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“Excellent location but needs better bedding.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica

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Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica
4.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   1301 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401   |  
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Ranked #15 of 34 Hotels in Santa Monica
Seattle
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Excellent location but needs better bedding.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2011

We just spent the weekend at the Shangri La and could not be happier with the excellent location - gorgeous views of the ocean, walking access to beach, exercise paths, restaurants, and shops. Really couldn't have been better.

The room was very cool in that you had a separate living area with TV & table & completely separated bathroom from both the bedroom & living room. Funky decor but still comfortable.

While I thought the $33/night valet parking was ridiculous, I'm not from the area so maybe this is typical? While this was the only hotel parking option, you could self park at several garages nearby. The problem with that is that you have to pay every time you come & go. Although most of the garages allowed 2 free hours and there was metered street parking if you wanted to be out and about throughout the day.

My only real complaint is that the bedding was very uncomfortable. It seems that the hotel is extremely environmentally conscious (kudos) but these sheets felt like recycled paper -very hard/stiff. So much so that every time you moved it sounds like you were crumpling paper. I'd wake myself up every time I turned over and could hear my husband's every move, too. Not a restful sleep. Hopefully the hotel will take this into serious consideration as it would make a huge difference in their overall rating in my book.

The weather was terrible while we were there, but the pool/jacuzzi area has a very loungey feel of old Hollywood. Would've been fun to hang out there. I would say this is a hotel meant for couples or friends, not kids.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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616 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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UK
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2011

Stayed here for one night at the end of our vacation. As it was our last night, we wanted to stay somewhere special, and we picked this hotel after a lot of research on properties in Santa Monica

We booked the room via an Expedia special offer which was a considerable discount on the hotel's own website price. We appreciate that when using Expedia or similar bodies it can be a bit of "pot luck" as to the quality of the room allocated (in the past we have been lucky and have been given superb rooms when booked through Expedia) - however, in this instance, we were sorely disappointed to say the least!

The room (which was booked as a deluxe ocean view) ended up being a ground floor accessiblity room situated next to the toilets for the pool and restaurant. The "ocean view" was a side view if you peered through the traffic, promenade and palm trees, however, as we were only there for one night we chose not to let this interfere or spoil our vacation. It became apparent later that the hotel was nowhere near full, and therefore there was no obvious reason why this room had been allocated to us (unless you took the cynical view that we had made a "cheap reservation" through Expedia?

Other points to note:

1. Drainage in the bathroom was poor and flooded quite badly after showering - a particular concern as this was an accessibility room!

2. The striped seats in both the pool area and upon the roof terrace were extremely dirty

3. There is no coffee maker as others have pointed out

The location of this hotel is fantastic and with a bit more TLC and attention this place could be an excellent hotel - but not at the moment. The only other saving grace is that we didn't pay the hotel's website price (which is excessive in any event)

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

I felt very disappointed by what can only be described as misleading advertising by this hotel. We paid extra for an "ocean view" suite, expecting to receive a room parallel to the beach (on Ocean Ave). Instead, we were booked into a room around the corner with a tiny view of the Ocean in the distance, and for the most part a view of a street and office block. It was also on the 2nd floor so any view of the ocean was largely obscured by trees. We would not have paid extra for this room (or even booked this hotel) if we had have known this was considered an "ocean view".

The rest of it was fine. The room was clean (but very small for the US). Bath tub is very nice. Staff were rude, which does not bother me but I know it irritates some people. Other than that, the hotel is fine although I would avoid in-room dining - it took forever and when it arrived, the chips were cold and the coke was warm. Also arrived without any cutlery which took a further 15+ mins to be delivered.

Rooftop bar is nice but not amazing.

For the price, it's disappointing, and there are better places to stay in Santa Monica.

if you book this hotel, avoid the in-room dining, and if you do book an ocean view room, you would be well-advised to let them know that the room had better be on Ocean Ave or you will not consider it to be an "ocean view" suite!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2011

Much better spot than downtown to stay. We used the very cheap and reliable bus system to travel around. Lovely laid back hotel in art deco style. Rooms small but the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. Thanks to Karl and his lovely staff for a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

I'm very happy to recommend the Shangri-La. I arrived earlyish in the morning but they still managed to find me a room, which was quiet (as I requested) clean, comfortable and full of nice touches like a proper huge bath and free wifi. The beach is just across the road and the shops are just round the corner. Staff friendly and helpful without that ghastly obsequiousness you sometimes find in American hotels. Nice pool and jacuzzi in courtyard area, good bar. I'd definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
155 helpful votes 155 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

The Shangri La is a nice hotel with a cool retro vibe to it and a great outdoor pool/ lounge area. The rooms are spacious enough and the location is perfect for walking around Santa Monica. As others have mentioned though, with the location, comes a lot of traffic noise. I'm a NY-er so very used to this, but I'm sure for others it can be quite jarring.

The main issue I had with the room was the smell. The first room we were given on the 4th floor smelled strongly like new furniture/renovation -- basically the toxic smell that recently treated shalaqued furniture smells like. We asked to be moved b/c the smell was overpowering, only to be shown 2 more rooms with the same smell! Finally, there was a room on the 3rd floor that was a bit smaller but smelled much less and since we arrived late at night, we capitulated and took it. I honestly am not sure how other guests can ignore such a toxic odor, but I guess some people don't mind.

We kept our window open much of the time (not great b/c of the noise) and only noticed the smell when we came back to the room. Because of this, I really can't give the hotel a higher rating than 3 stars.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Miami, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

Overall, the hotel was nice and had a very young, hip crowd. It is not as nice as it looks on the website. For example, we had no clue that the hotel was more motel style in that the rooms were accessed only by an outside hallway, which was a shame because we had bad weather when we were in town (rainy and cold).

The rooms were a really great size for a family as well. HOWEVER, we were a family of four, with two young children under 6 years old - traveling across country at night. I indicated this when I made my reservation and specifically requested the one bedroom suite with a pullout couch. When we arrived at the hotel at 11:00 pm (2:00 am our time), we were disappointed to discover that they gave away all the one bedroom suites with pullout couches. While the manager was apologetic, he seemed kind of clueless and not really willing to take responsibility. He didn't offer to discount our hotel rate or anything. Nor did anyone follow up with us the next day to see if we wanted to stay in our room or move. I felt like they didn't care that my son had to sleep on a couch when I paid and expected for him to sleep on a pullout bed. Not worth the money for that.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica

Address: 1301 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Monica
#9 Luxury Hotel in Santa Monica
#13 Romantic Hotel in Santa Monica
#16 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Shangri-La Santa Monica 4*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the Pacific since 1939, Hotel Shangri-La is a dramatic beacon of Art Deco beauty, Hollywood allure, and Los Angeles history. Perched on a high bluff, mere steps from the beach, this timeless Santa Monica boutique hotel has undergone a meticulous $30 million redesign -- promising you an idyllic haven of rejuvenation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Shangri La Santa Monica

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