With 340 days of sunshine a year (on average), fabulous beaches, cultural spots and plenty of shops, Santa Monica is often a great choice for those looking to stay away from the busier areas of Los Angeles but still close enough (13 miles) to enjoy the city and surrounding areas.

There are many reasons to visit Santa Monica. Spend lazy days on Santa Monica Beach swimming, surfing, fishing and biking, visit a couple of the 75 museums and art galleries such as the Santa Monica Museum of Art, walk along Santa Monica Pier with its iconic wheel and amusement parks and shop on Third Street Promenade.

A perfect destination at the beginning or end of a self-drive holiday through California, Santa Monica is also accessible on foot and using the Big Blue Bus, transporting you within the city and to surrounding districts such as Venice Beach. Just because you’re staying outside of Los Angeles does not mean evenings end early; Santa Monica has bars, nightclubs and plenty of fun happy hours. 

Where to stay

As you would expect from the Inspiring Travel Company, our portfolio of hotels in Santa Monica offers only the very best in terms of luxury and style. Our highlights include:

Shutters on the Beach – right on the oceanfront and a stone’s throw from the famous pier, this coastal chic retreat is inspired by Cape Cod design… think seaside details, white wood and ocean views.

Hotel Casa del Mar – just down the beach, this 1926 hotel is something of a Santa Monica icon, with flawless views of the beach and home to the legendary Catch restaurant. Book one of the two-storey penthouses for an experience bar none.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows – within five acres, this luxury hotel has the benefit of extensive facilities and plenty of space for your Santa Monica stay. For families, the 32 secluded garden bungalows are idea

Loews Santa Monica – an award-winning swimming pool overlooking the ocean and a local seafood and farmers market-sourced restaurant are highlights of this 347-room luxury laidback hotel.

Viceroy Santa Monica – sophisticated and elegant, this celebrity favourite has been inspired by the ocean in its design. For added luxury, we recommend asking your Travel Specialist to pre-book one of the coveted poolside cabanas.

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The Inspiring Travel Company Team
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Drive California's Coast, San Francisco to San Diego
Self-Drive

Drive California's Coast, San Francisco to San Diego

USA
California
Carmel & Monterey
+4 others
11 nights from £3,735 per person
Itinerary Highlights
  • Take an eerie self-guided tour through the former high-security prison of Alcatraz where notorious criminals such as Mickey Cohen and Al Capone were once detained
  • Stroll through the quaint seaside village of Carmel-by-the-Sea with its boutiques, galleries, pavement cafes
  • Allocate a full day to enjoy the spectacular Big Sur coastal drive stopping at attractions such as Elephant Seal colony at Piedras Blancas and Hearst Castle at San Simeon
  • Enjoy upscale accommodation and facilities at some of our favourite hand-picked Californian hotels

Shutters on the Beach, a Leading Hotel of the World, is a luxurious and classic beachfront property in Santa Monica. The picture-perfect exterior is coupled with rooms and suites decorated stylishly and beautifully by the Interior Designer, Michael Smith. Shutters on the Beach is a well-known and loved hotel and a perfect choice for a stay directly on the beach. Rooms and suites are equipped with...

A contemporary and glamorous hotel ideally located on Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue set two blocks from the beach and close to Santa Monica’s famous pier and Third Street Promenade shopping and dining. The Viceroy is extremely hip, highly recommend for those looking for nightlife in Santa Monica and a trendy hotel. Accommodations are classically and luxuriously furnished and feature spacious living ...

Occupying a beautiful beachfront setting, Loews Santa Monica offers one of the best ocean view pools and sun desks in Santa Monica Beach. The hotel comprises 342 contemporary and stylish rooms and suites with wooden shutters and a beach-side home-style décor. The focal point of the hotel is the heated outdoor pool and two-tier pool deck where you can unwind and soak up the California sunshine whil...

The sister property of Shutters on the Beach, Casa del Mar is a Mediterranean inspired beachfront hotel occupying a brilliant location with stunning views of Santa Monica Beach and its pier. Once you step into the lobby you are treated to ocean views from the Terrazza Lounge. The bright and airy rooms and suites are exquisitely styled with a luxury beach house feel and showcase local coastal art, ...

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows is on an elevated position offering beach and ocean views from a selection of its rooms and suites and is within easy walking distance of downtown Santa Monica. Accommodations are spread throughout the 10 story Ocean Tower offering Pacific and Santa Monica beach views and six-story Palisades Wing where traditional guest rooms are located. The hotel also has a col...

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