We had been on several visits to LA (usually staying in Venice/Santa Monica) and as we are big on walking and discovering all of the areas that we visit, we would always walk past the Fairmont Miramar hotel when strolling along the Santa Monica boardwalk. We would peek in through the almost royal entrance gates and watch people looking like hollywood stars drive up through the driveway to the hotel and being greeted by a flock of bell boys and concierges. Reading about the hotel we also discovered that this place was the real deal.
The hotel was built in 1921 and since then celebrities (Greta Garbo, JFK, Marilyn Monroe, Spielberg etc.) have been frequenting this perfect hideaway to get away from fans and as a place to unwind. Let’s just say that we really, really wanted to stay here and check out what the hotel had to offer.
So on our next trip to LA we decided to do it. We were going to check in to the Miramar. We took a cab from LAX (about 30 minutes) and we got the usual feeling that we get when we arrive in Santa Monica - the feeling of total relaxation and feeling like you’re on a proper holiday.
We drove up through the Fairmont Miramar entrance gate and up the long driveway that takes you to a beautiful +100 year old monumental bay fig tree where the bell boys waited for us to get out of our cab so that they could assist us with our luggage. Service was on point here.
The first thing you see when entering is the beautiful lobby/bar area where it was quite apparent that people came to unwind and have a good time. People were having their afternoon cocktails in the majestic lobby bar overlooking the bungalow area and just enjoying themselves.
The Fairmont Miramar has 302 luxury hotel rooms and 32 garden bungalows. We had splurged a little and decided to get one of the bungalows in the inner courtyard of the hotel (when in LA). We walked to the garden area and opened the door to our weekend home. This place was nice.
Walking into the bungalow felt like walking into a small house. Lots of space, a king bed, a big bathroom, an amazing mini-bar selection, lounge chairs and a very high ceiling, which made it feel extra spacious.
These photos should give you a pretty good idea of what you’ll get, and yes, it was as amazing as it looks in the photos.
As we’re big foodies, we had spent a lot of time trying to find the best dinner options around the hotel and all Google searches pretty much pointed in the same direction - FIG. Fig is Fairmont’s hotel restaurant, which we usually wouldn’t be thrilled about doing, as hotel restaurants rarely are very good. Fig, however, had received great reviews online (Ollie read through 100’s of them) so we made an evening reservation.
Fig is a mediterranean restaurant that focuses on wood-fired dishes and where head chef Yousef Ghalaini’s (of Lebanese descent) cooks up some beautiful food. The decoration at Fig really made us feel like we were in the mediterranean. White marble tables and colored plates everywhere made us feel like we were back in Europe. There was a buzzing atmosphere in the restaurant. It was obvious that it wasn’t just hotel guests that visited this place, but that LA locals also went here.
We were lucky to get a table overlooking the dimly lit bungalow garden area and the pool. We were greeted by our waiter for the evening and couldn’t wait to look at the menu. Everything sounded delicious and we were checking out what all of our ‘neighbours’ were having.
We, as always, went all in. We wanted to try it all.
We began the feast with the Bread Balloon with 3 dips (hummus, eggplant salad & labneh). This was a perfect dish to start off with and great for sharing. We then had the perfectly charred octopus & wood roasted broccoli. As a main we decided to get the whole grilled fish with tahini, ginger and broccoli. The whole thing was fantastic and way better than any other hotel restaurant that we had ever visited - this was a proper restaurant!
As dessert time came, Elin couldn’t resist ordering not 1, not 2, but 3 desserts (they all sounded delicious). For Elin, desserts are usually what it comes down to in terms of a successful restaurant and after eating up all 3 desserts she couldn’t have been happier.
We were stuffed, happy and tired. One of the perks of Fig is that you can basically roll back to your hotel room without much effort.
Fig is also open in the mornings so this is where we went every morning of our stay as they make a scrumptious breakfast. We couldn’t get enough of their omelet with smoked salmon, bacon, their fluffy pancakes, berries and their freshly brewed coffee. If you’re staying at the Fairmont Miramar, you HAVE to have breakfast here.
After a hearty breakfast we wanted to relax in style by the pool area (a 15 second walk from our bungalow). The pool area has everything. Pink inflatable flamingos, fresh fruit spa water, a bar, waiters, as well as towels and sunscreen. Needless to say this was a pretty good spot to soak up the LA sunshine and relax.
In the afternoon we felt like we needed to be a little active so we decided to go to Miramar’s gym. This place was big. All the equipment that you could ever want and you could even work out on the patio as well if you wanted to get some fresh air. After a good workout we treated ourselves to the sauna and steam room.
We had heard that the Miramar also had a popular bar/club called ‘The Bungalow’, so we met up with one of Elin’s friends and we all went there together. This place was trendy - very trendy. You basically walk into what looks like a perfectly decorated beach bungalow with palm trees and a big outdoors area. Everybody at The Bungalow just looked good and stylish. This place had a great vibe and was just a stone's throw from our bungalow.
All in all we would definitely go back to the Fairmont Miramar. We can see why the hollywood celebrities would go here to unwind, as you’re basically in a secluded paradise, tucked away from the rest of the world. The fact that you actually just want to stay within the walls of the hotel grounds is a testament to why this place has been part of LA history for almost 100 years. Amazing food, caring staff, luxurious rooms, tasty cocktails and the perfect location of the hotel (just 1 minute from the Santa Monica boardwalk and the water) makes this a must-visit if you’re going to LA.
We’re sure you’re going to enjoy it just as much as we did!