“A fun, no-frills boutique hotel in Melrose, attached to an inventive diner-restaurant”
Warm tones and vintage furnishings create a cosy vibe in the 32 rooms, though they feel a little dark. There are 4 types to choose from (Double or 3 Queen options, some with sofabeds), and whilst each room has its own unique aesthetic, common themes are found across all: cork walls on at least one side, grey shagpile carpeting, deep greens, woody browns, rich purples and firm, delightfully comfortable beds. The Dean & Deluca branded minibars offer tempting snack options, several Queen rooms have step-out balconies, and complimentary WiFi runs throughout.
I liked the eclectic furnishings and characterful desks and chairs, but I wasn't wild about the lack of in-room facilities. The 'all you need, nothing you don’t' ethos quickly wears thin. There are no wardrobes or drawers - instead, hangers on a funky ladder - and there are no phones, kettles or alarm clocks. More importantly, there are no temperature controls, and the rooms can get very hot.
The flatscreen TVs, settee sofas and shabby-chic details are appealing but it’s the bathrooms that are the saving grace of these overly un-done rooms. Despite being small, everything is there. The robes are plush, the tubs are deep, and the fittings are classy enough to make you feel like you’re in a 1950s Hollywood Hills home. But no hot soak in the bath can take away from the fact that these rooms have little in the way of glamour.
The Hart and The Hunter was the jewel in my Pali experience. Adjacent to the lobby, this diner-style restaurant is a casually sharp hangout, open to be seen in for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is dynamic and different, taking ingredients from near and inspiration from far. The staff are passionate and knowledgeable, and play a significant role in the experience, which is about tasting not just re-fuelling.
Breakfast is not your average American fare. Choose from butter biscuits with fruit, cheese and spiced honey (amazing, melt-in-the-mouth), a more traditional yoghurt, granola and fruits, or sweet treats like lemon bars and cherry almond scones. Basically, don’t expect a '1 egg, 2 eggs' type menu, and be sure to wash it all down with their Handsome coffee. At weekends, delicious-sounding brunches include shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes and pecan praline pancakes.
Lunches are great-value and flavoursome - perhaps kale salad with apples, sheep's cheese and a walnut vinagarette, or a grilled steak bowl with roasted veg and salsa verde.
Dinner fuses concepts and ingredients from the American South with bold, fresh blasts of flavour. The shrimp boil, Andouille sausage, corn and potato dish was interesting and delicious. The sprouting broccoli with chilli vin was bursting with flavour. And we wanted all the puddings: chicory coffee ice cream with hot fudge sauce, warm apple dumplings, lemon ice box pie... but we couldn't resist having the biscuits again!
There are heaps of other restaurants nearby; ask reception for a recommendation.
Whilst children are welcome, there are no specific facilities to keep them entertained. Baby cots can be provided, babysitting can be arranged, and Queen rooms have a pullout sofabed for 1 extra person.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available