Shutters on the Beach was dreamed up with a simple goal in mind: for it to not feel like a hotel at all.

Text by Armella Stepan

When the opening team at ETC Hotels was envisioning their debut property on the sand in Santa Monica, everyone agreed on one key point: It must not feel like a hotel at all. In fact, they thought, perhaps it should not sound like one either … and Shutters on the Beach was born.

“Our primary objective has always been for every guest who enters to feel at ease and be taken care of as though they entered their friend’s luxury beach house,” explains Vice President and Managing Director Klaus Mennekes. “Our second objective? Creating memorable experiences for our guests.”

Memorable it is. From the attentive staff to the residential interior design to the abundance of al fresco spaces, Shutters perfectly blends the coastal sensibilities of Nantucket and California.

It is difficult to pinpoint which of the hotel’s distinctive qualities catapulted this boutique, family-owned hotel into iconic status (besides its drop-dead views of the Pacific). Perhaps it is the unpretentious service, frequent celebrity sightings, or glorious sunsets. The owners, brothers Edward and Thomas Slatkin (the E and T in ETC Hotels), believe it is their simple mantra: Take care of your guests and your staff, and you will have a great hotel.

As the times and consumer needs change every nanosecond, ‘taking care’ of people can be a tall order. This is where Shutters shines. As Santa Monica Beach flows into Silicon Beach, the exclusive enclave continues to offer both timeless and timely experiences. It also boasts a dedicated staff, many of whom have been working at Shutters since the hotel opened. 

Most of the three generations of travelers who visit Shutters rely on the ability to combine work and play on the road. Shutters’ relaxed coastal location and its staff’s business savvy are perfect for a mobile lifestyle. ONE the Spa at Shutters* also offers the latest in age-defying facials (for Instagram-ready skin), invigorating body scrubs, spray tanning, and massage enhancements like CBD for ridding your muscles of stress.  

Within view of the ocean are Shutters’ three restaurants*: 1 Pico, Coast Beach Café and Bar, and The Living Room, which is famous for its outdoor terrace (an insider’s favorite spot for sunset). California farmers markets bring local land and sea specials weekly, with vegetarian and even gluten-free options.   

 As welcoming as Shutters is, most who travel to Southern California long to be outside. Embracing one’s inner wanderlust is easy here. Guests simply swing by the Beach Concierge and pick out their preferred mode of beachside transport, from bikes to surfboards. There are miles of paths for cruising and limitless waves to ride.  

*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, please inquire with a concierge if ONE Spa or the indoor restaurants at Shutters are open prior to visiting.

Waves is an immersive media platform developed exclusively for the Edward Thomas Collection, founded in 1982 by Edward and Thomas Slatkin, who follow in the footsteps of two previous generations of proud family hoteliers and continue to develop and redefine the role of successful ownership and operation of luxury hotels.