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 seven 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.

To find out more about the property, Wayfarer caught up with a couple of members of the hotel’s executive team.

What makes Santa Monica Proper one of California’s best properties?

As Santa Monica’s first and only luxury lifestyle hotel, Santa Monica Proper is one-of-a-kind.

Abundant ocean breezes and natural light fill the hotel with vibrant energy, while Kelly Wearstler’s interior design is inspired by the organic tones and textures of the local coastline.

Home to the only rooftop pool deck on the Westside with sweeping 360-degree views, Santa Monica Proper guests can enjoy the Santa Monica lifestyle with open air dining at Calabra. And to enhance the physical, mental and spiritual health of our guests, Surya Spa is an oasis of relaxation and wellness with rejuvenating ayurvedic treatments.

What are your favourite highlights of the hotel?

One of my favourite highlights is our commitment to providing the best in wellness for guests. Integrated into a Proper stay is Surya Spa, the 3,000-square-foot flagship in collaboration with celebrated wellness practitioners Martha and Roger Soffer.

Following a philosophy that bridges the physical, mental, and spiritual, hotel guests and locals can explore 10,000 years of Indian wellness principles through therapeutic massage, steam and oil treatments, cooking, yoga, and meditation.

Additionally, hotel guests can visit Olea Terrace or Calabra Rooftop for group classes offered throughout the week and to complement all of this, Proper offers a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center as well as a rooftop cold plunge.

Tell us about the fantastic food and beverage on offer, particularly the focus on local produce.

Our dining is loved by guests and locals alike. At our indoor-outdoor rooftop, Calabra, diners enjoy sweeping views of the Pacific paired with biodynamic wines, signature cocktails, and Mediterranean-inspired California cuisine.

Palma, the art-filled lobby lounge, is an oasis for all-day dining or light bites, and features a special wellness focused menu.

Across all our outlets, local produce is a huge focus. Our Head Chef Sonnie Gomez and his team constantly craft menus with ingredients carefully selected to prioritize what’s in season from our partners at the Santa Monica Farmers Market a few blocks away.

I really like the wellness food and drink menu. Tell us about this and how well it has been received by guests.

This menu is curated by Surya Spa, our wellness partner, and features a thoughtful selection of items that harmonize flavour and well-being. This new menu further enhances our wellness offerings creating a holistic health-focused guest experience from culinary to amenities.

You have the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Can we get the recipe please?

Our Healing Hot Chocolate at Palma is quite the favorite. The recipe is a well-kept secret, but we can say that it is sweetened with organic date sugar from the Coachella Valley.

You have a fantastic rooftop and I think one of the best in LA. How popular is it with your guests?

Proper is uniquely home to the only rooftop pool on the Westside, with epic 360-degree views of surf, coastline, mountains, and the city.

While only hotel guests are welcomed at our pool and the surrounding lounging areas such as cabanas, private alcoves, and fireplace, all visitors can enjoy the rest of the lushly landscaped rooftop. The award-winning, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Calabra was recently expanded to include Calabra Terrace, a new space with city and panoramic ocean views for private events.

The property was designed by the legendary Kelly Wearstler. Her concepts have really come to life brilliantly, haven’t they?

Using Santa Monica as muse, international design visionary Kelly Wearstler took her cues, motifs and hues from the area’s history and are an amplification of the neighborhood.

Our room designs are distinct to each building, but all are clean-lined environments grounded in a bold, neutral scheme of subtle organic textures, materials and natural elements: sandy palettes, light hardwoods underfoot; grasscloths and floor-to-ceiling windows. Kelly continues to adjust her designs and the hotel overall as it grows within the neighborhood.

As such, we just debuted Canela Lounge, a new ground-floor gathering space complete with lounge furniture, beautiful design pieces and striking artwork all chosen by Kelly herself.

What’s your x-factor at the hotel?

What truly sets Santa Monica Proper apart is the transportive nature of the hotel. There’s no other hotel like this, not only on the Westside but within all of LA. Guests and visitors are immersed in the best of Santa Monica lifestyle as soon as they step into our doors.

Getting to Los Angeles

Qantas operates direct flights to Los Angeles from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney with Airbus A330s, A380s and B787s that feature the airline’s suite-style Business Class cabin.

Qantas’ Business Class cabin is headlined by a ‘suite’ seat – now available on all the Boeing 787-9, Airbus A330-200 and Airbus A330-300 jets in the fleet and select Airbus A380-800s – that has been popular with executive and leisure travellers since it first arrived on the scene in 2016.

This next-generation Business Class seat from the Flying Kangaroo can be reclined for take-off and landing, and the cabin offering also includes top Australian food and wine and world-class entertainment.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management