Monday, October 1, 2007

California Dreaming

When you are next in Los Angeles, forget the Mondrian, drive past the Beverly Hills, ignore the Beverly Wilshire and head for a fabulous beach holiday in Santa Monica at Shutters Hotel on the Beach. I’ve been going there for well over a decade. It’s a Hampton Beach resort transported to California. Two great restaurants, One Pico and Coast, serve healthy, clean, fresh California food; fantastic seafood, great fish, with a terrific collection of cold American and French white wines to wash it down. They have Becks, Heineken and Stella cold in the fridge, and have just opened a beach valet service where they provide you with everything you need for fun and games in the Pacific. Shutters also has bikes for rent on one of the most fun bike paths in the world, running along the Pacific coast and through Venice Beach, where you can still see every freak and weirdo from the last four decades. Staying at Shutters you can almost feel the sand between your toes and the place has tremendous service and a great country house feel. My advice is to get one of the rooms in the big house at the back of the hotel overlooking the pool and the beach. You’ll find the big, flat screen LG televisions and great movie selection perfect aids in overcoming jetlag. And remember, you are less than 30 minutes from the airport and about the same in a straight line from Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Living well is the best revenge.