Part English lodge, part industrial garage, Palihotel Melrose is a trendy hipster haven in the unlikeliest place: practically at the corner of Melrose and Fairfax in the heart of one of Los Angeles’ busiest neighborhoods. The dramatic decor is a harmonious mélange of iron-framed windows, velvet chairs, leather chesterfields, rough-hewn wood accents, exposed pipes, and so many old books—in other words, it’s unlike anywhere in L.A. (except maybe its Palihouse siblings). And, with stripped-down services (no in-room phones, many rooms with twin beds, and little on the premises except rooms and a restaurant) and prices to reflect that, it’s also surprisingly affordable for somewhere so well situated and cool.
Rooms may be on the small side for L.A., but they’re dramatically moody (made for sleeping in after a night on the town) and filled with all the requisite trendy inclusions, like Dean & Deluca minibars and a Lexdray bag to borrow. The Hart and the Hunter restaurant—decked out with vintage tiles and a portrait of T.S. Eliot—is a sceney brunch and dinner spot for hip locals, and the lobby lounge becomes a lively bar by evening.
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Palihotel has the unique honor of being both in central L.A. and within walking distance (or short driving distance, for guests who want to get in the L.A. mood) of a number of shops, restaurants, and museums. Melrose is known as a major shopping street, and trendy boutiques like Ten Over Six are easily reached on foot, not to mention the renowned Melrose Trading Post, an iconic flea market just down the street. Get coffee at the popular Coffee Commissary, and grab drinks or dinner at Pizzeria Mozza. The historic Farmers' Market (now a permanent outdoor food market) and ritzy outdoor shopping center The Grove are an easy walk or even easier drive down Fairfax, adjacent to the Pan-Pacific Park. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA, home to a Friday evening jazz series) is only slightly farther, next to the La Brea Tar Pits.
Need to Know
Rooms: 32 rooms, one suite. From $200. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: Both scenester hangout and acclaimed eatery, The Hart and the Hunter serves Southern-inspired cuisine with a signature L.A. twist—in other words, the kale salad and freshly pressed juices are just as popular as the butter biscuits whose fragrance wafts through the lobby all day long. Weekend brunch is quite the affair, and, in the evenings, the adjoining lobby lounge becomes a lively watering hole for pretty young things. Spa and gym details: A minimal-amenity boutique hotel, Palihotel has neither a gym nor a spa.
Who's it best for: Scenesters on a budget (for L.A, anyway). The hotel is popular for photoshoots and events, and can be loud in the evenings. Our favorite rooms: Many of the second-floor queen rooms have private balconies with potted plants and views of the Hollywood Hills, a bonus for so central a location. The solo suite is, unsurprisingly, the largest and most luxurious accommodation, with a king bed, extra-large balcony, and claw-foot soaking tub. Stylish perks: Sure, Palihotel is trendy, but its older sibling, Palihouse West Hollywood, is even larger and more glamorous. Fortunately, guests of the more affordable hotel get access to all the events and dining at Palihouse, a 25-minute drive northwest. The hotel also offers limousines and chauffeur-driven sedans with prior arrangement, so guests can arrive in style.