Viceroy Santa Monica – Hotel Review
Styled by the inimitable Kelly Wearstler, the doyenne of the interiors scene, Viceroy Santa Monica has a quintessential Los Angeles vibe: bold, beachy and achingly, effortlessly cool. The palm-tree punctuated pool and terrace area with attached outdoor eatery is where you’ll rack up most of your hours at the hotel. But the second best use of your time is taking a complimentary bike 400 metres down the road to the sands of Santa Monica. Read on for the full review.
Where is Viceroy Santa Monica?
You’re just a block back from the city’s most famous beach at Viceroy Santa Monica. The white boxy building sits on the corner of a typically wide intersection, framed by a sparse line of towering palm trees. It’s a turn-less journey down Highway 1 to LAX, with a journey time of about half an hour, LA traffic depending.
What’s near Viceroy Santa Monica?
The colourful slab of rides, food carts and boardwalk of Santa Monica Pier is the area’s big attraction, less than 15 minutes by foot. In town to take up surfing? The sands of Santa Monica are even closer, with a cluster of surf schools less than 10 minutes away. On non-swimming days, Downtown LA is reachable in less than 30 minutes by car.
Rooms are retreats of sober elegance, with wallpapers of calm blue and sand-coloured Chesterfields, finished with marble bathrooms. Despite the proximity to the beach, ocean glimpses aren’t a given (the room name denotes the view, so there won’t be any surprises). The added resort fee, a somewhat standard procedure in Los Angeles, ensures wi-fi access, fitness classes, bottled water and bike hire, as well as a welcome drink. The Empire Suite, a considerable step up in price and size, is practically an apartment, with a separate lounge area and incredible beachside views.
Restaurants and bars
Sugar Palm Ocean Avenue perfectly distils the neighbourhood’s laidback luxury vibe, with tables in an open-air courtyard striped by strings of festoon lights between palm trees. The seating area is an extension of the pool, with the ambience carrying breezily to the menu, too – dishes such as furikake-sprinkled watermelon sashimi and octopus with chorizo dust pair perfectly with sunshine and a glass of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
Travel for work
Meetings and events can make the most of the hotel’s best space – the outdoor pool area – or be confined indoors, where the bright, fizzy design continues with statement lighting and mid-century-style swivel chairs.
If you’re working from your room, there are full-sized desk set-ups and free wi-fi for extended stints in front of the laptop.
Gym and pool
The hotel’s heartbeat can be traced to the pool area, framed by boxy white cabanas and shaded by palm fronds. The six cabanas are bookable (and inclusive of water and a bottle of sparkling) but there are a number of sun loungers to snag if you’re feeling lucky (and if you’re up at 8am when the pool opens).
There’s an on-site fitness centre as well as the very-LA offering of twice-daily yoga classes, held on the sands of Santa Monica, no less.
You’ll notice a few specific eco-conscious efforts around the place. This includes a reduced parking fee for guests with hybrid cars, the use of non-toxic and hypoallergenic cleaning products and the installation of low-flow water systems across 95 per cent of the property’s water fixtures.
From assisted listening devices in meeting rooms to tactile signage for permanent spaces, the hotel has an understanding of accessibility necessities. Service animals are also welcome.
What you need to know
Make the most of the guest amenities fee (USD$40 plus taxes daily) which includes perks such as free bike hire, perfect for wheeling around the flat footpaths of Santa Monica.
Best for: Couples and party people
Design: Contemporary chic
Number of rooms: 162, including five suites
Rates: From USD$459
Parking: On-site USD$55 per day, plus taxes
Address: 1819 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA
Phone: +1 310-260-7500
Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at qantas.com/hotels