There are a number of hotels in or near Santa Monica, and I must have looked at all of them before booking the Shangri-La for our trip last August. I had other reservations at two different hotels and cancelled them because I was not sure there were a good choice. Boy, was that a good decision. One of the places was far enough away that I don't think we would have taken in what Santa Monica had to offer, and the other was so dingy from the outside that it took me a bit to be sure it was the same place I considered. Not true with the Shangri-La - it beat my expectations in so many ways.
Thank goodness I decided to spend a few extra bucks and stay at the Shagri-La. We were a group of 4, staying 3 nights over a summer weekend - so finding a hotel that could accomodate us nicely with either 2 rooms or a suite was a challange. At the Shangri-La we stayed in one of their 2 bedrooms suites and I loved it. The beds were fantastic, the kitchenette was perfect. Each evening, when I went to my room and kicked back, I felt like I was in a boutique hotel in NYC or Boston. It was quiet, comfortable, and really I felt worth the money. The hotel has easy access to the beach and to the Farmer's Market, which we loved! It was within walking distance to the Peer. We even walked to Venice Beach.
We ate twice at the restaurant and really liked the food and service. It would be a great choice for someone not staying there.
My only complaint is the pool setup. The pool is not very big, which is fine because it is a small hotel. However, they had cabanas set up around the pool for parties to rent. When I approached the restaurant manager about using one of the cabanas he was rude, and threw up his hands like they were tied - no he could only rent them for the whole day and we'd have to spend a fortune on food. That seemed unreasonable as none of the cabanas were being used and there were no seats at the pool. He directed us to sit at the bar tables which were also ALL full. We ended up having to sit a long ways away. The next day, we went back to the pool and there were no towels. When I appoached him to ask about towels, he actually yelled at me that he knew there were no towels and "he had housekeeping getting some." We were there for over an hour and no towels ever came. We had to actually go back to our rooms dripping wet. It turns out there was a problem with the laundry. How easy it would have been for him to nicely say, "yes, there are no towels and there is an issue with the laundry - please grab your room towel and we will exchange it later this evening." No, he had to treat me like I was a nagging wife, seriously, the guy was so rude. After his behavior the day before and that day, I complained - to the manager on duty, who actually listened to me! He was excellent and helped us with our dinner plans that evening, so nice. Then, I was invited to speak to the operations manager the next day, who was so on the ball. I felt he totally understood where I was coming from and why the disrespect from the pool restaurant manager was both unnecessary and inappropriate. He even discussed with me the issue of considering the policy around the cabana use for guests when they are not reserved.
In the end, I felt valued as a guest. I don't know what the pool guys issue was, but it didn't and still doesn't effect my view of the hotel overall. Hopefully, they have either sent him off for some communication or sensitivity training or let him go. Everybody else was excellent. Even the bellhop was going to go to the basement to get me a towel as I stood shivering waiting for the elevator. I told him it was just as quick to hop upstairs and into the shower.
I would stay here again in a heart beat. It was fantastic in terms of food, location, service, comfort.
If you need the space their two bedroom suites are wonderful.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 18, 2012
Dear YueYou -
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review. We are happy you stayed with us and look forward to another visit very soon.
If you would like to arrange a pool cabana during your next stay, please do not hesitate to contact me directly as I will be happy to assist you personally!
Thank you and safe travels,
Director of Operations
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.