Review: Silver Lake’s First Hotel Sets the Bar Very High
The Silver Lake Pool and Inn makes for an ideal East Side staycation
Over the past year, it seems like every trendy hotel brand has opened a property in L.A.: Proper, Freehand, Hoxton, NoMad, Soho House, Edition, 1 Hotels — the list is long. While these brands have tended to cluster in the city’s most top-of-mind locations for out-of-towners (Downtown, West Hollywood, Santa Monica), LA’s eclectic, artistic and largely residential East Side neighborhoods have remained a hotel desert.
Enter Silver Lake Pool and Inn, one of the city’s most exciting new hotels, and the neighborhood’s first and only. Located just around the corner from Sunset Junction, a walkable stretch of Sunset Boulevard chockablock with fantastic bars and restaurants, the 54-room Inn is primed for pioneering travelers looking to live like a local, locals looking for a quality spot to house visiting family and friends, or staycationing Angelenos seeking a taste of life on the East Side.
It was the latter that recently enticed me in for an overnight stay, which left me wanting more and excited to spread the word that spending the night in Silver Lake is now an option.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Currently in its fourth month of operation, Silver Lake Pool and Inn is already a well-oiled machine. This came as no surprise since the team behind it, Palisociety, operates a mini-empire of Pali-branded boutique hotels across LA (Silver Lake Pool and Inn being its sixth in total, but the first to stray from the Pali name, in keeping with Silver Lake’s brand-wary, offbeat ethos).
Instead of Pali’s signature plush and moody vibes, Silver Lake Pool and Inn is bright, airy and boasts a style the company describes as “Mexican modernism” meets “Californian.” What exactly does that mean? Expect an effortless aesthetic of layered textures — wood, stone, leather — and handsome, handmade vintage elements throughout.
Various exterior and interior walls, including the one behind the minimal front desk, are clad in glazed, tan-gold tile, which gives off the air of a 1970s swimming club. In the spacious rooms, highlights include live plants, antique rugs, terrazzo counters, bathrooms with large rainfall showers, and a well-curated in-room bartending kit.
The general aesthetic, coupled with the Boy Scouts-inspired button-ups worn by the front-desk staff, will for a moment make you feel like you’re inside a Wes Anderson film.
Pro Tip: Request a room on the north-facing side of the building for views of the Griffith Park hills and Griffith Observatory.
THE POOL DECK IS THE HEART OF THE HOTEL
With no lobby lounge or indoor communal spaces, the Inn’s flagstone-topped pool deck is the heart of the hotel. Elevated on the second floor, you’ll get views for miles from the sling-back chairs, sun loungers, cafe tables and cushioned seating nooks. Cocktails and snacks are ferried in from the hotel’s Marco Polo Trattoria and Bar (more on that below).
On a beautiful day, there’s few other places on the East Side of the city I’d rather have a leisurely breakfast or sip on a spritz (try the Marco Polo: aperol, amaro angeleno, passion fruit soda, sparkling wine). And while it’s not big, the heated pool (open until 11 p.m.) is certainly big enough to relax and gather with friends. But beyond lounging and imbibing, keep an eye on the hotel’s monthly event programming for offerings like poolside yoga followed by a free Bloody Mary or mimosa at brunch.
Pro Tip: Non-guests can enjoy the pool too. You’ll just need to check availability at the front desk, spend a minimum of $30 on food and drink per guest in your party, and limit your stay to two hours.
MARCO POLO TRATTORIA AND BAR
Helmed by Chef Casey Lane, Marco Polo Trattoria and Bar dishes out delicious coastal Italian cuisine made with California ingredients in a cozy, white-walled courtyard. For breakfast, brunch on weekends, lunch, pool snacks and dinner, the food is beautiful, fresh, colorful and not overly complicated. Picture the kind of dishes that let the quality of the ingredients shine, like a salt- roasted whole branzino with tomato vinaigrette or linguine vongole with clams, lemon and extra virgin olive oil. Come breakfast and brunch, favorites include the ricotta pancakes and soft scramble with salmon. Try their turmeric latte, too.
Banking on L.A.’s usually hospitable weather, the entire restaurant, save for the sliding glass- walled bar, is outside. Dress accordingly. Speaking of the bar, be sure to explore the cocktail menu, which puts a California spin on Italian staples, like a Campari cocktail with blood orange soda, white wine and bitters or a tequila and aperol fusion with blackberry and lemon.
Compared to some hotel restaurants that feel only accessible to guests, Marco Polo is very much a neighborhood restaurant in attitude and feel. So even if you aren’t spending the night, it’s well worth repeat visits.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of the daily Aperitivo Hour from 4-6 p.m. for stellar deals on drinks and food, like a $3 Peroni, a $9 Aperol spritz or $8 for a heaping portion of burrata with thick-cut toast.
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