Six Awesome Bohemian Beach Front Hotels in Venice California
One of the hottest tourist destinations in Southern California is Venice Beach. If you are visiting Venice and want to fully experience the unconventional, free spirited and artistic lifestyle of the town then skip the chain hotels and arrange your stay in one of these six Bohemian Venice beachfront hotels. Most of these hotels are directly on the Venice Boardwalk and date back to the birth of the town itself. All of the hotels are surrounded with fantastic beach front restaurants, shops, and fun things to do.
As a note, as these are older hotels and on the beach where it tends to be cooler, many do not have air-conditioning. With the exception of one, they also do not have on site parking, but there are plenty of nearby lots and you can pre-arrange parking through most of them.
Be sure to also see our guide to the best Venice Beach Boardwalk Restaurants so you know where to eat after you check in and our Venice Beach Vacation Guide video of all the sights and fun things to do in Venice.
1. The Ellison Suites
This is probably the coolest of all the historic Venice Beach hotels. Just steps away from the Venice Beach Boardwalk, it was built over 100 years ago by none other than the comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy.
Not surprisingly, many celebrities have stayed at the hotel and four celebrities have gained permanent homes on the exterior walls of the hotel. Larger than life murals of Jim Morrison of the Doors, the iconic Marilyn Monroe, the American singer and songwriter Lana Del Rey, and the English actor Sir John Vincent Hurt grace the exterior of the building. Known as the Ellison Murals, they have become a must-see attraction when visiting Venice Beach. They were created by world renown artist Jonas Never.
Not only is this one of the most iconic hotels on Venice Beach, it is also one of the best bargains. Suites range from 400 sq ft to 535 sq feet and price from $145 – $180 night Rates will vary depending on time of year, etc. so be sure to check. There are full kitchens in every suite, exposed brick walls. Most of the hotels on the beach are not air conditioned, so if that is important to you be sure to check when making your reservation.
For more information visit the Ellison Suites website.
15 Paloma Ave, Venice Beach, CA
2. The Venice Suites
You can’t miss it. It’s the brick building on the Venice Boardwalk with the orange and blue seascape painted down the side of the building.
Venice Suites is a historic boardwalk & beachfront building that consists of spacious studio and one-bedroom apartment style suites with fully equipped kitchens, modern furnishings, memory foam beds and hardwood floors. The suites are tastefully appointed with blue, orange or yellow accent walls and offer spectacular beachfront ocean and boardwalk views. It also has a beautiful rooftop terrace with a gas barbeque, kitchen cooking area, sectional couch, dining tables, sun chairs and panoramic views of the ocean and city.
Rates are modest for the area. I found suites starting at around $260 per night.
For more information visit the Venice Suites website.
417 Ocean Front Walk, Venice
Continued after the ad break…
3. Rose Hotel
The Rose Hotel in Venice is another piece of Venice History. Designed by Abbot Kinney (the founder of Venice) in 1908 the hotel earned notoriety as a debauched haven for his east coast cohorts. It’s reputation endured as it was hosts to such guests as Charlie Chaplin, Jim Morrison, Dennis Hopper and other ground breaking artists.
The hotel has charming and spacious rooms in a price range from about $200 to $700. The cheaper rooms share a bath, more expensive ones have private baths.
The Rose appeals to the colorful hipsters, artists and music/film industry types that make Venice the beloved Bohemian community. It’s just steps off of the Venice Boardwalk and beach.
For more info, visit the Rose Hotel website.
15 Rose Ave Venice
4. The Inn At Venice Beach
The Inn at Venice Beach is an exception on our list of Venice Beach hotels for a couple of reasons. It’s the only hotel on the list with an attached parking lot and it is actually a couple of blocks off of the beach. It’s also the only one that I’m certain has air conditioning.
The Inn is a great choice if you have more interest in the Venice Pier and the Venice Canals. When you finish the short 2 block walk to the beach you find yourself at the entrance to the Venice Pier and a much more peaceful and quite section of the boardwalk. You can rent a bike and zip on up to the busier section of the boardwalk, or even on up to the Santa Monica Pier if you like, but there is plenty to do within walking distance.
If you cut down Sunburn Street beside the hotel to Grand Canal Ave and walk a block you will find yourself at the Venice Canals, a beautiful, luxury residential district with canals running through the neighborhood. They are reminiscent of the canals in Venice Italy because when Abbot Kinney was developing Venice over a century ago he had set out to create Venice of America.
The Inn at Venice Beach is modern building, but it has retained the feel of the town. It refers to itself as a Bohemian style hotel with chic decor and 1950s inspired art.
Rooms have coffee makers and mini refrigerators and a very nice continental breakfast is served in the morning. It’s more of a typical hotel than the others with rooms $290 an up depending on season but does have 2 story loft suites in the range of $360 night. Rates will vary depending on the season. I stayed there one year in May and was able to get a room for $200 per night. Parking is on site $20 night extra. Coffeemakers and mini refrigerators are in all rooms. They also have 2 story loft type suites.
Visit the Inn at Venice Beach website for more info.
327 Washington Blvd, Venice CA 90291
5. Cadillac Hotel
The Cadillac Hotel is practically next door to the Venice Suites. Rooms are quite reasonably priced ranging from $185 – $300 per night. Again prices will vary depending on your travel dates. The hotel takes an active role in the Venice art scene and runs a rotating art gallery for local artists. Some rooms have kitchens and kitchenettes.
For more information visit the Cadillac Hotel website.
8 Dudley Ave, Venice Beach 90291
6. AIR Venice
AIR Venice was listed last for a reason (or several). It sits on the boardwalk right where Rose Ave meets the ocean in a beautiful century old building. And that is where the appeal stops, at least for me.
The decor is “modern office” and it doesn’t go with the historic building at all. It’s also not the slightest bit relaxing… and isn’t that the whole reason you are taking a vacation?
AIR Venice is also one of the priciest of the hotels on this list, while providing the least service. Rooms run $300 – $600 per night and they aren’t as nice as the other hotels. The biggest turn off to me though is on their website where it says “This property is self-check-in. Guests will receive an email with check-in details 3 days prior to arrival.” Don’t they care enough about their guest to put a front desk clerk on duty? The website also says you will be charged an extra $150 per day for pets, there is no daily housekeeping and you will be charged a refundable security deposit. I don’t see one thing about this hotel that says they care about giving their customers a good experience.
Go ahead and visit their website to see pictures of the rooms. You may love what I hate, but I just don’t want to spend my vacation in a room that reminds me of the office I’m trying to get away from!
5 Rose Ave, Venice Beach, CA 90291
This collection of Bohemian hotels on Venice Beach will make your stay in Venice a genuine part of the town’s free-spirited Bohemian lifestyle. I have listed them in order of my favorite picks. The one exception is the Inn at Venice Beach. This one would be my top choice if I care more about being close to the Venice Pier and the Venice Canals and want air conditioning.