By Tallulah Dumonde

Like it’s next-door neighbor Shutters, the Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, California, is one of the top luxury hotels in the Los Angeles Area. From the street, you would probably never guess what a posh setting awaits you. Unassuming and discreet, the building is actually the original structure, built in the early 1900’s, which served as an upscale beach club.

Today the hotel is a favourite spot for well-traveled guests. With generously appointed guest rooms, many of which have partial or full ocean views, it is easy to feel this place is something of a second home. The bathrooms are marble and feature large hydrotherapy soaking tubs, complete with your own personal rubber ducky. Beds are dreamy and comfortable, with Egyptian Cotton sheets and loads of pillows. In addition to these luxuries, there are modern amenities such as High Speed Wireless Internet Access, and a large screen tv with DVD and CD player.

Leaving your room might not seem that appealing once you’ve entered into this cozy little paradise, but you’ll want to do so because the rest of the hotel is just as accommodating. In fact, the hotel staff has seen to every detail to ensure each guest enters a stress-free zone upon check-in.

The sumptuous lobby has oversized chairs and sofas, perfect for drinks with friends, impromptu meetings, and a cozy fire-side nightcap. The entire lobby is equipped with High Speed Wireless Internet Access and the lovely front desk staff will even loan hotel guests a laptop for an hour to use in the lobby area. It certainly beats any hotel business center I have ever been to.

And there’s more. Casa del Mar has several restaurants, and they all offer wonderful menu choices. However, my personal favourite is Catch. Inspired by the sea (and with most of the tables affording guests a wonderful view of the Pacific), the creative menu serves up traditional seafood cuisine with a twist. One word of caution: make a reservation. Not only is Catch a fave amongst guests, it is also a destination for local residents.

There is so much more to love about the Hotel Casa del Mar. There is a Spa, the Santa Monica Beach just outside, event and meeting facilities, you name it. The staff is pretty much the best staff you can find at any hotel, and if there is something you need that they don’t have, I have a sneaking suspicion that all you have to do is just ask. That’s what I call luxury.

Originally published May 2009
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