Proper Hospitality has opened Venice V Hotel in Los Angeles’ iconic Venice Beach community. Set in a 1915 landmark building originally called The Waldorf, the beachfront property embraces its past as a residence for A-list stars and backdrop for Hollywood films through a complete restoration that celebrates its roots and the surrounding community. Envisioned as a gathering place for today’s creative nomad, V draws inspiration from Venice’s legendary skate park, surf scene and unmatched culture for a true local experience.
Located off Westminster Ave. on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, each of the boutique hotel’s spacious rooms, suites, penthouses and rooftop bungalows offers picturesque Pacific Ocean views. Proper Hospitality worked closely with architecture and interior design partner Relativity Architects to bring the vision for Venice V to life while nodding to the eclectic range of the Venice story. No two rooms are alike with three distinct themes informing the design curation of the interiors: bohemian beach culture, an artist’s studio and skate and surf culture.
“Inspiration for the Venice V Hotel came from my own personal experience growing up and living in Venice,” said Tima Bell, assoc. AIA, principal, Relativity Architects. “As a young boy, I ate breakfast with my parents at the ground-floor restaurant then called Lafayette Café. Along with my 20 years of hospitality design experience, my goal was to capture the gritty, beautiful and weird energy of Venice Beach in a sorely needed, local, high-end boutique hotel. The authenticity of the design comes from the passion the owner and all the design partners associated with the project have for the community.”
Rooms and suites feature open floor plans, hardwood floors and walk-in showers while seven spacious rooftop bungalows boast private entrances and unobstructed ocean views. With custom design details and residential appointments, the bungalows offer an idyllic, quiet hideaway for short or long-term stays reminiscent of The Waldorf’s origins as a residence to Hollywood greats such as Charlie Chaplin, Clara Bow, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Wallace Beery.
“Venice imbues its residents with a sense of freedom—and the quirkiness that goes with it. We looked back at the past five decades of Venice’s changing mood—from counterculture hangout, to skate and surf mecca, to sophisticated art center, to gentrified tech haven. At Venice V, we’ve woven all those versions of Venice into the rooms and amenities. Recent Venice history references three archetypical players, the artists, the skaters and the bohemians, so we applied those to the individual room types, each designed and detailed to reflect that personality,” Bell said.
All rooms preserve original details from the historic building while weaving in modern touches including custom LED lighting, oversized noise-cancelling windows, platform beds, imported linens, flatscreens offering Apple TV and Aesop bath amenities.
“Every guest has a clear ocean view. Because of the height of the building, the boardwalk sort of disappears from view and guests experience bands of soothing color—sand, sea and sky—punctuated with palm trees. The hotel is intended as a bit of paradise above the ever-bustling aspect of this urban seaside town,” Bell said.
He added, “The are other subtle surprises, including the careful curation of artwork and decor, such as original art from local artists, books chosen to correspond with the room’s vibe and personal touches you wouldn’t usually see at a hotel. We want guests to feel as though they’re staying in a curated apartment in Venice, and not a hotel. It’s our way of welcoming visitors into the community.”
Throughout the building, original period details are also revealed in exposed interior riveted steel beams, a central grand staircase and the meticulously restored elevator. Venice’s vibrant art culture is on display with local art pieces in each guestroom, which were curated by Bell, who also conceived of a striking 12 x 12 lobby mural of Venice visionary Abbot Kinney constructed entirely of more than 4,000 skateboard wheels.
“The lobby mural of Venice’s iconic founder About Kinney embodies our approach to designing this project—bridging the historic and contemporary aspects of Venice,” Bell said. “While checking in, guests are greeted by a 450-sq.-ft. mural portrait made from colorful skate wheels. It’s intended as a playful take on history, and also makes for a signature Instagram background.”
The setting is similarly revealed in the hotel’s eclectic programming, which includes beach yoga and running groups, surf and skate lessons, curated picnics, guided bike and art mural tours, and more. Additionally, a once-basement theatre has been transformed to an adaptable tech-friendly space for group meetings, private screenings and celebratory gatherings. Offerings showcase Proper Hospitality’s overall commitment to provide guests and locals with enriching experiences, celebrating and engaging with the culture of the surrounding neighborhood. As part of this commitment, with the opening, Venice V introduces a preferred food & beverage partnership with Venice mainstay Great White, which offers an all-day coastal Californian menu that guests can order for in-room dining.
“Special to the Dogtown Rooms are custom-designed skateboards on display made by The Garage Board Shop, a Los Angeles-based non-profit that provides a place for kids to do their homework and rewards grades with skate supplies and time in their skate facility,” Bell said. “Taking home, or using, this unique in- room amenity will also give back to the kids. In the Boho rooms, there is a gradient sunset that is painted behind the headboard, provoking a calm setting.”