A breezy little beach hotel filled with rough wood, natural linen, and flea market finds, the Rose seems, to the uninitiated, like a pure product of quirky Venice’s hipsterfication. In fact, the historic, wood-and-stucco building was built by the beach town’s founder, Abbot Kinney, in the early days of the 20th century; rumor says it was his private brothel, frequented by such friends as Charlie Chaplin. By the 1970s, at the height of Venice’s drug culture, the building had become a flophouse of sorts, and neighbor Dennis Hopper was known to drop by. Before two British photographers discovered it, the house had turned into a mural-covered crash-pad for surfers, yogis, and beach bums of all kinds.
Looking at the low-key Rose now—the town’s first true boutique hotel, barely half a block from the beach—one would hardly know that the entire history of Venice had passed through it. The rooms are spare but stylish, with large windows, art photography, and vintage furniture. Some rooms are large enough to live in, whereas others share a hallway bathroom. Amenities are minimal—Stumptown coffee, bicycle rentals—but a relaxed beach house that attracts artists and creatives looking to delve into Venice’s eclectic, vibrant culture doesn’t need to try too hard to be cool.