Ask for a beach-front room with views of Santa Monica Bay. Yes, you and your weekend roommate might not be interested in staring into the great expanse with glasses of red wine, but at least the sound of waves will wake you the next day when you arise at 4pm.
Good place to party? It’s Santa Monica. In an art deco hotel. With a roof bar. Duh.
Good place to drink at night? Yes, grab a drink by the pool then stumble on over to the beach to be awoken by a lifeguard who looks more like David Hasselhoff than Pamela Anderson.
Lively daytime pool scene? Definitely, though the pool is on the smaller side. Get there early to claim a chair (and do not refer to a chair a chaise lounge).
Close to: The Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade