Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel, Los Angeles, California

Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel, Los Angeles, California

A downtown crashpad from the design darlings at Proper Hospitality has us swooning over its Spanish-influenced interiors and skyline living in LA’s edgiest neighbourhood.

LA is on the up. Eyeballing the success of what the
California city’s east coast rival did to Brooklyn, the
neighbourhood has seen huge investment over the last 10 years – and
its impact is starting to show. Cue, the cool kids of the hotel
trade pitching up along its sidewalks. First it was The Hoxton,
then came Proper Hospitality, the design-forward group that has
stormed California’s cities (and beyond) with its distinctive
Spanish Colonial Revival style.

We’re not complaining. Founded with the mission to offer a home
to the world’s creative nomads, Proper sits right up our street.
Loose luxury, Instagram-friendly and with the possibility of
meeting someone interesting in the lift – what more could we want?
As it turns out, we were waiting for a fresh, new location.

The lobby at DTLA Proper Hotel

The hotel reception, left, and artwork from local creatives.
| Photo credit: The Ingalls

Enter, the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel. Situated on the corner of
Broadway and 11th Street, the hotel welcomes guests with an insane
pink mural by LA-based painter Abel Macias spanning the entire
length of the lobby, framed by two pop art-perfect cacti.
Elsewhere, the vibe is very much that of a Spanish-inspired second
home in Los Cabos – think olive and lemon trees, checkerboard
tiling, Mexican-influenced linens and lashings of teak. There’s
fearless use of colour across the board – the work of our ultimate
interiors crush, Kelly Wearstler. The design guru – who, having
worked with clients including Gwen Stefani, Cameron Diaz and Stacey
Snider, is a bona fide real deal in Hollywood’s golden circles –
channelled Mexican modernism throughout, with motifs drawn from
Portugal, Spain and North Africa, too.

Local talent has been put to use throughout. That striking
black-clay reception desk? It’s the work of LA ceramicist Morgan
Peck. The crazy murals in the – supercool – pool suite? Expertly
created by another city artist, Ben Medansky. It all combines to
create a warm, welcoming and distinctively Californian feeling.

A premier king room, left, and an elegant suite corner. |
Photo credit: The Ingalls


The 148 rooms could be straight from Kim K’s Hidden Hills manor
– all Skims-approved neutrals with handwoven fabrics throughout.
Furniture is dark and Spanish-influenced, while walls are splashed
in tones that tally with Nars blusher colours. Think Illicit pale
orange and Sex Appeal peachy pink.

Most have great views (but for something special, head up to the
roof). Our Deluxe King View was a good size, with a two-seater sofa
for lounging, desk and coffee table (which we found laden with
brownies, fudge, fruit and macaroons upon arrival). Every room has
a TV, too.

We loved the soft-glow lighting in the bathrooms – flattering
enough to snap an updated LinkedIn headshot in – and the vast
showers – big enough to hold a board meeting in – felt indulgent in
the mornings. Plenty of Aesop’s travel-sized toiletries
accidentally found their way into our carry-on, too. Scents of
fresh, fruity geranium leaf? Not us, officer.

The rooftop bar at DTLA Proper Hotel
The Caldo Verde restaurant at DTLA Proper

Cara Cara rooftop bar, left, and Caldo Verde’s dining room.
| Photo credit: The Ingalls

What’s for breakfast?

The à la carte menu has all the usual suspects – avo on toast
and eggs any way you like – with a distinct Latin flavour evident
in plenty of plates. In the name of balance (and following our
jet-lagged decision to take a 3am run), we opted for pecan, maple
syrup and bacon pancakes. Reader, they did the job: thick, fluffy
and smothered in the sweet stuff, with crunchy, nutty bites
sprinkled on top.

How about lunch and dinner?

There are two restaurants on site, helmed by the James Beard
Foundation Award-winning Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne. On the
ground floor, Caldo Verde offers an exploration of
Hispanic-influenced cuisine in a plant-pot-crowded dining room. We
went for a power lunch of yellow-tomato gazpacho followed by a
crisp Portuguese chopped salad (just £23 for two courses), but had
serious envy over the girls next to us tucking into their third
tequila and grapefruit tonic.

Upstairs on the roof, beneath the iridescent spires of DTLA’s
skyline, take a seat beside all-day bar and restaurant Cara Cara’s
fire pit to tuck into Angelenos’ favourite bites. Tacos, albacore
sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas are all on the menu, as is a
sizzling passion fruit caipirinha cocktail, made with El Silencio
mezcal, cachaça and the sunshine-infused tropical fruit.

Is there a bar?

Yes, at rooftop Cara Cara. There’s also an intimate speakeasy in
the works, called Dalia, which gives us a reason for a second visit
this year.


There’s a small, 24-hour gym that’s perfect for jet-lag-induced
midnight workouts, although we’d argue a better use of the twilight
hours would be hanging out by the rooftop pool come 3am to watch
the sunset. Turn left, and you can see LA’s infamous light glow
bouncing off slick skyscrapers. Turn right, and the hills behind
the city fill your vision, kissed with a coral glow.

How about their green credentials?

Nothing pioneering, but they have made a start. Water in rooms
is boxed, rather than in plastic bottles.

What about accessibility?

There’s a lift to all floors, and some rooms are purpose-built
for accessibility.

What’s the crowd like?

This is a crashpad made for multi-hyphenate millennials (and we
mean the true generation – late 30s, at the least). Expect to
overhear unicorn deals on women-led retail businesses being made in
the restaurants – and gossip on founder downfalls by the pool.

Things I should know

The art scene in the area is on the up. You’ll find The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA around the corner, and
the Hauser & Wirth gallery space is just a
quick drive away, in the neighbouring Arts District. Book onto a
graffiti tour to take in the street-art

Within a short walk I can find….

It’s not quite Brooklyn yet, but DTLA is nipping at the east
coast neighbourhood’s heels, with restaurants, food stalls, a
design district and upstart galleries populating the blocks
surrounding the hotel. Unusually for LA, it’s pretty walkable. With
an offering this good, we imagine some might even be tempted to
ditch their 90210 zip code.

The Lowdown

Doubles cost from £226 a night.