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The Huntley, Santa Monica 

1111 Second Street
Santa Monica , California
Tel: 310 394 5454
Fax: 310 458 9776
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
The reincarnated Huntley is one of those rare Southern California hotels that provide both eye candy and genuine savoir faire. An arty, sea-inspired lobby has coral motifs and a stingray-hide front desk, and the outdoor seating area with its roaring fireplace is an urbane take on the beachside bonfire. Guest rooms, reminiscent of late 1940s Japanese Deco, are equipped with 42-inch flat-screen TVs, DVD players, safes wide enough to hold a laptop, and wireless Internet access. The view from the penthouse restaurant and lounge—soon to be relaunched with a pan-Asian menu—is a 360-degree panorama of nearly everything that locals hold sacred: the Malibu coast, Venice Beach, and far-off Hollywood. There's no pool, but the Santa Monica strand is a block away—ask for a towel at the concierge desk. —2006 Hot List

When to go: Avoid only summer, when morning fog can hang over the coast and the boardwalk gets crowded.

Which room to book: Anything above the fourteenth floor on the west side is take-your-breath-away territory (doubles, $319–$449).

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym

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