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The Present Tense


SF: San Francisco Proper Hotel

November 21, 2018
By: Aaron Peasley

Looking for a burst of color on a misty Bay Area day? A place to show off San Francisco’s myriad charms to visiting friends? Look no further than the city’s newish Proper Hotel, Kelly Wearstler’s imaginative reinvention of the contemporary boutique hotel.


Situated in a classic Beaux Arts flatiron shaped building designed by local architect Albert Pissis in 1904, the hotel, soon to be joined by other similarly branded Wearstler designed hotels, is a layered exercise in high design. Stepping into the cathedral like lobby, one is greeted by marble floors, original crown moldings and a constellation of contemporary and vintage furniture pieces. Cocktails and coworking coincide in lush, but comfortable spaces that exude Wearstler’s trademark wit.


The same goes for the hotels 131 guest rooms, where thoughtful layouts and an exuberant color and textural palette reign. Design aficionados will discover many reference to uncode, from the seating reminiscent of Gio Ponti to lighting fixtures that mimic the classical restraint of Jean Royère. The designer’s fondness for strong patterns appears in checkerboard tiles and a profusion of bright wallpapers and fabrics, many based on vintage European aesthetic movements.


The hotel’s crowning glory, if you will, is Charmaine’s, a seductively lit rooftop lounge populated with striped loungers and beautiful people. Here, high amongst the city, floor to ceiling windows frame a panoramic view of the city. With drinks provided by local mixologists Josh Harrison and Morgan Shick and crackling fire pits that fend of chilly breezes, Wearstler has created an ideal oasis to begin or conclude an evening.