Downtown Santa Monica, seven blocks from the ocean. The hotel is spread over two buildings with contrasting styles; one is an iconic 1928 Spanish colonial revival building and the other is a contemporary new build. Connected by a suspension bridge, it is a remarkable architectural site in the city center. Within walking distance is the beach, the pier, many health conscious shops and cafes as well as the Wednesday Farmer’s Market.
With leading American interior designer Kelly Wearstler, this hotel is heaven for California style obsessives. Think nature-inspired palettes, light hardwood floors, and organic textures. The works are made by emerging local artists. “As with the design of all Proper properties, we intended to work with local artists to bring a truly authentic and localized experience to Santa Monica Proper. Earthy, raw materials, organic textiles, and a layering of art and landscape bring a rich sensory feel to the hotel,” says Wearstler. The rich Moorish details and Art Deco ornamentation of the old building have been retained and updated, while the new construction is monolithic in nature.
Ranging from 325 to 925 square feet, the design of the 271 rooms and suites is playful yet placid, layering muted tones and tactile textures with striking geometric shapes. Many rooms offer living areas, others have balconies and terraces.
For a characterful feel, we suggest opting for a room in the Landmark building. Premier Kings have sitting areas decorated with curved mid-century European-inspired furniture, travertine tubs, many with double sinks, and a bed dressed in imported linens. For an upgrade, ask for a version with a balcony. We loved the headboards and the eclectic collection of vintage and modern furniture.
For a home-cooked brunch or something cooked and delicious, head to Huckleberry Cafe, a local favorite. It’s run by Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, both born and raised in Santa Monica, who fell in love working together at their nearby restaurant Rustic Canyon (huckleberrycafe.com). There are plenty of options along the beach promenade, including shutters for drinks or lunch right on the ocean (shuttersonthebeach.com).
The rooftop terrace and pool are the only ones of their kind in the downtown Santa Monica area. It includes cabanas and a restaurant with a beach-inspired bar. It’s the perfect place to take in the spectacular Westside sunsets, sunset in hand. Calabra, the indoor/outdoor bistro and bar, fuses Mediterranean and California-inspired cuisine with delicious vegan options. It’s also a great place for breakfast. Alternatively, the Lobby Lounge offers a casual menu of snacks and craft cocktails, including an impressive collection of tequilas and mezcals alongside natural wines. Both are places to see.
Soak up that SoCal flair and stay in a luxurious setting close to the beach.
Rooms from around £340 per night, 700 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401, +1 310-620-9990, bonhotel.com.