Neighborhood: Santa Monica
Architect: Original architect, Los Angeles based Charles F. Plummer; HLW International Los Angeles/ New York; Thomson Design Associates, Boston
Restoration: 1997-1999 $50+Million
Style: art deco, old school luxury
Casa Del Mar Bow
Today I had the pleasure of having lunch in the Veranda Room of the breathtaking Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, a place that stands for old school luxury at its finest. The unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean were spectacular! As we sat one of the white pillowed rattan sofas, we were surrounded by floor to ceiling windows looking out to the beach where people were playing and walking or riding their bikes on the boardwalk on this last day last day to celebrate our New Year’s holiday before returning to work. Just minutes from the famous Santa Monica pier, the beach affront Casa Del Mar is a perfect mix of fun and relaxation! “To sit in a Rattan Chair in the Veranda bar at Casa Del Mar, with its spectacular 20 foot windows overlooking the ocean… it doesn’t get any better than this.”-The Los Angeles Times
Hotel Casa del Mar is located right on the sand in the heart of the Southern California seaside community of Santa Monica, mere steps from the Pacific Ocean on Santa Monica Bay. The hotel is adjacent to the historic Santa Monica Pier, the dynamic Third Street Promenade, Main Street, the elegant shopping and dining areas of Montana Avenue, as well as the gardens, walkways and expansive ocean panoramas of cliff-top Palisades Park.
Club Casa del Mar opened in 1926 as a beach club and hotel – not just any beach club and hotel, but the hottest address on the Southern California coast. Built in a Renaissance Revival style by noted Los Angeles architect Charles F. Plummer, with plush Oriental rugs, intricately hand-painted ceilings and heavy bronze statuary, the Club immediately became the Grand Dame of Santa Monica, and arguably the entire Pacific Coast. It was the place to see and be seen, renowned for its swinging social scene and frequented by many of L.A.’s elite, including Hollywood bright-lights and moguls.
The partying was hearty and lasted until World War II, when Casa del Mar was converted to a military hotel. Following the war, it continued as a beach club and hotel, but never quite regained its former grandeur. Beginning in 1959, the property served for 20 years as the headquarters for the Synanon drug therapy program, before being converted to a Pritikin Longevity Center from 1978-1997. Purchased by E.T. Whitehall Seascape Partners LLC, the property reopened as Hotel Casa del Mar in October 1999, after a $50 million-plus makeover restored the historic landmark to its former grandeur and created an elegant and sophisticated European lodging experience on the sands of Santa Monica Bay.
Though none of Club Casa del Mar’s original furnishings remain, Hotel Casa del Mar was recreated with a traditional look and feel of the 1920s. The effect was achieved in many ways, such as: using soft and simple lighting throughout, rather than the dramatic spotlighting of modern hotels; the elegant materials favored in the 1920s, including damask and velvet draperies, fruitwood and bronze furnishings; colors that evoke land and sea – elegant golds and greens, shades of blue and apricot with tomato accents; and a sense of serious craftsmanship combined with decorative whimsy. Los Angeles-based Darrel Schmitt Design Associates and Cheryl Rowley Design collaborated on the interior design.
The eight-story property features a brick-and-sandstone façade, red-tile roof, browniron balconies, elaborate relief work with escutcheons over the front door, and an array of sculpted figures throughout the façade including cupids, angels and Renaissance personalities. Casa del Mar’s exterior was restored to its original state by HLW International, executive architects, in conjunction with affiliate Thomson Design Associates.
“Casa Del Mar oozes sophisticated elegance.” –British Vogue
1910 Ocean Way Santa Monica, CA 90405