First Look: The Pierside Santa Monica

Dogtown beauty.

In the shadow of Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Wheel (the world’s only solar-powered ferris wheel), there’s a new beachside hotel: the Pierside. With palm trees and the sea within steps of the entrance, travellers are greeted by an original Shepard Fairey mural on the hotel’s ocean-facing wall (and above the swimming pool), a colourful homage to the area’s hippie spirit, natural beauty, and skate culture.



Most recently the Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier, this 1965 motor hotel in the city’s Dogtown neighbourhood was renovated by local firm Design360 Unlimited, known for its hotel design, including recent projects like Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach and Montreal’s Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth.

Inspired by the serene coastal surroundings, the 132 rooms and suites in the Pierside adhere to a soft palette of white, cream, grey, and blue with minimalist decor, blond-wood flooring and storage, platform beds with a striped headboard by Fairmont Designs using sustainable and bacteria-resistant Crypton textile, and bedside glass pendant lighting from Light Annex. Tiled bathrooms feature open storage and an oversized mirror, while the closets hold cozy robes and feature a whimsical beach-themed wallpaper.


Some rooms include bench seating at the window paired with a round white-and-blue dining/work table, and all have a bluetooth speaker. Want to play DJ? Record players can be borrowed, and there is an audio library of West Coast–inspired vinyl.

The hotel’s oceanside dining spot, the Surfing Fox, is slated to open in July, and guests can enjoy in-house California sips and snacks such as wines from Josh Cellars, Santa Monica Brew Works, Mission Craft Cocktails, Pressed juices, La Colombe coffee and Larder Baking Company pastries.


There are several thoughtful touches for thriving in the SoCal sun, like water dispensers to refill bottles on each floor and an extensive amenity list from the Board Shop. The in-house rental offers guests two hours of complimentary rental for a wide variety of items including cruiser bicycles, board games, GoPro camera, frisbee, and numerous types of balls.

For beach lovers, there’s a myriad of rental options to design the perfect beach day with beach accessories from the Board Shop, such as a tote bag, ball, chair, blanket, umbrella, surfboard, body board, sand toys, and binoculars. Toss in a picnic kit and a ukulele, and the day is planned.

Guests also have access to the swimming pool with cabanas, lounge areas, living walls, and a water wall.