Hot property: why the Santa Monica Proper Hotel remains one of California’s finest

700 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401

by James Wilkinson

When it first debuted in mid-2019, the Santa Monica Proper Hotel quickly became one of the hottest hotels in Los Angeles and thanks to its brilliant style and hospitality, it’s remained incredibly popular since. Wayfarer checks in.

Over the past six years, the Proper Hotels brand has been setting benchmarks in the United States accommodation scene, particularly with its properties in California, headlined by one of our favourites in Santa Monica.

A Design Hotels member property, the Santa Monica Proper Hotel is firmly an architectural wonder just seven blocks from the crashing waves of the ocean, spanning two stylistically disparate buildings linked by an artfully crafted bridge.

With interior design by Kelly Wearstler, the hotel is a lesson in restrained elegance — think nature-inspired palettes, light hardwood floors, and organic textures augmented by artworks from emerging local artists.

The exquisitely pared-down aesthetics provide the stylish backdrop to the neighbourhood’s only indoor-outdoor rooftop playground, complete with pool, cabanas, restaurant and bar.

Located at 700 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica’s downtown core, the property is housed across two buildings that present contrasting styles; one is a 1928-built Spanish Colonial Revival landmark building and the other is a sleek, contemporary new-build.

Linked by a suspended bridge, the resulting structure not only stands as a striking architectural standpoint in the neighbourhood but also optimises the ocean breezes and abundant Californian sunlight.

The rich Moorish detailing and Art Deco ornamentation of the older building have been conserved and updated, while the sweeping new build is monolithic in nature, creating a soothing palette for the multi-faceted design.

Santa Monica Proper’s interior design finds inspiration in the tones and textures of the neighbourhood’s famed Pacific coastline.

A neutral colour palette is heightened by bold patterns and silhouettes, while organic, natural materials such as wood and stone provide an experiential element to the aesthetics.

Supporting the hyper-local visual concept, artwork was sourced from emerging and established L.A.-based artists such as Ben Medansky, Morgan Peck, and Tanya Aguiniga.

“As with the design for all of the Proper properties we were intentional about working with local artists to bring a truly authentic and localised experience to Santa Monica Proper,” said Wearstler.

“Earthy, raw materials, organic textiles and a layering in of art and landscape bring a rich sensory feeling into the hotel.”

Ranging from 325 to 925 square feet, the design of the hotel’s 271 rooms and suites is playful yet placid, layering muted tones and tactile textures with striking geometric shapes.

Informed by the kick-back L.A. lifestyle, the result is one of chic comfort defined by over-sized, statement headboards and an eclectic collection of vintage and modern furniture.

Many guestrooms offer living spaces, while balconies and terraces invite guests to embrace the seemingly endless days of summer. The Garden Terrace King Suites offer the epitome of outdoor living with expansive terraces featuring an inviting daybed.

The airy, flowing layout of the guestrooms extends to the bathrooms, accessed through a sliding door and outfitted in peach-toned stone. The obsidian-framed windows flood the space in natural daylight and brushed silver and gold accents add a touch of discreet elegance.

Santa Monica Proper’s crowning glory is the sweeping rooftop deck and pool, complete with a sleek pool, poolside cabanas, and a restaurant with beach-inspired bar.

Located on the 7th floor, the rooftop is the perfect perch from which to take in the Westside’s spectacular sunsets, naturally accompanied by a meticulously crafted sundowner.

Calabra, the rooftop’s striking inside-out bistro and bar, pairs ocean views with Mediterranean and Californian inspired cuisine and exceptional cocktails from the talented team of mixologists.

Where the hotel also excels is on the wellness front. Presided over by internationally renowned Ayurvedic guru Martha Soffer, the hotel’s Surya Spa offers custom-designed programs supporting physical and mental health.

Traditional massage therapies and treatments sit alongside yoga, meditation, and cooking sessions to ensure corporal and spiritual wellness.

A 2,500-square-foot gym will share Proper’s dedication to fitness and more than 24,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor meeting and event space including various meeting areas with capacity for up to 500 will make this Santa Monica’s most proper place for corporate and social gatherings.

The Santa Monica Proper Hotel has been one of Wayfarer’s favourite hotels since its debut and it’s no surprise it continues to be the toast of L.A.’s Westside.


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