This New Santa Monica Hotel Is a Surfer’s Dream — And Cheaper Than You’d Think

Bonus: Its lobby-side Board Shop rents surfboard, bodyboards, GoPros and more

September 15, 2023 6:20 am
Hotel room with a bed, furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of palm trees and beach
Pierside is an affordable option — and it offers a bodyboard and surfboard rental hub in the lobby
The Pierside

Pierside is the rare Santa Monica hotel that really does live up to its name. This new property is located directly on Ocean Avenue (cue the Yellowcard), and right across from the Santa Monica Pier, smack dab in the historic Dogtown area. Plenty of resorts in beachfront communities like Venice and Santa Monica want to cash in on the ocean’s draw, so the tendency to exaggerate proximity to the water is common. But that’s definitely not the case with Pierside, which also happens to feature a bodyboard and surfboard rental hub in the hotel lobby. 

Basically, this lifestyle resort is an affordable, almost-oceanfront option for the sportiest among us, who want nothing more from a visit to Santa Monica than to catch waves all day. Distinguished by an enormous, custom mural from Shepherd Fairey on one side, this property is positioned to become a buzzy hub for the neighborhood. Let’s go over what else this guesthouse has to offer. 

Shelves full of games and other miscellaneous items
You can also rent cameras, bikes and board games in The Board Shop
The Pierside

Did we mention The Board Shop? Well, it’s got more than just boards

So along with renting bodyboards and surfboards — which saves travelers the hassle of carting their own gear — this lobby-side rental store can outfit aspiring filmmakers with a camera or a GoPro, as well as bikes, board games, chairs, umbrellas, beach balls, even blankets and sand toys. Basically, anything you need for a full-on beach day is here, and guests get up to two hours of free rentals, daily.

Living room are in a hotel with floor-to-ceiling window
Enjoy Pierside’s floor-to-ceiling windows in each room
The Pierside

Ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows come with triple-pane windows 

Massive windows can be a blessing and a curse, unless you’re staying at a property that’s invested in proper noise control. Anyone familiar with this stretch of Santa Monica knows that both the 10 freeway and PCH are as close as the beach, so a buffer is a must. Most rooms have a glimpse of the ocean, but the triple-pane, floor-to-ceiling windows keep the traffic noise out while letting the light, and the view, in.

Bed and couch in a hotel room
The palettes in the rooms are pale yellows and creams, whites and light blues, and textured blonde wood
The Pierside

These rooms are spacious and focus on the most useful elements, like large showers, plush beds with extra pull-outs in many rooms, and an understated coastal theme

The hotel isn’t a new-build, but a flip from an old Wyndham. This is not a luxury property, and nobody needs it to be — Shutters is just down the road. Since aesthetics have changed drastically over the last few decades, a post-Wyndham revamp was necessary. Expect a palette that reflects the colors of the beach and waves: pale yellows and creams, whites and light blues, and lots of textured blonde wood throughout. 

All the king bedrooms have walk-in showers, and most have queen pullout beds as well. Custom bathrobes by Boca Terry and in-room steamers will get rinsed-out beachwear back into dinner reservation condition. Large, 55-inch flat-screen TVs and hydration stations, complete with complimentary Pierside water bottles, round out the necessities.

A heated saltwater pool will open soon — plus, pets are welcome

While some beach hotels love to be cheeky about their lack of a pool, citing the ocean as water enough, most properties have wised up to the fact that even beach-obsessed guests love a calm, chlorinated place to get wet. Pierside will do its visitors one better with a heated, saltwater(!) pool, scheduled to open this fall. One other amenity that’s definitely worth noting is the dog-friendly policy, with canine friends invited to share the room for a set fee of $120. Additionally, an in-house restaurant, rather hilariously dubbed The Surfing Fox, is now up and running shortly, serving food in an indoor/outdoor setting with — you guessed it — killer views of the pier.


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