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Smart Stay: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

by Anne Roderique-Jones
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows / Courtesy of the property
by Anne Roderique-Jones
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Farimont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Farimont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows / Courtesy of the property
by Anne Roderique-Jones
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Located on five acres atop a craggy bluff that peers over the Pacific, Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows has been a hideaway for the Hollywood elite for decades. During the Roaring Twenties, the city was a popular seaside resort destination, and the Miramar became a favorite getaway for members of Tinseltown. Greta Garbo lived at the property for four years, and Marilyn Monroe frequented to flee the media. Notable figures from JFK to Rosa Parks have booked rooms, too.

Today, guests can choose from a standard guest room, suite, or bungalow on grounds with plenty of room to spread out. The pool is large and lovely, and there’s a fantastic spa; you might even spot a celebrity. Here, our review of this urban resort. 

It's All in the Details

What You Need to Know

The Look

Enter the large gates and you’re greeted by a 19th-century structure that once stood as an opulent mansion. It still sort of feels that way – like you’re staying at the home of a wealthy financier or countess. What might be even more impressive is Miramar’s magnificent, towering Moreton Bay Fig Tree that stands at 80 feet tall with a 120-foot network of branches shading the grounds below. It’s the second largest of its kind in California and was declared a historic landmark in 1976. Walk inside and you’re met by a slew of employees who will quickly learn your name. There’s not an ounce of pretension here; the pool, restaurants, and beach club feel relaxed and laid-back. 

Rooms are luxurious, but not fussy, with more of a California beach-chic vibe. Guest rooms vary, but most have private outdoor space and ocean views, and the bungalows offer secluded space among the gardens with a lovely private courtyard. All rooms have luxury linens and Nespresso makers. 

The Vibe

It’s no easy feat to make a luxe hotel feel so laid-back, but Miramar does a fine job. Everything from the large swimming pool to the sprawling lawns and gardens, make this property feel like an oasis. 

Who Will Love It 

Well-heeled travelers will appreciate the amenities; families are equally welcome, and the privacy is perfect for celebrities and newlyweds. 

Who Might Not 

The hotel might feel a bit too resort-y for those traveling on business.

Best Amenity 

The large heated outdoor pool, surrounded by chic loungers and palm trees, sits next to a poolside bar. The indoor-outdoor fitness facility has steam rooms, dry saunas, and a whirlpool. Plus, Peloton bikes and Cybex equipment.

Money Matters

What’s Included 

Access to the pool and gym are included, as well as free wifi in guest rooms and common spaces. The hotel allows pets without a fee and includes complimentary pet beds, pet bowls, and treats. 

Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About

A $35 daily hotel amenity fee includes wifi, house-car transportation within a three-mile radius (based upon availability), beach cruiser bikes, 24-hour fitness center, one exhale fitness class, and beach club access. Valet parking is $52 per night, including in-and-out privileges.

How to Get a Deal 

Check the hotel’s offers page, which has deals that include 15 percent off the best available rate for stays through December 29.   

Getting There

In the Neighborhood

The hotel is within walking distance to the beach and Santa Monica’s Third Avenue Promenade, chock-a-block with shopping, dining, and entertainment. The Downtown Santa Monica Wednesday and Saturday Farmers’ Market is one of the best in the country. 

Nearest Airport 

The closest international airport to the resort is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), located approximately nine miles from the hotel. Travel time is about 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. 

Nearest Public Transit

Like most places in California, it’s easiest to have a car when staying here, however public buses (3, 704, R10, and R3) can be found near the property.

The Bottom Line 

The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows is a California beach hotel that’s fit for everyone–from families to celebs.

It's All in the Details