SANTA MONICA, Calif.
-- Shutters on the Beach: The name suits it. Window shutters let
the world in or keep it out -- a choice this propertys celebrity
clients like to make for themselves.
We have a lot of
locals, said General Manager Henri Birmele, employing a euphemism
for the hotels high-wattage clients. (Beverly Hills is only 20
minutes away.) Discretion, he said, is of the utmost importance to
Located at 1 Pico
Blvd. (even the address carries a certain cachet) on a wide expanse
of Santa Monica beach, Shutters since 1993 has been the perfect
retreat when you have money to spend.
The 186 rooms and 12
suites are airy, decorated in whites and blues, reminiscent of the
elegant cottages that dotted the southern California coast in the
1920s and 1930s. Black-and-white photos depicting beach scenes in
days gone by complement the decor.
spacious, with separate glassed-in showers and a deep-soaking tub
with whirl- pool jets. Granite countertops, pillowtop mattresses
and Frette linens and robes are standard amenities.
My room was situated
across the street from the ocean and had a small balcony and a view
of the water. The scent of the ocean drifted through the white
But theres more to
Shutters than meets the eye. Inside one cabinet, besides products
such as sunscreen, lotions, soaps and an eye mask, were Cosabella
thong panties for purchase.
There also are
private wine cellars in all the guest rooms. And the hotel
introduced wireless Internet access throughout the property more
than 10 years ago.
Dinner that evening
was at One Pico, the hotels formal, 85-seat restaurant. Windows
wrap around three sides of the room, affording panoramic views of
the beach. Inside, warm woods and a limestone fireplace complete
the contemporary look.
One Pico serves lunch
from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and Sunday
brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served daily from 6 p.m.
to 10:30 p.m. Pedals cafe, an
indoor/outdoor restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from
6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Pedals also will
prepare gourmet picnics in a Brookstone basket for guests who want
to dine on the beach or at one of the hotels suggested picnic areas
around Malibu and other state parks.
Exercising is also
inviting. The hotel, which has a complete spa and gym, offers a
wide variety of adventure fitness training, such as guided surfing,
rock climbing, mountain biking, beach volleyball or trail-running
surrounded by art galleries and upscale shopping. Although Birmele
said, We love families, few formal programs are set up for
Most families choose
to visit Disneyland, Universal Studios and other attractions, then
retreat to the beach haven.
What the hotel does
best is blend refined luxury with a casual feel.
The look and feel is
what were all about, and thats not going to change,said
Room rates start at
$405; suites at $905; and the one-bedroom Presidential Suite starts
at $2,500. Commission is 10%.
For more information,
call (800) 334-9000 or visit www.shuttersonthebeach.com.
To contact the
reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].