|Project Name||Santa Monica Proper Hotel||Posted in||Design, Interior Design||Location||
700 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401United States
As its name suggests, the recently opened Santa Monica Proper Hotel is located in one of the most iconic Los Angeles neighbourhoods, an oceanfront resort town whose unique brand of California cool combines the laid back vibe of beach life with the upmarket sophistication of Art Deco buildings, high-end shopping and art galleries. Located within walking distance to the beach, the latest hotel by Proper Hospitality brings together a renovated Spanish Colonial Revival edifice from the late 1920s and a newly-built, glass and concrete building complex by Howard Laks Architects whose curvaceous volumes engage the rectilinear geometry of the historical landmark in an architectural dialogue that encapsulates Santa Monica’s multifaceted character.
Santa Monica’s charm is also celebrated in the hotel’s interiors where an eclectically curated selection of dashing furniture and contemporary artwork by Los Angeles-based artists are layered with sandy hues, natural materials and organic textures inspired by the local coastline, courtesy of interior designer Kelly Wearstler. With a signature restaurant by two of California’s most innovative chefs, a sweeping rooftop pool deck complete with a bar, bistro, cabanas and a spa dedicated to Eastern wellness offering therapeutic treatments, yoga, and meditation, Santa Monica Proper doesn’t just reflect the luxurious aspect of Southern California’s laid back lifestyle, it embodies it.
Designed by Arthur E. Harvey in 1928, the historic six-storey building at the heart of Santa Monica Proper Hotel has been thoroughly restored to its original glory, from the Moorish details and baroque ornamentation in the exterior, to the rich materials in the interior. Unfolding around it, the new building in contrast exerts a contemporary panache of sleek minimalism, characterized by undulating glass and concrete facades, attuned in proportion and volumetric composition with the older structure.
Uniting both buildings in effortless sophistication, Wearstler’s interior design reinterprets California’s relaxed lifestyle through a soft palette of earthy hues and natural materials such as wood, stone and plaster inspired by the local coastline. Sandy hues, light hardwoods flooring, organic textiles and indoor palm trees create a sublime, beach-like ambience, enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies and garden terraces.
The rich, sensory feeling evoked by the nature-inspired décor is complemented by an eclectic selection of Art Deco, mid-century and contemporary furniture, and a varied collection of vintage art and contemporary artworks and installations by Los Angeles-based artists such as ceramicists Ben Medansky and Morgan Peck, textile artist Tanya Aguiniga, painter Len Klikunas, and sculptor Bradley Duncan. “As with the design for all of the Proper properties we were intentional about working with local artists to bring a truly authentic and localized experience to Santa Monica Proper,” says Wearstler.
Southern California’s influence also extends to Santa Monica Proper’s food. On the ground floor, the hotel’s signature restaurant, Onda, offers a seafaring menu of Mexican and California flavours based on seasonal California ingredients – the creative outcome of a one-of-a-kind, exclusive collaboration between trailblazing Chefs Jessica Koslow, chef-owner of acclaimed L.A. all-day-breakfast café, Sqirl, and Gabriela Camara, chef-owner of Mexico City’s most beloved restaurant, Contramar – while the rooftop bistro Calabra pairs fresh Mediterranean and California cuisine with stunning ocean views under the supervision of Executive Chef Kaleo Adams.
Proper’s penchant for flagship collaborations is also at work in the hotel’s luxury spa run by celebrated Ayurvedic practitioner Martha Soffer whose famed Hollywood-loved Surya Spa in Brentwood excels in modern Ayurveda. Guests and locals can enjoy single treatments like therapeutic massage, facials and scrubs, relax with cooking, yoga and meditation sessions – including Transcendental Meditation classes in partnership with the David Lynch Foundation – or immerse themselves in Ayurveda with Surya’s signature Panchakarma Series which last from 3 to 21 days.
With a second-floor yoga terrace, a 24/7 state-of-the-art fitness centre, and a selection of surf boards and bicycles also at their disposal, not to mention a vibrant shopping scene, there is definitely no shortage of activities that Santa Monica Proper’s guests can choose from, so it’s no wonder that at the end of the day most choose to unwind on the rooftop bar watching the sun setting over the Pacific while sipping a seasonal cocktail.