Santa Monica Proper hotel, Los Angeles: Beachy style meets original art deco

Kelly Wearstler, known as the "grande dame of West Coast interior design", is just one name glittering in a team that's bringing star power to a new hotel in Santa Monica.

Originally built in 1928 for medical suites, the Santa Monica Professional building is a striking white, Spanish Mission Revival structure, designed by Arthur E. Harvey, known for having created some of Los Angeles' most ornate buildings.  

Howard Lakes Architects fused the historic property with a new structure to create the 271-room hotel, Santa Monica Proper.

The hotel sits in the heart of Santa Monica in southern California, on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and 7th Street, so it would have been remiss of the hoteliers to exclude wellness services. The property features a gym with a yoga terrace and a Surya Spa by Martha Sofer, an Ayurveda practitioner with a-cult-like following.

The three restaurant/bars include one that's a collaboration between award-winning chef Jessica Koslow, of the much-lauded Sqirl, and Gabriela Camara, the Mexican-born chef whose remarkable cooking and commitment to employing staff with conviction histories have made her a celebrity. 

Wearstler's interiors meld the beachy styles of the location with the art deco features of the original building. She infuses works by local artists into soft-coloured rooms, where texture and layers create points of interest.

This is the second property from Proper Hotels. The first, in San Francisco, is also a collaboration with Wearstler. The Austin Proper Hotel & Residences is soon to follow and a Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel is expected later in the northern summer.

The Santa Monica property is now taking bookings and opens in mid-June. Rooms from $US350 (about $500). See