Venice, California

You’re heading back to Los Angeles. This trip used to fill you with dread. Between the traffic and the smog, you found it hard to relax, much less enjoy yourself. But that changed during your last trip to the West Coast, when you discovered Venice. The beachfront neighborhood, located 14 miles west of the city, was a welcome reprieve. You people-watched on the Ocean Front Walk and strolled over bridges crossing the canals. You wandered through the farmers market and watched the surfers from the warm sand on the beach. And you promised to stay on the Westside during your next trip. Here are two hotels where you’ll feel right at home.

Photo: Hotel Erwin
Photo: Hotel Erwin

Your first option is a hip boutique hotel just a short walk from the beach. Hotel Erwin is decorated with graffiti outside and surfboards inside. Colorful striped carpets and boldly printed curtains fill the spacious rooms. Local munchies are offered in the honor bar. While chilaquiles, avocado toast, and egg-filled tacos are served at Barlo Kitchen + Cocktails for breakfast. But High Rooftop Lounge is the best reason to stay here. The rooftop space has potted plants, comfy couches, and heat lamps for chilly nights. Refreshing cocktails and homemade guacamole are served. Sunscreen and sunglasses are even available. Add a panoramic view of the ocean and the city, and the hotel easily becomes your new favorite spot to hang out.

Photo: The Rose Hotel
Photo: The Rose Hotel

Looking for a hotel that’s even more low-key? The Rose Hotel is almost a reluctant hotel. The owners of the small place—it only has seven rooms—didn’t set out to create the perfect space. They added white trim, surfboards, and a bench to watch the crowd outside of the early 1900s building that’s just a block from the beach. A communal wooden table fills most of the lounge. You can enjoy locally sourced coffee and French croissants from a nearby bakery in the lounge or the courtyard. The minimal rooms are bright and airy with nautical decor; some even have vintage clawfoot bathtubs. Plus Adirondack chairs, lined with navy pillows, on the deck face the water and the palm trees.

Now that you’re settled, it’s time to explore the beachfront promenade, find a juice bar and fish tacos, and plan a bike ride on the coastal path between Malibu and Manhattan Beach. You’ll never dread a trip to Los Angeles again.

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