Casa Del Mar Santa Monica
When the weather starts to cool down in my hometown Sydney, I naturally start dreaming myself away to the places that are beginning to heat up. Over the past year, I've visited Los Angeles on three occasions. Seems like a lot of times to visit the same place, but when your LA bucket list is as long as mine, one trip could never do. I remember the first time I stayed in Santa Monica. It was in 2005 and was the first stop of a five and a half month trip. I was traveling with my sister Jessica, and it did not take long for Santa Monica to capture us. It was the end of summer and we had given ourselves a week to take in the West Coast sunshine before heading East. To make sure we had seen as much of LA as possible, we decided to spend our last day with a personal chauffeur. When she asked us what we wanted to do most, we gave her our 2 must visits including the Getty Center and a drive around Malibu. She took care of the rest, including our first ever burger at In and Out and sunset drinks at the Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. That Autumn afternoon in the hotel lounge overlooking Santa Monica Beach snacking on bar snacks is one of my best travel memories to date.
Since that autumn afternoon in 2005, Casa Del Mar never quite left my mind. So late last year when Kevin and I had planned our American travels, I had my heart set on experiencing the hotel for more than just an afternoon. I wanted to know what it was like to fall asleep there, to swim in that iconic pool, and of course, reminisce on my first visit 10 years ago with bar snacks and drinks in the lounge. The best part was, that our time in California came right after renewing our vows in New York City, so it felt a little honeymoonish. And what better place to finish it all off than this great American coastal landmark.
Our stay at Hotel Casa Del Mar was just what we needed it to be; luxurious, relaxing and close to all the places we wanted to squeeze in during our last weekend. We arrived at the hotel late on a Wednesday night after making the drive over from Santa Barbara. Greeted by the warmest hotel staff, we made way to the room we'd call home for the next three nights. Casa Del Mar means home by the sea, and everything about this room felt just like that. The space was tranquil, awash in powder blue and white. Nothing about this hotel room felt disconnected. I felt like I had stayed here before and was revisiting something warm and familiar. The styling featured stacks of books, large sea shells and white coral, all nestled in the book shelf and on the bed side tables. My favourite was the bathroom, especially the french style doors that connected the two spaces. Ridiculously romantic and impossible to resit having a late night bubble bath with a mug of hot tea.
Taking a sunset walk after drinks at the hotel's bar and lounge Terrazza is a must. This was the space that made me fall in love with Casa Del Mar so I highly recommend it, even if you aren't staying at the hotel. Once you've had a drink or two, head out to the beach and find yourself a spot to appreciate the most beautiful sunset on this side of the USA. If you're feeling nostalgic, continue your walk to the Santa Monica Pier and hop on a ride or two... or three.
On past trips, Kevin and I spent our last day rushing around doing shopping, gift buying and never factored in that crazy LA traffic. This time around we decided to take the easy road. On our last day in Santa Monica, we slept in and spent the rest of the day doing everything on foot. We walked to the farmers market, had coffee at our favourite espresso bar and finished the day with a late afternoon swim back at the hotel. Even though we had already checked out earlier in the day, we were able to refresh at the hotel spa, complete with relaxation zones, complimentary refreshments, treatment rooms and of course showers. This time, we left LA feeling like our last day was time very well spent.
One of the things that I had dead wrong in past years was how I budgeted for my hotel stays. These days, I tend to save a little extra for the first and last hotel I stay at on any given trip. Why? Because I want to feel pampered and revived when I arrive, but even moreso when it’s time to pack up and leave. You can probably guess that an ocean front hotel on California’s most famous shores may require a little more of your budget. But if you’re hoping to end your stay in the US with all the best things Santa Monica has to offer, then make sure this home by the sea is on your hit list.
Click here to plan your stay at Hotel Casa Del Mar Santa Monica 1910 Ocean Way Santa Monica, CA 90405 hotelcasadelmar.com
Kevin and Viola of Project Sweet Stuff experienced this stay as guests of Hotel Casa Del Mar