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Thanks to its multitude of sleek, multi-million-dollar homes, impossibly cool boutiques and glamorous, surfer-chic vibes, Manhattan Beach is one of the most buzzed-about areas around Los Angeles. The beach itself is considered to be one of the best in California — travelers will want to reserve plenty of time for relaxing on the powdery white sand, riding bicycles along the pier, and maybe taking a surf lesson or two, if you’re up for an adventure. In addition to the sand and the sea, there are enough attractions and activities here to keep you busy for weeks on end. Head to the aquarium at the Manhattan Beach Pier, stroll along the historic Strand, peruse the shops downtown and sample freshly-prepared seafood at one of the many fine dining institutions in the area. Of course, when it comes to splurging on fancy accommodations, there’s no better place to do so than Manhattan Beach. Here, a handful of our favorite hotels in the Pacific coast city.
Best Overall: The Belamar Hotel
Virtually unmatched in decor, amenities, and style, the Belamar Hotel is Manhattan Beach’s premier lodging choice for all types of travelers. This ultra-elegant, 127-room luxury hotel is centrally located in LA’s South Bay, just a mile from swanky Manhattan Beach, four miles from LAX, and right around the corner from the Manhattan Village Mall. Guests will adore hanging out in the sun-dappled courtyard with cabanas, drinking crisp local Chardonnay by the pool, and feasting on inventive dishes like horseradish-crusted roasted sea bass and chili-rubbed salmon tacos at Second Story, the Belamar’s in-demand, on-site restaurant.
Here, all rooms are awash in bright, neutral sea tones and feature a 50-inch flat-screen TV, Keurig coffee maker, mini-fridge, Bigelow bath amenities, and record player. Get your morning workout in at the state-of-the-art fitness center, enjoy an afternoon snack of complimentary fruit-infused water and fresh-baked cookies in the lobby, and rent one of the Belamar’s famous seafoam green cruiser bikes to take to the beach.
Best Budget: Crimson Hotel
Travelers on a budget will delight in staying at the Crimson Hotel, conveniently located four miles from Dockweiler State Beach, five miles from LAX, and just minutes away from the Manhattan Beach Historical Museum and El Segundo Golf Course. Guest rooms are clean and modern, with simple decor and furnishings, and come equipped with standard coffee makers, flat-screen TVs, pillow-top mattresses, ironing boards, and hair dryers. Hotel amenities are ample, especially for such affordably priced lodging: The Crimson offers a free continental breakfast with assorted hot and cold items, juice and fresh coffee, plus guest laundry facilities, free parking, and a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool spa. For those flying into or out of LAX, be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s shuttle transportation.
Best Boutique: Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach/Hawthorne
Though situated just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of LA and the surrounding coastline, this intimate, four-star boutique hotel provides a peaceful respite from the noise. The Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach/Hawthorne oozes distinctive style and class, from its European-inspired touches — gleaming crystal chandeliers, elaborate tapestry art, and a grand marble staircase — to its modern elegance and luxury amenities in the form of a lush garden veranda, sleek outdoor pool, hot tub, and upscale on-site restaurant, Matisse, which serves delicious, seasonal California fare with a European twist.
Guests have their pick of 173 studio and one-bedroom suites, all of which are decked out with writing desks, pillow-top mattresses, HDTVs, microwaves, refrigerators, full-scale room service, iHome clock radios, and serene views of the courtyard below. The Ayres is also very centrally located — just 15 minutes away from Manhattan Beach and within walking distance of several notable shops, bars, and restaurants in the area.
Best for Families: Hotel Hermosa
For families seeking the perfect beachside getaway, Hotel Hermosa is an excellent option. Laid-back and lovely, this popular hotel features 81 guest rooms and loft suites, all of which are quite spacious, though parents with multiple kiddos on their hands may want to spring for a suite. Guests praise the eclectic, beach-inspired decor and top-of-the-line amenities here, which include vintage-esque Bluetooth speakers, Marley coffee with a coffee maker, La Bottega bath amenities, a mini-fridge, microwave, and more.
Kids and parents alike will undoubtedly want to spend time in The Yard — the hotel’s sizable courtyard with billiards, backyard games, fire pits, huge flat-screen TVs, and incredible views of the glittering Pacific. And, no morning is complete without stopping by Hotel Hermosas’ cafe, Beach Eats. The Locals Only burrito, featuring egg whites, mushrooms, garlicky spinach, bell peppers, and ground turkey is particularly tasty.
Best for Romance: The Portofino Hotel & Marina, A Noble House Hotel
The Portofino Hotel & Marina is a seriously romantic oasis for couples looking to get away from it all. Nestled in its own private Redondo Beach peninsula, just 15 minutes south of Manhattan Beach, the Portofino boasts stunning views of the water: a bright blue expanse dotted with playful dolphins and colorful sailboats as far as the eye can see.
Rooms here exude sophistication and pay particular attention to detail; each features a private patio or balcony, custom-designed bath amenities, plush terry cloth bathrobes, an in-room mini bar and coffee maker, and either a 32-inch flat-screen TV (in marina-side rooms) or a 42-inch plasma TV (in oceanside rooms). The Portofino also recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, and couples will love working out together in the cutting-edge fitness center and taking a dip in the opulent, oceanside pool. Perhaps best of all? The harbor out front — King Harbor — is home to its very own colony of adorable sea lions whom you'll often see frolicking and basking in their natural habitat.
Best for Luxury: Shade Hotel
When it comes to sheer glitz and glamour, nothing beats Shade. Manhattan Beach’s only true luxury boutique hotel is an ideal destination for those in the mood to splurge on the finer things in life. No expense is spared — the cherrywood floors are buffed to shining perfection, the focal point of each guestroom is a Sanijet jacuzzi tub, and the lobby space opens out onto the positively dreamy dining patio where you’ll love indulging in a healthy menu redesigned by The Biggest Loser chef, Devin Alexander. Other in-room amenities include a Tempurpedic mattress, cyclone fireplace, Keurig Vue coffee maker, cake pops from a local bakery, and more. Though travelers may have a difficult time tearing themselves away from this gorgeous space, the Manhattan Beach Pier is just a short walk away, and it’s a picture-perfect spot to catch the sunset and watch as the sky bursts into hot pink and orange over the Pacific.
Best for Business: Cambria Hotel LAX
Beloved by savvy business travelers near and far, stylish Cambria Hotel LAX is one of the best hotel options for those hoping to get work done during their stay. Located just a few miles from the beach, the Cambria is also just minutes away from LAX. The clean, modern, and sophisticated property offers complimentary parking on-site, a fantastic outdoor pool, and free airport shuttle service. Most importantly for business travelers, the hotel offers an array of tech-savvy amenities, special room block pricing for large groups and high-end, functional meeting spaces for work gatherings and corporate retreats.
The Cambria has 152 guest rooms in total, 24 of which are modern king suites; all rooms are equipped with a 55-inch SmartCast-enabled HDTV, premium Bath & Body Works toiletries, silky-soft linens, Recharge Beautyrest mattresses, a sofa-lounge, and an in-room coffee maker. Plus, you can even stream online content from your phone directly to the TV, free of charge — just in case you need to binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy for the third time once your work day is over.
Best Oceanfront: Beach House Hotel Hermosa Beach
From the second you enter the Beach House, you’ll be instantly enamored with the hotel’s luxe decor and breathtaking ocean view. Nearly all of the 96 studio suites overlook the Pacific, and all offer either a balcony or patio so you can sit outside with your coffee in the morning and enjoy the fresh, salt-licked ocean air. In addition to a king-size bed, the suites also feature a separate living area, ornate bathtub, queen-size sleeper sofa, flat-screen TVs, a refrigerator, full cable access, and a fireplace. In addition to these top-notch amenities, the Beach House is in a truly prime location — the hotel is located right on the Strand, the 26-mile path that winds along the coast and is perfect for bikers, walkers, and joggers. Fitness-minded folks will love taking a yoga class on the beach, going surfing, biking along the waves, or playing volleyball in the sand.
Best Hostel: Surf City Hostel
Budget-conscious travelers should look no further than Surf City Hostel for its affordable, charming accommodations, friendly staff, and wide range of amenities. Opened in 1995 in Hermosa Beach, Surf City is both a comfy place to lay your head for the night and a great spot for socializing and meeting new people. Situated right on the beach, this well-regarded hostel has several options when it comes to guest rooms — private rooms, private double bedrooms, and 4- and 6-bed dorms — and all are clean and sparsely decorated with whitewashed walls and plenty of natural light. There’s a free breakfast from 8 AM to 11 AM every morning, and free tea and coffee all day, as well as complimentary bodyboard rentals, linens and towels, luggage storage, and street parking. Extra amenities include bike and surfboard rentals for less than $20, full-service laundry, and daily room cleaning.