Review: Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach, California

 You’ve probably noticed recently that I’ve been doing more traveling than usual. Travel has always been a big part of my DNA and lately the trips seems to be stacking on top of each other. My husband and I both have jobs that require us to travel and sometimes we’re able to do that together since I can work anywhere there’s an internet connection.

Before I lived in Los Angeles a few years ago, I’d frequent the area for work and would always stay at Hotel Erwin. The hubs and I even had a staycation or two there when we lived in LA because of the nostalgia we both share for the hotel. Seated in the heart of Venice Beach, Hotel Erwin is a boutique hotel that embodies both Venice Beach charm and the trendiness of Los Angeles. People go here to be seen as much as they do for the beach and killer sunsets.

Overall, the hotel is incredibly charming. With a small staff, I recognized people in housekeeping, valet and the front lobby throughout my stay and quickly became on a first name basis with Miguel in the hotel lobby. He helped make sure we got a room with a view (which as you read you’ll learn is essential for this beach spot) and was such a bright spot throughout our stay.

The Room

Hotel Erwin is positioned directly on the Venice Beach Boardwalk so there aren’t many rooms without a view. However, if a room with a view is a must for you, make sure to ask for one and also take into account the amount of activity that happens in the area. If you’re a light sleeper, you might want to request a room on the top 5th or 6th floors. A boutique hotel, Erwin is small, at least short, in comparison to most hotels in Los Angeles. On the weekends you could still experience late night noise from the hotel’s rooftop bar, High. With so much happening in the area, this is definitely a hotel for people who don’t mind a little ambiance and activity.

When it comes to the room, our’s was comfortable in size with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and coast-lined palm trees. I loved waking up to the sun beaming into our room each morning and sitting on our balcony to watch it set over the ocean each night. Venice Beach is packed with activity so I was always inspired to wake up and get out.

We were greeted with two complimentary bottles of water in our room (which my fellow travelers will attest is necessary these days) and a very clean, open space. Each room has a full mini-bar but you need to request the key to access it from the front desk. There’s also complimentary coffee and teas along with snacks for purchase. Room service is available from the hotel’s downstairs restaurant, Barlo, where you can also dine in.

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The View

I’m a firm believer that a view (or lack thereof) can make or break one’s hotel experience. With Hotel Erwin, that is absolutely the case. Venice Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the country, so a room without a view just won’t do your trip justice.

*Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for a view when you check-in to your hotel. Even if you’ve already got the key to your room with a view of a wall, call back down and ask if there’s something different. I’ve never had a hotel just say no and in the end, they want your experience to be positive. While I don’t understand why hotels don’t always put you in the best room first, I do know that every time I’ve asked (politely, mind you) if there’s anything else available, they’re usually happy to accommodate.

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To get the ultimate view of Venice Beach, visit Hotel Erwin’s rooftop bar, High, for a sunset cocktail and to take in the views. The rooftop is 21+ and even if you’re a guest of the hotel’s, you’ll be asked for ID at the entrance. This is definitely where you’ll get the best west coast sunset experience so grab a drink, kick back on one of High’s comfy lounges and take it all in. Side note: Once the sun sets anywhere in LA the temperature drops about ten degrees so make sure to bring a jacket or ask someone at High for a blanket and to turn on the heaters!

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The Neighborhood

If you’ve never been to Venice Beach, here’s what you need to know: Everyone will be at Venice Beach. Seriously. The Boardwalk attracts every type of person and you’ll find anyone from tourists to locals, skateboarders to weightlifters, fashionistas to hobos. It’s like an island of misfit toys and that’s what I love about it.  Unlike any other beach in Los Angeles, Venice is home to a very eclectic scene and some may even think it hipster.

There are several restaurants close to the hotel and I frequented a few that were right on the famous Venice intersection where the lighted sign flies. If you’re a lover of sharing, Chinese food and BYOB  make sure to visit Mao’s Kitchen for dinner. This mom and pop restaurant is super affordable and the food is excellent. Next door is Cafe Collage where I got lunch a couple of times and coffee. Their vegetarian options were great and the variety for lunch will satisfy any group. Across the street I also grabbed lunch from The Flyin’ Jalepeño. The Mexican restaurant is setup similar to that of Moe’s where all of the options are laid out in front of you and you pick your fill. Another mom and pop restaurant, the vibe is casual and if you order in Spanish your experience will feel even more authentic. This was the first place I ever had soyrizo (yes, soy chorizo) and I was hooked. Lastly, take a left out of the Hotel and turn down the first alley and you’ll see a little juice stand on the right called Winward Juice. This spot is adorable for such a small business and they serve cold-pressed juices from Clover Juices. The Coco Snow (straight up coconut water with chunks of coconut) was by far my favorite.

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Yes or No?

Yes! Hotel Erwin is the perfect spot for young couples, singles or friends looking for a laid back, yet trendy, Venice Beach experience. VB is perfectly positioned between Los Angeles’ westside destinations with Malibu and Santa Monica to the north and Marina del Rey and South Bay beaches to the south. The neighborhood offers plenty to see while providing easy access to the attractions of the surrounding areas. If you’re the type who likes to be outdoors, rent a bike and venture down the boardwalk to one of the neighboring beaches. Or grab a board and try your take at the Pacific’s waves.

If I’m keeping it real, this isn’t the best hotel for families, older couples or people traveling with children.

xx,

audrey

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