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German-born designer Thomas Schoos redesigned the 18-story Huntley Hotel in 2007 to create a new standard of luxury beach hotel. Decked with leather daybeds, carved African chairs, mango wood stools, Mongolian wool pillows and other furnishings sourced from all over the world, the lobby is a study in texture and light. A wall of white lacquered piranhas makes the big impression that this is a beach retreat. The layering of natural materials keeps the space laid-back and inviting.
The Santa Monica hotel’s 204 large, light-filled guest rooms are well appointed, featuring plush beds and fresh, contemporary design. Three suites remix the seaside theme. The Signature Suite’s washed wood beams, paneled bathroom ceiling and custom sand-blasted wood furniture create the feeling of being aloft in a cozy seaside cabin. The Malibu Suite boasts a mellow, eclectic assemblage of design ideas, including an alcove upholstered in striped fabric, an oversized bathtub and a California king bed. On the 17th floor, the Presidential Suite’s sky-blue, stark-white and silver scheme evokes the sand and the sea. A live-edge dining table, full living room and swanky cocktail bar make the suite seem like an elegant beach house. While floor-to-ceiling mirrors capture the changing light from expansive windows that offer breathtaking views of the Pacific.