Dark, loud and open-aired, it’s so L.A., but in a good way.

PACKAGES
40 Percent Off Your Second Night
For every night you pay regular rate, get the next for 40 percent off. So whether you stay two nights, four nights or more, your tomorrows will be that much better.

Weekend Rates Equal to Your Birth Year
A sweet deal for the year you were born. Get your second and third night at rates equal to your birth year.

First night rates from $300
Second and third night rates equal to your birth year + $100

Born in 1948? Pay $148 per night.

SUNDAY OFFER
Rates equal to your birth year only!

Born in 1948? Pay $48 on Sunday as your second or third night.

PLANNING AHEAD
Getting There
Le Meridien Delfina is off the 405 freeway in the heart of Santa Monica, just off of Pico. From San Diego, it’s around a two-hour drive, depending on traffic.

When to Go
Summer is ideal to enjoy a day in the pool cabanas or at the beach, especially once the Santa Monica Twilight Concerts at the Pier start on July 9.

Book it
Reservations can be made online at LeMeridienDelfina.com
530 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405