A Proper folly in LA

Downtown LA Proper
Downtown LA Proper © The Ingalls
The hotel is the latest outpost of the “high-style, great-value, rollicking good-fun” Proper collection
The hotel is the latest outpost of the “high-style, great-value, rollicking good-fun” Proper collection © The Ingalls
Kelly Wearstler’s interiors see colour and texture “come together in marvellous ways”
Kelly Wearstler’s interiors see colour and texture “come together in marvellous ways” © The Ingalls

Even a staycation in LA can really feel like going somewhere, especially in the city’s Downtown, which has itself been going somewhere for about two decades and boasts a proliferation of museums (LA MOCA, The Broad); galleries (more than 50 on “Gallery Row” alone, along with the likes of Hauser & Wirth and Art Share LA); and heavyweight LA chefs (Otium’s Timothy Hollingsworth). Now comes Proper, the high-style, great-value, rollicking-good-fun collection created by property developer Brad Korzen and his wife, interiors genius Kelly Wearstler. Downtown LA Proper is full of those elements that have made the brand’s success in San Francisco and Austin (and, more recently, Santa Monica): these range from outrageously cool-looking public spaces, in which colour and texture come together in marvellous ways, to rooftop pools and myriad fitness options. A major coup is the presence of Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne – they of longstanding Lucques and AOC fame – in the restaurant. A folly worth checking out: the top two suites, fashioned from what was formerly the basketball court of the landmarked building (which once housed a private club with sports facilities on its upper floors). properhotel.com, from $365


Bulgari takes Paris

The rooftop garden at the Bulgari Hôtel Paris
The rooftop garden at the Bulgari Hôtel Paris
The “resolutely contemporary” hotel is on the Avenue Georges V, in the Triangle d’Or
The “resolutely contemporary” hotel is on the Avenue Georges V, in the Triangle d’Or

They’ve only opened six hotels in 18 years, so you know they’re meticulous about getting it right at Bulgari. In November, the venerated Roman house will open in the City of Lights: the Bulgari Hôtel Paris has (naturally) a mint location on the Avenue Georges V – in the coveted Triangle d’Or – and its usual architectural credentials, in the form of designs by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel + Partners, regular collaborators who this time round have partnered with local Parisian firm Valode & Pistre. The result is resolutely contemporary, from the pared-back façade (which still nods to Monsieur Haussmann) through to the spare rigour of the rooms. Check out the top-floor penthouse, which spills over two storeys and has its own garden – a full, glorious 600sq m of planted terraces, with 360-degree views of the city. bulgarihotels.com, from €1,250


Curtain up in the heart of Chelsea

Sir Frank’s Bar in Beaverbrook Town House
Sir Frank’s Bar in Beaverbrook Town House
The Sloane Street hotel has 14 suites names after London theatres
The Sloane Street hotel has 14 suites names after London theatres

In the event you’ve been wondering what Sir Frank Lowe has been up to these past few years, look to Beaverbrook in Surrey, a country-house hotel with bona fides for days. After a restyling a few years ago at the hands of Susie Atkinson (she of multiple members’-club interiors fame), it has latterly been further zhoozhed in various multi-chromatic, extravagant and happy-making ways by Lowe, in his role as Beaverbrook’s creative director. Equally happy-making is the news that he and his team have new premises, and they’re in the heart of Chelsea. Beaverbrook Town House opened a few weeks ago in two Grade I-listed Georgian houses on Sloane Street. The 14 suites, named after famous London theatres, play to the drama and pageantry of their traditions; Lowe and his design partner, Nicola Harding, scoured sources for all the elements (including vintage photography and imagery) to bring them fully to life. There are also Sir Frank’s Bar and sublime kaiseki menus, as at the sister hotel in Surrey – whimsies that somehow completely work there, and should do here too. beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk, from £400


A Boston belter

Contessa, The Newbury’s rooftop bar and restaurant
Contessa, The Newbury’s rooftop bar and restaurant © Douglas Friedman
“All the more-is-more joy you’d expect”: a Ken Fulk interior for Contessa
“All the more-is-more joy you’d expect”: a Ken Fulk interior for Contessa © Douglas Friedman

Those familiar with the ebullient San Francisco-based design impresario Ken Fulk can spot one of his interiors in seconds. Likewise the sleeker, more serene signature lines of a space signed Alexandra Champalimaud. Lucky Boston, then, to be home since May to The Newbury, a historic building on the Back Bay’s main drag functioning as a hotel since 1927 – first as a Ritz-Carlton, then a Taj, now owned by a partnership including boutique company Highgate, which closed it in 2019 for this total makeover. It has been reworked by the pair (along with architect Jeffrey Beers) into a super-luxe iteration of Boston style. Which means all the updates you’d expect (Champalimaud brought the bigger, better bathrooms, a lightened-up palette and diffuse understatement to the rooms). But also a fair bit of resurrecting of the old good things, from extensive original wainscoting to big fabulous chandeliers. Fulk’s designs for Contessa, the rooftop bar and restaurant, brings all the more-is-more joy you’d expect, from the multi-hued marble floors to the pink velvet banquettes. (If you want a real hit of Fulk fabulousness, get yourself invited to The ’Quin House, Boston’s new members’ club, which he has designed in its dazzling entirety.) thenewburyboston.com, from about $635

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