It’s the beach house that beach house dreams are made of. It’s elegant and stylish without being overly prim. It encapsulates a chic Santa Monica lifestyle while offering impeccable service and a comfortable feeling of ‘home.’ Shutters is a beachfront gem that makes one feel nostalgic for childhood summers spent on bicycles, sand between the toes, SPF as perfume, and doors left open to capture sea breezes and early sunrises. In other words, I’m never leaving.
I start and end the day with my louvered white shutters. I open the sliding glass door onto the terrace, and I stare at the cerulean Pacific, arm’s reach from my giant four-poster bed. Each time I try to tear myself away from pastel-colored bicycles gliding past on the pier and the sun casting luminary shadows on the building, I turn back towards it. I am a child at a birthday party; tear my arm out of the socket why don’t you but I am entranced and obstinate. I am late to meet a friend. I am supposed to be at an exercise class on Abbot Kinney. I am supposed to be down there on that beach, walking eye to eye with the the horizon. I am supposed to be changing for dinner. I simply cannot leave this sliding glass door.
The location is perfection. For walking, what’s better than rolling out of bed onto the sandy beach of Santa Monica? For food, there is only one man for me: Travis Lett, co-owner of the only three restaurants where I want to spend my Abbot Kinney days. Gjelina, Gjelina-to-go, and Gjusta are 3 of the most important reasons to stay in this part of Los Angeles.
I ride in Shutters’ complimentary Tesla to Gjelina-To-Go for dinner one evening, and after venturing over to Gjusta for a dessert of chocolate avocado mousse, I decide to walk back to the hotel. It’s a 30 minute walk, but it was a long day, and my legs are sore by the time I get back to my 7th floor room. My bathroom, a spacious, light, white marbled space with wood flooring and shutters onto the bedroom and the Pacific Ocean beyond, is my personal sanctuary. I fill the oversized jacuzzi tub with no dubiousness over the temperature, due to its digital thermometer, and ease my head against a rolled pool towel cleverly positioned as a bathtub pillow. Shamu and I unwind in the dim lights with candle burning and a slight sea breeze from my balcony. I am never getting out of this tub.
Dimmers are everywhere, and thank you, Shutters, for recognizing that constant harsh light is not conducive to relaxation nor evening hours. As opposed to flicking on an abrupt, abrasive bedside lamp, my bedside lamp is also equipped with a dimmer. If I feel obliged, I can read myself a Hemingway bedtime story with the copy of ‘Old Man and the Sea’ on my beautiful, round, glass-topped bedside table. I fully intend to flip through the vintage coffee table books on my built-in shelf unit, all beach-themed, of course, but I am so completely relaxed by my deep soak, I don’t even remember closing my louvered shutters.
In the morning, I force myself to stop taking photos of the sunrise so that I can feel the sand between my toes. Early risers sit on the restaurant terrace with coffee and a sky as pink as their grapefruit juice. When I return, I say hello to (already) familiar faces in the hotel lobby, where the staff members greet me with the warmest of smiles every time I pass them. Each exudes a beachside ambiance while maintaining precision in service, timeliness, and answerability.
From the dream-beachhouse decor, to the impeccable service, to my encapsulating views, and all of the thoughtful details that make a five star hotel stand out amongst the others, I was genuinely sad to drive those 8 miles to the airport. Of course I stopped at Gjusta on the way, and that made goodbye slightly less painful, not to mention my bag slightly heavier (killer granola, spiced nuts, a porridge loaf -(yes, a whole porridge loaf), and delicious vegetable sides). I am already dreaming of my return to Shutters. In fact, I wonder if I can sign a lease on room 735…