Viceroy Santa Monica completes $21M renovation

In California, Viceroy Santa Monica has completed a $21 million renovation, lead by design studio EDG. The hotel, owned by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, originally opened in 2000 as the first Viceroy Hotels & Resorts property. The reimagination gave the beachside property  new guestrooms and suites, newly designed common areas, an outdoor space and a signature restaurant and bar. The enhancement also added a new art collection inclusive of commissioned works and interactive augmented reality pieces from various local artists.

“The renovation has reinvigorated this iconic property, infusing it with a fresh, contemporary aesthetic that celebrates our West Coast roots and pays homage to the property's rich history," Viceroy Hotels & Resorts CEO Bill Walshe said in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming guests to experience the elevated level of luxury, personalized service, and immersive experiences that define the Viceroy brand.”


The new guestroom and suite design is inspired by Southern California’s beach, with natural textures in a sunwashed color palette of aquamarines, yellows and neutral sand tones. Midcentury-style furnishings and graphic carpet complement sea-grass inspired wall coverings. Patterned curtains evoke the reflection of the sun on the water. All rooms have a Juliet balcony, with western-facing rooms having views of the Pacific Ocean.

The hotel’s public spaces—including the lobby, indoor lounge, outdoor patio and pool area with private cabanas—have a vibrant color palette and eclectic, vintage furnishings. The lobby has a two-ton driftwood bench and wood-planked ceilings that mimic walking beneath the Santa Monica Pier.

The entire hotel was designed with sustainability at the forefront. EDG brought existing pieces new life, repurposing original materials and furnishings wherever possible to minimize waste. Decorative woodwork in the guestrooms was painted rather than replaced, original furnishings were reupholstered, and in hallways, existing wall coverings were stenciled over to add interest and conserve resources. Many of the commissioned art pieces throughout the property were also created with repurposed objects, including skateboard wheels and vintage cameras. 

Open-air cabanas inspired by the lifeguard towers on Santa Monica beach surround two palm-tree lined pools. There is an open-air dining patio and bar with lounge seating throughout the lobby. 

“Our design goal was for guests to feel rejuvenated, relaxed, and alive, with a clear sense of being in Santa Monica,” EDG Principal Jennifer Johanson said. “Every aspect of this sunny  sanctuary reflects Santa Monica’s vibrant energy.”

Sugar Palm

Sugar Palm, the hotel’s signature indoor-outdoor dining concept, is helmed by Executive Chef Jason Francisco. There is an indoor lounge, wraparound bar, an outdoor patio with a large firepit and private dining cabanas.

Plant-based menu items include ingredients like watermelon, lychee and mushrooms to mimic the umami flavors found in meat and seafood. He encourages his kitchen to find ways to upcycle all parts of produce and meat, whether it’s for stocks, juices, syrups and garnishes used across a variety of dishes and beverages, thus reducing food waste.


Each guestroom at Viceroy Santa Monica includes new original works from local artisans Erin Miller Wray, Kelcey Fisher and Priscilla Witte curated by Art x Co. Each piece is inspired by coastal elements, like Miller Wray’s colorful surf fins, Fisher’s abstract sky and water scenes, and Witte’s augmented reality illustration showcasing a bird’s eye view of the hotel’s pools. 

The in-room art is an extension of the local collection scattered throughout the common areas, including three marquee murals: “Endless,” also by Miller Wray, is inspired by ocean horizons and adorns the hotel’s facade; “Ijeoma” by Evelyn Leigh, located on the exterior wall of Sugar Palm, evokes a palm tree swaying and the calming effect of the ocean water; and finally, “Deep Roots,” by Spencer Mar Guilburt, located on the Pico side of the property, represents the unseen roots that connect people looking collectively to an unseen future. Sugar Palm’s indoor lounge contains paintings by Monica Perez that celebrate the ability to coexist after separation.

In the lobby, Karen Bystedt’s art, created especially for Viceroy Santa Monica, called “The Lost Warhols," showcases once lost photographs taken by Bystedt of famed artist Andy Warhol that fellow artists have painted atop of. The digitally augmented pieces slowly transform on screens from raw photos to finished, multi-layered artwork featuring scenes of Santa Monica surf and skate culture and colors from “Ijeoma.”