Best Rooftop Bar in Santa Monica


Built as an oceanfront resort in 1939, the Hotel Shangri-La offers an elegant streamline art deco design resembling a luxury ocean liner. After $30 million dollars spent renovating the hotel, locals and visitors have discovered the ONYX, an indoor and outdoor rooftop lounge offering the best sunset views.

The modern 70’s space-age design is decorated in black, white, gold and a touch of purple. Redone in 2017, the outdoor lounge offers guests ocean views of Malibu to Palos Verdes and Catalina Island. Standing near the outdoor fire-pit, patrons can watch the changing colors on the giant ferris wheel at the nearby Santa Monica Pier.

A private glass enclosed lounge area in the center of the rooftop is available to parties on a first come basis. A DJ spins music on Friday and Saturday to enhance the lively atmosphere.

Across from ONYX is a 2,300 sq. ft. indoor and outdoor Penthouse Suite event space. This large roof deck has LED columns that light up in different colors at night, along with two bathrooms and a bar. This is another perfect sunset view destination for up to 100 guests for parties, weddings and corporate celebrations.

Off of the ground floor lobby is a handsome club-like dining room with leather barrel chairs and window louvers shaped as boat propellers. At the classic bar is a portrait of the owner of Hotel Shangri-La, and a colorful mural of his family and friends. On Wednesdays, this area is a popular venue from 5 to 7 p.m., as a hotel hosts a meet and greet with wine and cheese for hotel guests.

Walking outdoor on the three level deck there are games that include a ping pong table and corn hole. Twinkle lights hang above comfortable seating and a fire pit. The solar-powered heated pool and whirlpool are in the center of the courtyard, with black and white lounge chairs with a bright pink towel adding a pop of color. Cabanas with black and white striped curtains offer a more intimate pool experience. Each cabana comfortably seats up to 6 guests and can be rented for $100 a day, plus a $500 food and beverage.

Hotel day passes are available for purchase for the public to enjoy a full day of relaxation on the hotel deck before visiting ONYX at sunset. Pass holders can spend the day swimming in the full size solar heated pool and Jacuzzi. A lounge chair rental is $25 with a $25 food and beverage minimum. Savory and sweet bites by the sea include Filet Mignon Tacos, fresh oysters, pork belly flatbread and the hotel’s signature Tamietini featuring Ketel One Vodka, passionfruit juice, Le Courtâge Brut and fresh basil. Reservations can be booked online at


ONYX is one of the most spectacular roof top bars and lounge in Southern California.


Hotel Shangri-LA offers day passes for locals to spend the day by the pool before enjoying ONYX at sunset.