Viceroy Santa Monica
The most fun of the four California hotels designed by Kor Hotel Group collaborator Kelly Wearstler, the 162-room Viceroy seems like an extension of the nearby amusement park on Santa Monica Pier. Though the exterior—a white boxy slab—doesn’t invite a second glance, the interiors here marry retro-chic with pure whimsy. In both the rooms and the common areas, the striking monochrome (black, white, and gray) color scheme is spiked with accents of parrot green and sunshine yellow (chairs in the lobby; throw pillows and upholstered benches in the rooms; curtains in the Library lounge). There’s also a whole lotta reflection going on, with silver-foil wallpaper, mirrored glass, and high-shine white Formica in almost every space. The slick Cameo Bar and Whist, the restaurant helmed by Warren Schwartz, are hubs for the young and gorgeous (who love to catch sight of themselves in all those mirrors).
Tip: The hotel has a partnership with the nearby Equinox gym, so take advantage of its unlimited, complimentary services.
Room to Book: Ask for a seventh or eighth floor city-view room: on warm weather nights, the Cameo Bar party spills out onto the pool terrace during the wee hours.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.