HOW THOUGHTS BECOME winter getaways, it is sometimes difficult to decide. Are you heading east for cozy, snowy Cape Cod evenings by the fire? Or maybe head west for the sun, beaches and a touch of Hollywood glamor?
It turns out you don’t always have to choose.
We recently discovered Shutters on the Beach (aka Hollywood Beach House) in Santa Monica, a luxury hotel and spa with an exclusive “see and be seen” restaurant serving exquisite creations by the sea. PS – Famous people go there but they don’t give names (so pssst …)
No wonder, then, that Shutters on the Beach is part of the renowned Edward Thomas Collection of Hotels, which was founded in 1982 by the third generation of hotel and real estate investors Edward and Thomas Slatkin, whose family previously owned the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel.
Shutters of the Beach opened in 1993 with lots of fanfare and interiors, inspired by acclaimed designer Michael S. Smith, who also decorated the White House for the Obamas (not to mention design work for Rupert Murdoch and Cindy Crawford). The design is undeniably timeless, with crisp white shutters instantly reminiscent of Nantucket, while the breezy ocean-view balconies put you right in the California sun. But what makes the property unique is the living, “hut” feeling.
Located right on world-famous Santa Monica Beach – just a few minutes’ walk from historic Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place (only eight miles from Los Angeles International Airport and Beverly Hills) – the hotel has 186 guest rooms with hardwood floors, Four-poster beds, outdoor balconies, and whirlpool tubs. If you really want to feel like a celebrity, there are 12 suites including three Presidential Suites (the suites also have free car service).
As fabulous as all of this is, what you’ll remember most about this property treasure is the view, the amenities, and the multimillion dollar location. Whether you’re booking a vacation stay or just dropping in for lunch or dinner, you’ll literally be on the beach, sand in your toes and in a California state of mind. Would you like to try the heated outdoor pool? You will be greeted with cabanas and private butler service. Treat yourself to even more luxury with an organic wellness treatment in the ONE Spa, which is equipped with red flowers, Omorovicza and Lucerne luxury products.
And then, especially when you are feeling relaxed and transported from the depths of the Chicago winter, you have to sit down and enjoy a delicious creation in 1 Pico (or in the courtyard) by culinary superstar Sean Michael Runyon, Executive Chef at 1 Pico ( this is also the address of the accommodation).
With over a decade of culinary expertise from Michelin-star restaurants and Forbes five-star hotels, Chef Runyon offers seasonally inspired and innovative dishes that celebrate California’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen. Originally from Southern California, he graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has honed his skills at top restaurants such as 4 Corners, Farmer Brown, and Chambers Eat & Drink. In Los Angeles, Chef Runyon served as Chef de Tournant for Nobu Malibu and Nikita Malibu, and Sous Chef for The Peninsula Beverly Hills.
“What excites me most about leading the team at 1 Pico is the chance to bring joy to every guest who comes in,” he says. “When I am asked what I like to cook, I always answer ‘What do you like to eat?’ My priority as a cook is to pay attention to the wishes of the customers and to reap the best that the Pacific coast has to offer. “
The shutters on the beach will be decorated in a holiday style, with specials now running until the turn of the year, both on the property and in 1 pico. And if you don’t use it, we could do it.
After all, Cape Cod may be too cold to open the shutters, but it’s always summer at Hollywood Beach House.
More information is available at shuttersonthebeach.com.