Editor’s Review: Palihouse Santa Barbara

Written by: Kiki Koroshetz


Published on: December 18, 2023


I met Ivy at goop. She was a beauty buyer here at the time, and I was an editor (if I had an official job title eight years ago). We sat next to each other (the office was much smaller then). And she helped me with everyday things, like finding different adjectives to describe wedding flowers so our guide to florists wasn’t all “whimsical” and “wild.” I thought she was brilliant, and I still do.

Ivy leads the way—to galleries, ballets, plays, magic shows, movies, rare exhibitions. She is the person I text with so many questions: Have you heard of this brand? Where are the jeans from that you were wearing yesterday? Can you take me to my egg retrieval procedure? What kind of car insurance do you have? I love her so much.

This summer, Ivy married her beautiful creative match, Emma. They are genuinely obsessed with each other and have been for a long time. The ceremony was at the Santa Barbara courthouse (stunning), and every moment felt special, iconic, so very them.

I stayed a few blocks away at the Palihouse, which has easily become my favorite boutique hotel group. The Santa Barbara location has a sweet Mediterranean-style courtyard with a fountain, pale-pink umbrellas, and adorably mismatched patio furniture. The lounge and bar areas are cozy—I claimed a corner for one of the most pleasant remote workdays I’ve ever had. The pool is toward the back of the property—not large, not loud, entirely inviting.

I was in a deluxe king room, which was spacious, with a fireplace, a patio, and a bath that I took immediate advantage of. There was also a retro Smeg refrigerator in the room—I didn’t use it, but oh, I’m such a sucker for a Smeg appliance.

The bathroom walls were pink, and the wall by the tub was covered in a heavily romantic floral-print wallpaper, with a landscape painting hung in the middle. The bedroom walls were a light foggy blue, with different-colored furniture and prints throughout the room—some pieces looked new, some vintage. (Last week, I was on a video call with an old friend from New York who hadn’t seen my apartment before. “It’s so white,” she said cheerily. “I forget that—how spaces can look so white in LA.” Perhaps what’s most charming about the Palihouse hotels is that they are not that.)

What else about the hotel? There are 24 rooms and suites and complimentary Linus bikes you can ride around town. The people who work there (and, in my experience, in all the Palihouse locations) are remarkably nice and helpful and fun. Everything downtown is within walking distance—my first stops after checking in were the Book Den and Broad Street Oyster Co.

Also, if you go to Le Petit Pali in Carmel-by-the-Sea: It’s split into two locations, both on Junipero Street downtown. The location at the corner of Eighth Avenue is a reimagined motel with a super cute Parisian-esque café lodge. What’s important to know, though, is that the complimentary continental breakfast is excellent. I’m serious—do not skip it. They bring in the most delectable array of pastries and sourdough bread from the local Rise + Roam bakery, and the eight-minute eggs were actually perfect. The whipped butter was a dream. And the big bowl of Maldon salt—read my mind.

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