A NIGHT AT...
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.