San Vicente Bungalows
Just off the hot zone of Santa Monica, this place has a heated pool with candy-striped awnings and a herd of white-cushioned loungers, and is fringed with bamboo, bougainvillea and banana trees. After sunset, the trellised courtyard is lit with fairy lights and candles. Its relaxed vibe and simple white bungalows reflect a loose, pre-corporate Californian dream. The decent-sized rooms have a shabby-chic look and come at bargain rates for the neighbourhood. It’s mercifully no longer the sketchy, clothing-optional haunt of previous incarnation San Vicente Inn, although not everyone will appreciate the well-used furnishings, room keys with plastic fobs or overnight parking fee. Oh, and the cheapest rooms have shared bathrooms. But if you book a King room with en-suite bath, ditch the rental car for Uber, don’t plan on early nights and don’t mind a little wear and tear (scratched paintwork is standard), then it’s a clean, budget option that’s all about location.