Beach + Island

Seaside Classics for a New Generation

by Colleen Clark

Hotel Erwin, Venice Beach, California

Old-school cool: Venice Beach was founded in the early 1900s as a canal-lined resort town modeled on its Italian namesake. It came into its own when a carnival of street performers added some freak-show edge to the boardwalk. They're still at it, though these days, there's a whiff of nostalgia for the counterculture, particularly around more mainstream attractions such as the 16,000-square-foot waterfront Skatepark and the glistening glutes at Muscle Beach.

Retro revival: Any hotel that situates itself in the middle of this trippy town needs to have a sense of humor. And Hotel Erwin, opened in 2009, has it in spades. The rooftop bar and restaurant, named High and BarLo, respectively, nod toward the area's psychedelic past (Jim Morrison used to live nearby), as do the groovy prints on the duvets and drapes in the 119 rooms. Local art adorns the walls, a colorful complement to the neutral '60s-inspired furniture, and hotel packages have a decidedly local bent as well, with tattoo amenities, street-food tastings, and DJ lessons. Take a trip and fly your freak flag.

Hotel Erwin
1697 Pacific Avenue
Venice Beach, California
Tel: 310 452 1111
Rooms from $194

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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