Hotel Shangri-La is one of my favorite Santa Monica hotels to talk about. Designed in the Streamline Moderne style of the 1930s, it stands at the corner of Ocean and Arizona Avenues overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
According to Wikipedia, “Streamline Moderne, or Art Moderne, was a late type of Art Deco architecture and design that emerged in the 1930s. Its architectural style emphasized curving forms, long horizontal lines, and, sometimes, nautical elements.”
The nautical elements seem to have been particularly prevalent in the Los Angeles area.
A couple of Sundays ago Eleanor Schrader Schapa, an architectural and interior design historian, gave a lecture on Art Deco at this hotel. I jumped at the chance to see the interior of the building… and to hear Eleanor, of course!
Hibiscus growing outside the front door.
A view of more contemporary buildings in the next block viewed from the hotel. Fortunately the architects kept the design elements compatible with streamline moderne. At left the “Lawrence Welk building” erected in the 1960s. The building at right I believe opened in the 1980s.
Don’t you love this combination ash tray/trash can at the main entrance?
The Shangri-La is described as a boutique hotel. All 71 rooms have a view of the ocean.
The hotel was closed for a while and reopened in October 2008 following a $30 million renovation. None of the art deco/streamline moderne elements were changed.
After Eleanor’s talk we took a stroll around the neighborhood looking at art deco architecture. But I’m not writing about that in this post. We returned to the hotel for a tour of the interior.
Here you see a good example of the nautical elements of streamline moderne. Looks like a cruise ship, doesn’t it?
View from one of the balconies of Ocean Avenue, the Pacific Ocean and Malibu in the distance. I was thinking it would be fun to stay in a room for a couple of nights and pretend to be on vacation. The cheapest room rate I could find single or double was $425 a night for October. For 50 cents round trip I can take a 20-minute bus ride from my house to this location, saving me $849.00 for the two days… Okay, let me rethink this.
View from the hotel of Arizona Avenue in downtown Santa Monica.
Kitchen area in one of the suites. If I was paying $425 a night I would need to cook my own meals… not saying this location is not worth that much, just that right I need a new dishwasher!
Dig that crazy carpet in the living area. Love it!
The furnishings are sparse but elegant… very nice.
A lovely streamline moderne architectural curve.
Original 1930s tile in the bathroom. Next time I remodel my bathroom I would seriously consider a built-in oval tub.
Nothing like wood parquet flooring… I approve of the color.
Ooh, wonderful art deco bedside lamps.
Simple furnishings… all eyes should be on the view out of that window… I’d love to see it at night with a glass of wine.
Looking down on to the hotel pool area… detail of that cabana area coming up.
More of that being on board a cruise ship feeling.
I’m hung up on art deco light fixtures. Love this one.
If I don’t go for the built-in tub, this stand-alone is a possibility.
View from the pool area of the 1929-31 Bay Cities Title Guaranty Building that rises 13 stories above the skyline in downtown Santa Monica. An art deco classic.
Just before stepping back inside the building is this interesting area. I believe those must be massage tables/couches. I’m feeling relaxed just looking at this space. (Sorry it’s off at an angle.)
Next time I pass the Hotel Shangri-La, which will be any day now, I will not have to wonder what is behind that beautiful streamline moderne facade.
Please click on all the photos for a larger view.
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