Santa Monica Proper Hotel by Kelly Wearstler
Santa Monica Proper Hotel is a retreat from the city, inspired by the cool coastal lifestyle.
Words: Emma-Kate Wilson I Photography: Courtesy of The Ingalls
Boldly declaring itself as Santa Monica's only luxury lifestyle hotel, the Santa Monica Proper Hotel is a testament to the relaxed atmosphere of the city. The ocean breeze seems to shape the interiors of the hotel — shells, the sun, or a beach umbrella visually appear throughout or wind-whipped textured art, linen, carved wood, and raw concrete.
Architecturally designed by Howard Laks Architects, and interiors from Kelly Wearstler, the hotel embodies a mid-century, Californian vibe. From the curved headboards of the beds, which echo the meeting of sun and horizon during sunrise and sunset; or the hand-carved desk at reception, recalling the shell-lined beach
The hotel grows out of the shell of Arthur E. Harvey's 'Santa Monica Professional Building'— a 1920s-era Spanish colonial revival-style building featuring curved arches and tiled pillars. One half of the building ricochets this imperial ethos, the other steps forward into contemporary design.
A natural colour palette has been honoured throughout, with sandy tones mixed with shell-whites and dusty desert orange — an abundance of palms and tropical greenery continue the coastal, Californian theme. Patterned wallpaper evoke desert wildflower scenes and the reclaimed oak hardwood floors, featuring an intricate beach-umbrella-inspired octagonal pattern.
The art mirrors the interiors such as the Jonathan Ryan acrylic on canvas, peppered with sand; or the Chris Wolston terracotta and fibreglass vase with hand-applied texture that serves as a functional vessel with an every-changing exotic floral arrangement.
Easy communal spaces open up the hotel, inviting the guests and locals to mingle in Calabra next to the rooftop pool with open cabanas; at Palma, the art-filled lobby bar; or in Onda, where the signature restaurant combines Californian and Mexican with chef's Jessica Koslow and Gabriela Camara. While, the rooms provide cosy retreats, with honey-tones to rouse the laid-back airs of Santa Monica, with cream, textured curtains that frame the bustling city views.