When you walk through the doors of the Palihouse Holloway, something doesn’t quite connect. Billed primarily as an extended stay hotel, we were expecting something of a cold corporate apartment block. Imagine our relief and delight when we spotted the almost Parisian frontage of the property, very much a different vibe from the parking lot of the iHop (International House of Pancakes) that we were standing in opposite.

The experience just got better as we stepped down into the highly-styled and beautifully designed lobby – peppered with eye-catching retro-chic antiques with a French sensibility – into a flurry of LA media types on Macbooks, blowing on their lattes and sipping red wine. This place was well described by their marketing people as a ‘boutique urban lodge’.

Designed as a home from home for said media types and Hollywood moguls, the bedrooms didn’t disappoint. The design flair and luxury finishes continued into 37 chic 600 square-feet rooms. Kudos to the Palihouse for their success in creating a room that not just looked fantastic at first sight, but delivered over and over again in terms of comfort and utility.

It’s clear that the hotelier understands luxury, unfortunately on our visit this philosophy didn’t seem to transfer to the on-duty staff. Although immaculately turned-out, they were somewhat aloof, unhelpful and inattentive on a number of occasions – which we felt was a let down for an otherwise wonderful experience. However, we did seem to have a similar experience of service elsewhere, in other hotels and restaurants, which is rather uncharacteristic for America – perhaps  they’re all wannabe actors or models earning their keep on the road to stardom, and their focus isn’t on the task at hand.