If you’re looking for a luxury hotel with serious LA vibes, check out the Proper Hotel in downtown Los Angeles—a must-see design destination. This remarkable hotel nestled in the heart of the city, stands as a testament to the transformative power of interior design. Led by the visionary talent of renowned designer Kelly Wearstler, this historic California Renaissance Revival building has been reborn with a vibrant and eclectic spirit.

While the hotel has serious SoCal flair, it also blends in a global sensibility with a fusion of influences, from Mexican modernism to French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Moroccan design elements.

An Interior Design Mash-Up in Downtown Los Angeles

And while Kelly certainly honored the history of this architectural treasure, she celebrated life in the present by “tapping into what is currently happening and not being nostalgic or sentimental. There is certainly a collaborative mash-up happening in this property, which is largely reflective of what is happening in Downtown and the Eastside of L.A. right now,” she adds. “It’s young, fresh, and eclectic.”

Kelly successfully celebrated this diverse mash-up of influences. Drawing inspiration from Mexican modernism, a movement known for its bold colors and dynamic patterns, Wearstler has brilliantly fused elements of French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Moroccan design to create an unforgettable environment.

She brilliantly showcased the talents of local artists to create a unique sense of place and an unforgettable design experience for guests.

An Eclectic Interior Design Destination

From the moment guests enter the hotel, they are greeted by a vibrant reception area adorned with a graphite desk by ceramicist Morgan Peck. Look up, and you’ll also see a captivating hand-painted mural by Abel Macias, which pays homage to the flora and fauna of Mexican folktales.

The color array of frolicking creatures and botanical blooms is a whimsical flourish and an interior design statement rarely portrayed with such artistic exuberance.

Modern Nostalgia

Downtown Los Angeles Proper is a living testament to the city’s rich history and vibrant present. This historic California Renaissance Revival building was originally built in 1926. It was once a swanky private club and later a YMCA, this hotel seamlessly weaves together the past and the present.

Kelly Wearstler and her team spent 3 years meticulously restoring the building, peeling away layers to reveal its architectural beauty. Along their journey, they uncovered strong graphic shapes and moldings that serve as the foundation for their design vision.

Not to mention, she used 136 different types of tiles (vintage and custom) throughout the property. (And for any fellow designers reading this – you can appreciate the complex architectural finish schedule that is required!)

An Artistic Journey

Art is at the heart of Downtown Los Angeles Proper, with Wearstler collaborating with celebrated local artists to create captivating and thought-provoking works throughout the hotel. From the hand-painted murals by Abel Macias to the bespoke stained-glass installations by Judson Studios, each piece tells a unique story and adds an element of surprise and delight to the space. You can read more about each of the artists and see details of their works here.

A Menagerie of Jungle Creatures

The moment you step foot into this hotel, you’re immersed in a vibrant explosion of color from the dramatic mural covering the ceiling above. Abel Macias is the artist behind this masterpiece and is inspired by his childhood spent in Mexico. “Using warm, rich colors, I wanted to tell a story of a menagerie of birds and jungle creatures living above you in a floral canopy.”

Stained Glass Portals

And once your eye drifts away from the artwork above, you’ll instantly appreciate the monumental stained glass entry into the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant, Caldo Verde.

These lovely glass doors feature a subtle array of color-toned glass – inspired by the glasswork found in Mexico City’s Roma district. These were created by Judson Studios – a fifth-generation studio that’s still run by its founding family. These stunning glass elements are a key design feature, infusing the space with a sense of grandeur and beauty.

Stylish Guest Suites

The hotel’s guest rooms are a testament to Wearstler’s ability to create immersive and transportive experiences. Blending contrasting elements, such as chunky-patterned headboards and smooth wooden floors, she has crafted spaces that feel both luxurious and welcoming.

Given the historic structure, the rooms are a mix of layouts and arrangements. Some have wood-wrapped angled corner headboards (which I’ve never seen before), giving the arrangement an unexpected perspective. And other rooms have huge, spacious bathrooms with windows and lots of natural light.

Each room is a carefully curated blend of vintage and contemporary furnishings, with hand-carved chairs from Mexico and vintage Turkish, Moroccan, and handcrafted rugs adding a touch of timeless elegance.

But what sets the Proper Hotel’s guest room design apart from others is that it doesn’t feel overly designed or pretentious. Instead, it feels warm, inviting, and effortlessly cool. The eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary pieces creates a space that feels both timeless and modern. It’s the perfect balance between comfort and style.

Let’s talk about the bathroom vanity design by Kelly Wearstler. It is truly a work of art. The vanity is adorned with beautiful, hand-selected materials that exude elegance and sophistication. The curved marble at the vanity features a unique shape that adds visual interest to the space. And the oval mirror reflects the natural light from the adjacent window. The attention to detail in the bathroom is impeccable, with even the smallest elements carefully considered.

To see a video tour of the room – click here.

A Feast for the Senses

Downtown Los Angeles Proper is a culinary destination in its own right, with a diverse range of dining experiences that celebrate the city’s rich culinary heritage. Caldo Verde, the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant and bar, is a vibrant homage to global culinary traditions.

From Spanish to Moorish, Corsican to Portuguese, the menu showcases a vegetable-driven approach to market fare. The space itself is a feast for the senses, with vintage rugs, cocoa and sandstone tiles, and an abundance of lush greenery creating an inviting and intimate atmosphere.

I’ve had brunch here multiple times and am a huge fan. I recommend the Pao Perdido – it’s delish!

Sweeping Skyline Views of Downtown Los Angeles at Cara Cara

On the rooftop, guests can indulge in the delights of Cara Cara, a restaurant and bar offering panoramic views of the city. Here, delectable Southern California cuisine is served in an al fresco setting, allowing guests to soak in the vibrant energy of the city while enjoying exquisite dishes.

The multilevel pool, with its stunning city skyline views, serves as a social hub where guests can unwind and connect. Intimate corners, a checkered tile fire pit, and all-day dining and drinks create a lively and inviting atmosphere. The terraced layout and lush greenery surrounding the pool create a sense of tranquility and escape, transforming the rooftop into a lush oasis amidst the bustling cityscape.

If you’re looking to splurge and stay in the heart of the city, the Proper gets my vote for the best luxury hotel in downtown Los Angeles based on its design, the restaurants, and great views from the rooftop.

Stay for a bit and enjoy the breeze as you sit at the bar and watch the mixologists craft their cocktails against the backdrop of the LA skyline. And be sure to take a stroll on the roof deck. The views are breathtaking, and the view of the pool deck is a sight with the graphic black and white tile stepping up to the water’s edge – with perfectly placed plants accentuating the decor.

A Rose-Hued Speakeasy Lounge at the Dahlia

For a more intimate and secretive experience, Dahlia, a speakeasy lounge, beckons guests with its rich history and captivating ambiance. This space is a must-see for anyone looking to experience a truly unique and exciting atmosphere.

From the walls to the furniture, everything is drenched in various shades of pink, creating a whimsical and dreamy ambiance. It’s like stepping into a fairy tale land where everything is bathed in rosy hues.

Don’t miss out on this hidden gem – it’s definitely worth a visit! And if you want to check out a few of my other favorite speakeasies around the world, check them out here.

A Luxury Hotel with the Proper Touch

Kelly Wearstler’s signature style of blending vintage and contemporary elements is evident throughout Downtown Los Angeles Proper. The hotel’s interiors are a testament to her ability to create spaces that are both timeless and of the moment. From Mexican brutalist hand-carved chairs to woven pendant lights from the south of France, every detail has been carefully curated to create a space that is visually captivating and emotionally resonant.

The building itself is a historic cultural monument, and Wearstler and her team have embraced its original integrity while infusing it with contemporary sensibilities. The result is a hotel that is both a celebration of the past and a reflection of the vibrant energy of Downtown Los Angeles today.

Proper Vibes at this Must-See Design Destination

My vote for the best luxury hotel in downtown Los Angeles is the Proper Hotel. It’s a testament to the transformative power of interior design. Through a fusion of global influences, Kelly Wearstler has created a vibrant and eclectic space that celebrates the rich history and multi-cultural roots of the city. From the hand-painted murals to the bespoke stained-glass installations, every element has been thoughtfully curated to create an immersive and captivating experience for guests. Whether indulging in the culinary delights, relaxing by the pool, or simply taking in the stunning surroundings, visitors to Downtown Los Angeles Proper are sure to be enchanted by its vibrant and visually stunning interiors.

Be sure to check out some of my other favorite must-see design destinations here:

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I'm Sarah

As a hospitality designer, my passion is creating stunning spaces that delight millions of travelers as they journey around the world.

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