Christmas is nearly upon us, and with it thoughts of fun family get-togethers. But by Boxing Day, those 24 hours spent playing charades with the in-laws will no doubt have you dreaming of family getaways instead – so here’s our hotel of the week: Oceana Santa Monica, a ray of Californian sunshine that’s child-friendly, chilled out and perfect for family holidays…
Why this week? Not only are the sunny beaches of Los Angeles the ideal antidote to winter blues and couch-potato holiday habits, the Oceana Santa Monica has an exclusive Smith offer: book by 31 January for 20% off room rates.
Our favourite bits The Oceana Santa Monica hotel* epitomises the sunny optimism and happy-go-lucky charm of SoCal’s surf crowd: it’s bold, bright, sociable, carefree, and its natural home is by the sea. The rooms are big, the vibe is ultra laid-back and there’s quirky retro colour in every corner. *Ed’s note: this hotel was renamed the Oceana Beach Club Hotel in June 2012.
Family-friendly? Oceana Santa Monica is a great choice for families: rollaway beds can be provided in rooms; Lanai Suites have sofabeds, some can be interconnected, and one has a kitchenette. Keep the kids occupied with bike rides, surfing lessons or a trip to the famous Santa Monica pier.
Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘Our spacious Ocean View Suite has sunny yellow walls, lime-green furnishings and a flowery sofa that evokes 1950s beach-party movies – but in a Designers Guild, rather than kitsch, way. A games table with chess, chequers and backgammon is set up for rainy days or early nights. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors in the bedroom and living room lead onto a balcony with sea views. Looking out at the Pacific Ocean, Mr Smith and I decide on a sunset run to the Santa Monica pier – the rolling waves seem to be beckoning us, after all. The wide path winds through dunes, past a Ferris wheel and ice-cream shops before turning back to the hotel.’
Packing tip This is California, so itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikinis and massive, giant oversized sunglasses are an absolute must. Although you might want to bring some sturdier swimwear if you plan on surfing (string bikinis + heavy surf = instant nudity).