When the Oceana Santa Monica reopened in early 2021 as part of the new luxury LXR Hotels & Resorts line of Hilton, which is an assortment of luxury independent properties, it was immediately added to my list of hotels to stay. Fast forward to December 2023, and it served as the setting for a mini Christmas getaway with the family. The hotel has a lot of history, as it was once owned by Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy). He lived here in the 1940s and 1950s and hosted parties in his apartment which was room 203.

Before joining LXR Hotels & Resorts, the Oceana Santa Monica went through a $30 million renovation in 2019 as the former Oceana Beach Club Hotel. The hotel features 70 guest rooms & suites and gives the boutique hotel vibe of staying in the private residential complex. This was my first LXR Hotel stay, so I was excited to try the brand out.

Oceana Santa Monica Entrance

Oceana Santa Monica Entrance

Oceana Santa Monica Takeoff Points

Date of Stay: December 2023
Room Type: Pacific One Bedroom Lanai Suite
Pros: Beautiful decor, spacious living room for entry-level suites, quaint boutique hotel feel
Cons: Spotty noise insulation, stuffy room, not 5 star bedding
Overall Takeoff Score: B

Fora Travel Benefits at Oceana Santa Monica

I work with a travel agency, Fora Travel, and can assist in booking hotel stays. Fora is partnered with Hilton Impresario & Virtuoso. With this, you can get special perks when booking with me. The Oceana Santa Monica features:

  • Room upgrade upon availability on arrival
  • Daily breakfast, for two guests in the restaurant
  • $100 USD Food and Beverage credit utilized during the stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

If you are interested in getting these perks and want to stay at the Oceana Santa Monica, feel free to email me at or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this post if you have any inquiries.

Location of Oceana Santa Monica

The Oceana Santa Monica is located in the heart of Santa Monica but in a more residential setting. It lies a bit north of the prime downtown area, and the shopping district of Third Street Promenade is about 0.8 miles away, while the Santa Monica Pier is about 1.1 miles away. If you’re flying in, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is around 10 miles away, which can take 20-50 minutes driving depending on traffic.

The hotel does provide two complimentary transportation options; a house car service (within a mile), or you could grab a beach cruiser bike. I was able to utilize the house car service to dinner, and the hotel uses a premium rideshare service called Alto. I messaged the hotel to request the car, and I was able to track the status on my phone. It took about 20 minutes for them to arrive in a Buick Enclave. It was a nice amenity to have!

a car parked on a sidewalk

Oceana House Car

While not beachfront, the property is easily accessible with about a 10-minute walk. Once you cross Ocean Ave, you head down a ramp and then walk over a pedestrian bridge.

Valet parking is available at the hotel for $65 per night, but you could also try finding free overnight street parking on nearby streets, which is what we did. Just make sure to read the parking signs carefully, as some streets require a parking permit.

Booking the Oceana Santa Monica

During this stay, I used a certificate from my American Express Hilton Aspire Card. Standard cash rates for the property start at $695 a night before taxes and fees during the off-season like winter and increase to around $1,000 a night during warmer months. For Hilton Honors redemptions, standard room awards start at 105,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Arrival + Hilton Diamond Benefits

A few days before my arrival, I received an email from the hotel checking in on arrival time and asking if we had any special requests. I saw that the hotel was selling many room categories still, so I inquired if a Diamond upgrade to a Pacific Lanai Suite would be possible and they replied that they would do their best to accommodate. During online check-in, it showed that I was upgraded to the Pacific Lanai Suite, and I was able to choose my room’s location. Woo-hoo!

Before we arrived at the hotel, I saw on the app that the room was ready an hour before the standard check-in time which was nice.

The exterior of the hotel is covered in ivy, and at first glance, looks like another apartment building.

Oceana with a green wall and a palm tree

Oceana Covered in Ivy

But once you enter the lobby, you feel like you’ve entered an upscale boutique hotel. I liked the two-story lobby, with light colors that made the room feel bright. It was a small lobby, but it got the job done.

Oceana Santa Monica lobby with a fireplace and a chandelier

Oceana Santa Monica Lobby

I was quickly helped by a friendly associate who handed me nice Wooden room keys, and I was told that the $50 Food and Beverage Credit ($25 per person, up to 2 people) for being a Hilton Diamond would be able to be utilized at the restaurant Sandpiper but not for room service. He offered to have a valet show us around the property and take us to the room, but I was fine heading over myself and declined. The room keys are made of wood and I found that super cool and unique.

a wooden room key on a marble surface

Wooden Room Key

Heading to the room is also super cute, and the suites with swings on the front porch and French doors facing the pool make for a charming aesthetic.

Oceana Santa Monica swimming pool with umbrellas and chairs in front of a building

Oceana Santa Monica Pool and Hallways

The Room: Pacific One Bedroom Lanai Suite

Our suite was on the 2nd floor and had a cute swing out front.

Oceana Santa Monica a wooden swing seat with white cushion

Cute Swing!

Upon opening the French doors, we stepped into the large living room. I loved the decor, with the light tones mixed with dark blue sofas. It was quite impressive, and probably one of the prettiest hotel suites I’ve ever walked into. I took some time to do a mini-photoshoot in the living room as it was so nice!

Oceana Santa Monica living room with couches and coffee tables

Pacific One Bedroom Lanai Suite Living Room

a living room with a couch and tv

Living Room & TV

a room with a couch and a coffee table

Seating & Library

There were two large sofas, plus a very comfortable tan lounger in the center of the room. Tucked in the back was a third sofa with a beautiful backdrop of books.

The large sofa closest to the TV turned into a sofabed, and while it wasn’t the most comfortable, it got the job done.

a bedroom with a large television


The living room features a mini bar, as well as snacks for purchase. A Nespresso maker was added, but no tea was provided.

a cabinet with wine glasses and bottles

Minibar Cabinet & Nespresso Maker

a lamp on a table next to a couch


On the theme of cleanliness, one of the sofas had leftover dog hairs, and the sofa next to the shelf of books wasn’t cleaned all the way. In terms of pet peeves, the living room always felt a bit stuffy, which could have been attributed to the design of the room where there are no windows in the large living room apart from the French door entrance. Also, since it’s an older building, the ceilings were quite low, which probably didn’t help. And, one thing to consider is the insulation above wasn’t the best, so you might want to be on the top floor (3) if you’re sensitive to noise.

Lastly, I wish the hotel invested in floor thresholds as the rips in carpeting take away from the luxurious experience.

a carpeted hallway with white doors

Missing Floor Thresholds


Toward the back left of the suite, is the bedroom. There was a King bed with Frette linens, and one of the nightstands offered a wireless charger, as well as an iPad for alarm, room lighting, and temperature controls.

While the bedroom looked pretty, it served more looks over function as the pillows and mattress weren’t the most comfortable for a 5 star property. Perhaps I’ve just become spoiled rotten by comparing everything to Four Seasons bedding.

Oceana Santa Monica bed in a room


The bedroom also featured a large walk-in closet with spiffy blue boat-themed wallpaper. Two slippers and an iron/board were provided.

Oceana Santa Monica room with a wallpaper and a shelf

Love the wallpaper!


The bedroom also featured a small balcony with two chairs and a small table. It overlooked a side street but you could see the ocean in the distance.

a balcony with chairs and a table


a street with cars and trees

View from Balcony


The bathroom was spacious, but more of a typical 3 piece bathroom. There was one sink, w/c (which was very basic), and standup shower with showerhead and wand function. The shower pressure was good which was a plus. The light aqua and white marble tiles added to a nice beachy theme, but the bathroom didn’t exactly exude luxury. Plus, the air in the bathroom felt a bit musky. On the plus side, the towels were upscale.

Oceana Santa Monica bathroom with a sink and shower


Toiletries are provided by Bamford, in the Geranium Lavender Peppermint scent. Body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and lotions are provided in small reusable bottles. The hotel used to offer Bottega Veneta toiletries, so the current toiletries seem to be a bit of a downgrade.

bottles on a shelf in a shower

Bamford Toiletries

A shower cap, and makeup removal wipes were also provided. Two Frette robes were hanging and while they were comfortable, they both seemed to have had makeup stains on the collars.

Service at Oceana Santa Monica

I found the service to be pretty good and they were very receptive to messaging on the Hilton App. I requested that turndown service make the sofabed while we were at dinner and when we got back, it was all complete. They also left cookies on the nightstand.

a cookie wrapped in plastic and a note

Turndown Service Cookie

We were also able to get a 2 PM late checkout on the day of departure which was appreciated.

Resort Fee

The Oceana Santa Monica has a daily resort fee of $50.00 (waived on award stays), which online lists that it includes internet, daily yoga classes, beach cruiser bike rentals, Peloton treadmills, luxury car transportation within a 1-mile radius, 2 bottled waters daily, 2 beach towels, in-lobby premium coffee and tea selection.

They did have hot cocoa in the lobby during the day for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but there wasn’t morning coffee & tea laid out as I have seen in other people’s reviews. I asked the front desk and they said to get tea & coffee from the restaurant and it would be waived. Not sure if it was just because it was Christmas Day, or if the policy is soon changing.

a table with a coffee machine and cups on it

Hot Cocoa in Lobby

Dining at Oceana Santa Monica

Sandpiper is the hotel’s main restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also order food by the pool, and there is nice outdoor seating which is called Veranda (and it serves the same menu as Sandpiper).

a restaurant with tables and chairs


a patio with tables and chairs and a tree


While I didn’t get a chance to try a full meal here, I did have a nightcap of tea, cookies, and ice cream at Sandpiper before heading to sleep, and I liked how they used the upscale tea brand Tea Forte.

a plate of cookies and ice cream on a wooden surface

Cookies & Mango Ice Cream

On the third floor is a nice lounge area called Sunset Terrace that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It used to serve drinks and light bites but now serves as just a lounge area for guests. When I was checking in, I was told that I could ask the restaurant to bring items to the Sunset Terrace if I wished to dine up there instead. It certainly is a nice place to lounge around, with ocean views.

Oceana Santa Monica Sunset Terrace with a large patio area

Sunset Terrace

Oceana Santa Monica Amenities


In the center of the property, the hotel has a heated heart-shaped pool which is cute. Loungers and daybeds surround the perimeter of the pool, and poolside service is available from Sandpiper.

Oceana Santa Monica pool and a building with a pool in the middle

Oceana Santa Monica Pool

Fitness Center

Across the pool, there is a small, but nicely put-together fitness center. It features a Peloton bike as well.

a room with exercise equipment

Oceana Fitness Center


There is an onsite spa located next to the fitness center offering massages, facials, and more.

a hallway with a window and a light fixture

Spa Entrance

Pet Policy

The Oceana Santa Monica allows pets for a $125.00 fee, 50 lbs maximum. 

The Verdict

While my stay at Oceana Santa Monica offered a pleasant boutique experience, I couldn’t help but notice a difference in polish compared to the standard I’ve come to expect from Hilton luxury brands like the Waldorf Astoria. The charm of Oceana was there, but for those seeking the utmost refinement, it might fall short, especially because of the high price tag.


Have you stayed at the Oceana Santa Monica? How was your experience? Comment below!




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If you are interested in getting Fora perks and want to stay at the Oceana Santa Monica, feel free to email me at or fill out this contact form below. If you have other trips you’d like for me to help plan, feel free to reach out as well!