A NIGHT AT...

GQ (Australia) - - TASTE + TRAVEL - PAL­I­HOUSE SANTA MON­ICA

The al­lure of Los An­ge­les’ Santa Mon­ica is ease. Be­cause few other ar­eas of this sprawl­ing, con­crete me­trop­o­lis al­low the op­tion to avoid traf­fic snarls – as fa­mil­iar here as fake boobs and crushed dreams. In Santa Mon, a beach­side sub­urb that houses the end point to the fa­bled Route 66, all is within reach via walk­ing or rent­ing a bi­cy­cle. And all of this ease is height­ened at Pal­i­house, the new ad­di­tion to a port­fo­lio that also in­cludes a name­sake prop­erty in West Hol­ly­wood. The wa­ter­side Pal­i­house (tucked back from the front, sat just be­hind 3rd Street) is set in a ’20s Span­ish Colo­nial build­ing and side­steps salty de­sign clichés with its moody, old world Hol­ly­wood glam­our. This first takes hold on en­ter­ing the prop­erty and eye­ing the cen­tral lounge, a place of dark­ened taupe walls and wooden and leather high­lights per­fect for read­ing or peo­ple watch­ing. It’s a theme con­tin­ued through the 38 homely rooms that can ac­com­mo­date guests for up to a three-month stay. (Many do book for that long, given kitch­enettes and bath­rooms that al­low for easy move­ment without be­ing a Pi­lates devo­tee). There isn’t a bar or restau­rant at Pal­i­house, but staff will hap­pily fetch or­ders from nearby es­tab­lish­ments. That said, use this as an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore the at­trac­tive and var­ied lo­cal food scene, from the re­cently re­opened So­cal in­sti­tu­tion that is Michael’s, to fa­mil­iar celeb haunt Ivy at the Shore to other wor­thy stopoffs, such as Cas­sia and FIG. Pin­ing for a de­cent burger and a unique craft beer menu? Head for Fa­ther’s Of­fice on Mon­tana Av­enue – though get there early to avoid queu­ing. As for cof­fee, thanks to the in­flux of Aussies, it’s quite easy to find a de­cent drop th­ese days, though if strug­gling, Aussie pie out­fits – they’re a thing – Fork-in, and the in­ven­tively named Aussie Pie Kitchen will pro­vide. The 3rd Street Prom­e­nade mall and nearby shop­ping cen­tres pack in all the recog­nis­able re­tail out­lets, but use the re­cent clos­ing of Santa Mon­ica’s Fred Se­gal store as an ex­cuse to grab a free bike from the ho­tel and head for Venice. Wind though the freak show that is the beach scene – avoid week­ends when it’s too bizarre – and steer a path for Ab­bot Kin­ney Boule­vard, one of the city’s most ex­cit­ing shop­ping streets and a mile-long ex­pe­ri­ence strength­ened by a take­away pizza slice from Gjelina. And then it’s back to the char­ac­ter­ful sur­rounds of Pal­i­house – a ho­tel hide­out that, like us, you’ll strug­gle to leave. FROM AP­PROX. $465 A NIGHT; PALIHOUSESANTAMONICA.COM

FROM TOP The nearby Pa­cific Coast High­way passes along the coast; the ho­tel is housed in a ’20s Span­ish Colo­nial build­ing; a hand­ful of its 38 rooms pro­vide stun­ning views.

FROM TOP While there isn’t a bar serv­ing al­co­hol, you can perch on a stool and grab a juice or cof­fee in the lobby; the ‘Pent­house Two’ room fea­tures two bed­rooms each con­tain­ing its own queen bed, bath and shower; arched win­dows ex­ude Hol­ly­wood glam­our.

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