LOS ANGELES—Proper Hospitality, imagined and developed by the visionaries behind L.A.-based The Kor Group, is set to open three hotels this spring: Santa Monica Proper Hotel in May, followed by Austin Proper Hotel & Residences and Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel in June.
Designer Kelly 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.
In Proper’s pipeline for 2019:
Santa Monica Proper Hotel
The first high-end lifestyle hotel to open in Santa Monica in two decades, located at 700 Wilshire Blvd. in its downtown core, Santa Monica Proper Hotel will fuse a circa-1928, Arthur E. Harvey-designed Spanish Colonial Revival building with new construction.
“We’ve thoughtfully restored the historic building to its original glory, from the exterior details to the rich materials we kept inside,” said Brian De Lowe, president and co-founder of Proper Hospitality and The Kor Group.
Upon entry into the historic building, 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.
In contrast, the new building is monolithic in nature. A natural, organic palette and furnishings evoke the beach with decor reminiscent of what one would find along the shore. The robust, bold details are layered with textures including natural materials, wood, stone, and plaster with metal accents.
“As with the design for all of the Proper properties we were intentional about working with local artists to bring a truly authentic and localized experience to Santa Monica Proper. Earthy, raw materials, organic textiles and a layering in of art and landscape bring a rich sensory feeling into the hotel,” said Wearstler.
In 271 guestrooms and suites, furnishings from a range of styles will typify the relaxed California lifestyle, while a mix of curated furniture will add a sense of timeless residential comfort.
Ascending six floors, guests will be greeted by a sweeping rooftop deck and pool, complete with an expansive restaurant featuring circular indoor/outdoor, eclectic beach-inspired bar. A 2,500-sq.-ft. gym will share Proper’s dedication to wellness and more than 8,000 sq. ft. of meeting 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.
Austin Proper Hotel & Residences
Austin Proper’s location at 600 West 2nd St. is at the edge of Lady Bird Lake, with its trails and water activities, steps from the buzzing 2nd St. District, and close to corporate technology headquarters 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 sq. ft. 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 two-story penthouses curated with local raw material, handcrafted tiles and original art adding thoughtful details to guestrooms. The property’s design-forward aesthetic also will be cultivated by Kelly Wearstler.
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,” said Wearstler.
Wearstler’s design aims to capture Austin’s soul. The lobby’s monolithic wooden staircase is covered in more than 60 conjoined vintage carpets, topped with an assortment of monolith assorted pots by local ceramicist Rick Van Dyke; additionally, a five-ft.-diameter light fixture has neon accents that recall Austin’s neon signs. In guestrooms, Wearstler calls upon Van Dyke for custom made Tchotchke trays and hand raked cabinet inlay tiles, while Magda Saveg is developing 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. 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.
Downtown Los Angeles Proper Hotel Reanimates Landmark Building
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 guestrooms, 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 a complete local experience from the historic architecture reminiscent of early Spanish colonials in Downtown L.A., as well as partnerships 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, 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-ft. 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 tiles.
The guestrooms and suites will have 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.
Driving local flavors to the hotel, Proper Hotels appointed Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin, the 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 rooftop lounge with scaled spaces from intimate corners to a lively restaurant and bar on Proper Downtown Los Angeles’ 5,000-sq.-ft. rooftop with expansive views of the skyline.
“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.”