Palihotel Culver City
Culver City, CA
Trendy, $$ (From $225)
LA can be such a tease. One day you think you've got the city figured out: which high-traffic intersections to avoid, where to find the best taco shops and flea markets, who serves the latest spin on avocado toast. Until you realize you don't.
Culver City, the five-square-mile neighborhood east of Santa Monica, may seem like a new kid on the block, with its onslaught of Instagram-worthy shops and restaurants, but is, in reality, in the midst of a modern-day renaissance of old Hollywood glamour. This is largely thanks to the uber-cool hoteliers at Palisociety, whose boutique hotels — in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Westwood — are shaking the dust off LA's forgotten 1920s boarding houses and reviving the Art Deco heartbeat of the cinematic city.
With just 49 guest rooms, Palihotel Culver City effortlessly blends classic comfort and contemporary design with the timeless experience of Hollywood glitz. And does so at very affordable rates. Guests wake up to tropical serene courtyards, walk-in rain showers, cozy reading nooks, and an all-day French bistro that welcomes freelancers, creatives, movie stars, and La La Landers from dusk till dawn who all want a slice of Culver City's cool fortunes.
At a Glance
The Vibe: Parisian cool meets old Hollywood glam.
Standout Detail: The hotel didn't shake any of the Art Deco style of its predecessor, the 1920s West End Hotel, retaining the retro signage, street numbers, and light fixtures that once defined the city's rich cinematic roots as the birthplace of the entertainment industry.
This Place Is Perfect For: On-the-pulse travelers with a keen eye for Art Deco design, Hollywood film buffs, and those who want a bustling nightlife scene without crossing the 10 freeway.
Rooms: The hotel's 49 rooms are on the petite side, but feel cozy with stylized retro furniture, vintage-inspired floral and checkered textiles, contemporary photography, bright natural light, walk-in rain showers, and convenient work desks. King-sized garden rooms include French doors that open onto a private communal courtyard. In-room amenities include tablets featuring neighborhood guides to the downtown area, plush Egyptian-cotton bedding, oversized bathrobes, all-day room service, Nespresso coffee machines, and a fully-stocked mini bar. Good to know: If you're an early or light sleeper, request a room that doesn't face the downstairs restaurant courtyard.
On Site: What makes or breaks a cool new boutique hotel in any city these days is a welcoming, hip lobby lounge that local creatives feel belongs to them as well as hotel guests. The all-day indoor/outdoor cafe and Parisian bistro Simonette is no exception, serving early morning croissants and breakfast bowls in the outdoor courtyard with a welcoming stay-as-long-as-you-like atmosphere. To bring the Cali vibes home (but not the kind that will get confiscated at the airport), purchase the hotel's bespoke fragrance. It's a little beachy, a little urban, and (almost) as relaxing.
Food + Drink: The nighttime scene on Simonette's al fresco patio may be as close to a summer night in Paris as Angelenos can get. Canopied by an old Carrotwood tree with romantic lighting and blue subway tile walls, LA's finest sits comfortably on mid-century floral sofas and barstools sipping craft cocktails made with local ingredients. The eclectic menu serves French classics (steak tartare, moules frites) as well as market vegetable salads, roasted cauliflower, and freshly-caught fish. If you stay beyond dessert, the cocktail menu serves French digestifs with a late-night-only bar menu.
What to Do Nearby
Culver City has always been known as the birthplace of the movie business and home to Sony Studios, NPR West, and the Helms Bakery complex. Today, while those LA landmarks remain, they aren't the reason Culver City is popping up on every LA must-see guide. One of the main attractions is opening of the highly-curated outdoor mall Platform. Home to NYC's famed Roberta's pizzeria, a Bobba Guys, Aesop, SoulCycle, Poketo, and Van Leeuwen ice cream shop, it's surrounded by a large-scale Jen Stark mural and manicured cactus gardens. Fathom Favorite Margot is a very photo-friendly rooftop greenhouse restaurant that serves Italian classics of spritz, focaccia sandwiches, and, because it's LA, green salads. In-the-know locals head to Bar Nine, a barebones warehouse space off a quiet residential street for handcrafted cold brew, egg sandwiches, and yogurt bowls. If you want to see a true hidden treasure, check out LA's only hobbit house, built by Disney carpenter Lawrence Joseph.