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Shade, Manhattan Beach 

1221 N. Valley Drive
Manhattan Beach , California
Tel: 866 987 4233
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

Shade is a sun-drenched blend of by-gone beach scene and daring West Coast design aesthetic in a habitual L.A.-area hot spot. The 38 rooms are both ultracomfy and intriguing, with goose-down duvets, two-person hydrotherapy bathtubs, and state-of-the-art margarita blenders; some have tubular fireplaces for those chilly winter nights at the beach. The lobby and Zinc Lounge offer a modern take on maritime decor, with seafoam-green fabrics and chandeliers fashioned from sea urchin shells. There is no restaurant per se, but Shade's kitchen turns out tasty small plates like Brie-and-artichoke fondue. Head up to the rooftop Skydeck, where a tiny pool affords views that extend from Catalina Island to the Malibu mountains.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: Avoid late spring and early summer, when the SoCal coast is overcast.

Which room to book: The Penthouse Suite is big enough for your own beach party and comes with a breezy west-facing balcony and a wet bar with draft beer.

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

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