If scouring shelter magazines, design tomes and Instagram for home decorating ideas has become a recurring avocation during the pandemic, don’t be surprised if your next getaway sparks the winning design inspiration for the long-awaited renovation or refresh. Here, we present three designer hotels in Southern California—outfitted by the likes of visionaries Kelly Wearstler and Jonathan Adler—we wish we could move into now.
Santa Monica Proper Hotel | Photo by Matthieu Salvaing
Location: Santa Monica
Designer: Kelly Wearstler
Buzz Words: Boho Glam
Room Count: 271
Design Notes: Looking to nearby coastal surroundings in Santa Monica for inspiration, design luminary Kelly Wearstler (of Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills and Proper Hotel San Francisco) created the ultimate city oasis located less than a mile from the beach. Using a neutral palette featuring sand tones, vintage rugs and organic textures, Wearstler also collaborated with local artists Ben Madansky, Megan Peck and Tanya Aguiñiga for original artwork and monolithic installations throughout the property.
Above: Santa Monica Proper Hotel | Photo courtesy of the Ingalls
Required Reading: In the lobby library-like space, dubbed The Grotto, grab a book and settle in for a few hours. Wearstler chose vintage low-profile Tobia Scarpa “Soriana” 1970’s lounge seating and edited the space with an impressive collection of contemporary and vintage books and works from local artists.
Time Out: Book a transformative experience at recently opened Surya Spa, a flagship collaboration between Proper Hospitality and internationally acclaimed Ayurvedic Panchakarma expert, doctor, chef and herbalist Martha Soffer.
Parker Palm Springs
Location: Palm Springs
Designer: Jonathan Adler
Buzz Words: Midcentury Whimsy
Design Notes: Lauded New York designer and potter Jonathan Adler created the drool-worthy property that’s like stepping back in time to a bygone era among Hollywood’s elite set, but with touches of modern and avant-garde. Adler infused playful and humorous winks from a giant, 7-foot-tall, 900-pound bronze banana sculpture that resides on the lawn, to a retro yacht club-inspired spa and fitness center.
Above: Parker Palm Springs
Insta Envy: Apart from the circular indoor lobby fireplace circa 1960s and a throwback to a vintage aprés ski scene, one of the most photographed areas on property is the Lemonade Stand with a cheery yellow-and-white striped awning and wire counter stools.
Get The Look: For vintage treasures, rare and hard-to-find midcentury furnishings, retro ephemera, and artwork evocative of the property, head to local design shops such as Trina Turk, a la Mod Inc. and Flow Modern.
Above: Hotel Joaquin
Location: Laguna Beach
Designer: Studio Robert McKinley
Buzz Words: Globe Trotter Meets Coastal Chic
Room Count: 22
Design Notes: Blonde woods, hand-crafted tiles, vintage record players, Pierre Jeanneret-style cane dining chairs and artwork on canvas by Sean W. Spellman set the vibe for the coastal hideaway by Auric Road, a collection of petite resorts including Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs and Lone Mountain in Big Sky, Montana.
Property Inspo: Formerly The Motor Inn Laguna Beach, a neglected roadside motel, the hotel’s reconceived look combines influences from 1950’s Southern California beach culture, St. Barths and the Mediterranean coast.
On The Agenda: The property offers activities from its hub, the Adventure Outpost, such as tide pool walks, guided electric Moke tours and daily morning yoga
Potted pot, scent gardens and other creative growing recommendations.