Ever wonder how it feels to own a weekend home on the beach?
For a couple of years now, Santa Monica residents and Angelenos alike have been enjoying a piece of paradise by lounging at the pool of the Annenberg beach house. And let me be clear, this is not just any beach house, it’s a sleek community center situated on the same grounds where silent movie star Marion Davies’ mansion once stood in all its glory. Her estate was designed by architect Julia Morgan and financed by Davies’ boyfriend, publisher, and gazilionaire William Hearst. Similarly to the Hearst Castle, Davies’ 100-plus rooms mansion and ornate marble pool had the same opulent decor and esthetics. The Beach House was a hot spot on Santa Monica’s Gold Coast, with Hearst and Davies entertaining luminaries from the Hollywood set, such as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and other stars of the day. In 1947, the mansion was purchased by an investor and converted into a Hotel with limited membership. When the venture ended in 1957, the mansion was demolished and the property was sold to the state of California. The extensive remodeling was funded by the Annenberg foundation (the same that overseas Sunnyland in Rancho Mirage). The project involved the rehabilitation of the historic Marion Davies’ guest house and pool, as well as construction of new recreation and event spaces.
There are many fun activities, classes, and cultural events happening throughout the year. There is a fitness room and a nice cafe’ with tables right on the sand (the perfect spot to sip some wine while looking out into the ocean at sunset).