American luxury hotels tend to be way too expensive in comparison to what they offer. When I stayed at the Shutters on the Beach, I did not really have this impression. The hotel situated in Santa Monica offers two very important things: Amazingly designed rooms and a perfect beachfront location.
Los Angeles is a very interesting city when it comes to hotels. Most chain hotels are located right in the city center, the best resorts are located somewhere at beachfront. The Shutters on the Beach got one of the best spots in the city, right beachfront in Santa Monica.
The little village which is known for housing many Hollywood stars is pretty nice, the distance to Los Angeles is not any far, too. But to be honest, I did not spent that much time thinking about where I am, I was way more interested in checking out what the hotel had to offer.
When it comes to rooms, the Shutters on the Beach is a very special place. They offer the very same room for a price range from 400 to 800 US-Dollar. The only difference is the view.
There is not only a “no sea view” and a “sea view” room, the Shutters does offer “partly”, “even more partly” and “close to real sea view” (these are not the real names of the categories) rooms.
In the end, I enjoyed a room with a view of the sea (partly) and the Santa Monica Pier. The view was nice but not as good as I hoped it would be. Although the room did not offer more than 35 square meters, I really liked it. The American beach house style at the Shutters is very nice, so is the big marble bathroom. The room is decorated like it was a “real home”.
As my flight from Europe arrived pretty late, I only had an appointment for dinner the very evening. The hotel instantly offered me the hotel limousine to get me “wherever I wanted to go”. Okay, there was something like a max. distance (you won’t get to the LA city center by limousine), but the service was pretty nice anyway. The shuttle was extremely comfy, the driver was very kind.
After I came back from my dinner experience, I decided to dip into the pool for a minute. The opening times (the pool closes at 10 p.m.) are really nice. By night, (I travelled in February) it was a pretty “cool” experience because the Shutters only offers an outdoor pool (this may be a problem if you travel in winter).
As I had dinner at another place, breakfast was the only food I tried in the Shutters. In my opinion, the choice offered was pretty solid. They do not offer a buffet, so you’ll have to order á la carte. That does mean the breakfast can be a pretty expensive experience. If you decide to take one of the breakfast “meals”, you’ll get a decent portion of – with my selection – yogurt, granola, fruits, a muffin and coffee. Every special, for example freshly squeezed juice, is pretty expensive though.
As I stayed at the Shutters for two days, I also tried “breakfast” at the sister hotel, the Casa del Mar, also a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, located next to the Shutters. I decided to go for some kind of brunch, which meant eating a burger for breakfast. It was kind of strange but did taste very good. The atmosphere at the Shutters breakfast is way more chilled, while it is more elegant over at the Casa del Mar (I had a drink there, too).
All the things named were we very good when I was at the Shutters, but it was not “stunning” or anything. If you do want to know why you need to pay that much money for the Shutters, there is an easy answer: The location. On my second day at the Shutters, I had some time to enjoy the beach (walking, not chilling) and the pool (this time by day). It’s a real joy that the beach is just seconds away and you do not even need to cross a street. The outdoor pool is very nice, too. So are the sunbeds with a perfect view on the beach.
Overall, the Shutters is a very nice retreat when you visit Los Angeles and want to have some time to enjoy yourself. If you are just looking for a hotel to stay at night, I may not recommend the beachfront hotel. Keep in mind: Everything is really good but nothing is cheap either. You’ll pay for the location, dollar for dollar.