Going Seaside for a Staycation at two Premier LA Hotels

Nothing is as relaxing as being seaside in LA. A city that’s overflowing with a wealth of options, we wanted to break away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds and head towards the water. In other words, it was time for a staycation. 

We love the beachside cities in Southern California ranging from San Diego to Malibu so we ended up in two beach towns that fall somewhere in between: Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. 

Manhattan Beach got its name in a coin toss in 1901 when land owners George Peck and John Merrill failed to agree what to call it so they settled it the gentlemen’s way: a good old fashioned game of heads or tails. Peck won. Named after his hometown of Manhattan, New York, it has since evolved into an upscale beachside metropolis known for its new culinary landscape, legendary volleyball courts and wealthy appeal.

SHADE MB opened its doors over eleven years ago. Much like its name suggests, the property is composed of shades that mimic the sand and shore only a few blocks away: soft blues, cream, sage, and grey. All of which incite a certain sense of tranquility. 

Owner and restaurateur Michael Zislis’ vison was to create a boutique hotel that would allow every guest to experience something refined and exceptional. The rooms are each designed with rich accents of wood and soothing tones so you feel like you’ve slipped into a much needed escape the moment you enter in. With service perks like a glass of champagne each evening, homemade juices each morning, beach cruisers available to use during the day, and the relaxation pool, you’ll find yourself slipping into total calm. The cuisine and cocktail program at Zinc is also something to explore. Our favorite was the vegetarian panang curry bowl, pan-roasted Scottish salmon, and the paella. For drinks? We loved the signature SHADE cocktail with basil and strawberry and for the wine and bubbles lovers? They have a well dressed list to choose from. 

When it’s time to head out and explore, you are in the epicenter of luxury. You can stroll down the beach walk with a coffee and croissant in hand from one of the quaint nearby café’s, stop in for some shopping at the boutique shops lining the streets, and even get a workout in at the famed volleyball courts that have hosted some of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. After a day of exploring, head back to the hotel for a treatment at Trilogy Spa. The spa is surreal. Candles line the hallways, the masseurs are patient and thoughtful and the Lehua Honey Bar will change your life! Just imagine being drizzled with warm honey as rain water runs over you, your fatigued muscles are massaged and every inch of your stress melts away. It’s definitely a must! 

At the end of the day, grab a glass of bubbles, head to your room, slip into your Sanijet™ spa tub with color therapy, and finish the evening in your Tempurpedic bed. That said, with spring now here and ready? During the day, head to the rooftop, order a cocktail from the bar and get ready to bask in the California sun! 

SHADE Hotel Manhattan Beach | Modern and Serene

1221 N. Valley Drive Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

$350-$750 per night ((based on season and occupancy) 

Redondo Beach is a beach town that has over two hundred years of history. While today it is a cultural mecca and rising star in terms of tourism, it’s past is a colorful one. From being the tourist location in the 1800’s to being a place where mobsters flocked to during prohibition to being the place where steamboats and fishermen alike preferred to dock, it is rich in story. It’s history, intrigue, pier and marina full of gorgeous sailboats and yachts give it the charm every proper beach town should have so it’s no surprise this is the newest location of the second SHADE Hotel. 

Having just opened its doors this past November, this boutique hotel is a slight upgrade from the Manhattan Beach location. The restaurant, Sea Level, is filled with bright accents, artistic appeal and an outdoor wall filled with bright green succulents facing out to the water as the name suggests. Staying true to the color scheme, the shades at this locale are slightly lighter and more subdued with a more apparent homage to modern minimalism. 

The location is located right on the waterfront. The view from the rooms is a view of the harbor where every morning you are greeted with beautiful yachts, sailboats and a few sea lions that aren’t afraid to say hello. While the architecture here is similar, it has a few new features including the crisp lines, brand new rooms featuring art by local artists, a gorgeous penthouse stocked with a bar and in-room keg, a bath tub big enough for four people and a sauna steam shower! 

While there are a hundred reasons to stay here, we can think of one that seals the deal: your very own soaking tub on your patio. Yes, EVERY patio! So while your bed is cozy, your room is refined, it’s the balcony where you’ll want to spend your nights basking in the soaking tub, looking out onto the water with a glass of scotch in hand. Or champagne or a cocktail. Either way, it’s to die for! So as the warmth of the sun kisses our pasty winter skin, we have yet another reason to love this seaside hotel. 

Dining at Shade RB is also something of a revelry. Chef Aaron Robbins has crafted a dining menu that appeals to every flavor palate imaginable. From brunch to dinner you will be wowed. Our absolute must-haves are the French Toast (seriously, this is heaven), the fennel sausage pizza (substitute sausage for mushroom to make it vegetarian), his citrus cured Hamachi rolled in cucumber and soaked in yuzu, the curry ramen noodles (phenomenal!), and his desserts like the passion fruit crème brûlée. They also have an impressive wine and beer list as well as a mixology program that will quench your thirst. Lastly, be sure to note that should you want to have an event here? Their rooftop is sublime. Sweeping views overlooking the water, a space fit for your vision and the most important part? It won’t cost you an arm and a leg. 

While you’re there, take time to stroll the pier. Stop in at Quality Seafood for some freshly picked oysters or select a golden snapper and have them grill it on site. You will not find more worthy seafood that is not only sustainably caught and sourced but exquisitely fresh! Then walk down to Old Tony’s for one of their famous Mai Tai’s and a 360-view of the harbor itself. After a hearty drink and the fact that spring has officially sprung, you can also indulge in their rooftop pool with the best views of the city, seeing all the way to Palos Verdes on a clear, sunny California afternoon. 

SHADE Hotel Redondo Beach | Romance and Luxury 

655 North Harbor Drive Redondo Beach, CA 90277

$350-$1200 per night (based on season and occupancy)