The first thing you’ll notice when walking into Palihouse Santa Monica – apart from the vintage-chic décor in the lobby and the perfectly manicured gardens out the front – is the scent. The smell of fresh linen and lavender lingers in every nook and cranny, as if to signify a kind of welcoming warmth a lot of the larger and to-cool-for-school boutique hotels tend to lack. And let me tell you, it works a charm…

Combining comfort and livability with a chic design is no mean feat these days. But the folks at the ever-on-point Pali Hotel group hit this historic 1927 Mediterranean Revival masterpiece with a makeover that brings old-Hollywood kitschy-cool into the 21st century. In the Lobby, old-world artwork and ornate fireplaces collide with wooden bench tops and leather loungers, and the rooms rock an almost French Provinicial cum Hipster vibe. But somehow it all seems to work!

During renovations, Pali Group slapped the rooms with a fresh coat of paint, knocked down many walls, installed some gorgeous brass fixtures and fittings and generally made the rooms as light and airy as humanly possible (thank god, because there’s actually no air-con throughout the entire hotel..Ummm????), but it’s the little things that make Palihouse Santa Monica stand out as a functional, yet stylish addition to the neighbourhood. Book anything above the entry-level “classic” rooms and you’ll get a proper pied-e-tette, complete with a fridge, a cooktop/oven and a full-stock of high-end kitchen appliances. This is a godsend should you wish to take a break from exploring the surrounding eateries to stay at home to cook some produce you bought from Trader Joe’s down the road. Or, if you can’t be bothered cooking but still want a lazy night in, the enormously large bedrooms are perfect for chilling out and watching the flat-screen. You can hire 24-hour room service or nibble on the in-room treats from Dean & Deluca.

palihouse lobby

palihouse santa monica courtyard

palihouse santa monica gate

Palihouse Santa Monica: The Lowdown

Vibe
vibe
 Chic yet liveable home away from home.
Think
think
 Unassuming French Chateau meets vintage beach lodge.
Sound
sound
 Your favourite old-school vinyl
Crowd
crowd
  • Artists and Actors (who are clearly commercial enough to afford the price-tag)
  • People who work in the creative and advertising industries in LA on business.
Highlights
highlights 1
  • The breakfast courtyard set out the back of the hotels ground level.-Cute little bikes for guests to use.
  • Waaay too many Dean and DeLuca goodies as snacks in the room.
  • Santa Monica beach is a 2-minute walk. Santa Monica Pier is a 20 minute walk. Bars and Eateries on Wilshire Blvd are a few blocks away.
  • The large, airy windows in the rooms.
Lowlights
lowlights
  • NO AIR-CONDITIONING. Period.
  • The room cost is a little on the expensive side; especially being set back a couple of blocks from the beach. You don’t get all the bells and whistles you might be accustomed to in a 5-star hotel but you still pay for it at Palihouse Santa Monica. In the hotel’s defence though, the rooms are like mini-apartments!
Opened In
opened-by
 2013
Amenities
amenities
  • 100% non-smoking hotel
  • 24 hour concierge
  • 24 hour front desk
  • Adjoining rooms
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • Bicycle rentals nearby
  • Free wi-fi
  • Garden
  • Luggage storage
  • Multi-lingual staff
  • No pets allowed
  • Offsite gym facilities
  • Room service
  • Shopping area nearby
  • Valet parking (charges apply)
  • Wake-up service
Price
price
 $500 USD + taxes

palihouse santa monica room

palihouse santa monica kitchen

palihouse santa monica bathroom

palihouse santa monica bedroom

AMW xx

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Stefanie from A Modern Wayfarer stayed courtesy of Palihouse Santa Monica in October, 2015. All opinions are her own.