It’s hard to call The Proper Hotels — hotels. It seems a disservice to the creativity, craftsmanship, and preciousness of spending a night at any of their accommodations.
Founders Brad Korzen, Brian De Lowe and Alex Samek debuted the first Proper Hotel in San Francisco in 2017, followed by Santa Monica and Austin in 2019, and most recently Downtown Los Angeles. Their premise was that every city needs a proper place to stay, and to them, that meant an immersive experience of uncommon luxury — a hotel that was elevated but eclectic.
Enlisting the queen of unconventional interiors, Kelly Wearstler, and partnering with the city’s best and most innovative culinary and wellness partners, they have truly delivered on their vision with Architectural Digest naming them in their Best Hotels for Art and Design Lovers list.
Although these hotels are hard to capture in the written word and are more a feeling that needs to be experienced than an idea that can be articulated, we’ve done our best to give you a semblance of each of these properties unique je ne sais quoi.
Housed in a landmarked flatiron-style building in San Francisco’s vibrant Mid-Market district, each of their 131 Kelly Wearstler designed rooms and suites marry whimsy with modernity. Aireloom beds that are handmade in California and dressed in Italian bed linens butt up against four sides of clashing — but somehow cohesive — graphic wallpaper. Downstairs you’ll find their flagship restaurant that was voted Eater SF’s “Restaurant of the Year,” perfect for indulging in a cocktail while taking in the majestic views of the City by the Bay.
Along sun-drenched Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica Proper introduces a looser kind of luxury to Santa Monica. Yes, it’s the first high-end lifestyle hotel to open in Santa Monica in two decades but more than that — it’s an ingenious ode to the beauty of SaMo and the California coast. It’s largely in part to the merging of monolithic modernity and heritage listed architecture, as well as the unique interiors and mix of curated furniture that only Kelly Wearslter can create.
Upon entry, guests are transported to Spain with the historic Spanish architecture and Moorish details throughout. Local artists and designers add a touch of Santa Monica layered with soft colors and textures, natural sunlight, and ocean breezes. A natural, organic palette and furnishings evoke the beach with décor reminiscent of what one would find along the shore that sits just outside the hotel’s doors.
In terms of bars and restaurants, you’ll find an indoor-outdoor bistro besides Santa Monica’s only rooftop pool and a beach-inspired lounge that pairs ocean views with biodynamic wine, signature cocktails, and Mediterranean and California cuisine. For something lighter, retreat to the lush and breezy garden terrace, for fresh and inventive sushi and sake. Or linger in the art-filled lobby lounge, Palma, and people watch as you nibble on light bites or deep dive into their small-batch mezcals.
The Proper separates itself from other hotels by taking an Eastern-inspired wellness approach to their hotel spa. Instead of token couples massages and over-priced pedicures, the Proper has partnered with Surya Spa. Presided over by internationally renowned Ayurvedic guru, Martha Soffer, Surya offers custom-designed programs supporting physical, mental, and spiritual health. We have a feeling that this Proper Hotel, in particular, is going to be a big hit with THE FULLEST readers.
Southern Hospitality but make it Proper. The Austin Proper’s interiors are deeply influenced by local craft and artisans with arts and crafts-inspired wallcovering, distressed hardwoods, and barefoot-friendly area rugs. You can also amp up your self-care rituals with Aesop products and Parachute x Kelly Wearstler robes.
The Austin Proper’s smorgasbord of visual and aesthetic delights is equally matched by its four restaurants and bars.
Guests can dip into North African, Israeli, and Lebanese spreads and sunny mezze at their landmark eatery. On the rooftop pool deck, a destination restaurant becomes the antidote to Tex-Mex, in the form of family-style platters piled with wood-grilled meats. Morning, noon or night, the Mediterranean coffee shop serves savories and tempting treats like soft-serve Greek frozen yogurt, while the Mockingbird bar is an elegant hideaway.
Highly anticipated and almost ready for bookings is the latest Proper Hotel situated in Downtown LA. With city lights and vintage brick as a backdrop, Proper re-imagines and updates a historic Broadway Corridor landmark into another 148-rooms of Kelly Wearstler interior heaven. The designer seamlessly blends past and present with her signature style, vintage influence, and local art. And if you’re looking for an extra-special experience, there are two one-of-a-kind suites fashioned from a basketball court and indoor pool of the building’s sporting club past.
Book your next stay at Proper here.