After a year of lockdown and racing down the freeway back and forth from my home to my design studio, I was a relieved when a close friend Francesca came to visit. Several years ago she moved to Brooklyn to open a décor store Dyphor, visiting L.A. for an interior design project she was thrilled to be back.
“I am staying at Santa Monica Proper come and join me for breakfast,” she texted. It seemed that we were at the height of the winter pandemic and the news reported a record out break, I thought how brave to travel. Knowing we both took preventative health care measures to keep our immune systems boosted and practiced mask wearing, hand washing and testing protocols I knew we were safe to venture out.
We had traveled together before, mostly to exotic locals across the globe and that morning eating breakfast and swimming in the seventh floor roof top pool I felt free again and transported back to our days in Marrakech. Eating, laughing, swimming, telling stories, talking design and taking photos, floating in the pool I declared this is what I need! to relax and be free. My shelter in place bathtub was not cutting it, I am going to join you and check in for a night I need more of this! So that’s what I did, a proper (pun intended) old fashioned girlfriend sleep over but at Santa Monica Proper.
I checked in on Friday night and the Hotel Managing Director Julien Laracine greeted me with a warm welcome it felt so good to be received this way and know we were safely cared for with his hospitality which is no small feat at this time and we greatly appreciated him and the caring staff.
Located several blocks from the Pacific Ocean the hotel is a furniture playground. Created by Los Angeles based design phenomenon Kelly Wearstler, Santa Monica Proper is a design lovers dream spot.
Iconic and coastal the caramel colored interiors have a natural high vibe feel with a reference of Asian influence. Perfect for languorous hours of lounging, The hotel is curated with vintage and contemporary art and soft sculptural furniture filling the rooms through out the hotel. Furniture is nestled in vignette nooks inviting discovery and cozy conversation with multi layered textures expressed in nubby textiles, sea grass wallpaper and vintage Moroccan rugs. Filtered by dreamy luminous layers of diffused ivory sheers, warm light floods the voluminous first floor lobby lounge adding to the ethereal atmosphere. One could daydream for hours pouring over the fantastic library of art and design books.
The room itself has the softest crispest white sheets and was decorated with contemporary wood and marble furnishings and a walk in travertine shower and fresh stacks of white towels and robes. I felt relieved to check out of my life and décor and into a totally different environment with new colors, finish and textures and shapes to be discovered, experienced and lived with.
On the seventh floor roof the social area flows with indoor and outdoor dining, a central bar and a swimming pool with lounge chairs and private banquette seating areas. From here you can view the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island and the Sunset and Starry Night Sky. It is here that one has that euphoric away from it all feeling. The morning I was there I had the pool and rooftop to myself until around noon when other guests began to arrive…the pool is warm and inviting and perfect for swimming a few laps and lounging in the sun is the ideal immunity boosting vitamin D treatment.
There are bikes that are available to ride, on Saturday morning I cruised down to the farmers market on third street and then road along the ocean boulevard back to the hotel.
Kelly is a designer’s designer and she has created a truly delightful experience for all who cross the threshold into the magic of Santa Monica Proper. I reluctantly checked out, feeling lighter, happier and inspired.