For a fabulous high-end hotel stay on the beach, go to the Beach House at Hermosa Beach (1300 The Strand, Hermosa Beach, 310/374-3001, www.beach-house.com, $275–400). It might be the tiniest bit pretentious, but it’s hard not to love this larger boutique hotel that looks right out over the water.
The “loft suite” has a cushy king bed with Frette sheets, a big bathroom with separate tub and shower, two TVs and a stereo, and a real wood-burning fireplace. The casual, upscale decor makes visitors feel at home, but you’ll probably want to spend more time out on the porch or balcony on sunny days. Guests get a free continental breakfast, the use of the outdoor spa, and access to the on-site gym.
If you prefer an outdoor workout, enjoy The Strand for a walk, run, or bike ride. Head downstairs to The Strand Café for a bite and a tasty view from the outside tables, or to the spa for a delightful massage or facial.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition