Hot brand: why Proper Hotels needs to be on your radar

by James Wilkinson

Since its debut in San Francisco in Fall 2017, the buzz surrounding San Francisco Proper Hotel hasn’t subsided, with the hotel continuously winning over travellers with its casual luxury, creative energy, and soulful design.

It’s no wonder Conde Nast Traveler included Proper on its 2018 “The Hot List”, AFAR included it on the list of “Best US Hotel Openings in 2017”, and Travel + Leisure named San Francisco Proper Hotel one of the “coolest new hotels in San Francisco”.

Now, Proper Hospitality, imagined and developed by the visionaries behind LA-based The Kor Group, is set to open three long-awaited hotels in three of the country’s most happening markets.

The properties will open starting with Santa Monica Proper Hotel in June, followed by Austin Proper Hotel and Residences and Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel in June.

Proper Hospitality is redefining traditional luxury hospitality, targeting a new generation of high-end travellers who yearn not only for elevated services and amenities, but memorable stays and cultural connectivity.

Showcasing the best of what a destination has to offer, Proper intentionally selects creative locations and develops a locally immersed program through eclectic designs by Kelly Wearstler, locally curated F&B programming through incredible culinary partners and world-class amenities, providing one-of-a-kind experiences for locals and visitors

Wearstler serves as creative lead for the Proper brand and is responsible for each hotel’s interior design, drawing inspiration from its respective market while keeping the same level of creativity and style synonymous with the Proper portfolio. Proper has also tapped culinary icons in each city to offer best-in-class food and beverage experiences for guests and locals – another defining characteristic for the rapidly expanding brand.

Alongside the Santa Monica Proper Hotel, as showcased on WAYFARER, here are the other hot openings for Proper Hospitality in 2019.


Debuting in June, Austin Proper Hotel & Residences will give the prospering southwest corner of downtown the kind of hotel it deserves.

“Austin’s a city full of people who share our appreciation for the idea of a life well-lived, and it’s a natural fit for the first Proper hotel located outside California,” said Brian De Lowe, President and Co-Founder of Proper Hospitality and The Kor Group. “This city is booming, vibrant, creative, and just plain cool. It’s one of our favourite places to spend time.”

Austin Proper’s location at 600 West 2nd Street is unbeatable — at the edge of gorgeous Lady Bird Lake, with its trails and water activities, steps from the buzzing 2nd Street District, and close to corporate technology HQs such as Facebook and Google. The 32-story modern high rise will consist of 244 hotel rooms and suites, three restaurants, two bars, an outdoor lounge, two elevated swimming pools, a serene full-service spa and wellness facility and nearly 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

Perched atop the 244-room hotel, Proper will offer 99 luxury Proper-branded for-sale residences – one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences and panoramic-view four- and five-bedroom 2-story penthouses curated with local raw material, hand-crafted tiles and unique original art adding thoughtful details to guestrooms. Their design-forward aesthetic, also cultivated by Kelly Wearstler, sets a new standard for downtown Austin living.

Wearstler’s design for Austin Proper is influenced by the area’s historic, articulate craftsman style homes paying homage to art nouveau and arts & crafts motifs, joinery techniques, textures, and materials.

“We’re layering this timeless, historic, stylish sensibility with warmth and intimacy in a new, modern building,” Wearstler said.

Wearstler’s design captures Austin soul. The lobby’s monolithic wooden staircase covered in more than 60 conjoined vintage carpets topped with an assortment of monolith assorted pots by local ceramicist Rick Van Dyke; an incredible five-foot-diameter light fixture whose neon accents recall Austin’s iconic neon signs. In guest rooms, Wearstler calls upon Van Dyke for custom made Tchotchke trays and hand raked cabinet inlay tiles, while Magda Saveg develops intricately designed wall art from string to delicately ornate guestroom walls.

On columns, walls, and furnishings throughout the property, Wearstler uses Elmwood, a material indigenous to Austin. Along the corridors of the Condo owner’s floors, custom photos by Barry Stone showcase Austin scenery and landscape, immersing owners into the local city they call home.

Proper Hospitality tapped Austin locals Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman of McGuire Moorman Hospitality to oversee Austin Proper’s food and beverage offerings. The award-winning
hospitality and lifestyle company is at the forefront of Austin’s best dining and entertainment offerings with Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Perla’s, Jeffrey’s, Elizabeth Street Café, ByGeorge and more.

With the opening of Austin Proper, McGuire Moorman Hospitality will be the driving force behind several new concepts, including a ground floor Mediterranean-inspired grill, coffee shop and café with take away options, two cocktail bars and a poolside Mexican eatery with dishes prepared on a wood-burning grill.

Austin Proper will boast more meeting space than any other Proper hotel, with nearly 10,000 total square feet of flexible, tech-enabled event spaces.

For a proper stay in Austin, prices will start from USD$350 per night.


Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel will revive the landmark, Curlett & Beelman designed 1926 red-brick building at 11th and Broadway – a private club in the ’30s, hotel in the ’40s, and a YWCA until 2004.

With 148 guest rooms, two restaurants, bars, two unique presidential suites as well as a rooftop with restaurant, bar and swimming pool, even in hotel-rich downtown L.A.,
Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel will offer an experience unlike anything in the city. In true proper form, Downtown Los Angeles Proper offers a complete local experience from the historic architecture reminiscent of early Spanish colonials in Downtown L.A., partnership with the city’s emerging artists and talented artisans to renown local Chefs and restaurateurs.

Motivated by the building’s California renaissance revival flavor and Downtown L.A.’s mélange of influences, Kelly Wearstler is creating lushly textured interiors whose masterly mixture of colors and materials tell a singularly L.A. story. Every walk around the lobby, with its 24-foot ceilings, will reveal new details. Dark wood and brown plaster will offset historic architectural paneling and marble details. Hand-selected furniture will balance Proper’s custom designs for a residential, deeply comforting feel. Custom tiles in fresh Spanish-Mexican-California tones will contrast with wire-brushed wood and leather finishes. Striking stained glass, by Pasadena’s Judson Studios, will play off the fabrics and furniture. The front desk, in rich Wenge wood, will boast a bold ceramic base by Los Angeles artist Morgan Peck with hundreds of hand-formed

The guest rooms and suites boast beautifully restored windows that illuminate deep textures and rich materials, hand-raked plaster walls, artwork by local artists, and ceramic accessories from Los Angeles. Generous bathrooms will glow with more than 100 custom, hand-glazed,
artisanal earthenware tiles.

In preserving the one of a kind architecture of the building, Downtown Los Angeles Proper will also unveil two unique suites perfect for special events and overnight stays: a Pool Suite and Basketball Court Suite. The Pool Suite incorporates the former YWCA’s indoor swimming pool into the living area, with a huge custom ceramic mural by emerging L.A. artist Ben Medansky.

The Basketball Court Suite transforms a former racquet ball court, later turned basketball court into an event space and guestroom of astonishing proportions.

Driving local flavors to the hotel, Proper Hotels appointed Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin, the legendary James Beard Award-winning L.A. restaurateurs known for a.o.c., Lucques, Tavern, and The Larder, who will oversee the hotel’s scenic first-floor restaurant, as well as the stunning rooftop lounge with uniquely scaled spaces from intimate corners to a lively restaurant and bar on Proper Downtown Los Angeles’ 5,000-square-foot rooftop with expansive views of the

“We feel such a kinship with the whole Proper group in terms of our cultures and approaches,” Styne said. “And we’re in love with this building.”

Reservations for a Downtown Los Angeles Proper stay will begin at $350 per night.