24-Hour Room Service: Palihotel, Los Angeles

A fun and functional address for Fairfax

Los Angeles is awash with trendy crashpads where hip twenty-somethings sip cocktails around the pool and historic hideaways dripping with old-school charm and celebristocracy. Not surprisingly for a city that trades on swank and glamour, upmarket options without the hefty price tag are few and far between, while budget options are bland and mostly dated.

Enter the new Palihotel, well located for the funky Fairfax District and West Hollywood, which might help fill the gap between the clichés. It's a revamp of a seen-better-days hostel, and so new that on my visit last week, room service wasn't available, and the onsite café, Palikitchen, had yet to offer a full menu (which will focus on soups, salads, sandwiches and shakes). Everything should be operational by the end of March.

The smaller brother of the Palihouse, a boutique hotel in West Hollywood, the Palihotel comes from hip hotelier Avi Brosh, whose vision for Palihotel is a "European neighbourhood inn for creative travellers". It certainly channels the neighbourhood vibe: work desks are sourced from nearby modern furniture store Blue Dot, while the complimentary denim bags are made by Nudie, which has a store just around the corner.

However, the diminutive bathrooms and Dean & Deluca minibar snacks are more Manhattan than Europe. Also, the dimly lit corridors, corkboard walls, moss-green carpets and exposed ceiling lights won't be to everyone's taste.

Location

The Palihotel is on the border of West Hollywood and the Fairfax District, within walking distance – yes, there is such a concept in LA – of shops, restaurants, cafés and entertainment. If you want to unload the cash you've saved on your room, Melrose Avenue's independent stores and designer flagships are right on your doorstep; to the south-east are the open-air Grove mall and attached Farmers Market (which, perhaps misleadingly given the name, is really a conglomeration of food stands). You'll need a car to explore further, but within a few minutes' drive are popular hiking spot Runyon Canyon, with its breathtaking views as far as the ocean, and the sights, sounds and smells of Hollywood. Alternatively, if you want to take your life in your hands (LA isn't especially bike-friendly), the hotel will soon have two retro-styled Dutchi bicycles available for rent ($25/£16.70 for two hours).

Comfort

Of the 32 rooms, there are two types: queens, some of which have balconies, and the cheaper doubles, which come with oversized twin beds. (If your room overlooks busy Melrose Avenue, invest in some earplugs.) Most rooms are similar in look and feel, with only mismatched paintings and piles of obscure, dusty hardback books to distinguish them.

If you're looking for a super-luxe experience, look elsewhere. The Palihotel may have been given a hefty makeover since it was a hostel, but it does feel like a no-frills hotel. Indeed, the bare-bones ethos has been taken to the extreme: the rooms have no temperature control and, instead of a wardrobe, there's a wooden ladder with hangers attached. And although Wi-Fi is free, I can't see too many business folk taking their conference calls at the functional desks – there are no phones, for starters.

On the other hand, you will find fluffy bathrobes, comfy beds, flat-screen TV on the wall, organic own-brand toiletries and powerful rain-head showers. That said, if it's not obvious from the 11am checkout time, this isn't a place to linger. There is no pool, no bar and no spa. Aside from Vanity, a blow-dry salon, and Thai Thai, a six-bed massage room (run by skilled knot-despatcher Kit), there are few opportunities for pampering.

Expect a beach-style hangout and you'll be disappointed. Come prepared for a shabby-chic LA base without emptying your wallet and you won't be.

Palihotel, 7950 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California, US (001 323 272 4588; pali-hotel.com).

Rooms ***
Value ****
Service ***

Double rooms start at $170 (£113), room only.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering