You’re creative, maybe a little restless. A beach bohemian with a sentimentality for surfing, skate boarding: an artist with an unapologetic eye for ingenuity. You like your feet bare and your views vast. And the contrast between the legendary Venice Boardwalk and the hippie chic boulevard that has become Abbot Kinney, you’re coming to terms with it. You are a native nomadic spirit of the SoCal kind. Or maybe, you just like to live like one. Either way, the Venice V will salve your stimulus searching soul.
The only beachfront lifestyle hotel in Venice, it is as true to this distinction as it is to the ethos of Venice Beach itself. Set in a historical building that played the backdrop of many a Hollywood set, “The (then) Waldorf” housed long term tenants (Charlie Chaplin being one) and a steady stream of A-listers back in the day. Today, the renovation has preserved the heralded history that locals collectively pledge quietly and unquietly, never to surrender.
The lobby is adorned with a massive mural of Venice visionary Abbot Kinney, composed entirely of (4,000) skateboard wheels. Exposed interior riveted steel beams, curated local art, an ancient elevator (1915 – the mosaic floor reveals) and a grand central staircase, all part of the eclectic cool that has always been synonymous with the easily envied Venice beach vibe.
Every room has an ocean view, but that’s where the uniformity ends. Beyond that, each design driven space (rooms, suites, and bungalows) is an ode to the Venetian spirit. Skater/surfer accents, beach bohemian furnishings, and modern amenities that make vacating a little less beach grunge, a little more Aesop.
The rooftop bungalows and penthouses (seven in total) are hideaways intended for short or long terms stays, should any cosmopolitan Charlie Chaplin come checking in. Each with an unobstructed ocean view, a kitchen nook, a lounge, and on oversized walk-in shower, the invitation to lay low a little longer, is undeniable.
We stayed in the suitably named Skylight Bungalow (film buffs will know it as the space where Sly Stallone filmed Cobra). With a white and wheat palate, where sand and snow saturate the aesthetic, bohemian macramé’s and beach wood floors dominate the sun-soaked finish. Mixed media whites, distressed brick and an architected archway, a vintage dial up phone and a guitar for strumming. Shower beneath a double rain shower that looks out onto the Pacific. It a beach bungalow to dream about. It is divine.
The encasing is a 1915 landmark. The aged brick walls and oversized noise cancelling windows house your views to the beach, the boardwalk, the skate park, and epic people watching as only Venice can deliver. And the interiors, they are masterminded, architected, and handcrafted by local artisans, muralists, graffiti artists, documentary photographers, oil painters, furniture makers, sketch-stylists and creative strategists: a collective of radical creatives, all keeping sacred with the Venetian zeitgeist.
Steps from the hotel, dining is sincerely some of my favorite in Los Angeles, at Great White. And if in room dining is where it’s at for you, download the Great White app, and through a partnership with the hotel, they’ll deliver right to your room. Cocktails included. A delicious deliverance of Venice community and collaboration if ever there was.
And such is the ever-intentional experience here. It’s not just staying in a beachfront hotel. It’s absorbing the artistic ideology that has come to define this communal coastline. The Venice V venerates the storied soul of Venice Beach, showcasing the eclectic style and indie passion which made it so, all preserved in a beachfront bastion of color, counter-culture and creativity come alive. Bring your Venice curious.
Venice V Hotel, 5 Westminster Ave, Venice, CA 90291, United States.
Tel: +1(310) 912-6488
The hotel is located right by Venice Beach boardwalk, opposite the skatepark’s bowls and ramps. LAX is the closest airport, just a short 15-minute drive. If driving, take the 10 to the 4th and 5th Exit Westminster and Pacific. Valet Parking is available.
Type of Hotel: Beachfront Lifestyle Hotel
Number of Rooms: 34 in total, including rooms, suites, Rooftop Bungalows and Penthouses.
Price Band: Medium to high
Insider Tip: Check it. There’s a (not so) secret underground theatre event space for meetings, private screenings, speakeasy meet ups, et al.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.
Photographs courtesy of Venice V Hotel and by Jolie Loeb