Gym, swimming pool, free WiFi, laundry, valet parking (US$39+ tax). In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar, Frette linens, blackout blinds, air-conditioning, Aveda toiletries.
All rooms are generously sized and have similarly sunny, bright decor, but it goes without saying that the Suites are bigger (and better), with additional TVs, games tables and masses of space. Rooms and Suites on the Ocean View side of the hotel are larger than their courtyard-facing counterparts, with splendid views of the Pacific. Signature Ocean View Suites on the top floor have the lot: deep soaking tubs, rainfall shower heads, private balconies, and enough room to throw your own cocktail party in.
The heated outdoor pool in the central courtyard is an elongated heart shape and is surrounded by curvy rattan sunloungers.
This is California, so itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikinis and massive, giant oversized sunglasses are an absolute must. Although you might want to bring some sturdier swimwear if you plan on surfing (string bikinis + heavy surf = instant nudity).
Massages and treatments are on offer, either in your room or at recommended local spas and salons – just ask the hotel’s clued-up concierge to hook you up.
Welcome – Oceana Beach Club Hotel is a good choice for families: rollaway beds can be provided (US$55 a night); Lanai Suites have sofabeds, some can be interconnected, and one has a kitchenette.
Welcome – Oceana Santa Monica is a good choice for families: rollaway beds can be provided (US$50 a night); Lanai Suites have sofabeds, some can be interconnected, and one has a kitchenette.
Kids big enough to have their own bed.
Lanai Suites have sofabeds, some can be interconnected, and one has a kitchenette. Rollaway beds can be added to some rooms for an additional US$50 a night, and all rooms and suites have minibars, so you can stash milk or kids’ snacks safely.
There’s more that’s likely to appeal to older kids here: you’re only a short stroll from the kitschy delights and rides on Santa Monica Pier. One of its best family-friendly attractions on the pier is the UCLA Ocean Discovery Center (+1 310 393 6149), an educational aquarium with everything from sharks and stingrays to jellyfish and starfish. Open weekends only off-season, 11am–5pm; in summer, it’s open weekdays as well (excluding Monday), 3–6pm. The beach is on your doorstep, so surf lessons are a good way to keep stronger swimmers occupied. Alternatively, check out rental companies such as Perry’s Café (www.perryscafe.com), which has numerous local outlets and offers bike and skate hire, bike tours, and surf and skate lessons.
The heated outdoor pool does have a shallow end but is unsupervised; take the appropriate safety precautions with little ones.
The Ocean Lounge restaurant has a dedicated children’s menu, and the kitchen is happy to try to accommodate requests.
There are no onsite childcare facilities here – but the concierge can arrange babysitting with around 24 hours’ notice (about US$50 an hour).
No need to pack
Board games: Suites have games tables with chess, chequers and backgammon.
Cots are not provided, so you’ll need to bring a travel cot or bassinette if you’re travelling with teeny tots.