Viceroy Santa Monica Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Wearstler incorporated stunning shades of navy blue, yellow, and green at the Viceroy. The overarching design theme is colonial Britain, which manifests itself most conspicuously in the china hanging from walls throughout the hotel.

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Take a photo tour of Playboy model Kelly Wearstler's hot hotel design (2 of 22)

 Wearstler incorporated stunning shades of navy blue, yellow, and green at the Viceroy. The overarching design theme is colonial Britain, which manifests itself most conspicuously in the china hanging from walls throughout the hotel.
It's best known for its sexy bar and pool scenes, but the 162-room Viceroy boasts substance as well: friendly service, an environmental conscience, and clean, comfortable rooms, many with ocean views. The hotel is run by the Viceroy Hotel Group, which also operates Tides South Beach and Maison 140 -- both of which were also decorated by Wearstler. Wearstler incorporated stunning shades of navy blue, yellow, and green at the Viceroy. The overarching design theme is colonial Britain, which manifests itself most conspicuously in the china hanging from walls throughout the hotel. An animal motif is prevalent throughout the hotel: greyhounds greet you at the elevators, and the rooms feature dog-shaped lamps. Maintaining the colonial Britain theme, Whist -- the hotel's restaurant -- is named after the British card game. Like other parts of the hotel, the restaurant's walls sport china plates. Whist is is pricey and well-regarded: It was named one of the 50 best hotel restaurants in the country by Food & Wine in 2003. Off the lobby, the Viceroy has a small, homey library. Wearstler designed the space in a yellow monochrome, outfitting it with lemon-yellow furniture and retro yellow shag carpeting. Not only are the rooms -- with yellow benches, green armchairs, and porcelain dog lamps -- stylish, they are also high-tech, complete with iPod docks and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. Housed in the home of the glamorous former silent film star Lillian Gish, this intimate, 43-room boutique hotel on a quiet street in Beverly Hills does the stylish spirit of its previous inhabitant proud. Wearstler reworked the home in a French-meets-Mandarin style and uniquely outfitted every room in the hotel. The hotel doesn't have a pool or even a restaurant, but it boasts a sleek lobby bar that hosts "L'Heure Verte," a nightly $5 absinthe happy hour. Wearstler's designs aren't subtle (but then again, neither is Playboy, which Wearstler used to model for) -- at Maison 140, black hallways offset a lipstick-red elevator, and French antique dressers with feet hold up lion statuettes. No room looks like the next at Maison 140. The hotel's Mandarin Rooms (like the popular Mandarin Room 201, shown here) are pricier and slightly more ornate than the Parisian Rooms. They have king beds and sleep two. The rooms (Mandarin Room 214 is shown here) have super-soft beds with Fili D'oro Egyptian cotton linens, a featherbed, and Serta mattress with a feather duvet. The rooms also come with Mascioni robes and [[/los-angeles/hotels/maison-140-beverly-hills/photos/bathroom-mandarin-rooms-maison-beverly-hills-v501416/ |Neil George toiletries]. Wearstler was playful with the design of the rooms: Red pagoda-print wallpaper lines not only the walls, but the ceiling, in Mandarin Room 201; plush yellow upholstered headboards meet lime-green, pineapple-shaped lamps in Parisian Room 210. Similarly sized rooms at nearby hotels may be cheaper, but they lack Maison 140's visual stimulation and plush, luxurious bed linens and robes. Parisian Rooms -- about 210 square feet -- come with one king or two queen beds and sleep up to three. In the lobby, the management plays up the French theme, serving French press coffee and issuing heavy antique-looking copper room keys on red silk string. A beautifully designed hotel with pomp-free service at all levels -- from the housekeeping to porters to private designated assistants -- Tides South Beach brings rarely seen substance to the price tag. Wearstler outfitted the hotel with a vintage, opulent design influenced by countries around the globe. The bright, beach-tone color palate and organic textures (including a thriving orchid) definitely make the Tides feel more welcoming than other design-focused hotels like the Setai or Delano. Even the base-level rooms are big, really big -- about on par with the rooms at the Setai or the Angler's. In addition, all rooms have a perfect ocean view. The marble bathrooms have deep soaking tubs, and there's even a changing area with an organic stocked mini-bar. Perfecting the design, it's even easy to swivel the 42-inch flat-screen TV toward the bed for a free movie (courtesy of the hotel's extensive, on-site DVD collection). Stunning design by Kelly Wearstler, big rooms with kitchenettes, and a destination restaurant and lounge make the 162-room Viceroy strong competition for the sleek Epic hotel down the road. Rooms feature Asian-inspired design by Wearstler, modern electronics and big marble bathrooms. The Viceroy Anguilla, opened in 2009, is the most modern property on this tiny island -- and arguably the most luxurious. The Kelly Wearstler-designed resort manages to mix an upscale look with a laid-back, beachy feel, and features sleek lines, modern amenities, earth tones, animal prints, and wood, stone, and gold accents. This look continues through the 166 rooms, which have romantic balconies as well as marble bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs, and the gorgeous common spaces with art installations and stunning decor.
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