Santa Monica’s landmark Shangri-La Hotel will soon reopen with two new restaurants and portable poolside bar area in its newly refurbished facilities.
The 7-story hotel, which is on the City’s Historic Resources Inventory List, was built in 1939 as an apartment hotel. Two years ago the City’s Planning Commission approved plans for its owners to convert the hotel’s suites to standard hotel rooms. However, the owners decided to return to the Commission on August 20 to add restaurants to the list of amenities the hotel wishes to offer.
Hotel Project Manager, Nadar Al Fara, explained to the Commission that the reason the hotel wanted to add the restaurants was so that they could try “to receive a 4 star rating from AAA.”
The approved restaurants will be located on the ground floor and 7th floor of the hotel. Both restaurants will be open to the public, and due to City zoning codes, the hotel will provide an additional 50 parking spaces. Plans for the restaurants noted that the 7th floor restaurant will contain 79 seats and the ground floor restaurant would contain 129 seats. The hotel currently has 28 subterranean spaces and 16 surface lot spaces.
Since there was no additional space available for parking at the hotel site the owners asked the City to allow them to provide the additional parking off-site by approving a parking variance. Valets will take the cars to the off-site parking. The conditions of approval of the parking variance require that the hotel owners show that parking is available in close proximity to the hotel by submitting to the City usage surveys and similar documentation in addition to copies of lease agreements.
The Commission also approved a portable bar in the hotel’s courtyard/pool area which will also be open to the public. Parking for this 195-seat area was not included in the approved parking variance.
The Commission also gave the thumbs up to a Conditional Use Permit for the hotel that specified the hours they would be permitted to serve alcohol. For the ground floor restaurant, bar, and sidewalk café the hours will be 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily; for the courtyard and pool area the hours will be 6 a.m. – 2 a.m.; and for the 7th floor restaurant and bar (“Suite 700”) the hours will be noon – 2 a.m. daily. The Shangri-La is located at 1301- 1307 Ocean Avenue.