The prime attraction of a hotel near Venice Beach in Los Angeles makes use of a particularly effective real estate cliche. It’s all about location, location, location.
Situated on busy Washington Blvd. (a busy feeder street for the strange alien world that is Venice Beach), the boutique hotel stands a couple blocks from the Pacific in the heart of a Bohemian melting pot.
Sporting 43 guest rooms (including five two story suites) and a dining area for free daily breakfasts, the small hotel provides everything the guest might need with a friendly attitude that generally stays out of the way. Venice Beach is never about hassle.
From the outside, the Inn at Venice Beach looks like what it probably was in a previous life — a small oceanside apartment complex. The minds behind the joint cleaned it up, improved the facade with a bit of mermaid artwork and added a small, non-hassling sign. There’s plenty of free parking out back and a central courtyard that reminded me of small New Orleans hotels in the French Quarter.
While the exterior is unassuming, the guest rooms inside offer free wifi, flat screen TVs and art themed to feature the history of Venice Beach. The crew saved a little money on some of the in-room furnishings, but the beds are comfortable. My room had a small balcony for the traveler to people watch the Venice Beach menagerie.
The in-room amenities are limited with just a coffee and tea machine in the room. Without an active kitchen outside of breakfast, there’s no room service to call. The hotel relies on the surrounding community to keep its guests fed and entertained. Fortunately, there are several restaurants, coffee houses and bars just minutes away.
A visitor should do a little neighborhood research and keep an eye out for the joints the locals frequent. That should help everyone steer clear of the more touristy spots that are less genuine Venice Beach. Then again, there are folks who’ll insist the cheesier attractions along the beach are, in fact, essential neighborhood features.
While clean, comfortable and friendly, it’s safe to assume the philosophy behind this Venice Beach haven is that visitors to this vibrant stretch of the West Coast are not coming to sit in their hotel rooms. They need a safe place to hole up, sleep, recharge, etc. Then, the travelers get out of the Inn and explore Venice Beach or other nearby neighborhoods like Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey and Culver City.