ONE the Spa is located within the hotel Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California. The casually elegant beach-house style hotel is steps away from the beach and the water. ONE’s treatments are generally very nice and well-designed, and the luxe spa products used are really the stars of the show.
The spa is not the jewel of the hotel — instead it seems like it was a poorly planned afterthought and shoved into the basement. Designed like a yacht interior with small porthole windows, a heavy use of dark wood, and low ceilings unfortunately also make it dark and feel like you’re on a yacht’s lower deck. With such a great location, you’d think that the designers would have made the spa naturally bright and airy and taken advantage of the fantastic ocean views with large windows and poolside treatment areas. Sadly, the small, dark spa does not offer outdoor poolside treatments at the hotel’s large, beautiful pool that overlooks the ocean.
To get to the spa and locker rooms, you must first walk through the gym, which is awkward when you’re in a robe and slippers. Not only is this awkward, but it doesn’t feel very Zen or safe. Once inside, there is a co-ed quiet room, and separate male-female steam rooms and saunas for guests to enjoy before or after treatments. Outdoors you’ll find a Jacuzzi alongside the hotel’s pool, which you can use as a spa guest.
Body Treatments & Massage
I got the “Red Flower Ocean (Healing)” signature treatment which uses the wonderful and much-celebrated brand Red Flower line of products. Shutters has partnered with Red Flower to incorporate this collection of organic products into a specially-designed spa menu. The scent of Red Flower products are aromatherapeutic yet subtle. The use of these products in the treatment is what I liked best.
The treatment begins with a therapeutic massage, followed by a smoothing sea salt, aloe vera, laurel leaf and eucalyptus exfoliation, then a hydrating sea algae masque, and ending with a “tropical rain rinse.”
The therapist was a great masseuse, very professional. She did a great job articulating each step in the treatment and did so in soft voice which kept me relaxed. She checked in regularly to make sure the pressure of her massage was good and also checked in to make sure I was comfortable. My massage was thorough and my skin felt silky smooth afterwards.
Having to flip over mid-way through the treatment was the only thing I didn’t like about this treatment. It was a bit difficult because the clay and water during the algae mask part made it slippery. This part of the treatment does not seem like it would be suitable for the elderly or someone not strong enough to balance. The treatment designers should find a better way to use this mask and/or cleanse the clay off the body during this process. While the spa does have Vichy showers (the “tropical rain rinse”) in the wet rooms, in this case it worked against the treatment. A stand up shower would have been better to rinse off the clay mask and maybe reduce some of the awkward portions of this pricey treatment.
Service at ONE and Shutters is superb. I only wish they would carry that service into outdoor or in-room treatments, because truthfully I feel a bit claustrophobic inside the small, dark spa. Currently the spa doesn’t offer outdoor treatments by the pool or beach, or inside guest rooms at the hotel. When I asked the hotel about this, they directed me to their sister property, Casa Del Mar, which is right next door. I’d have to walk over to Casa Del Mar if I really wanted a massage in an outdoor cabana by the pool.
I will definitely return for more spa time at ONE the Spa because the therapists are fantastic and I love the Red Flower product line. I do think though that Shutters should invest in creating a better spa that takes advantage of the natural setting this hotel has on the Santa Monica beach. With such amazing therapists and wonderful treatments, the spa shouldn’t be hidden below the hotel. And with all of the space they have at Shutters poolside, I can’t help but think that they are missing a great opportunity.
- Outdoor pool
- Steam Room
- Outdoor Jacuzzi
$$$$$ – Luxury
Shutters on the Beach Hotel
One Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405 USA
HOURS OF OPERATION
The spa is open daily from 8am to 8pm.
HOW TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
Call the spa at (310) 587-1712 or request an appointment online.