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Palihouse Santa Monica
1001 Third St.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Since it’s a lot easier to dream about a Parisian getaway than to actually plan (and pay for) a Parisian getaway, your vacations so far this summer can best be described as “urban camping.” Translation: you sit outside, drink lukewarm beer and tell ghost stories to a circle of unimpressed friends.
Vacations don’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor, especially when a less-than-an-hour drive gets you to Santa Monica and the Moorish-influenced beach lodge Palihouse. Effectively satisfying the ol’ camping yen, this year-old hotel mixes a rustic, outdoorsy aesthetic with more elegant yet whimsical details.
This rugged yet refined spirit is best seen in the living-room-like lobby, where taxidermy deer heads on the walls, rough wood tables, and a large wood-burning fireplace are juxtaposed with original al fresco ceilings, leather couches covered with monogrammed throw pillows, and Malibu tile floors.
Designated a historic landmark, the 1920s-era Spanish Colonial Revival building is home to 37 meticulously maintained rooms, all of which contain quirky design elements like animal-print toile wallpaper, bell-jar terrariums, and artfully weathered oil paintings. Many of the suites even come with full kitchens and majestic balconies where you can welcome the day with a cappuccino while pretending to be a Moorish king surveying his lands. Out back, you’ll find gorgeously overgrown gardens complete with bocce ball courts, Adirondack chairs and mosaic tiled courtyards.
It’s the ideal home base for exploring Santa Monica – just two blocks from the beach and pier, a five minute walk from the shopping promenade and close to the small city’s Farmers’ Market.
Plus, you heard that Paris is pretty overrated this time of year.
By Arielle Sachar