Los Angeles, United States

Palihouse Santa Monica

Rates from (ex tax)$295.00

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD336.89), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Updated 1920s hideout

Setting

Seaside seclusion in the city

Your Westside address awaits: Palihouse Santa Monica is a blocks-from-the-beach 1920s manor, styled impeccably inside and out, where you'll feel entirely at home as soon as you take up residence. Work by local artists and photographers lines the walls, vintage pieces dot the halls, and fully equipped kitchenettes mean you never really need leave. This Moorish-influenced landmark has been home to discerning Californians ever since its debut in 1927, and now you're invited to join them.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of wine on arrival

Facilities

Photos Palihouse Santa Monica facilities

Need to know

Rooms

38, including 30 suites.

Check–Out

11am, but very flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, officially 3pm but, again, very flexible – if your room's ready early, you're in.

Rates

Double rooms from $295.00, excluding tax at 14.2 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of $5.00 per room per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD336.89), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates don’t usually include breakfast (from $20); however, Continental breakfast is free on weekends.

Also

Book ahead for your in-suite massage therapist to bring the spa right to your room.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: beach bags to borrow, TVs, minibar, tea- and coffee-making kit, hairdryers; all rooms except Classics have fully equipped kitchenettes.

Our favourite rooms

Each room's unique and packed with different designer delights, but we're particularly partial to the One-Bedroom Residences with their separate vanity rooms, big windows and plentiful space. (And if you're up for splashing out, take Penthouse One and Penthouse Two to create your own floor.)

Poolside

Who needs a pool when the famous sun-kissed sands of Santa Monica beach are five minutes' walk from your door?

Also

There's no gym on site, but Palihouse has partnerships with local venues (including Equinox) so your workout regime won't be put on hold.

Pet‐friendly

Four-legged friends can stay for US$125 a stay, for each pet (US$300 for stays of 30 nights or more). Pooches get a dog bowl and treats in the room. See more pet-friendly hotels in Los Angeles.

Children

It’s more of a grown-up hangout.

Food and Drink

Photos Palihouse Santa Monica food and drink

Top Table

Take your pick of cosy nooks in the grand lobby-cum-hangout. On sunny days, of which there are plenty, there’s a small patio tucked away through the back doors.

Dress Code

You're by the beach, so nothing too formal… but you're not at the beach, so not your Havaianas, either.

Hotel restaurant

There’s no restaurant on site, but you’ve no shortage of eateries on your doorstep, within an easy beach-side walk. Breakfasts, though, are not to be missed: blueberry pancakes and avocado toast, anyone? On weekends a free Continental spread of fresh fruits, tasty pastries, yogurt, cereal, boiled eggs, toast, coffee and tea is laid out in the lobby.

Hotel bar

You won’t find a bar here – in fact, there’s no alcohol served at all, thanks to the supremely peaceful residential location – but the cocktail-serving bartenders of Santa Monica await just a short walk away.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am to a leisurely 3pm.

Location

Photos Palihouse Santa Monica location
Address
Palihouse Santa Monica
1001 3rd St,
90403
Santa Monica
United States

Planes

Los Angeles International – better known as LAX – is around 40 minutes' drive away, and is served by a constant stream of flights from around the country and the world.

Trains

LA's elegant rail hub, Union Station, is downtown, way over on the other side of the metropolis, so isn't particularly suited to Santa Monica stays unless you're a truly dedicated train buff. (And if you are, you can travel south to San Diego and north up the coast).

Automobiles

As the Los Angeles region goes, Santa Monica's spectacularly walkable – between beachfront strolls and the odd Uber, you can easily do without a car. But if you do find yourself tempted to join the LA traffic (and most locals will tell you it's impossible to go auto-less here) then valet parking is available for $39 a night.

Other

Bikes are available to borrow, and the beach path is the perfect place to ride them.

Worth getting out of bed for

The most obvious attraction to Palihouse's prime Santa Monica location is that great big ocean five minutes' walk away: the golden sands of Santa Monica stretch north into exclusive Malibu and south into tourist-packed-but-must-visit Venice, with plenty of cycling, sunbathing and selfie-taking to be done along the way. (The paved beach path south is perfect for leisurely strolls or more strenous workouts, on foot or by bike.)

Once you reach Venice Beach and have checked out the rollerbladers and artists' stalls, turn inland to explore the canals that gave the neighbourhood its name: they're surprisingly serene. Abbott Kinney Blvd is the top shopping spot, with design dens aplenty (and the odd holdover from the street's hippie heyday). 

Local restaurants

Local favourites include coffee hub Demitasse Café, sprawling cocktail club The Bungalow, Blue Plate Oysterette, seafood centre Water Grill and the the Santa Monica Farmer's Market (the ideal place to stock your kitchenette) – all are a few minutes' walk away. For a properly unpretentious hangout, head to Big Dean's by the beach: the burgers are the best, the locals are friendly, and there's generally sports on the TV; legendary dive Chez Jay is the place for a Bloody Mary when your hangover needs company. And for something completely different, Shutters on the Beach is a preppy Californian classic, all piano tinkling away in the corner and fine dining with exquisite sea views. 

Alchemie Spa is an all-organic beauty and wellbeing retreat a few blocks down the coast, and if you're after something healthy as a follow up to your shiatsu session or infrared sauna trip, keep heading south to Pressed Juicery.

Reviews

Photos Palihouse Santa Monica reviews

Anonymous review

Boutique hotel Palihouse Santa Monica is probably not anybody’s idea of ‘the usual kind’ of stay. Our initial approach is unpromising: off the beaten Santa Monica track, in a residential area without any obvious parking and with no view of the ocean – which seems rather brave for a hotel in a beach town. We arrive a little sceptical.

We soon realise – despite a few years of visiting and living in Los Angeles – we’ve discovered a gem, nestled in a quiet neighbourhood of grand boulevards lined with huge, mature shade trees. One road is lined with Seussian palms at the very end of their lives, towering to fragile heights made more lovely for their precarity; the next has Mission fig trees so huge that they practically touch in the middle. We drive past traditional Santa Monica deco-apartment houses, names in vintage cursive across their fronts, to pull up on the corner of Third and Washington where the valet tells us that he'll take care of everything: thus begins our ‘Palihouse orientation’. ‘It's an old building, and the parking's four blocks away, so be sure to call down from your room 15 or 20 minutes before you need your car.’ Right then.

‘It's an old building’ (or ‘a very old building’) is a phrase we hear several times over the weekend, always spoken with a kind of rueful pride. It's old and rare by American standards, a residential hotel in a European style dating to 1927: beautifully maintained and a designated Santa Monica historic landmark. Three stories tall, the hotel has a discreet sign at the door warning that the building is in a state of compromise between California-mandated earthquake standards and historical preservation, inviting you to somewhat take your life into your own hands inside its elegant environs. 

The lobby is full-bore Old Hollywood: Moroccan patterns wrought in the floors and ceilings; a little coffee bar; elegant sofas; a roaring fire; and the hotel's design motif of books turned spine-in, displaying their fore-edges. It's empty; the Palihouse is a smallish hotel and our room is only one flight up. The walls are bold-painted plaster hung with quirky scenes of vintage Santa Monica, the carpet is patterned in taupe and chocolate, the lift is an ancient, clanking machine. 

On check-in, the Palihouse is also the kind of hotel that upgrades you, just because. We had booked a King room, but Amanda at reception cheerfully informed us that we were to have a suite instead. Our room(s) are revealed to be enormous, European apartment-sized, with a full mid-century kitchenette instead of a minibar (a legacy of the building's residential hotel years). There’s also a butler's closet, a walk-in wardrobe, a vintage vanity, a balcony down one side and windows down the rest, all open to catch the breeze. Fabulous. ‘It's a really old building,’ the porter reminds us when he delivers our bags and a tea kettle, explaining the lack of air-conditioning (in late October this is fine, but in July or August we might wonder…?) and that there are extra fans to be had. The sea breeze blows across the courtyard, where a fountain bubbles next to a Pétanque court.

The Palihouse is defined by these compromises. It has no restaurant; but the staff will run out to a local restaurant, fetch dinner, plate it and serve it in the cosy, candlelit lobby for you. There’s no bar – a hotel with no bar! – but the Palihouse charges no corkage: bring your own champagne or drinks and they will happily bring you appropriate glasses and ice. 

There is no pool or beachfront access, either. Instead, it’s a 10-minute walk to the superb Annenberg Community Beach House, a local favourite, where the Annenberg Foundation runs a café, pool and playground, at the front of the groomed and impeccable beach with a view of the Santa Monica ‘pleasure’ pier. 

Because of Palihouse’s unusual string of differences and its divergence from the noisy, poolside competition over at the Matador or the Standard, there's no scene at the Palihouse. No one goes to see or be seen. At night, it's so beautifully quiet that you can hear the fountain gurgling in the leafy courtyard. You couldn't ask for a more discreet place to pretend (or not) that you're sneaking away with a secret lover. 

In the morning, the lobby serves a delicious free breakfast: yoghurt and berries, granola, pastries and hard-boiled eggs. Or choose from the full menu (via room service, if you prefer), which offers egg-white and scallion scramble, heirloom tomatoes on toast and smashed avocados with pepitas. The coffee is good, plus there's artisanal coffee down the road that'll do you a Kyoto-drip cold-brew or a slow pour-over.

The Palihouse explains (‘an old building’, indeed) but never apologises. It's unlike anywhere we've stayed; a mix of luxury, vintage and compromise that is one part Chateau Marmont and one part time machine, in the salt air of otherwise mid-century Santa Monica. It’s not for everyone, given its distinctive quirks – but within the commercial beachfront zone of Santa Monica, the Palihouse is a discreet and secretive place with which to fall in love.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Palihouse Santa Monica’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Charming decor, beautiful architecture, lovely lobby, "Old Hollywood" feel. Go to Butcher's Daughter, Greenleaf, Coco Bakes.

Don’t expect

Customer service, attentiveness, peace and quiet

Rating

Stayed on 4 Dec 2016

We loved

California style, quiet, close to beach, afternoon lobby snacks, fresh air.

Don’t expect

Loud nightlife

Rating

Stayed on 1 Aug 2016

We loved

The room was fantastic. Breakfast on terrace was enjoyable and the location was perfect. An easy ten-minute walk to the ocean. Twenty-five minutes to the Pier. 10/10

Don’t expect

A bar

Rating

Stayed on 18 Jul 2016

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