A luxury stay at the Viceroy Santa Monica

Combining classic sophistication with contemporary chic, the Viceroy Santa Monica is a boutique hotel nestled in a prominent location in the heart of Santa Monica – which is one of the most walkable cities in the world. The interior has been styled by Kelly Wearstler, an American designer and its ultra cool inside.

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Last month I had the opportunity to spend three nights at the property and today I’m sharing my experience with you. I’ve previously stayed at the Le Meridien Delfina in Santa Monica, however the Viceroy is a little closer to the action.

Location

The Viceroy Santa Monica is situated on 1819 Ocean Avenue, just a short walk from the beach and the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. LAX is approximately 9-miles (25-minutes) to the East, whilst the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills is the same distance to the North.

Check-In

After a long flight from London, I was pretty tired but looking forward to checking-in to the hotel. After a short journey from the airport, I received a very warm welcome as soon as I stepped out of the car. The agent who checked me in was very friendly and I love that guests receive a welcome beverage on arrival. It’s little touches like that which can make all the difference.

Rooms

Located on the second floor, I took residence in a “Viceroy King Room” which had a partial view of the ocean. At 320 square feet, the room was spacious enough and accommodates either one king or two full beds with Egyptian cotton linen, a pillow-top mattress and feather duvet.

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As far as hotel bathrooms go, the one at the Viceroy was of a good size and the Neil George bath products were great. If you want to take one home, it will set you back $45 per bottle.

 

The sitting area and writing desk were very handy and provided the perfect location for me to catch up on my work emails in the morning, before heading out to explore the city.

All of the 162 rooms at the Viceroy feature an all-in-one Media Hub, a huge HD TV and a DVD player, in addition to the standard hotel amenities of an in-room safe and minibar. It is $9 for a bottle of still water.

Food & Drink

Located on property, The Cast Restaurant and Lounge is incredibly popular with locals and visitors alike. Executive Chef Larry Monaco looks to use as many local ingredients as possible and serves up delicious plates.

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I really liked the decor of both the Restaurant and Lounge. The latter actually plays host to “Rush Hour” which effectively is a two-hour happy hour between 17:00 – 19:00 each day. You can grab a hand-crafted cocktail for $7, house wine for $6 or a beer for $5. Treat yourself to a small plate of food such as Chicken Schnitzel Sliders or Truffle Fries for $7 a piece and I’d say that’s pretty good value.

The prices in the Restaurant itself were also very competitive with the vast array of restaurants in the area.

Activities

There are indeed two heated plunge pools are the Viceroy which provide the perfect excuse to go for a swim anytime of the year. Hence the name, you can only really swim a few metres, but they are open daily between sunrise and sunset before the area transforms into an overflow for the Cast Restaurant and Lounge.

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There are plenty of loungers and comfortable seating options around, I did sit outside and enjoy a cocktail or two with friends.

The outdoor area also features several luxury cabanas which can be reserved for part or the entire day. If you were conducting a business meeting or socialising with friends then it’s a solid option.

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What’s Nearby

I’ve already mention the hotels location before, but it really is in a great place. A 10-minute walk to the tree-lined Third Street Promenade with endless shopping opportunities, a short cycle-ride from Venice Beach and there are dozens of great restaurants and bars nearby. Starbucks was also just a block and a half away.

I took advantage of the complimentary bicycle hire and thoroughly enjoyed cycling along the beach from Santa Monica to Venice.

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Resort Fee

It seems as though more hotels near and far are going down the route of charging a “resort” or “amenity” fee and the Viceroy is no different. At $25 a night, it is quite steep – but not uncommon in Santa Monica.

  • This includes the following:
    • Welcome beverage upon arrival
    • Selection of teas and coffees in the morning.
    • Complimentary wireless internet access
    • Complimentary bike rentals each day
    • 10% off food in Cast Restaurant and Lounge
    • Exclusive discounts from preferred vendors
    • A “seasonal wellness” program which includes access to the 24-hour fitness centre.

Overnight parking on the street is not allowed in the city of Santa Monica and as such parking your vehicle at the Viceroy is around about what you’d expect to pay at any other hotel in the area. Valet parking is $45 per night excluding tax, so be sure to factor this in to your budget so you are not shocked when you arrive.

Service

All staff I encountered at the Viceroy Santa Monica were extremely friendly and attentive. From +++ at reception to +++ in the Cast Lounge; they really get to know their guests during their stay. Every time I walked back into the lobby I’d be greeted with a cheery “Welcome Back Ben!” and it weirdly seemed as though I had met some long-lost friends.

Final Thoughts

The Viceroy Santa Monica is a fantastic property in Santa Monica which is almost on the beach. Rates start from $300 a night but for a luxury hotel in such a location, I’d say that’s pretty reasonable. I’d certainly consider returning to the Viceroy if I were to stay in Santa Monica again.

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