After closing for an extensive two-year restoration process, Santa Monica’s iconic hotel The Georgian at 1415 Ocean Avenue has returned to much celebration.
A previous release from SMMirror.com covered its restoration efforts, which seem to have paid off following the successful relaunch of the nearly century-old establishment. As the venue is open again in Santa Monica, it’s a good time to step back and review the luxury hotel scene that The Georgian will have to compete with.
First, let’s see what The Georgian has to offer after renovations. Founded in 1933, the hotel has a distinct, genuine Art Deco aesthetic that contemporaries cannot replicate. Likewise, they don’t have the storied journey of the hotel, which was planned by then-renowned architect M. Eugene Durfee and commissioned by Lady Rosamond Borde.
The Art Deco exterior was untouched in the works. Interior renovations were ordered by BLVD Hospitality and carried out by boutique interior designers Fettle. The Red Griffin bar survives, as does its colorful history as a hangout for notables like former King of Hollywood Clark Gable and mobster Bugsy Siegel.
The hotel offers 84 rooms in total, 56 standard and 28 one-bedroom suites. True to the original architect’s intention, all of them have a view of Santa Monica Bay. Along with its rooms and the Red Griffin bar, Gallery 33 now hosts commissioned artworks and is available for hire as a sub-venue of the hotel while the Writer’s Room offers private dining for 10-20 people. There is much buzz surrounding the new chef David Almany, trainee under Nancy Silverton and specialized in Italian cuisine.
The Beverly Hilton
Hilton is a name that needs no introduction when it comes to hoteliers. As one of the largest hotel brands in the world, their world-famous Beverly Hilton venue is just a half hour’s drive away from The Georgian.
Located at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, it’s best known as the venue of the Golden Globe Awards since 1961. This Hilton’s special relationship with the awards has been covered by outlets like Variety.com in the past. As such, the venue claims historical guests such as Marilyn Monroe, months before her death, and Richard Nixon who made his famous “final” press conference before being elected president.
This Hilton is a behemoth compared to The Georgian, with 582 rooms first planned out by architect Welton Becket. Renovations reduced the number of rooms to 570 and outfitted them with high-end electronics, as most of the clients are business people. It’s a different experience, to say the least, and the drastic change of scenery is sure to appeal to a distinct clientele.
The Commerce Casino & Crowne Plaza Hotel
East of The Georgian and The Hilton is The Commerce Casino at 6131 East Telegraph Road. It offers a kind of action that the other hotels here don’t, being the largest cardroom in the world. It offers more than 240 tables and naturally, they have a wide variety of promotions for prospective guests who use the casino during their stay. For example, one can win a car or benefit from the cash draws that take place monthly, like the April Cash Bash. The Commerce offers must remain sharp as it faces stiff competition from online casino platforms in terms of promotions. There are many out there along with review sites like CasinoReviews.com that aggregate scores to show the best sites and their offers, some including deposit bonuses and free spins.
Inside the Commerce Casino is a 200-room full-service Crowne Plaza brand hotel, complete with a day spa, a pool, and shops. The Commerce complex also hosts live events, mainly boxing and MMA. It’s a down-market alternative to The Georgian, set even deeper in the LA suburbs, so again The Georgian has a more distinct and attractive locale. The hotel is also secondary to the venue’s casino, which may not appeal to all crowds but The Commerce has many offers and bonuses that keep people interested.
The Westin Long Beach
Lastly, there is the Westin Long Beach at 333 East Ocean Boulevard. A Marriott property, the Westin Long Beach is closer to the luxury of The Georgian given its beachfront location in one of LA’s famous seaside communities. The Westin Long Beach is also larger with 469 rooms.
Its services are complete with all creature comforts like a fitness center, pool, and pet-friendly facilities. Much like the Beverly Hilton, it mainly has a business clientele and rents out boardrooms as a result. For guests, the Grill & Lobby Lounge is there to sate appetites while the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is only steps away.
Of all the contenders, it’s the Westin Long Beach that may give The Georgian some real trouble. That said, the individual reputations of Santa Monica and Long Beach may keep clientele neatly divided, and the smaller Georgian’s exclusivity may work in its favor as a highly sought lodging.