Live Out Your Old-School Cali Motel Dreams In Style At Palihotel Hollywood

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The pool area of Palihotel Hollywood, located on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Photos: Handout
A converted 50s motor lodge on Sunset Boulevard that’s cheeky, low frills yet luxurious. After hiking the Runyon Canyon to Mulholland Drive on Hollywood Hills, enjoy a meal at In-N-Out Burger or Texas taqueria-inspired fare at the hotel’s poolside Benny’s on the Blvd.
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The latest offering from Los Angeles-based Palisociety, the hotel is minutes away from Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL’s Chinese Theatre – perfect for first-time visitors

If you’ve always been fascinated by those dodgy motels in a seedy part of town that often provide the backdrop for US crime shows and action movies, you’re not the only one. I blame it on my steady diet of American thrillers and film noir, but deep down I’ve always wanted to stay at one of those second-rate properties. You know the ones: grumpy staff, a low-rise building, open courtyard, pool with stagnating water, unsavoury types coming in and out at odd times, and long-term residents checking in under fake names.

Now picture a high-end version of that, smack in the middle of Hollywood and with much better neighbours: Palihotel Hollywood is the latest opening from Los Angeles-based hospitality group Palisociety, the company behind other Los Angeles favourites such as Palihouse West Hollywood and Palihouse Santa Monica.

The hotel, housed in a former motor lodge from the late 50s, boasts a prime location on Sunset Boulevard, and is a great base for first-time visitors to Los Angeles. It’s just a five-minute walk from the iconic Hollywood Boulevard, home to touristy spots such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL’s Chinese Theatre and the famous intersection of Hollywood and Highland, from where you can catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign.

Palihotel Hollywood is also a short stroll from one of Los Angeles’ best natural attractions: Runyon Canyon, a moderately difficult hike that goes all the way up to Mulholland Drive on Hollywood Hills. The lovely uphill walk offers stunning views of Los Angeles and beyond, not to mention a peek into some spectacular mansions.

After a vigorous hike up the canyon, which can take up to two hours if done at a leisurely pace, you can reward yourself with a meal at In-N-Out Burger, which is just next door to the hotel and always packed with locals and tourists alike. Indulge in yummy beef patties and “animal-style fries” that have earned a global cult following, but are still only exclusive to the west coast of the US. (Guests who book The Night Owl room receive one US$10 In-N-Out gift card per stay.)

With 74 rooms and suites located on two floors around a central courtyard with a pool, Palihotel Hollywood stays true to the eclectic and slightly retro vibe of all Palisociety properties. Think vintage touches such as Smeg mini fridges in the rooms, whimsical artworks, striped deck chairs and orange umbrellas by the pool, and a warm colour palette of greens, pale blues and greys with pink and wood accents that are cosy and welcoming.

Benny’s on the Blvd, the hotel’s dining establishment, is a casual eatery overlooking the pool where you can enjoy Texas taqueria-inspired dishes and tropical cocktails, and is great for fun pool parties.

The 16th property in the brand’s portfolio, Palihotel Hollywood is the slightly younger and less high-maintenance sister to neighbouring Palihouse West Hollywood. Cheeky, low-frills and yet providing all the comforts of a luxury city stay, the hotel is a great base from which you can discover the Hollywood neighbourhood and relive the heyday of old school California.

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