Shutters on the Beach
1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica
Photo courtesy of Shutters on the Beach
Shutters on the BeachIf a stately Nantucket mansion—complete with gray siding and white trim, shaded verandas and shuttered windows—were picked up and dropped on the Santa Monica shore, it could do no better an impression of a New England seaside retreat than Shutters on the Beach. An elegant, breezy hotel decked out in nautical-inspired decor sometimes reminiscent of a luxury yacht, Shutters feels more like a wealthy friend’s sprawling summer estate than an urban lodging. The lobby lounge—nay, Living Room—is filled with couches, fireplaces, and the breeze wafting in off the beach through the open French doors; beautiful people relax over cocktails and live jazz, drifting out to the veranda to take in the sunset. The two restaurants—one actually on the beach, the other overlooking it—serve fresh, local cuisine amid atmospheres so welcoming and calm that it’s tempting to keep ordering just to stay longer. The ocean-view pool, with its many cabanas and loungers, is a pleasant place to bask, but with the beach just down the steps, it’s hard not to grab a beach kit (complete with towels, chairs, kites, and umbrellas) and stake out a spot in the sand. How can this still be the big city?