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Casa del Mar
Photograph: Courtesy Lisa RomereinCasa del Mar.

The best hotels on the beach in L.A.

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

Written by
Michael Juliano
&
Time Out contributors
Contributors
Lola Christina Alao
&
Alex Floyd-Douglass
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Yearning for an escape to L.A.’s sandy shores? One of the best things about the county it is miles of sunny coastline, stretching from Malibu all the way down past Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes toward Long 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, including 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. 

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10 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 ambiance 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, a massive flat screen, and a private balcony.

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Santa Monica Proper Hotel, Santa Monica
Courtesy: Booking.com

3. Santa Monica Proper Hotel, Santa Monica

As Santa Monica's newest lifestyle hotel, Proper Hotel is a stunning combination of contemporary design and the whimsical character of its 1928 landmark building. Rooms come well equipped with Kelly Wearstler throws and bathrobes, Fili D'oro Fine Linens, and Aesop bathroom toiletries for all your luxury needs – and wants. Dine in one of the three on-site bar-restaurant hybrids (we'd recommend Onda) before heading up to the rooftop deck – complete with pool and yes, you guessed it, another bar. If you fancy slowing down the pace of life for a hot minute, check out the 3,000-square-foot spa and yoga terrace – or head to the fitness center, if you're feeling it. 

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

The Surfrider isn’t technically on the beach; instead, it’s right across PCH from the water. But the sunny, refined rooms here are fit for a magazine spread without ever feeling too precious—which lands it on this list. The reason to stay at the Surfrider is its rooftop, a low-key, privileged perch that’s only open to hotel guests – who are welcome to invite two additional visitors per reservation.

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  • 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.

  • 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 Wi-Fi and color-adjustable chromotherapy 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
  • 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 – it's 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.

  • 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 the 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
  • 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
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

Referring to itself as a boutique hotel and established all the way back in 1911, Venice Beach House was created by the owner of American title, the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Intricately designed, it features 9 completely unique guest rooms and suites. There's the pier suite for example, which comes complete with an ocean view, a comfy king-sized bed, and a separate lounge space. Some of the other rooms offer a balcony or garden view. Staying here, you'd be right next to trendy Abbot Kinney Blvd where you can find shopping, fine dining, and sightseeing.

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