Santa Monica. The name alone conjures up images of beaches, relaxation and sunny skies. And while that's all true, and it's a pleasure to show off Santa Monica to our guests from around the world, it's also where we call home.
At Edward Thomas Collection of Hotels, we have been committed to helping build a better Santa Monica since the founding of our company 32 years ago. So while many are familiar with Casa del Mar and Shutters on the Beach, and how they have spurred revitalization in our city, at ETC we know that our hotels are only as strong as the community around us.
A resilient Santa Monica is foundational for our company - when you stay at one of our hotels, you're supporting our work with many deserving causes - from partnerships with community, employment or faith-based organizations and environmental protection groups, to Rotary and afterschool programs. Together we can elevate, enliven and enrich as many Santa Monicans as possible.
We are particularly proud to feature our work with two important local causes - Chrysalis, a non-profit that aims to create self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals, and public art programs benefitting kids, local schools and those in need.
Klaus Mennekes, Vice President & Managing Director of Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar, hosted a virtual conversation and Q&A with Dr. David Agus, CEO and Founding Director of The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC, marking the inaugural programming between ETC Hotels and the Ellison Institute. The world-renowned institute led by Dr. Agus combines interdisciplinary research with the prevention and treatment of cancer. The conversation provided valuable insight regarding the new travel landscape, post-pandemic travel trends to prepare for, and much more. View the video here.
"Give a man a fish you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~ Maimonides
Chrysalis was founded over 30 years ago by John Dillon, on the infamous Skid Row in Los Angeles. The agency began as a supplier of food and clothing for the needy, but it was clear this help alone would not dent the growing issues of poverty and homelessness. For 23 years, Chrysalis has been aiding those with seemingly insurmountable obstacles to employment find meaningful work and start on the path to stability and self-empowerment.
When Chrysalis opened its Santa Monica center in 1994, ETC saw an opportunity to get Santa Monica moving again. Over the last 20 years, we have refined our work with Chrysalis' social enterprise businesses. These methods teach hands-on skills and values required to thrive in the workplace. Chrysalis' leadership has helped tens-of-thousands of people change their lives through jobs.
ETC has also had the honor of sponsoring forums to advance women in the workplace and recognize the commitment of Chrysalis' clients by helping celebrate Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. We're thrilled our facilities have been the backdrop for special events that honor the dedication needed to change difficult circumstances.
Most importantly, we frequently provide opportunities for Chrysalis transitional workers in our hotels and around our properties. When an opening arises, ETC looks to secure permanent positions for those temporary employees that show great potential; we're dedicated to embracing this program and its power to change lives long into the future.
Public art can catalyze change in a community - a fresh mural on a blighted corner spurs visual and spiritual change and fosters a new spirit that attracts business and activity. Participating in the creation of art can be a therapeutic and educational experience, one we want to share with Santa Monica.
Portraits of Hope
Portraits of Hope is a charitable organization founded in 1995 by Ed Massey and his brother Bernie. Their goal is to help instill pride in ill and physically disabled children through one-of-a-kind motivational art projects that merge therapy for hospitalized kids with the creation of dynamic displays. Because of Portraits of Hope, tens-of-thousands of children have looked into the sky, at the ocean, or to a passing taxi and recognized their work being enjoyed by the people around them.
In partnership with Portraits of Hope, ETC Hotels helped local kids paint 157 lifeguard towers along the Los Angeles County coastline to let beach-goers all over southern California marvel at the inspiring work of the children in the program.
Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation
Jules Muck is a Santa Monica based street artist who ETC recently commissioned to create colorful art as part in a remodeling project at Casa del Mar. Working with the local schools, ETC is interested in raising awareness for keeping art programs in the schools. Casa del Mar enlisted Muck to lecture on "Street Art as Fine Art" to students from Santa Monica High School and is donating her temporary art exhibit to The Santa Monica - Malibu Education Foundation for display in local schools and also as auction items to raise money for art programs on the Westside.
Supporting local community and environmental sustainability initiatives are core values at ETC Hotels. We have partnered with Santa Monica Travel & Tourism for over 25 years with a goal of making the City of Santa Monica one of the most sought-after destinations for travelers.
In 2023, ETC Hotels’ Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar forged a collaboration with nonprofit organization, SantaMonicaCARES and Kind Traveler, a veteran-and-women-owned public benefit corporation. Kind Traveler’s vision is to inspire all travelers to become a financial force that prevents poverty and hunger, protects the planet and promotes wellbeing and equality for individuals and animals.
Kind Traveler’s Give + Get platform creates a sustainable fundraising model where travelers who give back, get something kind in return through exclusive rates and perks from Kind Hotels. 100% of donations go to global or local charities that benefit communities, the environment, or animal welfare.
As the first city to achieve Platinum level certification in LEED, Santa Monica has long championed sustainability. Boasting 3.5 miles of sun-kissed beach and warm weather, Santa Monica is perfect to explore Southern California. Travelers enjoy 19 miles of green biking lanes, 150 public car charging stations, and a 22-mile South Bay Bicycle Trail, the world’s longest oceanfront bike path.
The beachfront location for Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar’s make them the ideal choice for luxury travelers coming to Southern California. Unlock exclusive hotel offers when you donate $10 to support our Santa Monica community:
Helping Our Community
Heal the Bay is dedicated to protecting the pristine rivers, beaches, and oceanfront of the Santa Monica area. The incredible natural resources are not only special spiritual sanctuaries, but a major source of economic power for Southern California. Founded in 1985, Heal the Bay has fought against everything from dumping of untreated wastewater to combating plastic pollution and urban storm water contamination.
The Boys and Girls Club inspires and enables all young people, especially those in the most need, to reach their full potential as caring, responsible people and citizens. Founded in 1944, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica has provided a safe and secure environment for kids and teens. They currently serve over 9,000 youngsters in the greater Los Angeles area, from 6 to 18 years old.
Santa Monica High School Orchestras are a collection of ensembles that include more than 300 hundred young Santa Monicans. The first Santa Monica High Orchestra was founded in 1913 and has been winning national accolades ever since.
The UCLA-Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center is a nationally recognized safe and anonymous prevention, education and treatment program to combat sexual assault. The center provides comprehensive free treatment, including 24 hour emergency care and forensic and DNA evidence in sexual assault cases.
St. Monica's Church is a diverse and vibrant community of faith that professes and lives the tradition of the Catholic Church. St. Monica's seeks to shape loving disciples who will transform the world.
Canyon Charter School began in 1894 as a one room school house that became an important gathering place for the rural Santa Monica Canyon community. The school has evolved into a child-centered and nurturing campus focused on educating the whole person.
Mt. Olive Lutheran Preschool operates by the philosophy that early childhood should be a time of fun, warmth, security, and exploration. The children learn though hands-on play and structured activities organized into "learning environments" that reinforce the self-image and meet the varying needs of the kids.