Shutters on the Beach

1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA

There’s a lot that makes Shutters on the Beach special, starting with its location—it’s one of only two Santa Monica hotels right on the beach (the other is Mediterranean-inspired Casa del Mar, the sister property next door). Shutter’s waterfront spot gives it a palpable sense of place—especially when you’re sipping something sparkling in the hotel’s updated courtyard, listening to the waves or the Saturday brunch jazz ensemble. The design by White House decorator Michael S. Smith takes its cues from Cape Cod, with blue and white interiors and floor-to-ceiling shutters opening up to ocean views.

The 198 guest rooms and suites—many with balconies—and all feature sunken Jacuzzi tubs. In the summer, life revolves around the beach here, and an activity center is well-stocked with boogie boards, beach cruisers, and umbrellas. The pool is heated year-round, with curtained cabanas and superb guacamole served at the pool bar. Come winter, the main lounge is the beating heart of the resort. The fireplaces crackle as bartenders serve up drinks from a hearty whisky, wine, and cocktail menu; the couches are so comfy, the kiddos might curl up and fall asleep as the folksy duo on duty plays an acoustic nightcap. This is laid-back luxury at its best.

Don’t forget to spend some downtime at the serene ONE Spa, or dine on blue crab and hamachi crudo at the higher-end, coastal California restaurant, 1 Pico. Pro tip: You don’t need to step far from your room to soak in some culture. The hotel has a noteworthy art collection, with pieces by Ellsworth Kelly, John Baldessari, and William Wegman, among others, on display throughout the property.

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