Westside hotels make it easy to book a local escape
By Jacqueline Fitzgerald
If cabin fever is making you crazy, consider restoring your sanity with a beach-y staycation. Millions of tourists flock to the Westside every year, so why not getaway in your own backyard?
As hotel properties adjust to operating in the wake of COVID-19, it’s an excellent time for a change of scene while providing a much-needed boost to the community.
“Local businesses need your support now more than ever and booking overnight visits contributes to rebuilding Santa Monica’s economy,” says Misti Kerns, President/CEO of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism. “Every dollar spent will help to propel the economy forward.”
Across the board, properties are ramping up cleanliness and safety measures. Many of their websites now have a COVID-19 information section, noting that face coverings/social distancing is required in all indoor public areas.
And properties are proactively addressing the challenges of the “new normal.” For example, the Marriott Cleanliness Council, which includes in-house and outside experts in safety, hygiene, infection prevention and hotel operations, is working to redefine cleaning and safety standards. In addition to more frequent cleaning and installing hand-sanitizing stations, Marriott is rolling out new cleaning technology, such as electrostatic sprayers, and is testing the use of ultraviolet light. In more than 3,200 hotels, your phone can be used to check in, access your room and order room service.
Accor, which operates 5,000 hotels worldwide, called on expert advisers as well as the Bureau Veritas, a Paris-based certification company, to launch its new ALLSAFE label, covering cleaning standards and operational procedures. Hotels must be audited to attain the label.
To be sure, vigilance isn’t limited to major global brands. The Sea Shore Motel in Santa Monica, owned and run by the Metz family, has stepped up its procedures.
“We are taking sanitation concerns with the utmost attention to detail,” says owner Sonia Metz. “We’ve enhanced our cleaning service and are sanitizing all common areas three times a day. Rooms are now being kept open at least 24 hours between guests.”
Additionally, properties are enticing guests — especially locals — with great deals. Here we share some highlights of the many offerings. (Note: Offers are typically subject to availability and may have other restrictions as well. Some properties may require proof of California or Santa Monica residency, so be sure to check details before booking.)
Rev Up Your Weekend at the Ritz-Carlton
If you’re in need of pampering, the popular “Bed & Breakfast” offer at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey might be just the ticket. As an add-on to a package, suite or guestroom, the Ritz-Carlton can assist guests with reservations for the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles (porschedriving.com/los-angeles). The center, one of only two such facilities in the US (the other is in Atlanta), is home to a 53-acre driver development track. Driving enthusiasts can experience different models and different driving conditions, and there’s an onsite restaurant overlooking the track. Want to get out on the water? The Ritz-Carlton partners with Paradise Bound Yacht Charters (paradiseboundyachtcharters.com/Home) to make arrangements for guests who want to charter a yacht in the marina to sail or cruise along the coastline.
4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, 310-823-1700; ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/marina-del-rey
Dive into Summer at Hotel June
If you haven’t checked out Hotel June in Westchester, recently launched by Proper Hospitality co-founders Brian De Lowe and Brad Korzen, now is the time.
Housed in a historic building by noted architect Welton Becket, the 250-room hotel’s stylish décor includes light natural woods, native fabrics, handmade tiles and local art. Gaze at June’s pool while dining at the two-level, outdoor Caravan Swim Club, one of two onsite restaurants helmed by Steve Livigni from award-winning Scopa.
Hotel June has several incentives, including a grand opening offer (20% off best available rate) and the “June All-In:” stay three or more nights and get up to 25% off, plus a room upgrade upon availability and guaranteed late checkout. Book reservations directly at (888) 435-5070 or through the Hotel June website.
8639 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester, 310-645-0400; thehoteljune.com
Sit Back and Relax in Santa Monica
June’s even posher sister hotel, The Santa Monica Proper Hotel, featuring Kelly Wearstler-designed rooms and suites, is also offering playfully named discount packages, such as the “Proper Retreat” (25% off three nights or more with a $50 daily dining credit), “Work, Play, Save” (15% off weekday stays) and a classic “Staycation” (20% off best available rate) offer to help with your local escape.
700 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-620-9990; properhotel.com/hotels/santa-monica/
Relax and unwind at the luxurious Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, set on five acres, with the “Take Your Time” offer: 15% off one to two night stays, 20% off three to four night stays and 25% off five or more night stays. Book before December 31, 2020.
Or opt for the “Romance” offer, which includes a bottle of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries and $100 hotel credit; available until December 30, 2020.
101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-576-7777; fairmont.com/santa-monica/
In mid-city Santa Monica, the Ambrose Hotel boasts Craftsman-style interiors and is a leader in environmentally-friendly practices. The Ambrose’s “Shine a Light” on Summer promotion offers up to 25% off when you stay three or more nights (not including studio suite rooms). Book via the website by Aug. 31; valid for stays through December 2021.
1255 20th St., Santa Monica, 310-315-1555; ambrosehotel.com/specials
Loews Santa Monica Beach is drawing California, Arizona and Nevada residents with 20% off accommodations, complimentary valet parking ($55 daily value) and a waived resort fee ($35 daily value). The offer is valid for stays through September 30, 2020.
1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-458-6700; loewshotels.com/santa-monica
Get the locals only treatment at The Sea Shore Motel. This deal for Santa Monica residents only features standard rooms for $120 and deluxe or junior suites for $190 (valid for stays through Aug. 31). You’ll have to present your photo I.D. to prove Santa Monica residency, but once you’ve got the keys get ready to start your staycation! If booking online, under Guest Comments, enter SM Resident and the price will be adjusted.
2637 Main St., Santa Monica, 310-392-2787; seashoremotel.com
Santa Monica residents are also eligible for a 35% discount and a one-time $50 food and beverage credit (per stay) for a minimum two nights at the Huntley Santa Monica Beach. (Upgrades are available based on availability upon arrival.) The offer is valid for stays through Aug. 31. Not a SM resident? There are several other offers from which to choose.
1111 Second St., Santa Monica, 310-394-5454; thehuntleyhotel.com
Kickback on the Coast with Pacifica Hotels
Another source of laidback chic: Pacifica Hotels, which specializes in boutique hotels on the Pacific Coast. The group is running a “Discover California” promotion, which allows you to save 30% on your stay with promo code CARES. It’s a website-exclusive rate and you must book direct through Aug. 31; valid for stays through Dec. 31. Local Pacifica Hotels include: Inn at Venice Beach, The Kinney Venice Beach, Marina del Rey Hotel, Jamaica Bay Inn (Marina del Rey) and The Georgian Hotel (Santa Monica).
For more ideas and information, visit santamonica.com/local-hotel-offers for a list of local offerings compiled by Santa Monica Travel & Tourism.