Supremely positioned right on the beach in Santa Monica is Shutters On The Beach. An iconic hotel that oozes laid-back luxury. I recently had the pleasure of staying at this beachside getaway whilst spending some time in LA. Coming straight from a few days in Beverly Hills, arriving at Shutters On The Beach was a refreshing experience. Amazingly high standards of service were present, but everything had a relaxed, beachy twist. Rather than suits, staff were dressed in polo shirts in light colours which instantly added to the seaside feeling of the hotel – even before you’d checked in.Upon checking in to the room there was one seriously memorable thing – the view. I don’t often label things as breathtaking but the view from my room at Shutters was definitely that. Stepping out onto the balcony had me lapping up 180 degree views of Santa Monica beach. From the bed you can also see the ocean which is a really relaxing feeling and makes it hard to convince yourself to get out of bed in the morning. The compact balcony consisted of two chairs and a small table which was perfect for having my morning coffee as well as a good dose of people watching. The path along the beach of which the hotel overlooks is filled with all kinds of onlookers, gawking in jealousy as they pass by. Sitting on the balcony really made you feel like you’d won the competition to find the best spot to sit in Santa Monica.After a morning swim at the beach I decided to stroll up to Santa Monica Pier which is just a short walk from Shutters On The Beach. Later that day I hung out by the pool and then had a drink in The Living Room. This is the beach house style bar in the lobby which is a great spot for winding down in the afternoon. The feeling of actually being in a beautifully decorated beach house is something that continues throughout the entire Shutters On The Beach property. Rooms have a homely vibe which is rare for a hotel, and are elegantly dotted with books and ornaments all perfectly fitting the coastal aesthetic. Shutters On The Beach also has two fantastic restaurants on site. 1 Pico offers a seasonal market menu with an expertly curated wine list and is perched above the sand. A more casual option is Coast, a beachfront cafe and bar that’s equally as suitable for when you’re walking in off the sand as it is when you’re heading down for a cocktail and then dinner in the evening.A spa and a fitness center cap off everything you could want in a luxury hotel. Shutters is the ideal place to just spend some time moving at a slower pace and escaping your hectic day to day life. There’s a vibe in the hotel that instantly made me feel calm and I was definitely not looking forward to leaving.Shutters On The Beach felt more like a lifestyle destination than a hotel due to its effortless, Californian beachside vibe. Before checking out I had the chance to catch up with Hotel Manager, Simon Sorpresi who talked me through some of Shutters’ recent collaborations with local artists and more about the overall experience of the hotel…
Shutters has recently collaborated with Eskayel on an exclusive beach towel and custom surfboard – who else has the hotel partnered with creatively in the past?
Shutters on the Beach’s chic California beach style is highlighted through our one-of-a-kind partnerships with lifestyle brands including Ron Robinson, James Perse, Clare Vivier and most recently — Eskayel. We currently offer an amenity chest in each suite that allows guests to choose from a selection of top beauty brands and products – to include Kiehl’s lip balm, Osea face cleaners, Avene skincare and more – as hand-selected by Ron Robinson to ensure guests have their vacation “must-haves.” In 2014, we collaborated with Los Angeles-based designer James Perse to launch James Perse for Shutters, a 100-piece collection featuring t-shirts, hoodies, rash guards, children’s apparel and beach bag. In 2013, we partnered with Los Angeles accessories maven Clare Vivier to unveil a limited-edition summer beach tote created in celebration of the hotel’s 20th anniversary.
Can you please tell me about The Cottage boutique and ShuttersBeachStyle.com?
The Cottage boutique and ShuttersBeachStyle.com bring our iconic property’s casually elegant lifestyle to guests’ homes so they can create a relaxing and luxurious feeling that will last well beyond their stay at Shutters. Both The Cottage and ShuttersBeachStyle.com offer a specially curated selection of linens, beauty and bath products, home accessories, artwork and beach essentials that feature a thoughtful selection of the finest in luxury and coastal comfort from Tommy Hilfiger, Red Flower, James Perse, Clare Vivier and more.
In what other ways does Shutters provide an experience of beachside luxury for guests?
As a part of the hotel’s long-standing tradition of providing guests with one-of-a-kind offerings that make for the ultimate experience in beachside luxury, Shutters offers numerous amenities, including an in-house SoulCycle bike; Tesla house car, which offers guests on demand rides in eco-minded style; and its recently launched, uniquely designed group wellness program, AIRR (Automatic Integrative Relaxation Response). In addition our Beach Activities Center (BAC) offers a host of services and equipment for guests, including hand-delivering meals and beverages to guests on the sand. The BAC also provides seaside essentials for the ultimate beachside luxury such as boogie boards, sand toys and sports equipment, beach cruisers, and a beach pack that includes a beach chair, umbrella, kites and suntan lotion.
Why did Shutters choose to partner with Budnitz?
Shutters’ partnership with Budnitz bicycles comes as one of the latest in our many beach-chic offerings. As an enthusiastic cyclist myself, I actively follow the evolution of bicycle symmetries, materials and production, and I found that Budnitz’s status as an innovation company with a sleek design esthetic that fits seamlessly with our guest and our hotel style. Our guests have exclusive access to the hotel’s fleet of $7,000 bicycles, which make the perfect ride for a cruise along the coast or a trip to the historic Santa Monica Pier.How does the interior of the hotel convey that undeniably Californian style of beachside living?
Shutters recalls both the traditional architecture of America’s quintessential beach resorts and inviting cottages of the Southern California coast. Three separate buildings comprise the structure, all visually linked by elaborately detailed slate-grey shingled siding, flower-covered trellises, balconies and cabana-striped awnings. Public spaces are warm and inviting with a mixture of custom furnishings and white painted wood paneled walls, accented by dark wood floors and details. Our lobby boasts two large fireplaces, intimate conversation areas and a large balcony overlooking the ocean. Throughout the hotel, original artwork, lithographs and stunning objects d’art add charm, sophistication and style. Artists represented in the hotel’s collection include David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, William Wegman, Richard Diebenkorn and Claes Oldenburg.
How do the hotel’s two signature restaurants compliment the Shutters experience?
1 Pico is situated on a prime coastal stretch of sand, with majestic views across the boardwalk and out to the Pacific Ocean. With an enhanced décor courtesy of designer Michael S. Smith, and a market-fresh menu, 1 Pico charms guests looking for the very best seaside restaurant experience. Coast Beach Café and Bar takes full advantage of our oceanfront location – situated on the famed Santa Monica bike path – and offers contemporary touches such as an open kitchen for curious eyes, a self-heating floor to provide warmth on those cooler evenings and two plasma screens above the long inviting bar and a lively communal table.In your eyes, what does a typical day staying at the hotel look like?
A typical day at Shutters varies from guest to guest as they have the opportunity to tailor their stay to their unique preferences, and we are pleased to make those wishes and desires a reality! We celebrate the spirit of ‘endless summers’ here in Southern California and as such, many guests enjoy indulging in the warm days by the beach. They can often be seen taking a spin on our Budnitz Bicycles, exploring the city in our Tesla house car, enjoying a seaside lunch at 1 Pico or Coast Beach Café and Bar, lounging on an Eskayel towel at our pool overlooking the Pacific, or learning to ‘hang 10’ in private group surfing lessons provided by the seasoned professionals at Blue Rider Surf.
What are a few places within walking distance of the hotel that you’d recommend checking out?
Shutters is located in the eclectic beach resort town of Santa Monica, renowned for its famous pier, fashionable shopping districts, fine restaurants and art galleries. Famed Montana Ave, Third Street Promenade, Abbott Kinney, Main Street, Venice Beach and the Malibu Beaches are all within 20 minutes and easily accessible on foot.