San Francisco, meet Proper, the hospitality brand that's shaking up the scene with painstaking attention-to-detail and an aim to not only host guests, but inspire them.
The team opened their first hotel this fall in a restored 1904 flatiron building in Mid-Market, with future locations to come in Downtown L.A., Austin, and Santa Monica. The 131-room Beaux Arts beauty, alight with whimsical design elements dreamt up by L.A.-based interiors whiz Kelly Wearstler, is unlike any hotel the Bay has seen—which was exactly the point.
"San Francisco is a frontier city overflowing with innovation and entrepreneurial spirit," says Bay Area born and raised Brian De Lowe, Co-Founder and President of Proper Hospitality. "Yet for decades it was devoid a hotel that truly combined all of the elements that our brand holds dear, including the pairing of world-class services and amenities with creative and cultural energy."
Guest rooms give off an eclectic old-world-meets-new vibe, with playful touches like floral wallpaper and vintage-inspired furniture designed by Wearstler herself. When it comes to cool collabs from all over the map, Proper is on its A-game.
"We outfitted the guest rooms at San Francisco Proper with our favorite things... items that we ourselves would want to have in order to make our own stay most enjoyable," De Lowe explains.
Among those favorite things? Plush California-made mattresses from Aireloom and silky-soft bed linens from Italian textile manufacturer Bellino keep things extra cozy. Bathroom counters are stocked with botanical bath amenities from Aesop, the Melbourne-based skincare lab, and each room is outfitted with sleek wireless speakers by the design-minded Nordic brand, Vifa. When you're ready to explore the city beyond, the hotel offers complimentary use of its retro-inspired Shinola bikes, made by hand in Detroit.
When it comes to service, though, Proper's Concierge is decidedly San Francisco. Proper App allows guests to order room service, buy tickets to a nearby show, hail a cab, or schedule an in-room massage, all from the comfort of their smartphones. When in Rome, right?
"Proper is deigned for creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and visionaries working across a range of industries who, whether traveling for work or leisure, seek thoughtful design, interesting locations, and intuitive service," says De Lowe.
We'd be remiss not to mention Proper's food and beverage program, which comes to fruition in two unique spaces.
Delight your wildest gastronomic fantasies at Villon, an all-day restaurant that combines striking design with a relaxed yet sophisticated vibe. The menu is available from the colorful living room-esque lounge areas in the lobby, into the Cubist-inspired main dining room, filled with geometric wall hangings and funky ceramics on every table. It's exactly the kind of place you'd want to gather friends for a casual dinner or an extended brunch— hip, vibey, and yet totally approachable.
The menu itself is equally multifaceted. Exec Chef Jason Franey utilizes Bay Area sourced ingredients in globally-inspired dishes. Served morning to late night, the menu is inventive and unexpected. Take the short-rib-and-porkbelly-filled Breakfast Pho, for example, made even better by the accompaniment of a brunch cocktail. When it comes to dinner, Franey's Whole Duck, with Brussels sprouts and duck bacon, is a standout wintertime choice.
For drinks and a view, take the elevator up 120 feet to the eighth floor, where Charmaine's serves as a welcome addition to the city's limited roster of rooftop spaces. The terrace is spacious yet intimate, thanks to cozy salon-style seating and scattered fire pits, but the drinks are the true star here.
Ever heard of a cool little cocktail bar called Trick Dog? The innovative duo behind the esteemed Mission haunt, Josh Harris and Morgan Schick , teamed up with Proper to develop the "7x7" cocktail menu for the space. With 49 tipples ranging from spirit-forward to bright and flavorful, there's no lack of options. In classic Trick Dog form, cocktails feature surprising flavors and ingredients, like the banana bread used in a tequila-and-bitters concoction known as the "Cuddly Toy." If cocktails aren't your thing, a variety of California beers and an international wine list round it out. Food-wise, Franey's reinvented bar bites (read: fancy sliders, spiced churros, herbed fries) are shareable, but certainly easy enough to finish on your own.
If only for a drink, a visit to Proper San Francisco gives a glimpse of the beautiful contradiction that is San Francisco: at once on the cutting edge and charmingly nostalgic.
// Proper San Francisco, 1100 Market St. (Civic Center), properhotel.com