Santa Monica is a beachfront district in western Los Angeles and while it is home to many Hollywood celebrities and executives, this area serves up a mixture of people from surfers to politicians. The vistas, bars and clubs of Santa Monica has influenced many a band including one of my favourite exports from Los Angeles, The Doors. A breeding ground of creativity and culture, Santa Monica is also home to award-winning hotels, top eateries and cocktail bars with a view to die for, none more sparkling than the offerings of the Hotel Shangri-La.
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean since 1939, the Hotel Shangri-La is a striking beacon of Art Deco elegance, a chronicle of Old-Hollywood glamour and a quintessential nexus of culture. With its prime location overlooking the ocean and historic Santa Monica Pier, this timeless boutique hotel promises your own personal Shangri-La. With many of the hotels in the Santa Monica district styled on the beach theme in pale blues and sandy golds, this hotel sticks out like a blast from the past. Rising above the boardwalk, this white and black ship-like building transports you straight back to the effortless glamour of the 1920s.
Walking through the entrance, the modern noise of life disappears and as you glide across the polished floors to reception one feels like a character from the Great Gatsby. I had to curb my impulse to tap dance to front desk, in fear of marking the impeccable glass like floors. I checked in while Rashanda arranged for the valet to park the car and, while waiting for my suite to be prepared, I was thrilled to see my Champagne Sisters had already arrived. Greeting Mella and Kiron warmly I felt like the storyboard for my stay at this hotel was coming together . . . roll cameras.
Scene Set: Hotel Shangrila offers 70 luxury rooms and suites, all offering world-class panoramic ocean views. You can select from a variety of elegant Santa Monica lodging options from flats to one or two bedroom suites to a stunning penthouse.
She entered the suite, holding her hand to her forehead as she gasped at the view from the windows. Beyond the glass shone the bright Californian sun which lit up the room. The light glistened off the white American-style refrigerator to the checkerboard kitchen floor and over the shimmery, sensual, red sofa highlighting her pale, English complexion in the midday sun. Hand on the door handle, she turned it swiftly to reveal the master bedroom and beyond the two guest bedrooms, the plush monochrome bed draped in a fur throw, inviting, perfect for liaisons after a night at a cocktail bar or two. The bathroom was as sensual as the bedroom, with a Jacuzzi bath that was big enough for two (or three) that provided a sense of voyeurism with large windows opening up to the boulevard below. She changed for cocktails, something figure hugging but with enough room for dancing, for tonight champagne was on the menu and a LOT of it.
As she floated down the stairs, she could hear the faint laughter on the air of her partners in crime for the evening. Seated by the pool, hair blowing in the breeze and champagne in hand, the game was afoot. With the arrival of our heroine, the collection was complete and the night begun. Like a never-ending fountain the champagne kept flowing, the sound of clinking and laughter resonated around the pool. Had it not been for the failing light this fantastic four would have stayed all night, but as day turned to dusk, it was time for them to hit Suite 700.
Scene Set: Perched atop the iconic Hotel Shangri-La Suite 700 is Santa Monica’s only open-air rooftop bar and lounge. This vantage point effortlessly captures the elusive sense of glamour while over looking the ocean.
The Champagne Sisters entered through the secret door, knowing the magic password, and were whisked by the handsome bartender to a private secluded table at the back. Knowing already what they wanted, he grasped a fresh bottle of champagne and struck the cork from the top, pouring slowly into the glasses as the girls watched on with lustful eyes. As the foursome watched the sun set over Santa Monica bay, the peach glow of the evening sky turned to black. Now with twilight descending, the restraints of the daylight hours slipped away and these bright young things drank and danced into the night . . . *Fade to credits*
The Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica will always hold a special place in my heart. My stay came at intersection of significant times in my life, just as this hotel is an intersection where old meets new. This hotel provides many wonderfully spacious rooms that would wow any time-traveller. With an onsite restaurant, pool, roof top bar and views to die for, this hotel will magically transport you to the Golden Era. The lady behind this amazing hotel, and a style icon herself, Tamie Adaya, should be congratulated on bringing Hollywood glamour with a hint of boardwalk rock’n’roll to Santa Monica. Next time I am in Santa Monica and looking for a night worthy of the history books, I know where to head… stock up the bar and pipe up the band for the Champagne Sisters are back in town and ready to party!
1301 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Unit4ed States of America