The Los Angeles area certainly has plenty of iconic landmarks, celebrity hotspots, and sun-drenched beaches. Among those many beaches, however, one arguably stands out as being one of the most iconic beaches in the City of Angels…Santa Monica Beach.
Santa Monica is known for its laid-back, beach bum attitude…a bit of a change from the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles. And much of that break from the city life is made possible by the three-mile-long stretch of Santa Monica Beach. From sunbathing on the large expanses of sand to playing beach volleyball and walking along the surf on the way to the Santa Monica Pier, there’s definitely plenty to experience here.
When it comes to an authentic on the beach hotel experience where celebrity sighting chances are pretty frequent, Shutters on the Beach is where it’s at in Santa Monica. Situated just steps from the sunny sands and crashing ocean waves, Shutters on the Beach brings an East Coast vibe to the laid-back West coast of Southern California.
Shutters on the Beach = East Coast Meets West Coast
Those from the East Coast looking for a little reminder of home while exploring Santa Monica will appreciate the East Coast influences in the design of Shutters on the Beach. Its full-length shutters leading out to the ocean-breezy balconies mirror the classic Cape Cod cottages designs. Even the interior, from the custom-made white linens to the traditional nautical décor gives off a typical New England style vibe, making the hotel the perfect blend of East Coast influence on the sun-drenched beaches of the West Coast.
Historic Beachfront Property
While Shutters on the Beach itself isn’t exactly a historic structure, having opened in 1993, the beachfront property it sits on does hold quite a lot of historical significance. There have been various beach clubs built where the current hotel stands dating all the way back to 1925. Notable beach clubs that called the property home includes the Edgewater Beach Club, Waverly Club, Ambassador Club, and the Jonathan Club.
The beachfront property where Shutters on the Beach currently sits is also notably historic due to the part it played during the tumultuous segregate era of the US. Exclusive beach clubs became a popular trend along Santa Monica Beach starting in the 1920s, and unfortunately, those clubs didn’t allow the African-American community access. Much of the African-American community kept to a part of the beach by Pico Boulevard, close to where Shutters on the Beach currently sits today until segregation and the overall appeal of beach clubs, in general, began to give way to change and progress.
Interiors Fit for a President
What do the White House in Washington DC and Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica have in common? The answer to that intriguing question would be renowned interior designer Michael S. Smith. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle commissioned Smith to redecorate the residential quarters of the White House. Then again, in 2010, Smith was called upon to help with the interior design of the Oval Office.
Shutters on the Beach also showcases the cozy, beachfront interior by a designer famous enough to be hand-picked by the President himself. Guests are greeted by a beach chic style lobby complete with large fireplaces throughout. That beach chic trend continues into the rooms where that typical casual beach feel meets a modern edge…with all rooms enhancing that feel with balconies looking out onto the ocean. So, the beach experience is definitely all-inclusive from the actual beach outside the hotel to the elegant touches of beach chic design inside it.
Close to A Pier as Iconic as Hollywood
A stay in Santa Monica wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Of course, it’s known for its post-card picture perfect Ferris wheel and roller coaster image and various street performers. But the pier also has quite a lot of history, as it dates back to 1909 when construction on it was finally completed. Back then though, there were no attractions or restaurants. So, today’s Santa Monica Pier has definitely evolved from being a plain old fishing pier to an iconic attraction that’s a must see when in Los Angeles. Equally iconic as the pier itself is the neon-lighted sign at the top of the pier ramp indicating that you’ve reached Santa Monica Pier.
Nearby Attraction on the National Register of Historic Places
Adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier, you’ll find the Newcomb Pier. And it’s here where you’ll come across a National Historic Landmark…the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome. Built-in 1916 (and since restored several times), the Looff Hippodrome is home to the charming carousel. This carousel was the last work of Charles Looff, a master carousel builder and amusement pioneer. The original carousel was sold and dismantled. But another company known for its beautiful hand-carved wooden horse designs, the Philadelphia Toboggan Company built a new carousel in its place. The carousel itself has since been restored, as the horses are all wood, with each one being a unique design.
Location for an Oscar-Nominated Film
Of course, Los Angeles and Hollywood are considered the movie capitals of the world. But Santa Monica definitely has its fair share of film locations as well. And Shutters on the Beach is no exception. Not only was it used for location in a movie scene, but this movie happened to garner a Best Actress Nomination too. So what film shot a scene at Shutters on the Beach? That would be the Diane Keaton and Jack Nicolson led romantic comedy called “Something’s Gotta Give.” Keaton was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award in 2004 for her role in the film, although Charlize Theron beat her out for her role in “Monster” that year. So how does Shutters on the Beach come into play? Well, although the film was set in the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island, it was actually all shot around the Los Angeles area. Shutters on the Beach was used as a location that was supposed to be a restaurant located in the Hamptons. The scene that was shot there was the one where Keaton’s character goes on a first date with a much younger man, played by Keanu Reeves. It was shot in the One Pico restaurant of the hotel.
Known as “Hollywood’s Beach House”
If you live in Los Angeles or are just visiting, there’s a pretty good chance you may see a celebrity out and about doing normal everyday things just like the rest of us. And of course, the celebrities love hanging out in Santa Monica too since there’s plenty of upscale dining and shopping to partaking in. And a stay at Shutters on the Beach is also an attractive idea for many celebrities as well. Whether it’s an afternoon lunch in the oceanside restaurants or a swim at the pool, or even a stroll along the hotel’s beachfront, you might just spot a celebrity yourself, as Shutters on the Beach has earned the nickname of “Hollywood’s Beach House.” Notable celebrities seen at Shutters include Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Eva Longoria, Ben Affleck, Zac Effron, David Chappelle, Tim Robbins, Julia Roberts, Christian Bale, and Jennifer Aniston.
Celebrities or not, Shutters on the Beach is already a celebrity in its own right…sitting at the heart of Santa Monica and Southern California beach culture with plenty of history and the iconic sands of Santa Monica Beach surrounding it.