travel & adventure

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comPlanning a getaway to the California coast? Emmett & I spent the weekend in Santa Monica and crossed another Proper hotel off our list. As a designer, I’ve always admired and enjoyed the modern & eclectic spaces Kelly Wearstler brings to life. I’ve wanted to stay at the Santa Monica Proper for some time, but never had a reason to visit that location. Emmett and I decided to make use of travel points and spend a long weekend celebrating our anniversary. I wanted to share a hotel tour and give you a peek at the modern interior because it’s a beautifully designed property. Click through for a quick tour! 

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comBefore I dive into the tour, you can catch my best travel tips for good deals & upgrades here. I also shared some travel essentials that may be helpful if you have any trips planned in the near future.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comMuch like the San Francisco Proper, this location is filled with eclectic decor, sculptural furniture, interesting textures, and unique textiles. It’s an immersive experience that is a treat for any designer lover.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour -

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comEmmett & I both admired the use of everyday materials, but with an updated application. I find travel to be a real creativity booster- even more so when you’re surrounded by interior spaces that make you think outside the box. All of Kelly Wearstler’s hotels do that for me, which I consider a worthy splurge.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comWe had a couple drinks at the impressive hotel bar within the Proper Palma restaurant… me admiring the stonework and Emmett gawking over the turned woodworking.

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Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comThe furniture and florals found within the hotel eateries and lobby are also sculptural works of art. Kelly certainly has a way of pairing mismatched pieces together that make a space sing in unison. What could have looked very odd and thrifted actually has a wonderful sense of cohesion.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comI probably spent more time praising the plants in this hotel than I have at any other. Full size potted trees stole the show both indoors and out. With so much natural light spilling in, this breezy California property takes on a lush jungle vibe… with no faux branch in sight.

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Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comThe interior architecture was also a win for me. Outside, the building is underwhelming and honestly nothing to write home about- but indoors there’s something new to discover around each corner or hall. Even the elevator hall felt special. Let’s go upstairs to check out the room, shall we?

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour -

We stayed in the standard room with a king size bed. The signature upholstered arched headboard is what comes to mind when visualizing the Santa Monica Proper. The grasscloth wall coverings, patterned textiles, and tactile surfaces give the bedroom the signature KW Proper aesthetic. I’m not sure why or how we ended up with a complementary bottle of wine upon entering our room, but it was appreciated!

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comLighting is another element I’ve always got my design eye focused on. From sconces and pendants to chandelier and lamps, the fixtures were layered just like they would be in a residential setting- which I think makes this hotel feel more welcoming and better designed than its competitors. KW often installs her sconces upside down for a softer look or to highlight architectural elements you might have missed… the next time you visit a Proper, keep an eye out for sconces installed at a 180!

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comStepping into the bathroom, pretty much every surface was covered in a graphic stone. The modern plumbing fixtures and heavy veining are simple and minimalistic, but anything but boring.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comI also appreciated the integration of Aesop toiletries. Typically I dread showering when traveling, but I actually looked forward to this mundane task everyday thanks to amazing smelling, high quality products… so much so, that Emmett & I visited the Aesop store on Abbot Kinney Boulevard to do some product sampling for other fragrances.

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Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comThe outdoor spaces at the Santa Monica Proper were equally as impressive… large planters, modern furniture, and organic textures made it a treat to discover each patio area.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comWe spent a full day enjoying the pool, sipping craft cocktails, swimming, and reading. Most of our vacations or getaways are more adventurous or tightly scheduled, so it was really nice to simply relax. I do wish we would have booked a spa treatment, because I hear their facility and services are incredible- and priced accordingly, as you might imagine.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comI’ll admit, our favorite (and most convenient) part of staying at the Proper was taking advantage of their bikes. We cycled our way around Santa Monica and Venice. From breakfast & pastry stops to beach cruising and shopping, we pedaled miles and were able to cover lots of ground while having fun and exploring. We started out with regular cycles and by our last day at the Proper, we upgraded to e-bikes and were able to go much further with minimal effort… no ride shares necessary.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour -

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour - roomfortuesday.comWhile the hotel is a couple blocks away from the beach, the bike ride to stick my toes in the sand was worth the five minute bike commute. There is also a really fun bike path on the beach that stretches miles long, albeit it gets busy during weekends.

Santa Monica Proper Hotel Tour -

Where do you enjoy eating in Santa Monica?

We tried all of the hotel food: room service, Calabra (the pool cafe & bar), and Palma (the main hotel restaurant). Outside of the hotel, we loved Pasjoli (fine French dining), Gjusta (for breakfast), Elephante (for lunch), and Tartine (pastries).

Your favorite place to shop in the area?

I loved biking to, then strolling Abbot Kinney Boulevard… so many beautiful places to shop!

Would you stay here again- did you have an alternative hotel you would have liked to try in Santa Monica?

We’d definitely stay here again. I’d like to try the other Proper Hotels to mix things up, but if I found myself in the area again… for sure! My backup hotel was Shutters on the Beach– it’s more traditionally designed, is oceanfront & beautiful (Mark D Sikes design vibes), but is more expensive.

Where are you off to next?

We’re headed to New Orleans for a quick weekend in October to celebrate my birthday! I’m equally as excited for that well-designed hotel stay, too. Should I share another tour?

Your favorite thing about Santa Monica Proper, aside from the aesthetic?

The bikes!! It’s fun to be active, explore in an easy way, and skip paying for lifts. It felt like the local way to get around.

Best thing you ate in Santa Monica?

Chocolate soufflé from Pasjoli. Probably the best I’ve ever had (and I won’t admit how many I’ve consumed in my lifetime, ha). It was that good. They added salted almonds with homemade vanilla bean gelato on the side.

I hope you enjoyed the hotel tour! Would you ever stay here? Feel free to leave me any questions in the comment section below… I’d be happy to share additional favorites. I’m just getting settled back in at home and have a busy day of work at the shop, but I’ll try to get to weekly comments tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

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  • Reply
    September 13, 2023 at 5:50 am

    Good morning! Wowza. Just wowza. Thank you SO much for taking the time to share this incredible spot! While I confess that Kelly Wearstler’s vibe is far too cool and edgy for me, I’m always inspired by her “not my style” designs. Her inventive use of dramatic stone and oodles of texture truly captivates me. I adore her way with interesting lighting and curvaceous (yet mostly classic) furniture. The lounge/library area epitomizes what I love about her work and where she loses me. The plump, nubby chairs and chunktastic tables amaze! The grasscloth and moulding made me gasp. That heavily grained narrow paneling (it seems a crime to call that paneling, but…)? Bananas. The art for me though, is mostly a no. I do love the gorgeous bird painting. I will say that no one makes me consider a neutral space like KW. Neutral, but never boring! I’m glad you had a relaxing celebration weekend. Thank you again for this post! I’m off to dream about visiting a Proper hotel. Let’s make this Wednesday the best! Welcome back, friend!💜

  • Reply
    September 13, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Good morning! What a gorgeous hotel! I’ve never stayed at a Proper, but it certainly looks like a treat for the senses. I’m loving the organic, textural palette that evokes (or mimics) nature. The eclectic mix of artwork and sculptural art gives a sense of home. How chic is the library lounge area? Drooling! The sculptural furniture at every turn would have me gawking every time. Ha! I’m with Emmett though- the star of the show for me is the turned wood bar. Does it get any better than gorgeous wood against all that stonework?! The pool is an entire vibe in and of itself- what a gorgeous spot to lounge! I can sense through the photos you captured that it has a very private feel- I like that in outdoor hotel areas. So fun that you biked around the city! It’s definitely the local preference. Next time you’re in town you should try Duke’s on the beach. To this day it’s my favorite high end steakhouse, although I haven’t been in years. I thoroughly enjoyed this hotel tour, and the interview type Q&A of the trip. It sounds like a dreamy beach adventure, and I’m so happy you got to itch your travel bug for your anniversary. Have a great day Sarah!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Wow! Looks like you had an incredible anniversary vacation 🥂 I’ve never been to Santa Monica, looks beautiful. I’m so glad you had such a fabulous time. Of course I’m drawn to the outside, the pool and landscaping are drool worthy and I’d definitely enjoy the spa amenities. Andrew would love the beach and we both enjoy and appreciate good food ☺️ Biking your way around is a splendid way to work up good appetites as well as taking in all the beautiful surroundings 😎
    It’s been 8 years since we visited California, we always have such an amazing vacation every time we go. There are so many awesome cities to visit, fab hotels and incredible restaurants. Hopefully we can make it there again sometime in the near future. New Orleans is on our “never been” travel list so I also look forward in hearing about that birthday trip 🥳 You two are quite the jet setters, love it! Thanks for sharing, now I’m in vacation mode. Haha! Wishing you the most wonderful Wednesday 🥰🥂😎

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