Hotel Casa del Mar
|Hotel Casa del Mar|
|Location||1910 Ocean Way |
Santa Monica, CA
|Opening||May 1, 1926|
|Owner||Edward Thomas Collection of Hotels|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Charles F. Plummer|
|Number of rooms||129|
|Number of restaurants||2|
Hotel Casa del Mar
|NRHP reference #||00001169|
|Added to NRHP||September 29, 2000|
The building was constructed by brothers E.A. "Jack" Harter and T.D. "Til" Harter, doing business as the H & H Holding Company, at a cost of $2 million. It opened as Club Casa del Mar, a private beach club, on May 1, 1926. Designed by Los Angeles architect Charles F. Plummer to reflect an Italian Renaissance Revival aesthetic, the glory days of the hotel spanned 1926-41, as it became one of the most successful beach clubs in Southern California, popular with socialites and Hollywood celebrities. In 1941, the US Navy took over the building, utilizing it for enlisted soldiers during World War II. By 1960, the hotel was shuttered. In 1967, Charles E. Dederich reopened the building as the Synanon Foundation, a drug rehabilitation program. In 1978, Nathan Pritikin turned the building into the Prikikin Longevity Center, a nutrition and health care facility that closed in 1997.
The Edward Thomas Hospitality Corporation, owners of the adjacent Shutters on the Beach Hotel, acquired the property in November 1997 and spent over $50 million restoring and converting it into a luxury hotel. Architecture firms HLW International and Thomson Design Associates worked to preserve the interior and exterior of the seven-story building, reviving the hotel's original 1920s European style. It reopened as Hotel Casa del Mar in October 1999.
In February 2008, designer Darrell Schmitt completed a multimillion-dollar remodel of all 129 guest rooms and suites, adding new furniture, artwork, flat-screen televisions, windows, wallpaper, mirrors and drapes. Los Angeles magazine said the renovation had restored the hotel "to its Gatsbyesque glory."
In 2014, designer Michael S. Smith redesigned the hotel's lobby, introducing striped cabana-style sitting areas in the lobby and coast-themed artwork, among other additions. During the two-month redesign, a large, temporary street art installation was installed in the lobby. The piece of art, titled Absinthe and The Elephants, was created by local street artist Jules Muck, serving as camouflage for the lobby's central bar area during renovations.
Design and amenities
The hotel has 129 rooms, a curving double staircase, a high coffered ceiling, mosaic tile floors and glowing copper sconces atop mahogany pillars in the lobby. It also has a spa that offers massages, and a fitness center. The Colonnade Ballroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the ocean, seats up to 270 guests. The lobby and pool look out onto the Pacific Ocean.
In June 2015, the hotel introduced a new stress management program for guests and other groups, Automatic Integrative Relaxation Response, designed by stress management expert John Sahakian. The program includes yoga, mindfulness and breathing exercises.
One of the hotel's restaurants, Catch Restaurant and Wine Bar, features a seafood menu and ocean views. In 2014, Michael S. Smith redesigned the hotel's new restaurant, Terrazza Lounge, which has a menu and style inspired by the Italian coast, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
- Valli Herman, “Casa del Mar elegant – and pricey – in Santa Monica,” Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2008.
- Michael Aushenker, “Hotel Casa del Mar to Expand Weekly Entertainment to Five Nights,” The LookOut News, March 25, 2011.
- Alyssa Bird, “Michael S. Smith refreshes Hotel Casa del Mar,” Architectural Digest, December 31, 2014.
- Tara Murphy, “Mi Casa Del Mar,” Forbes, November 19, 2004.
- Hilary de Vries, “Hotel Check-In,” New York Times, December 5, 1999.
- Elyse Glickman, “Just add water,” The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 14, 2014.
- “From Grandeur, To Grandeur,” LAX Magazine, March 14, 2015.
- “Best Hotel Bars,” Los Angeles, July 1, 2007.
- Laura Schreffler, “Hotel Casa Del Mar,” Haute Living, July 25, 2014.
- Rebecca Misner, “Town to Country: Road Trip From Los Angeles to Palm Springs,” Conde Nast Traveler, August 26, 2015.
- Karin E. Baker, “Jules Muck Brings Street Art to Santa Monica’s Hotel Casa del Mar,” Huffington Post, December 17, 2014.
- Mary MacVean, “Close your eyes and breathe: Hotels are doing ‘mindfulness training’,” Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2015.