From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Snuck in among the posh apartment buildings on the north end of Santa Monica's beachfront boulevard, the revamped Oceana looks and feels more like a home. This palm-shaded complex—set around a heart-shaped pool—is an unassuming 70-room seaside retreat that attracts a mix of couples, families, and showbiz execs. Stuffed with brightly colored sofas and offbeat artwork, no two rooms are exactly alike, and most are fairly roomy. While all the usual mod cons are there (flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi), someone has also taken the time to outfit each room with books that one might actually pick up. Guests can relax alfresco around a fireplace beside the pool or in an Ocean Lounge that does triple duty as library, restaurant (the menu is a blend of traditional steak and lobster, and New Age bites like hamachi tuna carpaccio), and bar (whose trademark milk shakes are infused with vodka or rum). But Oceana's trump card is location: Palisades Park and the beach are across the street; Santa Monica Pier and the shop-filled Third Street Promenade are within walking distance.2008 Hot List
When to go: Southern California gets its best beach weather in September and October.
Which room to book: Third-floor suites with balconies or picture windows overlooking Palisades Park and the Pacific.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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