For the first time in 15 years, the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is revamping its rooms – splashing out $30 million on a renovation inspired by the hotel’s seaside location.

Managing Director Paul Leclerc said the new design flourishes and furnishings in cool blue, light tan and bright white, created by L.A. designer Rodrigo Vargas, aim to evoke water, sand and driftwood.

The 347-room hotel is replacing its wrought-iron balconies with glass patios and adding shutters to help frame views of the Pacific.

Fire pits will be added to 35 rooms and suites that have outdoor terraces, partly in a bid to inspire room service orders from the hotel’s restaurant, Ocean & Vine.

With the hotel occupancy rate ranging from the mid- to high 80 percent range over the past several years, Leclerc said it was tricky to plan a time to launch a renovation that would keep a large number of rooms unavailable for an extended period. He decided to start the four-month process in the winter season, just after the American Film Market, which is hosted each November at Loews.

This “refresh,” as Leclerc called it, is due to be completed by the end of March and will contribute, along with rising market rates, to lifting prices by roughly 5 percent. Rates currently begin around $350 a night in times of low demand or about $500 in peak seasons, and jump as high as $3,600 a night for a suite.

Loews last year completed a facelift on the exterior and the pool deck, where guests can treat themselves to ice cream from L.A. Creamery and catch live music on weekends.

Although Loews Hotels, headquartered in New York, operates more than 20 hotels in the United States and Canada, its spot in Santa Monica offers a unique allure.

“We are blessed with location … right on the beach beside the Santa Monica Pier,” said Leclerc. “It’s very serene and inviting.”

– Daina Beth Solomon

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