The Rebirth of Santa Monica’s Iconic Georgian Hotel

The iconic Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica reopened its doors in April, unveiling a stunning transformation led by Fettle Design. With a rich history that hosted Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe, the hotel's restoration, guided by BLVD Hospitality, gracefully balances its storied past with modern hospitality.



Santa Monica’s Legendary Hotel, The Georgian, Reopened Its Doors Last April After a Full Renovation Led by Design Studio Fettle

The eye-catching eight-story turquoise art deco façade welcomes visitors to discover the different areas of this hotel originally built in 1933 and designed by architect M. Eugene Durfee. The Georgian Hotel’s storied history names Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe among its regular guests, offering visitors a glimpse of old Hollywood while overlooking the California coastline.

Hoteliers Jon Blanchard and Nicolo Rusconi of BLVD Hospitality launched a full restoration that was led by Fettle Design and completed just a few months ago.

“The brief for The Georgian was very simple: to restore the building to its former and deserved glory, not necessarily by going back in time but more so by understanding how an Art Deco building right on the shoreline in Santa Monica would look and feel in a modern hospitality landscape,” says Tom Parker, co-founder and creative director at Fettle Design.

“The end results present a gleaming celebration of the building’s rich history with sensitive yet striking design elements.”

Adorned with peach hibiscus and vibrant foliage designed and procured by Rolling Greens, the Sunset Terrace is furnished with arched, gold mohair banquettes and custom dining chairs wrapped in a custom-designed pink art-deco patterned fabric. The original floor was recolored in off-white and emerald green, bringing together all the elements that truly enable guests to enjoy the Santa Monica breeze.

Above this outdoor area, the new brass framed neon sign manufactured by Tyko Sign Group was inspired by the hotel’s original sign from the 1930s and serves as an ode to the past.

Once inside, guests discover the lobby with high ceilings, custom art deco-style chandeliers and original decorative reliefs. The horseshoe-shaped, hand-selected Italian emerald quartzite Sunset Bar is set to one side and the Dining Room—with a green marble fireplace flanked by arched windows, and custom lounge-style furniture installations by French floral artist Jean Pascal—on the other.

To create a secluded space, the reception—with deep blue walls, bold art pieces in brass frames, a desk and Wes Anderson-inspired berry-red key box located within a millwork framed opening—was relocated through an ornate curtain.

The ground floor is also home to Gallery 33, which celebrates the culture and the arts; The Library, with books curated by Lee Kaplan of Culver City’s Arcana: Books on the Arts; and a private space for up to 20 people called The Writer’s Room.

The 84 rooms and suites—many of which offer Pacific Ocean views—also embrace the hotel’s art deco heritage and feature a mix of contemporary and vintage elements, including custom golden-hued arched headboards designed by Fettle Design, decorative pillows by Lisa Corti, antique bar cart and Marshall speakers, Polaroid cameras, Victrola record players and a bespoke bar with custom-made floor-to-ceiling brass and antiqued mirror pieces.

The most exclusive space is hidden in the basement where The Georgian Room—formerly a discreet hangout for the rich and famous—has reopened for the first time in over 60 years with an impressive 1918 ebony polished Steinway & Sons piano built into the bar, the space’s design highlight.

A true design masterpiece paying tribute to the essence of West Coast American art deco, The Georgian is worth the visit.

The Georgian |

Images: Douglas Friedman


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