(photo by Kristin Beinke)

SM BEACH — While Hollywood was recovering from an Oscars hangover, Santa Monica’s movers and shakers were drinking champagne and enjoying the sun at the Annenberg Community Beach House on Monday, celebrating the more than 50 accolades earned over the last year by businesses and organizations within the city by the sea.

Along with being named one of the top 10 beach cities in the world by National Geographic, Santa Monica is also home to some of the best restaurants, hotels, spas and outdoor activities, according to the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, which hosted the recognition ceremony.

The accolades were dished out by everyone from Zagat (which said The Penthouse at The Huntley had the best restaurant decor in 2010) and Conde Nast, to the Structural Engineers Association of California and the Retail Design Institute (which found Santa Monica Place’s Bloomingdale’s to have the best design last year), and covered a wide range of businesses and organizations, from the Santa Monica Symphony ( which received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts) to Umami Burger (named burger of the year by GQ magazine).

In recognition of the achievements, the CVB unveiled a new slogan, “Santa Monica: California’s most celebrated beach city,” which will become a part of the nonprofit’s marketing efforts as it looks to attract visitors from across the globe and right here at home.

“We recognize that such esteemed accolades don’t come easily,” said Mayor Richard Bloom. “To be distinguished as ‘the best’ by so many discerning publications and organizations is a true testament to the standard of excellence our city and our tourism community maintains.”

“We’re very proud to celebrate these establishments and all they contribute to our local community,” said Misti Kerns, president of the CVB. “We’re looking forward to highlighting them throughout 2011 and we encourage our city departments, and our local businesses and organizations to do the same.”

The Santa Monica Daily Press was named one of the top 15 newspapers in the Los Angeles area by the Los Angeles Business Journal. The Big Blue Bus maintenance facility was named 2010 project of the by the Southern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association and the FIG restaurant at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel was recognized by L.A. Magazine for using bacon the best.

The Main Library was singled out for its five-star rating, putting it within the top 3 percent of libraries nationwide, City Manager Rod Gould said. Photographer Fabian Lewkowicz was named best event photographer in Southern California by 5W Report, and the RAND Corporation was recognized as one of the best places to work in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

For a list of all awards received, visit www.santamonica.com/awards.


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