A rendering of the new Pierside al fresco dining area on the corner of Colorado and Ocean Ave

Continuing our look at the changes being made along Ocean Avenue, the Daily Press was granted access to observe first hand the significant changes underway at the hotel formerly known as the Wyndham and now rebranded as the Pierside.

Prior to the Wyndham being at the site, located at 120 Colorado Ave — adjacent to Tongva Park and just meters from the Santa Monica Pier — it was operated as a Holiday Inn. The property itself is owned by RLJ Lodging Trust, a real estate investment trust.

According to Pierside General Manager Karina Sedigh, the plan after the site was a Wyndham was to eventually transform it to something resembling the Pierside. Replacing Wyndham as the operator of the site is the Sage Hospitality Group.

“As Santa Monica’s newest hotel near one of the most iconic locations in the country, the Pierside will invigorate one of the city’s most lively street corners for guests and locals alike,” said Sedigh.

It might not be immediately obvious as one saunters past, but there is a significant construction project going on here and the architectural renderings give some idea of just how impressive the plans are for the Pierside. Not only will it offer 132 guestrooms and suites, but a brand new signature restaurant called the Surfing Fox on the ground floor complete with an outdoor, al fresco dining area.

“We’re honored to introduce the Pierside to the market and are confident that the hotel will be received as a true Santa Monica staple for solo travelers, couples and families alike given its unbeatable location, upscale offerings, destination-inspired programming and unparalleled culinary experience.”

Photographs: The Pierside

The plan very much seems to be to utilize a combination of a marine-themed aesthetic, together with muted textures, warm woods and a neutral color palette, which is evident in every room, from the hotel lobby to the actual suites. In fact, the lobby is set to feature a floating fireplace “intentionally placed to bask in the Pierside’s spirited ambience.”

Practicality is key within the suites themselves as outdated items like the minibar fridge are nowhere to be seen, thankfully. They’re a waste of space and cannot be used for any actual useful purpose other than making guests feel really awful about themselves after they’ve succumbed to a $20 Twix.

Games consoles are even available to hire from the main reception to keep the kids happy, along with a wide variety of beach accessories, from bodyboards to bicycles.

Despite the ongoing construction, rooms are available for bookings at a discounted rate as work continues. Sedigh is hopeful for a hard launch, celebrating the completion of every component of the project sometime in mid-summer.


Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.