Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

Beachside Bliss in California: The Fairmont Santa Monica

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

These days when I’m back in LA, I opt not to stay in the fray of the West Hollywood madness or even in trendy Beverly Hills. Rather, a beach girl at heart, Santa Monica is my jam.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you’ll know I’m an unofficial Fairmont ambassador (but hey, Fairmont, if you’re listening, I’m happy to make it “official”). While the Fairmont’s properties are few and far between—there are only 19 in the whole of the United States—I’ve stayed at them in San Francisco, Vancouver, Banff, Lake Louise, Shanghai, Hawaii and, now, Santa Monica.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

Truth be told, I’d never even noticed the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows during past stints staying in Santa Monica, even though I’ve slept as close as two blocks away. That’s because it’s a rather hidden oasis right off Ocean Avenue that you’d only find if you knew to look for it. But this time my good friend Lana, who has worked in the hospitality industry for decades, pointed me in the right direction.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

It’s still funny to me how something can be right off a bustling boulevard and across from the beach and remain so hidden. But that’s the beauty of this resort: Enter the front doors, and you have no idea what tropical paradise awaits just beyond the main building.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

My mom and I were there for a quick weekend in January following 10 days in San Diego with the Semester at Sea ship. My plans were to see as many friends as I could feasibly fit into 36 hours; Mom’s were to read as many books as she could finish in the same amount of time.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

The resort has been around since 1921, and we stayed in one of the property’s 32 garden bungalows. There are also 302 guestrooms and suites in the main buildings. I love how you can be right in the middle of all the action in Santa Monica and still have a quiet bungalow retreat.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

The roomy bungalows are perfect for honeymooners or other couples who crave seclusion. Or mother-daughter duos who come with a lot of (physical) baggage and don’t want to be bothered, it turns out. =)

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

It wasn’t exactly hot in Southern California when we were there—mid-60s during the day—so while we got to sit out on our patio during warm spurts, a visit to the pool just wasn’t in the cards. All the more reason to come back.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

While locals tend not to frequent hotel bars, I have three journalist friends in Santa Monica who revealed that they visit FIG at the Fairmont least once a month. So I met one of them there for what has to be one of the best happy hours in the area (everything on the menu except the steaks is half-price). Kara and I each had two drinks and a small plate for under $20 per person!

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

One thing I didn’t get a chance to do that I always do when staying at a Fairmont is indulging in their incredible afternoon tea service.

Oh well, I’ll also save that for next time.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

It would be remiss of me not to mention the entry area, too. It’s all well-manicured with lovely fountains, but this fig tree was positively magnificent—and a local celebrity in its own right. The 80-foot-tall, century-old icon’s branches spread 120 feet, many an engagement or wedding portrait has been shot beneath it, and ceremonies performed there, too.

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

Overall, our stay in Santa Monica couldn’t have been more needed. I got to catch up with plenty of friends I hadn’t seen in ages, my mom got to camp out at this peaceful sanctuary where six dogs weren’t barking their heads off in hopes for her attention (not to mention my dad, SVV or me bothering her about one thing or another), and we got to enjoy the convenience of being beachside and an easy walk to the 3rd Street Promenade and all of Santa Monica’s great shops along Montana. What more could you want out of a weekend escape?

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica

Save

COMMENTS
  • March 17, 2014

    Ah, that trip looks like it was so relaxing! And that fig tree is amazing!

    • March 17, 2014

      You can stop and ogle the fig tree even if you don’t stay there—just a tip for the next time you’re in SM 😉

  • March 17, 2014

    I had to comment on this because I stayed at a Fairmont property in Toronto and loved it. It was a beautiful old hotel that became a Fairmont hotel in the recent past. Plus they have great perks if you become a member. I have to go to Culver City twice a year for a low-residency writing program, so maybe I’ll stay here when I graduate as a gift to myself.

    • March 17, 2014

      Yes, they often seem to inhabit historic structures (like the Shanghai property, which moved into the historic Peace Hotel). And I believe they’re a Canadian brand, hence all the wonderful properties up north. I have still yet to go to Toronto but am dying to!

  • March 17, 2014

    Looks so beautiful – I love that first photo especially!

  • March 17, 2014

    I love Santa Monica. 🙂 While I’ve never actually stayed at that particular Fairmont, I did attend a BEAUTIFUL wedding there. The couple actually got married under the FIG tree (wonderfully decorated with beautiful twinkle lights) and then the reception was in one of the ballrooms. It was one of the most beautifully, classic weddings I’ve been too. Glad you enjoyed your time there!

    • March 22, 2014

      I would love to see those photos! I bet that was spectacular.

  • March 18, 2014

    Sounds like a cool place. Sadly, I’ve only been to LA and Venice Beach in Cali. Were those pics taken with a goPro? I noticed the fish eye lens in some.. or maybe that’s something “fancy” cameras can do to haha, I wouldn’t know! I have got to step up my photography game!

    • March 22, 2014

      Yes, they were! And for some reason, they didn’t turn out as crisp as normal (must investigate). I’ve had every generation of the GoPro and love those little things!

  • March 18, 2014

    I’ve stayed at Fairmonts in San Francisco and Washington DC and both were nice. I’m and Orange County girl though so when I go back to CA I stay in Laguna Beach/Dana Point. Santa Monica makes me think of Three’s Company, but not sure if I’m just dating myself with that comment.

    • March 22, 2014

      Oooh I’m going to a wedding at Dana Point in October; maybe I’ll look into the Fairmont there. Thanks for the heads up!

  • March 20, 2014

    I’ve always been a huge fan of Fairmonts ever since I stayed in the President’s Suite at the Fairmont in San Francisco at the impressionable young age of 10 (my father was being honored with an award, hence the fancy suite!). I love the one in Santa Monica too! The other bar/lounge there is Bungalow, one of my favorite places in LA… I spent New Years this year there 🙂

    • March 22, 2014

      Um President’s Suite? WOW! I stayed in a regular ol’ suite in that property for my 27th birthday and LOVED it. Can’t go wrong with any Fairmont!

  • March 21, 2014

    Soo cool. I am in love with that tree

  • March 22, 2014

    Nice blog! These photos look amazing! Just followed you on Twitter. Looking forward to connect!

  • March 23, 2014

    I’m a huge fan of Fairmonts as well, always really great service and some of the locations are so interesting.

  • March 23, 2014

    Having just returned from my first trip to LA (well, technically I stayed in Venice!) I completely relate to your need to be seaside. Maybe I’ll check out Santa Monica for my next visit!

  • March 23, 2014

    I have only stayed at the Fairmont in SF (with you!) but I really LOVED it. I love that, like the one in SF, this is an older property which oozes charm!

  • March 24, 2014

    I haven’t stayed there, but I’ve heard awesome things! Great pics!!

  • March 25, 2014

    Looks great. Especially that wonderful ancient tree!

  • March 25, 2014

    This place is breath-takingly beautiful. Summer is really in the air. I can already smell the sea breeze.

  • March 30, 2014

    wow! really awesome photography great pics. Trekking in Upper Mustang

  • September 3, 2014

    I organized a wedding event twice in that same venue. They have an awesome recreational area and that’s what I love the most in that place.

Leave a Comment

GET MY POSTS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX
+ Sign up and receive your free copy of my eBook