Viceroy Santa Monica
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TravelPod Member ReviewsViceroy Santa Monica
This hotel has so much to offer. A gorgeous outdoor dining area that leads into two heated pools surrounded by lounges and cabanas. Marble everywhere and deep lush chairs scattered everywhere.
There is a gym, if you are into that! But I much rather the bar and the food - more my scene.
The service has been fantastic - from the valet to the concierge to the bar staff.
The location has been perfect for us. Far enough from the city that we don't dread going back there (because I'm not feeling LA much) - but close enough to all of the major tourist attractions that we can find them with a little help from the GPS.
Tops hotel experience so far!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Viceroy Santa Monica
Perfect weekend getaway!
We stayed at the Viceroy Labor Day Weekend 2003 in celebration of our anniversary (without the kids). As most parents know, two nights at the Motel 6 in Barstow would be a treat given that scenario BUT...the Viceroy was excellent from the moment we arrived until way after the giddiness of being kid-free subsided. A sincere welcome from the valet, a bellman who hustled with the bags, a front desk clerk treating us like Hollywood big shots and really really fun lobby/bar interior design. We had drinks in the bar ($12 ketel one martini-consider it the cover charge for people watching)- great service. Had dinner in the restaurant, fantastic! Excellent service, wonderfully prepared food. A bureaucratic idiosyncrasy of the Viceroy's liquor license (that is by now sorted out) required me to taste our wine at the bar and carry the bottle to the table myself. Whatever, that was fun too! But wait there's more! The ocean view room was clean and bright, and those linens! Great bath products too.DVD player in-room was a very nice feature. Beach, shopping Burke Williams day spa - all walking distance.
Will we return? You bet! If you love LA (we do) the Viceroy is almost as good as it gets (at this price range anyway)!
Didn't want to like it but..
Stayed here based on the recommendation of my daughter at university nearby. Walked in and thought "oh no". However, service was polite and attentive, rooms well furnished (with the flat screen TV etc!) though a little small. Had no reservation for dinner on a packed Friday night, but no problem. Barely started the Martinis and a table was ready. Food excellent. Probably not my overall taste in hotels, but hard to fault.
They put theVice in Viceroy
The location is excellent and just a City block walk to the beach. The room was ok but small. The stopper in the tub was not attached so I had to hook it up when I wanted to take a bath. The handle on the hot water faucet fell off a few times. Once when the room was cleaned, they didn't leave any towels and I overhead guests asking for towels too. Don't expect to get a towel by the pool either. You have to wait until they decide to bring them out. Not many people by the pool - mostly women with fake boobs trying to get discovered. The breakfast was pretty good at the restaurant but the buffet at Loews was better and at about the same price plus you get an ocean view. Not many kids here so if you have kids, you may want to opt for Loews. If you have have you own notebook computer, the T1 service was free (for now). The bar had a good female to male ratio so this is a good place for single guys.
Not For The Sighted Crowd
As I did not actually stay at this hotel, my review is strictly limited to the lobby area and amenities. I had a business meeting there with a client. That being said...
I found the decor in the lobby area to be quite unattractive, painted a horrid loud shade of green with the walls covered in what I'm sure management thought was some form of "hip-looking" picture frames, also an ugly green. There was an abundance of seating in the lobby, but it looked uninviting and hard to plop in and out of. One leather sofa in the corner was so worn it looked as though they had dragged it out of a county landfill.
The building itself I found to be rather unimpressive, appearing to be more of a circa-1960s office building than a "luxury" hotel.
But to me, the ONLY reason I'm taking the time to write this review is that when need arose for me to use the men's restroom off the main lobby, I found upon entry that the lights were far too dim to "take care of business," if you will. I asked the staff to turn them up, but they could only apologize to me, explaining they were set "just where the management wants them to be." In fact, further inspection showed that the light switch inside was guarded by a locked plexiglass case.
No amount of logic could sway these pinheads that mood or no mood, a restroom was one of the few places where MOST human beings require sufficient LIGHT: i.e. to freshen up, adjust their appearance, and most importantly, to "hit the proper target" when necessary. Additional gripe: Pretentious faucet fixture installed too close to edge of sink, making it extremely difficult to wash and rinse one's hands.
Perhaps management tried so hard to be different from other hotels that they had to resort to "ugly and senseless" as the only way left to set themselves apart. Clearly run by a champion of the clueless. Highly recommended for the blind, however.
You Have to try it!
This hotel is amazing! I've done a lot of traveling over the past 20 years and I've never had such a wonderful experience. From what I've heard, the hotel used to be a 2-star dump called Pacific Shore and it was completely renovated in 2002. When I first walked into the Viceroy, I honestly gasped. I wasn't expecting anything like what I'd seen! The decor of the lobby was breathtaking, as was the Cameo Bar and the Whist restuarant. Even the pool area has a Hollywood feel! Cabanas, a sundeck and big palm trees make you feel right in the middle of a movie set. Basically, I adore this hotel and will use it for all my CA travels. The food was delicious and the service was wonderful. Now, there is kind of wait for drinks at the bar, but it's worth it. People-watching helps pass the time. (total LA crowd) The rooms all have high speed DSL (thank god!) and frette linens. Comfort, style and class. And the location is to die for. The beach, shopping, restaurants..all in walking distance. I was there for a week and I loved it. You can't go wrong with the Viceroy.
One of the Worst
Unless you are among the terminally hip or tragically bored, Viceroy is not for you. In their desperate quest to add "attitude" (and a snotty one at that), Viceroy forgot about "service". If you're the kind of sucker who thinks being treated like a jerk by some smarmy foreign matre dei' at a way overpriced, way under-serviced Hollywood or NY restaurant of-the-second, then this is the place for you! You'll feel right at home! I thought the days of paying BIG money to be mis-treated were over. I was weong, big-time. Having traveled the world the past 30 years and staying at the world's best hotels, as part of business and pleasure as a journalist in the auto industry, I found the Viceoy a surprisingly bad property. And I want to like the places we go! It's a perk of the job! We were there for the press intro of Toyota's new line of Scion cars. Forget lighting so poor throughout the hotel that a "dark corner" is an oxymoron. Forget the bench in the useless shower being on the wrong side of the shower (you can't stand up under the shower head). Forget usable towel racks in the bathroom. Forget no high speed internet plug-in in the room. Forget virtually EVERYTYHING in the room and bath having a price tag on it, with a snotty note on the bed urging guests to not have their sheets cleaned each night(!). Forget a front desk which can't remember who is paying for your room. Forget a "Zenith" TV and DVD in the room....the worst money can buy. Forget a phone operator who insultingly LAUGHS when you ask for another guest's room who has an unusual-sounding name (at least this desk clerk). Forget a damn alarm clock which doesn't work! Focus instead just on the place's "so serious 'tude" and that should be enough to keep you away.
Previous reviewers seem to be reviewing another hotel (actually a motel) called Pacific Shores. The Viceroy is a marvelously restored hotel with beautiful rooms with down comforters and 27" flat screen TVs. Hardly seems even remotely similar to the Pacific Shores that one person reviewed. It also has one of the hottest new restaurants in Southern California. Rooms start at $250 American per night although in off-season/off nights it can be as low as $140. A great place to stay in Santa Monica!
Are you cool enough for Viceroy?
Forget any reviews dated prior to July of 2002. This is a new hotel in the old Pacific Shores bldg. They've done a great job with the renovations, both they guest rooms and public spaces are striking and comfortable. We took advantage of their Spring Fling program which offered early check-in (noon), late check out (3pm) and a $50 credit to the bar and/or restaurant. Everything you have heard about the bar scene at Viceroy is true. When we returned from cocktails across the street at Casa Del Mar, we were stopped by a line of huge guys in suits controlling access to the building. The head bruiser held a clipboard like the doorman at any ultr-hip club and and several hipsters were trying all of their best lines to gain admittance. When we entered the hotel lobby, it barely resembled the room we left two hours earlier. The crowd from the bar spilled over into the lobby and filled the outdoor pool deck. The waiting area for the restaurant was equally busy. The pool area reminded me of a 2004 version of the big party scene in Shampoo. Friday night at the Viceroy is best example of upscale, ultra-hip LA nightlife, with 6ft blonds sipping $12 cocktails in setting better than anything Hollywood could think up. About the food: Whist is a very good restaurant; its not one of the best meals I've eaten or even in my top 10, but it is VERY good. Breakfast the next day, served in the remarkably comfortable pool area, WAS one of the best (breakfast) meals I've ever experienced. To wrap things up: everything about the Viceroy looks good AND is extremely comfortable. The location is 2nd only to the beachfront hotels; Viceroy is directly across Ocean Ave from the beachfront Cas Del Mar and Shutters. The food is better than all but a handful of LA's best and the place is just lots of fun. The lack of a "family" atmosphere is a huge plus for anyone not looking for the Chucky Cheese crowd, but you don't have to be 20-something to enjoy Viceroy. There were plenty of well-off 60-somethings My only significant criticism came at checkout when the desk agent was helpless to fix my double-charged bill. (only the mgr. was able to make the necessary correction and he was not there.) Places this incredibly hot with the hipsters often burn bright but brief - time will tell if Viceroy can maintain it's current level of excitement.steve pburbank, ca
Expensive but fun
I stayed at the Viceroy for just one night and found it to be not only beautiful, but extremely well run.Please note that the two negitive reviews were for the hotel prior to massive renovations and a change in ownership. All the icky, mustiness is gone, replaced by very chic furnishings.The staff was extremely helpful in getting me cabs, however be prepared for some serious snootiness at the Vicroy's restaurant, Whilst. This has become a hot spot for the young, rich, and famous in LA and getting a table is pretty much impossible unless you are A Somebody.
Great place! Expensive, but you get everything that you pay for. Beautiful room, excellent, polite staff, great lobby and pool area... altogether a very nice stay.
TripAdvisor Reviews Viceroy Santa Monica
Travel Blogs from Santa Monica
... through Beverly Hills, we even saw the police station from the film Beverly Hills cop. The last bit of the drive did though seem to take for ever as some roads were closed near the hotel, but we made it back fine. Our car is amazing, it's a HUGE GMC station wagon and sadly averages 17mpg, but at least petrol is cheap for us here. It's a bit of a monster to drive though and is ...
... thus took us quite a way away from Santa Monica again. We finally found our way back and dropped our car off at Loews Hotel one minute before our scheduled 4pm slot. I think Chelle was very glad not to be driving at this point!
After unloading the car, we took a brief moment to point-and-stare at the local celebrity wildlife as John Parrott (sorry, no-one A-list!) exited the hotel towards us. We had cleared the car and wanted a photo with the Jeep to commemorate ...
... too early for any celebrities to be out and about, so Em and I only had the excitement of celebrity gates to amuse us. After lusting over the likes of Adam Sandler's and Sandra Bullocks' amazing houses and seeing where The Beatles started their journey, we set off along Beverley Hills to the infamous house of Will Smith's hit show 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air'. Singing the amazingly catchy theme tune as we went, naturally! Our next stop was onto Rodeo Drive, where we renewed ...
Very sorry Tasha...the boys were so noisy whilst we were trying to leave!! Got to the airport for 530 departure no issues, flight was very smooth. Well timed transfer to Syndey International and walked straight onto the A380. Very cool plane, so impressed. Had exit row for both flights, which was great. Dozed a bit but only slept properly for about 30 mins towards the end, which was tiring. Rang for a transfer to the Travelodge, fairly nice but great location. Had a two ...
... restaurant called Panda Express, the best Chinese we've had on this trip. After chilling out we took the bus back to downtown which turned out to be free as we had been picked up by a different bus. The driver was so nice and made sure we got back to our hotel safe, on the way he was like a tour guide, pointing out all the right places to go and not to go. When we arrived back at the hostel we ...