Welcome to the Hotel California. Admit it. You’ve watched those movies steeped in southern California culture like Dogtown and Zboys, and thought for just a moment about moving to the West Coast and surf into the sunset. Here’s your chance. The 119-room Hotel Erwin is your passport into the significant cultural history of SoCal. Just 200 feet from the sand and famous boardwalk in all its tattooed splendor, Hotel Erwin is the pure Venice Beach experience.
The walls of the beach house are highlighted with photos of local scenes and rock-’n’-roll legends along with works by local artists. All guest rooms were refreshed in this spring with a heavy dose of L.A. mid-century modern mojo through and through. All rooms offer a balcony and at least partial ocean views.
The hip hotel recently debuted the Red Bull Dogtown Suite, our current fave. The 750 sq-ft suite is decked out in true Venice Beach style with surf- and skateboard-inspired décor, killer ocean views, a 52″ television, large private balcony, big round bed and an enormous two-person tub. Dogtown Suite guests should invite over a few colleagues for everyone to try out the in-suite custom turntable.
Hotel Erwin has a few more tricks up its sleeve. If you’re hungry, there’s Barlo Kitchen + Cocktails that slings three meals a day of “barn-to-belly” dishes and drinks. Some things not to miss: Shrimp & Grits with bacon lardon and brown butter jus, and a burger with tomato marmalade, bacon caramel, and herbed chevre from the Drake Family Farm.
The rooftop lounge High is the real show stopper. Muscle Beach and the Boardwalk can be seen from this perch, as well as the Hollywood sign and Downtown L.A. The lounge has a “no velvet ropes” attitude and a comfortable contemporary design, but get there early if you want to see the sunset. It’s popular.
Here’s something we’ve never covered before. Hotel Erwin’s acclaimed, in-house tattoo and graffiti artist Norm has made a name for himself hosting group tattoo sessions. Yes, it’s not for everyone, but we always like to feature unique group experiences that individual attendees might not be able to create on their own.
Here’s Norm in action: