When people think about Santa Monica in California, they probably think about a couple of things: the beach and the Santa Monica Pier. But Santa Monica is more than just a beach city; there are a number of great neighbourhoods in Santa Monica, even off the beach. 

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Here Are The Best Places To Stay At The Many Neighbourhoods In Santa Monica, For Every Budget:

Santa Monica Pier Area/Ocean Avenue

neighbourhoods in Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach

If you want to learn more about Santa Monica hotels and are wondering where to stay in Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Pier and Beach are the most notable part and offer up some of the best hotels in Santa Monica, and for good reason, since it’s one of the most beautiful strands of coastline and is one of the most unique places to stay in California. This stretch features wide expanses of beaches and great views of Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains. It also is home to some of Southern California’s most luxurious beachfront hotels.

Luxury Hotels:

Most of these Santa Monica hotels are just a couple blocks south of the Santa Monica Pier, including Hotel Casa del Mar, Shutters on the Beach and the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Just a block off the beach, but with great Pacific Ocean views nonetheless are the JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot and Viceroy Santa Monica. While all of these luxurious Santa Monica hotels have beachfront prices that start around $300 and above, you can’t get any closer to the beach and Santa Monica Pier.

Mid-Range Hotels:

Just a block east, running parallel to the Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park and Beach, is Ocean Avenue, perched on the coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Here you’ll find some of the most convenient places to stay in Santa Monica, located opposite the Santa Monica Pier and Beach, and just two blocks from the Third Street Promenade. This includes luxury hotels, such as the LEED gold-certified Shore Hotel and those known for their history, and architecture, such as the Art Deco Hotel Shangri-La and The Georgian Hotel or chic Oceana. Hotel rates start from $300 and typically go up from there.

Budget Hotels: 

Amidst these higher-end boutiques and hotels are smaller, more budget-friendly accommodations, such as the Ocean View Hotel, Bayside Hotel, Sea Blue Hotel, and Ocean Lodge Hotel Santa Monica Beach, all of which are on Ocean Avenue and start around $200 per night. If you’re on more of a budget, the Seaview Hotel, an Art Deco motel on Ocean Avenue starts at $88 per night. The Cottage, a one-of-a-kind accommodation in Santa Monica, is a four-bedroom cottage that is ideal for families or large groups. Rates start at $2,500 per night. Many travellers say it is one of the most unique places to stay in California.

Downtown Santa Monica/Third Street Promenade

santa monica
Third Street Promenade

Downtown Santa Monica begins east of Ocean Avenue and continues for a number of blocks. While the hotels here are off the beach, some of them still feature great Pacific Ocean views and easy access.

Luxury Hotels:

Wyndham Santa Monica–The Pier is located across from the Santa Monica Pier and is about as close as you can get to staying at the pier. Rates start at $300. Huntley Santa Monica Beach, a luxurious property on Second Street, has one of the best views in the city at its 18-story restaurant, The Penthouse, which features 360-degree views. Rates for The Huntley start at $300 per night. The Palihouse Santa Monica offers unique accommodations with grand touches that date back to the 1920s.

Mid-Range Hotels:

Just steps from the Metro Expo Line are Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Santa Monica and Courtyard by Marriott Santa Monica with rates of about $200 per night. Further from the beach, but still a 10-15 minute walk to the Santa Monica Pier and Beach and Third Street Promenade is the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel Santa Monica, with rates that start around $300.

Budget Hotels: 

Additional nearby hotels include Cal Mar Hotel Suites and Hotel Carmel, both of which start at about $200 per night and are just off the Third Street Promenade. Set just two blocks from the beach, Hostelling International Santa Monica has budget-friendly rates in the heart of downtown. The great thing about all of these Santa Monica hotels is that they are within walking distance of most of the area’s best restaurants, bars, and attractions. Other budget accommodations near Santa Monica Boulevard include American Motel.

Main Street

Main Street

If you want to know where to stay in Santa Monica to get more of a local experience, the Main Street and Ocean Park area, located just a few blocks from the beach, has a local, artsy feel to it. Stroll the weekly farmers’ market Sundays on Main Street and you’ll likely be rubbing elbows with locals. Many of the Santa Monica hotels here are more budget-friendly. Located directly on Main Street (across from the Sunday farmers’ market) is the Sea Shore Motel, starting at $125 per night with 20 rooms and 5 suites. It’s just a few minutes from the beach and the neighbourhood’s art galleries, shops, and restaurants.


The Mid-City is one of the top arts and entertainment neighbourhoods in Santa Monica, is further inland (20+ blocks away from the beach) but easily accessible by public transportation. The neighbourhood is home to a number of affordable properties as well as a piece of the historic Route 66 route, Santa Monica Boulevard. This area offers a variety of places to stay in Santa Monica including the Comfort Inn Santa Monica – West Los Angeles, conveniently located two miles from the beach and downtown, and Days Inn Santa Monica/Los Angeles, both of which are located on Santa Monica Boulevard with rates starting at less than $150 per night.

Another option is the AAA three-diamond-rated Gateway Hotel Santa Monica, which is also on Santa Monica Boulevard, with rates starting at $200 per night. For a more boutique option, just a block off Santa Monica Boulevard is The Ambrose Hotel, an eco-friendly hotel that was the first to receive the United States Green Building Council’s LEED-EB Silver Certification.

Pico Boulevard

No need to worry about finding places to stay at the neighbourhoods in Santa Monica, because Pico Boulevard runs from the ocean and inland, which means it’s home to a number of accommodations ranging from luxury to budget. This includes the iconic oceanfront Shutters on the Beach featuring an on-site spa and seafood restaurant. Just a few blocks from the beach is Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica, with views of Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean. Rates at the Le Meridien Delfina start at $300 per night. As you head inland, you will find budget accommodations including SureStay Hotel by Best Western Santa Monica, Ocean Park Inn as well as more basic hotel options, including Holiday Motel, Palm Motel, Santa Monica Motel and Rest Haven Motel.

Also Read: Here Are The Top Places You Must See In California

So, Which Of These Neighbourhoods Would You Pick

The coastal city of Santa Monica is located west of downtown Los Angeles and is most famous for its views of the Pacific Ocean, and the Santa Monica Pier – home to the Pacific Park amusement park, historic Looff Hippodrome Carousel and Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. However, there are many other neighbourhoods in Santa Monica that you can stay at, each perfect for a different type of traveller.


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