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Photographers Glen Luchford and Doug Bruce talk about their new endeavor in the hospitality industry, The Rose Hotel, and its surrounding environs on Venice Beach, California.

What drew us to open a hotel in Venice…
DB: I think we’ve both enjoyed staying in some of the craziest hotels across the world, and what struck us both when I moved to Venice about five years ago was that there were no decent hotels here, but Venice had so much potential as a destination. On a personal level, Venice reminds me of the Pays Basque in France where I grew up — it has a similar surf culture and laid-back arts vibe, and is known for its culinary excellence.
Favorite part of The Rose Hotel
GL: I like the wall that finishes halfway through a bay window in The Pacific Suite. It’s totally bonkers and would give most architects sleepless nights, but for me it’s the perfect metaphor for the hotel — it’s so wrong, it’s right.
DB: When I get to trim the roses outside our lounge on the cushions of the living room in The Pacific Suite, which feels like being in a ship!


And the inspiration behind the decor…
GL: The hotel has a lot going on outside the windows, so you don’t need a whole lot going on inside. Whites, deep blues, a little bit of color here and there. It’s very simple, fresh, beachy.
DB: That was all Glen and Katerina [Tana], but we definitely tried to reflect the color palette of the beach and sky. We spent a couple of days trying to match the deck color to the color of the sand in front of the hotel.

This location caught our eye because… 
DB: It was a former brothel, flophouse, gang headquarters and hostel with a scarcely credible history that was begging to be restored… I mean, Abbot Kinney sold it to triplets named Tom, Dick and Harry!

Secret only a Venice local would know… 
GL: It’s surprisingly gloomy in June, but pretty amazing all year long. Not stifling like L.A. Like a hand-picked microclimate. 
DB: Never park on the south side of 4th Street and Rose, a.k.a. “Skid Rose!”

Favorite restaurant in Venice…
DB: Axe, probably — I tend to go for the basic or composed bowl with salmon or tofu and a side of harissa. But Gjelina takeaway has a killer slice of apple pie and pizza!

And favorite place to grab a drink…
DB: Moon Juice. I order the California Sun, Goodness Greens, or the Deep Chocolate!
Most memorable shoot I’ve done…
GL: My shoots are quite dull actually. Nothing really happens. Arrive, shoot, go home. Try and laugh a lot in between! 
DB: Mine? Mmm, there have been lots. Probably being chased and having knives thrown at me by pimps in the slums of Phnom Penh while doing a sex-trafficking story, shooting the Kuna Indians in the jungle of Panama… and being drunk under the table by Gore Vidal in Amalfi!
Advice to would-be photographers… 
GL: Run while you can. Save yourself. 
DB: Buy a hotel! 

Photographs courtesy of The Rose Hotel

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