There’s no wrong time to spend the weekend at the Santa Monica beachfront hotel
Words by SAMANTHA BROOKS
When Shutters on the Beach first opened in Santa Monica in 1993, it brought New England–style elegance to Southern California’s laid-back tony beach town. Famed local designer Michael Smith (also responsible for the Obama White House, as well as many California homes seen on the pages of our magazine over the years) combined dark woods with light checkerboard plaids, cozy linen drapes, and plush vintage-style rugs to give it the feeling of a luxe private beach house.
Instead of overlooking the sand dunes and seagrass of its northeastern counterparts, however, the property has the advantage of a prime setting directly on the beach, just steps away from the city’s iconic surfing, expansive bike path, and array of shopping and dining destinations.
The iconic resort is not celebrating its actual 30th anniversary until this summer, but don’t miss the chance to experience it during some of the quieter months. Throw on your Alanui cardigan and walk wander down the crowd-free beach, collecting seashells along the way; cozy up in the property’s “living room” with a glass of pinot or cup of tea and watch the sunset over the ocean; enjoy a lazy brunch outside at 1 Pico with everything from steak and eggs to chicken and waffles; or book a treatment at the One Spa, where its nautical décor is the perfect backdrop for treatments using the latest products from Augustinus Bader and Omorovicza.
Should you feel inclined to venture out, follow Shutters’ fine art advisor Cynthia Greenwald’s guide to local galleries (she also curated the hotel’s walls with pieces from Ellsworth Kelly and Roy Lichtenstein) or allow the hotel to guide you on a historic driving tour of the city to experience everything from the dramatic curves and stunning views from Mulholland Drive to the classic biker hangouts along PCH.
Of course, when the warmer temperatures hit, there’s nothing like laying out on the sand or at the hotel’s lively pool scene—especially when the lobster roll is on the menu.
March 9, 2023
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