Courtesy of Proper Hotels
Courtesy of Proper Hotels
Work and relax at Santa Monica Proper.
This new L.A. hotel stands out with its food, design, and rooftop views.
I love L.A. Obsessively. I love the hazy light as the sun sets on palm trees and in the canyons, the abundant farmers’ markets, the chopped salads on every menu, the restaurants, and that it’s where two of my brothers live. (And don’t talk to me about traffic. Traffic is terrible everywhere.) The distinctive neighborhoods give the sprawling city its soul. A recent stay at the new Santa Monica Proper reminded me why Santa Monica has a separate identity from L.A.
Santa Monica Proper has hotel-world cred thanks to its founding trio who originally founded Viceroy Hotels, and to designer Kelly Wearstler (known for her work with Four Seasons Anguilla, among many other hotels, and married to one of the brand’s co-founders), but it also feels like a pioneering new brand of California cool. It is splashy and comfortable; beachy and urban. The Proper hotel group is on a roll, having opened in San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Austin in the past year, and a Downtown L.A. hotel opening soon.
It was SmartFlyer’s CEO, Michael Holtz, who turned me on to the hotel. “It’s a chic option in the heart of Santa Monica, an area of L.A. that is in high demand by our clients,” he says. “The rooftop restaurant is a must-visit, along with the gym that is decked out in the most current equipment.”
Who it’s for: At one point, I joked that I felt like a troll because everyone else in the hotel was so beautiful. But I think that L.A. makes everybody more beautiful because of the sunshine and dedication to wellness. There were many couples with one child (like us) and we felt completely comfortable. It’s also for paramours—all the best to the couple making out by the rooftop pool while we walked our toddler around the perimeter. So—it’s for tired parents with any-age kids, but also for anyone wanting a new, sexy, design-forward experience. When you stay here, you feel like the best version of yourself.
Bay Cities Italian Deli: This famous Italian deli has served up monstrous sandwiches (like the famous Godmother, with salami, mortadella, capicola, ham, prosciutto, and provolone) since 1925, and its aisles are packed with Italian products. Think of it as the original Eataly.
Uovo: They fly in handmade pasta from Bologna daily, so it’s not the most sustainable way of eating pasta. But whether there actually is magic in Italian dough or it just feels like it, the pastas and vegetable side dishes are addicting. If you’re sick of salads, this is a great place to carb load.
Huckleberry Café: A forever L.A. favorite. Even if it’s packed, the tables turn quickly, and the high-quality ingredients will spoil you (that’s why you’re paying $10 for a tomato). The salted caramel cookie is popular for a reason, and the vegan organic quinoa bowl is L.A. food at its finest.
Tocaya Organica: For organic, fast-casual Mexican a five-minute walk from the hotel. Choose your own protein for bowls, burritos, and tacos.
Two Great Walks:
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