This Santa Monica Haven Epitomises The Best Of Laidback Californian Luxury
Once a secret hideaway for celebrities and politicians alike, Fairmont Miramar remains a lavish coastal respite.
Set across five acres on the north of the Santa Monica pier overlooking the Pacfic Ocean, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows sits upon what was once the private estate of one of Santa Monica’s founders, Senator John P. Jones. Opened in 1921, the (then) Hotel Miramar fast became a coastal hideaway for the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, and Jimmy Stewart, as well as presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton.
The past century has seen buildings added and renovated, with Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows now boasting 297 guestrooms, including 62 suites, and 31 private bungalows. Despite the property’s coastal location, Fairmont Miramar channels relaxed Californian luxury in a way that’s more verdant oasis than sand and surf.
The recently redesigned Lobby Lounge encapsulates relaxed glamour. Anchored by a curvilinear banquette that snakes through the space to create ample opportunities for open conversations and private exchanges, the Lobby Lounge nods to the Fairmont Miramar’s Art Deco heritage, with a luxurious material palette of marble, velvet, and polished brass, complemented by a deep jewel-toned palette. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto airy private terraces, opening the space up to its coastal surrounds.
Meanwhile, Soko—an intimate 8-seat sushi bar helmed by veteran sushi chef Masa Shimakawa—offers a dining experience with a difference. The name ‘Soko’ means storeroom in Japanese — an apt moniker considering the setting for the restaurant is simple storeroom in the hotel’s main lobby. Pale wood, fabric wall hangings, and minimalist interiors set the scene for a convivial atmosphere where Shimakawa’s exquisite creations take centre stage.
Accommodation is set over multiple buildings, including the renovated 10-storey Ocean Tower. Here, top-floor suites boast two balconies overlooking the ocean, with décor taking on a contemporary tone laden with neutral hues. For something more traditional, the rooms in the Palisades Wing, built in the 1920s, take on a more old-world feel.
However, for a truly unique experience, opt for one of the 31 bungalows. Set in the property’s lush gardens, the residential-style bungalows are decorated with herringbone-patterned wallpaper and laden with pops of blue and green.
Service is attentive yet without ostentation, with every member of the team committed to exceeding expectations; from a friendly welcome upon check-in to thoughtful yet understated poolside service.
A lesson in understated luxury.
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