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Shutters on the Beach
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Reviewed 10 September 2007

We spent two wonderful nights at Shutters and had a very relaxing time. I read all the other reviews ahead-of-time to get an idea of what to expect. We had an Ocean Deluxe room with a nice view of the beach from one window and a view of the public parking lot from the other window. We left the latter window closed but opened the beach front one most of the time we were in our room. Our room was on the first floor, which is actually above street level, but still too close to the people on the beach road in front of the hotel. So we didn't leave it open at night. A shame, since we could hear the waves when it was open. But we could also hear people's conversations. One time there was a woman on the path around 3am swearing to herself loudly and she stayed long enough for me to wake up and wonder what was going on. But she eventually moved, so I didn't
have to call the hotel desk. The bed was very comfortable and soft, but was hard for me to get on and off, since I'm very short. I had to sort of fall/slide off it and wish they had some little steps by the bed. The sink in the bathroom was also a little high for me. I could brush my teeth, but had to really stand on my toes and lean over in order to use the sink. The bathtub was wonderful with the jets and sprayer. I didn't use the shower, but my husband did and said it had some jets too, so was very comfortable. Overall, the bathroom and bedroom were quite pleasant. the balcony was small, but we still sat out on it to watch the beach, the waves, the palm trees, and people-watch. We also read our books out there. It was very nice. I didn't care if anyone watched us from the path when we were on the balcony. We closed the shutters when we wanted privacy in the room, so there was no way anyone could look in. The closet by the entrance to the room had enough drawers and enough hangers for our short stay. It had a small safe too that we could put our laptop and other valuables in. We never did use the tv or the bar/refrig or bathroom cabinet, but it's nice that they make things available, even though they are expensive. I read someone else's review about this, and brought my own water instead of using the water in the bar. When we first checked in, they brought us some fresh fruit with a knife and fork to cut it up. A nice touch that made us feel welcome. The staff was always courteous and friendly. We tried the pool one time and then walked on the beach. We celebrated our anniversary with a nice dinner at One Pico, and had breakfast and lunch the next day at Coast. Both had fantastic food. One Pico also had unusual tea for dessert. Looked like a plant with roots all over in a round glass carafe (reminded me of an exotic fish in a fishbowl) and was very fragrant. Our last evening I was tired, so we sat in the lobby, listened to the piano music, leaned back on the comfortable chairs, had ice tea and appetizers (shrimp cocktail and the cheese/fruit platter). They also brought out homemade potato chips that you really couldn't eat just one of. I felt like sneaking the bowl back to our room. I could go on and on. I do recommend this hotel if you want to splurge on yourself. Our short time there put a smile on our faces.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank huskydog49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2007

I was a little worried from the looks of the property that it would be more a couples place but, everyone on the staff was very friendly and attentive, from the valet to the door man to bell man and even at the check in. Turns out by luck we got the best room on property with two balcony's with beach views. Houskeeping was so nice, room service and anyone we called. I had a few things in my car that I needed to go get and valet insisted to pick them up for me. The room was beautiful and clean. Filled with personal touches that I'm sure you don't get at alot of the other hotels unless you make the request. Fresh flowers, welcome card. Everytime we left the room and came back it was serviced and immaculate with fresh towels and amenities. I was reluctant to visit the pool because it was filled with what seemed to be snooty LA people but, the people that worked there were so nice and made my family comfortable. We were very happy with our stay and had everything in walking distance so it was the perfect visit and we will definately be back but, with out the children.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank jaxmarquez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2007

My fiance and I have stayed here twice now. This place is so adorable and unlike any other hotel I have stayed at. The rooms are cozy and beautiful I especially like the spa bungalow's that come with a private outdoor patio!

One morning we went for a nice walk along Santa Monica beach when we returned to our hotel we had room service and they set it up outside on our patio! I felt like we were in our own little cafe!

Also check out the Shutters Spa it is very nice and during my massage I actually fell asleep!

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank kellkrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2007

This review should have been written months ago (we were there in October ’06) but I’ve been struggling with what I wanted to convey in my review. I really, really, really wantd to give it an outstanding rating and a rave review but I just can’t. The good news is that there were definitely more pluses than minuses.

Let’s start with what we found to be fabulous:

ROOMS - I loved, loved, LOVED our room. The design was beautiful and the décor really fit the beach setting (very serene and calming). The bed was amazing and I loved all the neat touches in the room like the array of interesting beach books on the bookshelves, the selection of DVD’s and CD’s in the armoire, and the wine bar (such a cool idea)! The glassware in the room was high quality which, to me, isn’t something you find everywhere. I can’t quite put into words just how beautiful the room is and truth be told, the room and location to the beach are probably the two main reasons we booked this hotel. I’m kind of a “room snob” and I base many of our hotel decisions on the look of the room. The rooms at Shutters, to me, looked like a room you’d find at a friend’s beach house…laid back, relaxed, comfortable and full of fun and thoughtful touches. Perfect for a week vacation!

BATHROOM – The tub was incredible (perfect size and the jets even worked!) and I thought the “Bath & Beach Chest” was a well thought and unexpected touch. It’s full of things you need (or want) for the beach or bath time like sunscreen, lip balm, items from Bobbi Brown’s beach collection and even products from Ole Henriksen’s spa line. I used some of the fizzy bath cubes and found them to be excellent. Even better, there were enough in the jar for two baths while on vacation and another couple when I returned home. Talk about bringing vacation home with you!

The toiletries Sky Blue designed for Shutters are lovely! The fragrance of the products is exactly what you’d expect when staying by the sea and is described as “fragrant citrus groves, fresh ocean breezes and endless blue summer skies.” So yummy! In fact just thinking about the soap and lotion now make me smile!

I also really enjoyed the small touches in the bathroom like the sporadic splashes of turquoise to match the tops of the toiletries, the beach towel that has different words on it (my favorite were play & laugh), the tiny flat screen TV and the adorable toy whale for the bathtub. These touches allow you to relax and embrace your “inner child” and I don’t know about you but that’s what vacation should be about!

LOCATION - This hotel is truly beachfront and it was nice to be able to walk out the door and literally be on the beach. Just a short walk from the hotel and you’re at the Santa Monica Pier and just a little further away and you’re shopping at the 3rd Street Promenade. We also enjoyed walking around Montana Avenue and although we did take a taxi there, we chose to walk back. We found it fun to see all the neat stores in the area and it allowed us to walk off the yummy lunch we had!

BAR AT CASA DEL MAR – The sister property to Shutters, Casa del Mar, is located next door and has a beautiful bar area. The space is amazing and I’m just sorry we didn’t stumble across it earlier in our stay. It features gorgeous views and the service we had was excellent!

Now for the things that we weren’t so crazy about:

NOISE – One thing I wasn’t aware of prior to booking our room is that a street literally runs in front of the section that houses many of the rooms. Although we did have a nice view of the ocean, we also had a front row seat to the street below us and valet. Many times at night we heard the conversations of the valet employees below, in addition to the street noise and sounds associated with valet.

BALCONY – While it was a lovely thought to be able to sit out on our balcony and enjoy the views while we celebrated our arrival with a snack from room service and a bottle of champagne, the reality was a bit different. The balcony was very small and, truthfully, was about the width of my husband (he’s 6’ 3”). Not only that by your next door neighbor’s balcony is right next to yours which takes away any semblance of privacy you may have thought you’d have. Oh yeah, and if you’re in the block of rooms (like ours) that overlooks valet, you’ll probably feel as silly as I did trying to have a romantic moment with my husband while all the employees could look on.

VALUE – This is probably what leaves the most bitter taste in my mouth and while it may seem trivial to some, it really did bother us. We expected high restaurant prices in the hotel and assumed the $50 credit we received daily with our package would probably only cover breakfast (we were right – and we’re not huge breakfast eaters!) We were also prepared for higher than normal prices on the bottles of water in the room (we’re big water drinkers) but what we weren’t prepared for was to find bottles of water you can buy in a store for $1.99 (in Santa Monica) for $10! Come on, are you kidding me? For the price you pay for a room, I’d expect at least two (one per person) comp bottles of water a day could be given. Is that too much to expect? Maybe it is but that’s what we’ve found at hotels that are just as nice and cost less.

SERVICE – For an establishment that has such a stellar reputation and is consistently touted in travel publications and on travel shows, I was surprised at the level of service we received. I don’t want to give the wrong impression because it wasn’t awful but it sure didn’t measure up to what we’ve come to expect after staying at Four Seasons and various other properties. Maybe it was our fault to have such high expectations but I would have thought it would be reasonable to expect friendly/upbeat service from the concierge staff. Each time we asked for recommendations we were greeted with an indifferent attitude and an “air” of superiority. Very disappointing.

MISC. – Storage space in the room is a bit lacking and while it probably isn’t a problem for those visiting for a long weekend, it proved a little challenging for us (we were there for six nights). Also, I would have liked to have a bit more privacy in the toilet area. A door does enclose this area but it’s a shuttered door which doesn’t allow for the most privacy. I realize these are a bit picky but thought I’d at least mention them.

This is a vacation I planned well in advance after falling in love with pictures of the hotel in travel magazines and on travel shows. I so looked forward to a vacation where we could do nothing but relax and enjoy our time together. While we definitely had a nice time, it wasn’t the “vacation at a friend’s beach house” that I’d envisioned. However, it wasn’t awful either and if you have the $$$ it requires to truly relax and enjoy the amenities, then go for it. I’m happy that we were able to experience it once but doubt we’d ever return.

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank tarheelgirl03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2007

Stayed at Shutters on business for five nights, and can't really find anything negative to point at. From the valet parking, through check-in, room, view, services, bar and restaurant, everything was excellent. This is obviuously an expensive hotel, but as far as I'm concerned, it was worth every penny. I would definitely stay at Shutters again.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled on business
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2  Thank frjohnsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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