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“Perfect, upscale beach community” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Shade Hotel

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Shade Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1221 North Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Manhattan Beach
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Middleton, Massachusetts, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Perfect, upscale beach community”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Stayed at Shade for a long weekend of business and pleasure.

From beginning to the end, whether it be the valet, concierge, any of the great bartenders at zinc, all of them met you with a smile and a genera interest in making your trip the best possible.

Every single person I asked for a suggestion on something went above and beyond to give me a wide range of suggestions off property, and all of them were always right on the mark.

The property is gorgeous, the food and drinks at zinc are on point, and i cannot recommend this hotel above. Anyone that finds a flaw with a hotel like this in genera is looking too hard. Perfection.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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360 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

If only every little beach community had one of these. Yes it's an aspiring glam boutique small hotel like you might find in Miami Beach, but it's more like the feeling of living in a Melrose Place. Group living, communal living, ideas not viable on the East coast seems possible in Manhattan Beach California and at The Shade Hotel you have a deluxe little weird abode waiting for you. It's a hotel room face it. Like any room I guess, but with a bath in the middle of it. The bath has a row of lights above which change " chakra " colors- red is for passion. The Shade would be quite the place to have a romantic escapade! However, there on the trundle bed was my 9 year old son.

Manhattan Beach is the most fun of the beach communities up and down the coast because of the quality of the water (it's clean) the quality of the food (off the hook) and the quality of life. There is no crime in MB and you could not feel safer on vacation anywhere in America. So keep that in mind those of you with families. Malibu has the right beach vibe and a deft fried fish place off the main highway but at nearby Zuma beach there were tar balls under the sand. Venice Beach is the East Village of the lot; a must visit but not a place to walk about at night. Manhattan Beach is just right.

When in Venice Beach you will want to eat at Jailina a slightly pretentious but tasty spot with a pretty back garden and great people watching. Service is spotty. One steak never made it to the table but my wife didn't mind sitting next to one of the hunky Survivor cast offs " Oz " I believe was his name.

When you come across a Umi Burger it Ca eat one! Fun Japanese take on a hamburger chain with fresh meat ground to the hour and wild combinations- makes burgers fun! We sampled the Umi burger at The Grove, a shopping area a bit inland.

In Manhattan beach the wings at Simmzy's Pub really are the best! A lot of places say that but Simmzy's delivers- they are plumped up somehow- way plump and in a sauce that's hard to describe. Perfectly not hot while of course being hot with a real homemade blue cheese to dip in. Hard to find local micro brews, delicious IPA's pour freely from taps which takes this lunch spot to new levels. The money is so flowing in here w/ the wings, the owners of Simmzy's have opened the hot spot in town and the place where we had our best meal in California.

MB Post- You'll want to book this one folks! A chef has been turned loose here and the take is a crazy Asian fusion mixed with Southern, a combination that you will have not seen before. The food at MB Post does what food often fails to do these days- it excites! Each plate brings a table full of sampling and commentary and oohs and ahhs. And it's reasonable (you can bring your own wine) Top to bottom MB Post is a dinner you plan a vacation around.

When you do commit to a big spend some of the best Sushi ever can be found at The Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya. We noticed folks lining up at eleven for lunch which is usually a good sign! Go on the back end they serve till 2:30 and be prepared for mind blowing Sushi. The type of sushi that reminds you of the never ending possibilities of sushi.

Breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House. If ever there was a hangover cure in Uncle Bill's. You must get those potatoes! The ones with everything in the mix, peppers, sour cream oh that cheese! Lots of American cheese... bacon bits it comes in a huge plate, I'm starting to tear up as I write this-- it's sooo tasty. Unlimited coffee as well-- one walks out of Uncle Bob's Pancake House staggered as if drunk.

The shopping is plentiful and fun in MB with surf shops selling unique T's and shorts and boutiques that have a nice selection of odd stuff. - Back to the Shade Hotel for quick recharges is so easy-- you can run up to go to the bathroom from the beach. Central location and a nice comfy bed make the Shade the perfect place for a short stay in Manhattan Beach. We did get a note at the end of our stay from management thanking us for our visit and mentioning that one must fully close the sliding balcony door when smoking outside on the balcony or be punished with a large cleaning fee- The Ole' $500 can of spray.

My wife found this very odd since neither of us smoke and find the habit quite disgusting! I stood there remembering the fine time I had alone on the balcony after visiting with a local friend with a bad back situation after he visited his legal dispensary for marijuana.

"Well this is obviously a mistake" I said crumpling up the note; " We won't make a big stink about it: We're bigger than that " and so is The Shade Hotel. -largeman

Room Tip: We like West facing good sun in afternoon quiet courtyard used for Green market on Tuesdays.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zionsville, Indiana
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

My husband booked this hotel as a surprise for me. With the hotel room came a spa package with two massages, continental breakfast and champagne and strawberries that come to the room. My husband wasn't told you had to book the massage ahead of time, so they were booked when we arrived on Saturday at 1pm. The champagne/strawberries was delivered one hour after we requested it. The strawberries were frozen solid, so we couldn't enjoy them. The continental breakfast was mediocre at best, they should offer a breakfast casserole, better fruit, and the buffet set up on the bar from the previous night was a bit unappetizing. Overall, dissappointment from the start to end.....Valet service slow and disorganized. Room, trendy, nice, but nothing extravagant, view nothing spectacular... We will not go back because there are better places to stay with nicer views and better service in general. The manager did credit the two massages back to my husband after our requesting this be done.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks after my son had stayed several times last year. In the idyllic setting of Manhattan Beach, this hotel has its own real charm. The bedroom was beautifully designed, I loved my daily jacuzzi bath, and every comfort has been thought of. It's a busy, lively hotel but I had a real sense of privacy when in my room. I also loved being able to sit up on the Skydeck, complete calm and relaxation. Above all, the service is second to none - the lovely staff were very keen (but in a lovely gentle way) to ensure that all my needs were taken care of, whether it was the owner, the front desk or the cleaning team. They really made this a truly unforgettable trip.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

My mother and I spent Thanksgiving weekend at the Shade. We chose it for the location, and on that front, it really can't be beat. It's just a few blocks up from the ocean and right around the corner from great shopping and restaurants. I love the community of Manhattan Beach and the Shade drops you right in the midst of it. The design is boutique-y, replete with wildly comfortable beds, balconies/patios, and luxurious showers, towels, and robes. The "fire cyclones" and "chromotherapy" are novel.

We arrived early and were put in room 101. We were cozy and content there until 8:30 or so, when the DJ started to play. My mother was still on east coast time, so we were cozying up reading and relaxing, soon to head to sleep. When the beat dropped, we looked up from our books at each other and started to laugh. Room 101 is the first one out the door from the bar and we could hear every word sung - I'm surprised the room wasn't vibrating (the room door was, when I put my ear to it). Some of the rooms give on to a stone courtyard, which the glass doors of the bar area open onto. The noise ricochets around this arena unbuffered.

Luckily, there was still a room open on the far-end, second-floor, corner of the courtyard, and the front desk nicely let us decamp to that one. My mom could sleep, but I could still sing along with every song (Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," Annie Lennox "Walking on Broken Glass"...). Near 11', I went to the front desk in person, getting dressed to cross the bar full of PYTs to do so. They promised the DJ would stop soon, and I asked if this would happen again tomorrow because if so, we wouldn't be able to stay. The manager said that the DJ happens every Friday and Saturday, unfortunately, and that the manager above her would be in touch with us tomorrow to discuss our options. They were true to their word as to the end-time - the DJ did stop both nights before 11:30pm - but we did not hear from any management the next day.

My mother was really liking the beach, so we decided to stay on until Sunday and to just stay up that night until the music ended. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? So we had an early drink in the bar that night (delicious drinks, amiable bartenders), and walked around town until closer to the time the DJ would stop. This DJ was at least spinning better music (Lauryn Hill, Frank Ocean), so at least I had something to bop my head along to as I read in my room until it was quiet enough to sleep.

Breakfast at the Shade is delicious and decadent. Coffee is strong and never-ending. Cozying up to the space heaters on the patio at night is lovely.

All around, I enjoy the Shade, but I will not stay there again unless I'm going to the beach in order to party past midnight. In a hotel of this class, guests should be able to sleep when they choose, especially jet-lagged ones. Many NYC hotels straddle the nightlife/luxury stay divide well - but those places have the bass pumping on the first floor, with rooms high above it, rather than pouring out glass doors onto a stone courtyard which the rooms circle. A hotel is in large part, by definition, a place to sleep when you are away from home. That a hotel fails to do provide that large part of its purpose leaves the Shade lacking significantly, no matter how nice the location and accomodations. If you're going to Manhattan Beach for the nightlife, or booking the Shade for a bachelorette weekend, you'll have no reservations. For a quiet weekend with your mum, though, try Air BnB :)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Dana Point, California, United States
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

This is THE place to stay in Manhattan Beach/South Bay. A serenely intimate sea breezy design that makes the exclusive not pretentious. Superb food and beverage from the Zislis Group perfectly complements a guest room that looks as good inside as the views to the outside. Valentines Day, here we come!

Room Tip: Corner suites are superb. Book away from the lounge if you want to turn in early.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

So let me start by saying that Shade is very cute, but I would not give it a full four stars as compared to other resorts I would rate with a four star rating. However, I don't think it's a three star either, really somewhere in between but don't have that option to pick during the review process.

As others have stated, there are some really positive elements:
- Location is perfect and literally in the middle of the manhattan beach town and a 5 mins walk from the beach. It has plenty of places around to grab a bite, drinks or shop for cute beachy things.
- Service was good, very friendly and helpful.

Some oddities:
- The rooms while cool, do look a little funky with the giant tub in the middle. It was fine with me and my husband, but can see how it could be weird if it was a couple not quite comfortable with each other yet or friends.
- The hotel is right next door to a parking lot and there is considerable activity in the morning with cars/trucks etc.

Overall, Shade is still a cute, trendy place and given there are not many other options with the location, it's still a do!

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shade Hotel

Address: 1221 North Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Manhattan Beach
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Manhattan Beach
#1 Romantic Hotel in Manhattan Beach
#2 Family Hotel in Manhattan Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Shade Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Shade, Manhattan Beach's premiere luxury boutique hotel, located 5.6 miles south of LAX and two blocks from the beach. Shade is a cool retreat after a long day at the office or a hot day at the beach, its exquisite environment is designed to maximize comfort and inspire relaxation while capturing the essence of coastal living. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach
Shade Manhattan Beach

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