Yes, yes, I know. You can't judge a hotel simply by one well-styled vignette. But from the looks of these images of the new Palihouse Santa Monica, L.A.'s quintessential beach community just got a whole lot more interesting. I love it when a beach hotel isn't afraid to go all dark and moody on me.
The recently restored property plays up the vintage details of its 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival–style structure, originally the Embassy Hotel Apartments. Clubby is the name of the game. Frescoed ceilings, leaded glass windows, and deep and intimate banquettes all feel authentic to the era; new additions, from wingback chairs and Chesterfield sofas to the quirky collection of artwork, all manage to convey the patina of age. And can we talk about the wall color? Serious glamour.
I love a hotel lobby with communal gathering spots as well as various nooks and crannies for more intimate tête-à-têtes. The mix of chairs, the light fixtures above the table, the area rugs on the terracotta-tile floors... Really, I can't think of one design decision I'd make differently for this particular space.
The 36 expansive apartment-style suites have interesting details as well—I'm digging the poppy citrus print and tufted pouf in the living area above, especially when juxtaposed with a coffee table that almost looks as though it could be an antique sundial in a garden. But my favorite feature of all? Quite possibly the wallpapers by L.A.'s own Abnormals Anonymous. My passion for toile knows no bounds, and the company's Sea Tales design in the Red Rock colorway looks fresh and feminine in the bedroom below. Look closer and you'll see pirate ships, storks, and squid tentacles...
The hotel's quasi-eccentric charm and impeccable curation put it right at the top of my list for my next trip to Santa Monica this October. I can't wait to ensconce myself at one of the bar stools below doing my best Nick and Nora next to the canine statuette.
(Photos courtesy of the Palihouse Santa Monica)