Shutters at the Beach Celebrates its First Hannukah

Bright, cheery and what a view!

A little known song by the popular, satirical song- writer, Tom Lehrer, has a refrain that goes, 'I'm spending Hannukah in Santa Monica, wearing sandals, lighting candles by the sea'. Though this may find you laughing, let me assure you, Hannukah in Santa Monica can not only be a lovely experience but even a mini-vacation. 'Shutters at the Beach' Hotel introduced a Hannukah package this year, and I DID spend Hannukah in Santa Monica to my delight.

The lobby, inviting, welcoming and in a holiday mood

Entering a different world, at once calming, beautiful, relaxing and renewing, I found the lobby warm and inviting with its two fire- places glowing. Plush, overstuffed chairs and couches invited one to sit and release the world's cares. Staff members were cordial and helpful and made us comfortable at once. They even offered to take care of a special cake we brought which was for our second celebration - a 92nd birthday.

Shifting from elevator to elevator, the view of the pool and ocean, the pool at night

We found our rooms in an unusual way. We took one elevator to the third floor. Then for a short stretch we needed to walk outdoors and along side of the pool before entering the building where another elevator went to the upper floors. Beyond the pool one saw the ocean. One was almost forced to take a deep breath, calm down and see the beauty in each direction.

Viewing the ocean from the bathroom

Our room looked onto the pool and the ocean. One even had this view from the individual hot tub in the bathroom, which brought the ocean into view. The bathroom, itself, had a lovely stall shower in addition to the tub, and a toilet in its own enclosure. The closets were plentiful and contained a safe. With understated elegance, the carefully designed room, resulted in a feeling of relaxation and comfort.

Ocean related details were everywhere. There were seashells, pictures of the sea, large book cases filled with books mostly about the sea and its creatures, and pillows trimmed with tiny sea shells. Sophisticated electronics included the latest in TV screen, CD and DVD players.

The latest in electronics, the greatest in comfort

The carpets were lovely and the beds high and comfortable. Opening the window, one could sniff the sea breeze and sleep peacefully.

Ready for the special Hannukah and birthday dinner

But before this happened, we wanted to sample the Hannukah menu and light our menorah and celebrate a birthday, too. When we were seated for dinner, we were offered a special menu with traditional Hannukah food such as chicken soup, chicken, brisket, potato latkes and so on. The usual menu was also available. There were four of us and we ordered from both the usual restaurant menu and the special menu. The food from the regular menu included an autumn salad, squash soup, salmon and chocolate pudding-cake. Each item was superb. The chicken soup and chicken from the special menu were very good. However, the brisket and the potato latkes needed a bit of help from a 'Jewish grandmother'. The applesauce for the latkes was great.

Our maitre d' and waiter, birthday girl with the chef and blowing out her candles

After dinner, we lit the candles for the birthday cake. Can you imagine 93 candles? Later, overlooking the sea, we lit the menorah.

Wonderful food, soups, salads, latkes,chicken, brisket and berries, a real treat

This was a lovely place for a holiday celebration. Future, celebrations could be enhanced with more menorahs in the lobby, perhaps lit with candles or electric lights, Hannukah books and dreidels. This tradition could add new features each year.

Sooo comfortable

After a restful night, we went to breakfast at Pedals, the coffee shop by the ocean. The view is spectacular. It almost felt as though you were on a boat in the ocean We enjoyed yogurt, Irish oatmeal, and a waffle as we relaxed in this bright and pleasant place. The unlimited pot of coffee was among the best I've had and the service was impeccable. If one can find the plain yogurt delicious, it must be a great place to eat!

A lovely day, lighting the Channukah menorah in the evening

And so, to return to Tom Lehrer's words, 'But in December there's just one place for me,
mid the California flora, I'll be lighting my menorah, like a baby in its cradle, I'll be playing with my dreidel. Here's to Judas Maccabeus, Boy if he could only see us,
Spending Hannukah, in Santa Monica, By the Sea! Hopefully we can come again next year.

Contact 'Shutters at the Beach'

To read about the romantic Valentines dinner click here

To read about the spa at Shutters click here

Photos by Lawrence Davis

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