Sofie goes to Santa Monica
Some call Shutters on the Beach the most comfortable hotel in the world — and they may be right. It’s just the perfect mix of that Deco glamour, old world coziness and modern LA laissez-faire, but it also has a lot of what the modern traveler wants — quiet.
Though we all like to be near the buzz, sometimes we don’t want to feel like we’re smack in the center, and Shutters on the Beach, which is invisible from the road, is that perfect paradox: an urban hotel that feels like a resort. For a long time, it was the only beachfront hotel in Santa Monica — or in all of LA, for that matter. And due to some marvel in modern architecture, every room looks out to the sea.
Here, comfort is favored above style. Though the building is 1993, it’s full of flowered trellises, oversized sofas and a fireplace in the lobby. The bedrooms are pale with checked armchairs, white tiled fireplaces in the suites and blue and white pinstriped sheets. The café is about as jazzy as it gets — but 1950s jazzy, with lipstick red chairs and black and white tiled floors. Not exactly innovative, but easy on the eye.
Every inch of Shutters is designed to unwind — whether you’re on the patio gazing at the beach, or in the lobby snuggled by the fireside. Lying by the pool is the quintessential LA fantasy as you watch the sea through stretches of sand and palm trees. And of course there’s always the spa.
They’ll even pack you a picnic if you want to stay outside. But a warning, the beach outside your window is sort of a public thoroughfare, so while the Café patio is perfect fo Venice Beach people-watching, you might not exactly want to use it for sun-bathing. Instead make use of the hotel’s namesake — the actual shutters between your bathroom and bedroom. Open them, sink into your extravagantly deep whirlpool bath, and you can see straight out to the ocean.