Set on a primo slice of coastal real estate, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows has been pampering travelers for more than a century. Originally the home of the founder of Santa Monica, Senator John P. Jones and his wife Georgina, the property celebrated the 100 year mark in 2021.
When you turn onto the driveway to reach the resort’s main entrance, a towering 100 foot Morten Bay Fig Tree makes it clear the property is unique. (A botanist, Georgina planted the tree at some point in the 1880s.) Steeped in a combination of history, Hollywood glamour, and relaxed beachy fun, the Southern California landmark knows how to make you feel welcome and excited at the same time.
The Fairmont features 297 guest rooms and suites spread across the Ocean Tower, the Palisades wing, and a one-of-a-kind cluster of 31 standalone bungalows that are residential in feel.
I stayed in bungalow 17, a Signature Bungalow, with my husband and college-age daughter for two nights. Bright and airy, the space had two double beds, a pair of corners filled with comfy chairs, and a cheery outdoor patio with a view of the property’s garden and slice of the Pacific Ocean.
The bathroom was generous in size; along with two sinks there was plenty of vanity space for my trio, a Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, and a shower/tub combination. As expected, the space was stocked with the Fairmont’s signature Le Labo toiletries. Though I like the product, I would love to see the single-use plastic bottles replaced with a more eco-friendly, refillable alternative.
The attention to details in the room’s design were apparent and appreciated. USB ports and electric outlets were plentiful and easy to reach; a decorative seabird design element mounted to the ceiling, did double duty as a nightlight; two sets of curtains — sheers and heavier drapes — allowed light in when you wanted it, and kept it out when you didn’t.
The Fairmont is located just across the street from the beach, and an easy walk from the Santa Monica pier, but be prepared to fight the urge to simply lounge poolside. If you’re committed to exploring the neighborhood, bikes are available for guests to roll through town. For those in need of more movement, a 24-hour fitness center, complete with classes and lineup of Peloton spin bikes, are all offered at on-site Exhale Spa.
Save time to dine at the Fairmont Miramar; options are varied and were among the highlights of my stay. Open for breakfast and dinner, three-quarters of the ingredients on FIG restaurant’s menu are sourced locally. (I’m still trying to re-create the lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry butter at home.) Green plants fill the eatery’s covered patio, making for a relaxing and photo-worthy alfresco dining experience.
If you like sushi, consider making reservations at Soko in advance of your arrival in Santa Monica. With just eight-seats, chef Masa Shimakawa’s attention to quality and presentation has earned him a devoted, local fan base.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows is located 12 miles from Los Angeles International Airport and a bit more than 40 miles from Disneyland.
Rates for a stay in a Signature Bungalow with a patio start at $1,000. A daily resort fee of $39 includes offerings the likes of daily turndown service, Wi-Fi, fitness center, and BMW house car service. Valet parking only. Dogs and cats are welcome for an additional $100 per night pet fee. You can compare rates and make a reservation at a hotel booking site such as Booking.com, Travelocity or your favorite booking site.
Review and photos by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer and television correspondent Dana Rebmann. Her stay was organized by the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.