My family and I (my husband, 19 year old daughter and 18 year old son) stayed two nights in an Ocean View 2 bedroom corner suite in January 2012. We had specifically booked through the Shangri-La's website to have a suite that had one bedroom with a king bed and the second bedroom with two beds. The check-in process was great, quick and our bags were well taken care of by Andrew (perhaps the most competent staff member there). However when shown to our room both bedrooms had king beds. We rung reception and they said there was nothing to be done, that another guest had decided to stay on so the room we requested was unavailable. This was supremely frustrating as we had specifically booked the Shangri-La as a hotel that afforded us the option to have a second bedroom with 2 beds, and as we'd booked direct through their website we really expected our booking to be honored. Due to the location and amazing views from the room we decided to stay and got a rollaway bed. To the hotel's credit we were compensated and received a free breakfast, and they tried to resolve the issue the best they could.
The room itself was great, reasonably well-equipped and the decor suited the Santa Monica vibe well. A few faults, the tiles seemed to be rusting, some light switches didn't work. The rooms lacking in lighting but that obviously fit the vibe of the room! The view was incredible, as was the location, right opposite the beach, close to great restaurants such as the Boa Steakhouse and Houstons (highly recommend!). Also close to Third Street Promenade for shopping.
We dined at the Dining Room twice for breakfast. The first time, the service was really lacking. We ordered 3 cappuccinos but were served lattes. My husband asked for a fruit parfait then some poached eggs. The parfait came and the waiter said his eggs would come after the parfait. The only thing that came was the bill! The eggs never came. Another service issue, we asked the concierge to book for 4 people at a restaurant, when she rang to confirm with us she said she'd booked for 2 people. We rang down to reception to correct this and the woman who had booked was no longer on duty. The staff member who took our call checked with restaurant and it had indeed been booked for 4 people, it was just the confirmation call was wrong. Little things like this were unexpected from a quality hotel like the Shangri-La.
However, in terms of beach and cool L.A. vibe, you really can't beat the Shangri-La. It's a great building, if only the service could be worked on it would be truly first class.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.