Set on five acres overlooking the Pacific, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows began as an elegant Victorian mansion named “Miramar,” built by one of Santa Monica’s founders, Senator John P. Jones. His wife, Georgina, a warm and gracious person, according to records from the Santa Monica History Museum, planted a rose garden and a Moreton Bay Fig Tree which she received as a gift. Today, the massive tree greets arriving guests in the front courtyard, a visible symbol of the property’s past.
The “Hotel Miramar” opened in 1921 and became a seaside hideaway for celebrities that included Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, and Jimmy Stewart as well as two U.S. Presidents — John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Through the years, buildings were renovated and bungalows were added, with the hotel now encompassing 297 guestrooms, including 62 suites, and 31 private bungalows set among lush landscaping.
The newly redesigned Lobby Lounge combines chic glamour and a relaxed atmosphere, and features a gin program, an array of light bites, and bar cart service. FIG, the hotel’s all-day dining spot named for the historic tree, is led by executive chef Jason Prendergast with menus that focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Slated to open in early 2022, an oceanfront bar enclave, Georgina’s, will serve small bites and a reimagined cocktail program in honor of Georgina Jones, recalling the property’s past in its centennial year. Airstream by FIG serves beach cuisine out of a retrofitted classic 1986 Silver Airstream Trailer.
An exciting addition is Soko, an intimate eight-seat sushi bar helmed by veteran sushi chef Masa Shimakawa. Minimalist decor, pale wood, and fabric wall hangings depicting faces of ancient Japanese fishermen create the backdrop for chef Masa’s exquisite sushi. The name “Soko” means “storeroom” in Japanese, a nod to the restaurant’s setting in what was until recently a simple storeroom near the hotel’s main lobby, now cleverly transformed into the new sushi pop-up.
Especially for the centennial, the property is offering “The Bungalow Experience” for a rock star-style two night stay in one of the hotel’s most exclusive oceanfront suites. Package rates starting at $2,750 for the Premier Bungalow and $6,500 for Bi-Level Bungalow include two nights’ accommodations, VIP oceanview table at The Bungalow for up to six guests, bottle service, a dedicated server, and complimentary valet parking.
Whether you celebrate this Santa Monica landmark’s 100 years with a stay in one of their bungalows, a sushi dinner, or a specially created centennial cocktail in the Lobby Lounge, you’ll be a welcome guest at the Fairmont Miramar as well as part of the hotel’s history.