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Last updated: 04 December, 2022
Expert travel writer: Luciana Bellini

Grey-shingled Shutters might have been built to resemble the grand inns of Martha’s Vineyard, but it has come to embody the ideals of SoCal barefoot luxury. Set right on Santa Monica’s sands, the hotel feels like one giant beach house, from the living room-style lobby to the beach-chic rooms by White House designer Michael Smith.

The location is truly hard to beat. You’re right on the beach, a short walk from Santa Monica Pier and the promenade. Beaches in California are all public, and there’s quite a bit of activity just beyond Shutters’ gates. As soon as you step outside, you’re confronted by a bike path. A few steps beyond lies the sand, full of sun loungers, beach volleyball players and children running wild.

Days here are spent enjoying the seaside setting – think yoga on the sand, beachfront bike rides and Pacific surf lessons.

This is one for all comers – there’s a welcoming attitude, whether you’re a couple or family.


Santa Monica

The beachside neighbourhood of Santa Monica showcases the best of sunny So-Cal life, with its miles of sandy coastline and beach promenades. Come to watch the surfers zip through the waves before taking a walk along the delightfully gaudy pier, where you can ride on the world’s only solar-powered ferris wheel.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers: Not available
Beach: Onsite
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
: On-site *
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Venice Beach

Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA)[4.2 miles]

LA’s most vibrant neighbourhood, beachside Venice is a unique blend of boho and kitsch. Surf lessons too.

Best for ages: 6+ | Free

Getty Center

Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA)[8 miles]

A marble-clad modernist complex, opened in 1997, houses the late billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty’s art collection. Highlights include works by Titian and Van Gogh, illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, Louis XIV-era furniture and decorative arts.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA)[13.6 miles]

The world’s largest museum dedicated solely to the art of film, home to a collection of movie treasures, a rotating roster of exhibitions featuring industry creators and an experience where you can hold a coveted Oscars statuette.

Best for ages: 8+ | £22

Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

Getty Villa

Getty Villa

Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA)[8 miles]

John Paul Getty’s homage to ancient Rome and Greece is a Malibu gem, filled with ancient art, beautifully landscaped gardens offering up sparkling ocean views and a 500-seat amphitheatre that hosts some of the city’s finest outdoor classical productions.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Virginia Robinson Gardens

Virginia Robinson Gardens

Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA)[11.2 miles]

For a fascinating insider look at a period mansion and estate in Beverley Hills, call ahead to reserve a tour of the Virginia Robinson Gardens. The Beaux Arts mansion from 1911 is surrounded by stunning botanical gardens in a range of styles.

Best for ages: 13+ | £12

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Cycle The Strand

Cycle The Strand

Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA)[12.3 miles]

A 22-mile bike path called the Strand runs from Southern LA’s Manhattan Beach up to Pacific Palisades, just north of Santa Monica. It’s a fun ride if you’re feeling fit. Hire bikes from Hermosa Cyclery – there’s a detailed map of the Strand on their website.

Best for ages: 6+ | Free | 2-3 hours

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Greystone Mansion’s Gardens

Greystone Mansion’s Gardens

Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA)[12.6 miles]

If this Tudor Revival mansion in Beverly Hills looks more than a little familiar it’s due to its stellar Hollywood lineage, having appeared in films including The Big Lebowski and X-Men. Come to explore its formal English gardens and elegant grounds.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay

Los Angeles

California, United States of America (USA)

The bright lights of Tinseltown are home to surfer-filled beaches, glorious mountain hikes, glitz and glamour in spades and year-round sunshine.

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