People who don’t live in L.A. have a hard time understanding that when you have a spot in Hollywood, you’re most likely never going to drive all the way to the beach unless there’s a special occasion. Every neighborhood is its own little scene and we like to keep it local – but sometimes, a girl needs a stay-cation. Take me to the Shangrila… Photos by Kimberly Genevieve.
Glasses: Urban Outfitters
Bodysuit: American Apparel
Heels: Jerome C. Rousseau
I really did feel like a tourist in my own town when I checked into Hotel Shangrila, a 71-room boutique hotel perched in the center of the 20-mile wide Santa Monica bay overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
We set up shop in Suite 607, a spacious 1-bedroom suite with a full extensive kitchen. All the 6th floor suites actually have that amazing al fresco terrace with breathtaking views overlooking the Pacific. But 607, at the back edge of the hotel, features unique, stunning view of Downtown Santa Monica, the 3rd Street Promenade, and even the Hollywood Hills.
Socks: LF Larchmont
Ankle boots: Jerome C. Rousseau
While in Santa Monica, beg your concierge to get you a dinner reservation at Tar & Roses. If that doesn’t work out, maybe hit Benihana on the Promenade? Otherwise, Rustic Canyon is always a safe bet. Come back in time for last call at Suite 700, Santa Monica’s only open-air rooftop bar & lounge, well known for its fancy hot ice drinks.
Now let’s get wet… “I invested in a luxury bathing experience for our guests because this something that I myself have always looked for in a hotel,” hotel owner Tamie Adaya said. The tub is so amazing – don’t even bother taking a shower. There’s also a full spa & wellness lounge if you’re in it for the pampering.
Hotel Shangrila features hypoallergenic rooms with the most comfortable beds complete with Matteo linens. Curtains shut tight so you can sleep late… There are iPod docking stations and free wireless Internet. Rise and shine.
The hotel offers 24-Hour room service for guests. As soon as woke up I ordered the breakfast essentials: fresh coffee, seasonal fruits and truffle egg toast. Delicious with a couple drops of tabasco if you ask me.
Around 11 am, I left the room without forgetting to tip the hotel maid, and headed to the lush courtyard with elevated pool and cabanas to complete my visit. Rooms start at $295/night – I’ll be staying there often.
“The Shangrila was built 1939, the tail end of Art-Deco. Strictly speaking the style is Streamline-Moderne, and in fact, the Shangrila is one of the finest examples of this kind of architecture in the world. It was a beautiful time for architecture and the arts and I wanted to pull from that era when creating the decor, but of course adding a modern and contemporary twist. I knew I didn’t want to pursue retro and make the hotel period specific to when it was built; after all, no one wants to spend the night in a museum,” Adaya explains.
She concluded our interview with these wise words; “likewise, it has never been my vision to turn the Shangrila into a ‘modern’ hotel either. For me, those kind of properties tend to date within 5-10 years. It has always been extremely important to me that, while Shangrila is contemporary and vibrant, it is, at its essence, timeless. Hotel Shangrila is a personality driven brand, meaning its culture and aesthetic is a reflection of a unique and particular point of view, not a trendy designer or whatever happens to be in Vogue.”
Hat: Melrose Trading Post
and to the fabulous team at Shangrila who set us in a comped room to play… merci beaucoup!