The Pierside Santa Monica

Pierside Santa Monica


The Pierside Santa Monica is beachside boutique with big rooms and everything you need for a day by the water.


An affordable, surf-themed boutique just a block away from the Santa Monica pier.

The oceanfront near the Santa Monica Pier has come a long way since its decrepit Dogtown days of the 1970s. Today, staying near the pier usually means shelling out for a well-heeled luxury hotel. And that’s why the Pierside Santa Monica needs to be on your radar.  The surf-themed boutique is the rare, affordable option in this part of L.A. and it puts you close enough to the beach to feel like you’re, you know, at the beach.

Befitting of its shoreside status, this downtown Santa Monica hotel has a laid back coastal vibe that feels both local and welcoming. However, while the Pierside Santa Monica does an excellent job of integrating itself into its surroundings with sidewalk tables at its onsite restaurant and lights strewn across Colorado Avenue, the crowd is almost entirely out-of-towners. Don’t confuse this place for a tourist trap, though. Think of it more like an upscale beachside guest house. Anyways, if you want that local Santa Monica experience, all you have to do is head to the ocean.


Steps from one of the most famous piers in the United States.

Walk out the front door of the Pierside Hotel, turn left, and you’ll be smack in front of the spot where Forrest Gump finally decided to turn around. The iconic Santa Monica Pier sits about a block away, bringing with it all the rides, fried food and midway scams – erm, games – that come with it. You’d be remiss not to spend at least one night playing around Pacific Place, but it’s far from the only thing within walking distance of the Pierside. Without dealing with too much LA traffic you can:

  • Grab a surfboard from the front desk and see how you stack up against the surfers that spend countless days riding the Santa Monica waves. The beach is less than two blocks away, and if you’re not an expert you can take a lesson at Go Surf LA.
  • Stroll the quirky, colorful boardwalk of Venice Beach, which is about 3 miles down the coast. The gym that Arnold made famous is still there, though the size of the people lifting weights there might be a little smaller.
  • Do some shopping and enjoy dinner al fresco along the 3rd Street Promenade. The pedestrian mall has an outpost of legendary Barney’s Beanery (the original in West Hollywood was made famous by Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and scores of other artists who were regulars), as well as a movie theater and Apple store. It’s also just two blocks away. 
  • Drive up Pacific Coast highway to Malibu. The 30-ish minute drive begins one of the most famously beautiful roads in the country. And you can stop for wine tasting at the Rosenthal Wine Bar and Patio along the way.
  • Take a hike through Topanga State Park. You’ll be shocked how soon you go from urban jungle to the middle of wilderness, and the views from the top of Los Leones and the Temescal Canyon Trail are worth the day of walking. It’s about a 20 minute drive north. 


Big, ocean-inspired spaces with partial views of the ocean.

The good news is that every room at the Pierside has a view of the ocean. The bad news is that they’re all partial ocean views. Because the hotel was built in the 1970s when the pier was dilapidated and sad, the original designers constructed the hotel so no rooms looked directly at it. This doesn’t really detract from the rooms though, as the large spaces are done up in ocean-inspired décor with light blue walls and photos of the pier’s pylons. You’ll also find postcards of Santa Monica to send, robes, mini fridges and Keurig-style coffee makers.

Because the Pierside was formerly a Wyndham and Holiday Inn, its 132 rooms are mostly all between 320-350 square feet, with small variations for single rooms and suites. They are split between park view, which look over Tongva Park and the Pacific Ocean, and coastal view, which look south over the beach. Within those categories, they break down into Double Queen beds and King bed rooms. The King rooms (there are Pierside Kings, Park View Kings and Coastal Kings) also come with a queen-sized fold out daybed sofa, ideal for working or sitting when the bed is folded in.


Murals, a sidewalk café and everything you need for indoor and outdoor entertainment.


The Pierside’s most noticeable feature is the multi-story mural on its west-facing wall. The Shepard Fairey creation depicts a strong female character meant to represent strength and positivity, surrounded by small homages to the area’s Dogtown history. Fairy also painted a mural along the hotel’s valet drive, which gives you an instant Instagram moment as soon as you step out of the car. You’ll also find surf paddles decorating lobby walls and ocean photographs in the rooms.

Board Shop

At the Board Shop, Guests can check out surf boards, boogie boards, chairs, umbrellas, spike balls and pretty much anything else you’d want for a day at the beach. If you’d rather stay in, the Pierside will give you two free hours with a gaming console or a record player with a library of vinyl.

Grab-and-go market

Like a lot of newer hotels, the Pierside eschews the mini bar in favor of a curated collection of cool local food and drinks at its grab-and-go market. You’ll find craft beers from Golden Road and Santa Monica Brew Works and bottled drinks from Mission Craft Cocktails. There’s also pre-made, to-go food if you want a beach picnic.

Surfing Fox

The Pierside’s onsite restaurant, the Surfing Fox, welcomes guests with a lobby fireplace, then opens to an indoor-outdoor dining room full of mid-mod beach décor. The menu is a fusion of local influences, primarily Japanese and Mexican with items like fish tacos and boba tea. Tables extend to the sidewalk, making both the boisterous center bar and indoor space inviting to all who pass by. It’s far more than a typical American hotel restaurant, and gives you a sense of the city without going off property.

Pool (As of publication, the Pierside’s pool deck is not open)

The saltwater pool sits on the far west side of the ground floor, secluded from the masses by a small forest of local greenery.

Fitness Center

The fitness center is on the ground floor, just past the front desk. It has two treadmills, two ellipticals, two Peloton bikes, and dumbbells up to 55 lbs. Guests can also get a week of free classes at Core Power Yoga, a couple of blocks north.


Valet parking is available for $55 a night.

#piersidehotel on TikTok


What is the closest airport to the hotel?

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 15 miles south of the Pierside Santa Monica (120 Colorado Ave). There is a airport in Santa Monica though it doesn’t offer many commercial flights.

What’s the address of the hotel?

120 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California 90401

When is check-in and check-out?

Check-in is 4:00pm and check-out time is 11:00am.

How many rooms are there?

The Pierside Santa Monica offers 132 rooms.

How many pools are there?

There are two pool areas.

Is the Pierside Santa Monica a pet-friendly hotel?

The Pierside hosts dogs as long as they are under 50 lbs. The additional cost is $125.

What are the basic amenities?

The hotel offers a concierge, outdoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, room service, Guest room amenities include internet access (free WiFi in public areas as well), 55-inch flat panel TV, air conditioning, in-room safe, sofa beds, bathrobes, hairdryers and more. They also offer a express check-in.

How far is the Santa Monica Beach from the hotel?

The beach is a quarter mile away.

Is the hotel good for business travelers?

Depends on what you need. There’s free wifi in the common areas and plug-in seating in the lobby.