We’re obsessed with the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica (enter to win a two-night stay at The Proper here!). Before the quarantine began, our team spent one day a week minimum inside the Proper’s stunning, design-forward lobby and, now, the hotel group is opening another hotel just around the corner. We asked Proper Hospitality’s Brian De Lowe to talk to us about the exciting new project and to dish with us about what is means to him to be a father as Dad’s Day 2020 is just a few days away. As it turns out the baby boom of 2020 is well underway — De Lowe happens to be married to one of our own, wellness maven and manifestation coach, Jessie de Lowe and the couple is expecting baby number two in just a few months. Here’s Brian on design, dad-ing and all the rest…
finish this sentence: Being a father is… The ultimate sense of purpose. For me, life has always been about creating great memories and having unique experiences. My incredible wife, Jessie, agrees. As soon as our daughter Amelie (who turns 3 on Father’s Day this year!) entered our life, my priorities became extremely clear – there is nothing better than the wonderful amazing experiences and happy memories that we share together as a family.
Best travel + hotel advice for parents:
Do it early and do it often. Jessie and I decided to start traveling with Amelie when she was just a few months old and we’ve been all over the world with her ever since. We are all three at our best when on the road… and I really believe that Amelie shares our love of adventure and the excitement of something new because of those early first trips we took together. Other more specific tips:
+ Use the stroller strategically…we pack as little as possible, as the hardest part about travel with a kid is all the “stuff” that a baby/kid requires, so for those kids things we absolutely must bring, we keep it all at the bottom of our stroller.
+ Bring lots of snacks… Even when Amelie is at her crankiest, that mood quickly changes as soon as she’s given a few delicious treats (she inherited that “quality” from me).
Best tricks for staycationing in LA this summer?
We’re all so lucky to live in a place that is a world-class tourism destination. Each summer, many travelers from every corner of the world go on their trip of a lifetime to visit sunny Southern California.
This summer, the best advice I have is to embrace the opportunity to see our city/region through the eyes of a traveler. Instead of flying across the world to stay at a hotel to experience a city or beach there, book a hotel in your own town from which you can explore a new neighborhood, go on a different hike, or check out a hot new restaurant. It’s a win/win… you and your friends or family get to look forward to the much needed fresh perspective gained from getting out of the house, and businesses in your local community get much needed financial support to help them survive.
Best part of being a dad?
The love that I feel and the love that I get back… it’s a love that is indescribable, profound and unconditional. My absolute best memories since becoming a father are the simple pleasures of hanging with my family — nothing better than our giggle sessions in bed on a weekend morning, the songs we sing together on beach walks, the silly nicknames we make up for each other or the big tight silent hugs that Amelie gives me every morning when she wakes up. Dad and daughter time is so precious and I try my hardest to make the best of every one of those sacred intimate moments.
Toughest part of being a dad?
I think the biggest challenge for me has been figuring out the balance between home life and everything else. I don’t want to miss out on anything with my daughter, but I also have high aspirations professionally and friends that I love to spend time with — and I know that I need my own hobbies and activities to stay sane so I can be the best husband and father. The juggle is real, and I know it will get even more real when our 2nd daughter is born in three months!
Favorite spots in the new hotel’s neighborhood:
Although Hotel June is literally only a 15 minute bike ride away from Venice Beach, it sits at the intersection of a number of great, lesser explored LA neighborhoods… Playa Del Rey, Playa Vista, and Westchester, etc. I love exploring Playa Del Rey’s funky beach community, walking from the hotel to Kanpai for sushi (it was our last meal in LA before we flew to Conneticut to get married in 2016) and hitting Scopa Italian Roots for dinner followed by Old Lightening for cocktails. Now that Brella (on-demand childcare in a gorgeous setting) is back open in Playa Vista, my top recommendation for parents is to do a quick drop-off there followed by a kid-free afternoon of cocktails and sunshine at Hotel June’s poolside Caravan Swim Club.
The ultimate weekend in LA must include:
Fresh air and open space. So grateful for the world-class hiking and beaches in our city and the incredible rooftop pools, outdoor eating and drinking spaces at our Proper hotels and Hotel June!