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Casa del Mar
Photograph: Courtesy Lisa RomereinCasa del Mar.

The best hotels on the beach in LA

Spend your next vacation seaside at the best beach hotels in Los Angeles, from Malibu to Manhattan Beach

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano
&
Time Out contributors
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Yearning for an escape to L.A.’s sandy shores? One of the best things about this city is its miles of sunny coastline, stretching from Malibu all the way down to Manhattan Beach. Each beach town boasts a different vibe to suit your fancy: the ’Bu for an A-list-style retreat; Venice for an eclectic, no-frills getaway; a trendy, commercial setting in Santa Monica; Rancho Palos Verdes for a luxury resort feel with a golf course to boot; and a laid-back, surf- and beach volleyball- vibe in Manhattan Beach. No matter what kind of vacation you’re seeking—whether with family, friends or a significant other—you can’t go wrong with the best hotels on the beach in Los Angeles.

These little spots of paradise all sprout from the waterfront, where you can enjoy ocean breezes, crashing waves, amazing restaurants and bars, luxurious rooms and suites, and breathtaking views. Be sure to check out the array of hotel features before booking your stay, which span swanky rooftop bars, spas, private balconies, fitness centers, in-room fireplaces, kitchenettes and bicycles on loan for hotel guests. Not to mention, nearby attractions like picturesque piers, famous boardwalks, popular dining spots and walking trails (the beach walk from Venice to Santa Monica is a must). From secluded spots along L.A.’s best beaches to swanky suites in Santa Monica, these are the best hotels on the beach in the City of Angels. 

9 best hotels on the beach

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Santa Monica
  • price 3 of 4

Formerly a cool retreat for hot Hollywood stars and now a sister to Casa del Mar, Shutters has a relaxed but decidedly upscale style. Filled with comfortable sofas, club chairs and prints by modern masters such as David Hockney, the lobby mirrors the beach-cottage ambience of the rooms and suites, which in turn feature lovely, dark hardwood floors and the hotel's signature white shutters. Guests who prefer gentle pampering to the myriad outdoor beach activities can spend a day at the spa or sit poolside sipping wine and taking in the ocean views. The luxury is low-key, but it's luxury all the same.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4

This meticulously styled boutique lodging literally has steps down to the boardwalk and the ocean, which is pretty neat. Meanwhile inside Hotel Erwin you can relax with a very SoCal bite to eat at the pizza joint or enjoy drinks on the roof at High Lounge. Each room comes with the usual amenities, plus iPhone docking stations, Byrd hair products and a Whole Foods honor minibar. If you really want to splash out, book the Oceanview King Suite, which comes with a separate living/dining room, massive flat screen and private balcony.

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  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Rancho Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates
  • price 3 of 4

Welcome to paradise. Situated on an oceanside bluff in posh Rancho Palos Verdes, the picturesque resort is a mecca of relaxation and resort life. The 102-acre resort boasts a nine-hole golf course, spa, four pools (including adult-only), and eight—count 'em, eight—restaurants. And if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, there's also paddleboarding, snorkeling and horseback riding. Accommodations range from the usual rooms and suites to larger, more luxurious bungalows, casitas and villas. Rumor has it that even a few Hollywood films were filmed here, so be sure to show your good side when lounging by the pool.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Santa Monica
  • price 4 of 4

Located on the sand, close to Santa Monica's shops and restaurants, this elegant and architecturally significant hotel is a local landmark. Most of the plush rooms and suites offer ocean and coastline views; for a really opulent stay, reserve one of the two-story penthouse suites or the super-deluxe presidential suite. An afternoon at the spa is a vacation in itself; salon services can be enjoyed in one of five Mediterranean-style treatment rooms or, better yet, under a cabana on the fifth-floor pool deck. The bar in the ornate and well-furnished lobby is a popular meeting spot for the bronzed and beautiful locals.

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  • Hotels
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Temporarily closed.

This craftsman-style inn was built in 1911 by Warren Wilson, the owner of the now-defunct Los Angeles Daily Journal. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, it's been faithfully restored and furnished with exceptional antique pieces; many of the rooms are named after characters with ties to the area (Venice founder Abbot Kinney, sometime local Charlie Chaplin). Each of the nine rooms has its own character and amenities, though four share a common bath. The more extravagant suites offer an ocean view, a fireplace, a patio or a private entrance.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Manhattan Beach
  • price 3 of 4

This sparkling property hasn't been solely responsible for making Manhattan Beach a destination, but its influence has been huge. The 38 stylish guest rooms make great use of the space: multi-purpose tables can be rolled back and forth over the beds for breakfast or for use as a desk, while all rooms have vast spa-baths, free wifi and color-adjustable chromatherapy lighting. It's a downhill hike to the beach from the hotel, but that's about as close as you can get when it comes to South Bay accommodations.

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  • Hotels
  • Malibu
  • price 3 of 4

Located on the sand, Casa Malibu is the only hotel on this stretch that has its own beach for exclusive use of guests. Malibu Country Mart is within a mile, and Malibu Pier is right next door, where fabulous breaks provide some of the best longboard surfing in Southern California. The inn offers a couple of room types, all of which come with a private balcony and face the water in some fashion. It's not cheap, but that's the price for your own slice of paradise on one of L.A.'s most coveted stretches of beach.

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  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Santa Monica
  • price 3 of 4

This Art Deco beauty reopened in 2008 after a $30-million makeover and the results are stunning. The streamline modern exterior has been preserved, while inside the rooms have been upgraded with hardwood floors, windows that open (yes, it's a rarity) and modern tech amenities. All offer ocean views and many have balconies and kitchenettes. There's a restaurant, 24-hour fitness center and heated pool to enjoy, plus drinks on the rooftop at the indoor-outdoor Onyx Lounge. If you want to bury your toes in the sand, cross the street and the Pacific Coast Highway pedestrian bridge and you'll find yourself on the beach.

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  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

This oceanfront spot proves that staying on the beach doesn't have to come at a premium and saving a few bucks doesn't have to mean slumming it. Rooms are bright, clean and comfortable—which is all you really need when the sand is just a few steps away. Consider reserving one of the hotel's limited number of parking spots, lest you have to trek halfway across Venice to find a spot.

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