by Steve Valentine

The first new Santa Monica-area hotel in six years will open its doors soon on Ocean Avenue. Le Merigot Santa Monica Beach Hotel, plans to bring a unique European-style ambiance to the Santa Monica beach skyline and its existing collection of quality hotels. Like some of its finest contemporaries, the new hotel will also feature a full-scale spa experience and an array of modern amenities, but in the style of classic Europe.

Set to open in July 1999, the property aims to bring a unique new flavor to Santa Monica -- one of the world's most visited destinations. Situated between Shutters and Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel at 1740 Ocean Avenue, the 175-room property is located steps away from the ocean, enabling its designers to combine seaside classicism with unique design elements.

From Mediterranean details at Le Merigot's entrance continuing throughout the lobby, guests are drawn through a great wall of windows onto a multi-level open courtyard. In the lobby and throughout the hotel, distinctive contemporary furnishings with a European flair are alternately juxtaposed in sleek and overstuffed seating styles. The palette of earth tones in beige, sage, and olive are contrasted with the rich textures in upholstery and wall coverings. Venetiart walls, gurgling fountains, waterfalls and natural materials of granite, slate, and fine wood treatments continue the theme of European sophistication throughout.

In keeping with the European atmosphere, the elegant culinary environment is realized in C & #233;zanne. Classic French fare with Pacific Rim influences is artistically presented in keeping with the highest Le Merigot world class standard of quality and European service. The 96 guest, fine dining restaurant experience steeped in luxury offers ocean views, outdoor seating and a private dining room for 14, Caf & #233; Promenade, offers a more casual California perspective. A spa menu is also being developed for in-room and poolside service.

Despite it's classic European design, all of Le Merigot's guestrooms and suites are equipped with up-to-the-minute amenities.

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