First look at The Beacon, formerly known as Shangri-La.

You may have noticed a few small changes to Ocean Avenue lately, and in particular to some of the spectacular hotels that sunny Santa Monica has to offer. We’ve already reported on the changes happening at Loews as it prepares to rebrand to Regent Santa Monica Beach, and in addition, this summer there will be significant changes to the hotel formerly known as Shangri-La, which is now the Lighthouse plus a radical overhaul of what was once – something was Wyndham, and now it has become Pierside, but more on that tomorrow.

The new operator of Shangri-La is San Francisco-based hotel company Sonder Holdings Inc, which, despite owning several significant properties in Europe and North America, has only recently started trading on the stock exchange.

According to Tom Bady, Beacon’s senior operations manager, a number of other hotel groups were vying to run the hotel, but it was Sonder’s suggestion to retain the great Art Deco aesthetic that helped them cement their success. deal with.

The aesthetic of the building is actually a combination of Art Deco and Modern Modern, and the architect was a gentleman named William E. Foster. Resembling the shape of a large ocean liner, construction was completed in 1939 and the building was listed as a listed building in November 2009.

Before Sonder rented the hotel, it was run entirely by Pakistani-American businesswoman Tehmina Adaya, who took over in 2004. Her late father, business and real estate tycoon Ahmad Adaya, bought it 40 years ago in 1983. it received a $30 million renovation in 2008 and has become famous in the city of Santa Monica for its breathtaking views of the beach and pier, made even more incredible by the beautiful sunsets we regularly enjoy.

Photos: Sonder/Mayak

And it’s this unique rooftop space that Badi says will really make the experience unforgettable. The potential is evident even now, before the work is completed. “I know they’ve put together some pretty big and really cool names, but I can’t tell you who just said,” Baidy teased. “But this is a very big and very important part of the project for us. There have been a few big name celebrity chefs mentioned that I know they are in talks with.”

Without a doubt, cocktail bars have experienced a massive renaissance in the past 20 years, with more attention being paid to hotel bars, and rightly so. There is more focus on the drink menu, different flavor combinations and the ever-changing mix of old and new. Of course, being able to make a decent gin and tonic also goes a long way.

“We have three incredible opportunities to play here between the pool, the restaurant and the rooftop. So I think they will have three completely different concepts to bring three different crowds there.”

Santa Monica residents will almost certainly be thrilled when the rain stops and we can enjoy summer evenings without freezing again, so we’re all looking forward to seeing how this space develops. The interior decor of the rooms themselves has been simplified and invites a return to the building’s original style, including an emphasis on curved walls, casement windows, understated details and horizontal accents.

The hotel is more or less fully operational, but the official opening will take place when everything is ready sometime in the middle of summer.

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The message A first look at The Beacon, officially known as Shangri-La, first appeared in the Santa Monica Daily Press.

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