A worthy stop in any Santa Monica date itinerary is the Casa Del Mar hotel, with its grand Lobby Lounge and amazing view of the pier and beach. It has a prime location close to beach activities and the Third Street Promenade, yet far enough from the noise and hustle and bustle. I think it’s one of the best date spots in Santa Monica.
As you might guess, street parking is difficult to find in the area, so the valet is the easiest option. They do validate if you buy something, but it’s still not completely free.
My favorite place to find free (or cheap) parking is on Main Street. It is metered but turns free after a certain time.
In some cases, I’ve found parking on the little street just past the hotel that slopes down towards the beach. One warning though, if you are staying late, don’t park in the beach parking lots! The close after a certain time at night, and you will be locked in (and will get a ticket – it’s happened to me before).
The Lobby Lounge
Go up the stairs to the Lobby Lounge. You’ll find a cozy central seating area with a large fireplace. But, during the day and especially around sunset, go all the way to the back and claim one of the tables near the huge windows. The view of the sunset from there is amazing.
The drinks are somewhat expensive, but hey, you’re paying for the ambiance. The Lobby Lounge also serves appetizers that are actually quite good and you can make a full meal out of it. The food is actually more reasonably priced than the drinks!
During certain evenings they have live entertainment. They sometimes feature live bands like the outstanding “Leftover Cuties”, who play ukelele-based 30’s-inspired tunes which seem perfect for this venue.
There is also a restaurant in the lobby, but I’ve never tried it. If it is anywhere near the standards of the rest of the place, it’s probably great. Leave a comment if you’ve eaten there.
What else to do in the area
Casa Del Mar has a prime location, far enough away from the chaos of Third Street Promenade to be quiet and secluded, yet still walking distance to it and other attractions in the area.
It can serve as a great endpoint after rollerblading or walking on the beach or Pacific Park. Or you can come here after dinner at one of the nearby restaurants.
Check out my full article of other Santa Monica date ideas, many of which are within walking distance.
I hope you have a great time at Casa Del Mar! Please leave comments about your experience there! – Brian