Work on hotels, beach revives Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA -- One new hotel and one that has been extensively rebuilt, along with a major renovation of the beach and the scenic palisades above it, have given Santa Monica a new look.

The hotels -- Le Merigot Beach and the Casa del Mar -- have added more than 300 rooms to the city's frequently overburdened inventory.

Le Merigot, affiliated with the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide network, has 175 rooms. The 129-room Casa del Mar, a 1926 building originally designed as a beach club and hotel for Los Angeles' movers and shakers, has been remodeled and is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group. Le Merigot is mere steps from the beach.

The Casa del Mar is located on Ocean Avenue, on the palisades. Palisades Park, with its sweeping view of Santa Monica Bay, has long been a popular recreation area for both locals and visitors.

The park fell into disrepair and became a wasteland until the city council decided to revive it, installing picnic areas, walking paths, resodded lawns and sculptures.

Information about events in Santa Monica and a copy of the current visitor guide are available by calling (800) 771-2322.

A new convention and visitor bureau Web site is at www.santamonica.com.

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