An easy drive’s distance from Phoenix, Los Angeles is likely a place that you’ve visited many times, particularly once triple digits in the desert become the norm.
We’ve certainly escaped our fair share of times to the City of Angels, but to be honest, had never properly experienced what lies just outside the city: the wonderful oceanside dreamland that is Santa Monica.
Within just about an hour of being in this city, it was obvious why the average real estate prices here are sky-high — everyone wants to live in Santa Monica because it has what Los Angeles does not, with all the perks and great things about L.A. right in your backyard.
And, though a major part of our love for Santa Monica, we aren’t just talking about the fact that Santa Monica’s traffic is a walk in the park compared to the congested mess that is Los Angeles.
In addition to the lower levels of stress you’ll experience while driving through Santa Monica, you will reap the numerous other benefits of exploring this peaceful, yet vibrant community.
The Resort: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
The first stop you’ll want to make in Santa Monica is at the top resort in the area: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. You will immediately be swept off your feet the moment those glass slippers touch ground in the resort’s valet circle.
Gracefully ushered to your room, you will be able to quickly refresh and then set out to see all that the resort has to offer, which let us tell you, is a lot.
The resort is home to a number of different types of rooms that provide guests with a unique experience each time they visit. Miramar’s luxurious accommodations include:
- 32 bungalows (including Bungalow One – a three-bedroom, three-and-three-quarters-bath suite)
- Ocean Tower rooms and suites
- Palisades rooms and suites
Each of the above types of rooms are completely different from one another, and their uniquely modern, beachy looks have been created by fabulous designers.
There is no wrong choice in the type of accommodation you opt for at Miramar — they are all truly luxurious, and provide you with a stunning place to use as your home base while in Santa Monica.
While you may find it difficult to leave the resort, as everything you could ever want and need is within its walls, we do suggest adventuring around the Santa Monica area, as it too has a lot to share.
Grab a BMW Cruiser bike from Miramar, and bike on down to the beach. Just a few minutes away, you will immediately get a piece of that SoCal beach life. Beach volleyball, rollerbladers and more will have you feeling like a local within no time.
Stay riding along the bike path and you’ll hit Venice, an artist’s heaven full of creative people, and eccentric art.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Next you’ll want to bike up to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, the shopping hot spot of Venice. Offering up fabulous fashion, Instagram-worthy art, and tasty treats, Abbot Kinney is a favorite among both locals and visitors.
Lunch at Ashland Hill
The chill vibe of this lunch spot will give you the perfect rest from your bike riding. Ashland Hill’s menu is full of fun food including French Toast Sticks and the most delicious Mac & Cheese you’ll ever have. With great beer and wine to pair, your lunch at Ashland Hill will give you the fuel you need to hop on your bike and head back to the resort just in time for Froze Hour.
Drinks at Miramar
Nothing says summer in Southern California quite like some poolside frozen rose, and at Miramar, you can enjoy a complimentary glass of this famous Froze from 5-6 p.m. daily.
Dinner at FIG
A favorite spot of some local celebs, FIG’s chef Yousef Ghalaini cooks up some seriously incredible food. By far the best lamb we’ve ever had, anywhere. The food here is Mediterranean-influenced and changes seasonally, based upon what is available for the chef to pick up from local markets and other local sources. The flavors here are memorable in all the best ways, and you will likely find yourself auto-piloting to FIG for every meal while you’re at the resort.
Dinner at The Kitchen at The Miramar Pool Club
With its inaugural season freshly underway, The Kitchen is a perfectly dreamy outdoor poolside kitchen and event space that serves as the ideal spot for you to host your event.
Able to accommodate up to 25 guests, The Kitchen was designed for locals to use as if it was their own backyard — except the hamburgers and hot dogs you normally serve at home will be replaced with delectable delights created by Chef Ghalaini that are guaranteed to have your taste buds going wild.
And did we mention you’ll have your own on-site mixologist? We are looking for any excuse to celebrate and hold all of our parties here.
Whenever The Kitchen isn’t reserved for a private party, it will be serving nightly dinner poolside to guests, and some nights you’ll be able to enjoy your dinner alongside a movie with the resort’s featured poolside cinema.
Keep The Party Going At The Bungalow
With a couple of craft cocktails or local FIG wine in you, the next spot you cannot miss is just right next door: The Bungalow. With a skinny margarita in hand, the night will speed by at this hot spot bar. This place is so popular that people line up outside the door and oftentimes wait two hours to get in.
To avoid wasting your night standing in line sans that margarita, make reservations ahead of time.
With people watching that will satiate all of your curiosity, The Bungalow quickly turns into the center of social life in Santa Monica the moment the sun goes down.
The Next Morning
If you’re like us, you may have hit it a bit too hard at The Bungalow last night. Do not worry, though — the resort has exactly what you need to get yourself back on the right track.
With views of the ocean, there are few better places to work off your hangover than the Miramar’s fitness center. Offering a variety of machines, you have many ways to sweat off some of last night.
If you aren’t feeling up to a run on the treadmill, be sure to try out the resort’s hub for all things spa and fitness: Exhale.
Offering yoga, barre, cardio, and HIIT classes, there is something for everyone at Exhale.
But be prepared, these classes are no joke. You will sweat and feel the burn, but also feel the love from the fabulous instructors and all-around positive vibe of this place.
That certainly comes nowhere near sharing everything that Fairmont Miramar has to offer, let alone everything that the fine city of Santa Monica has to give.
But we had to leave a little bit to the imagination, and let you experience this oceanside paradise in whatever style suits you best.
We are already booking our next stay at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, so be sure to join the party and plan your escape today by visiting the resort’s website here.