Enjoy this video tour of the men’s clothing optional Triangle Inn Palm Springs with hotelier, Michael Green. This historical mid-century modern resort was originally the Impala Lodge designed by the legendary Hugh Kaptor.
Archive for category: Architecture
By Katie Carrier
Palm Springs boasts a treasure trove of small hotels with big style that are ideal for guests seeking the perfect Instagram moment. Holiday House Palm Springs is one of the more recent additions to these local offerings, featuring an eye-catching blue and white design motif with pops of red.
Holiday House was originally designed in the 1950s by Herbert Berns, with strong midcentury lines and architectural details that were emblematic of the period. The hotel, located in downtown Palm Springs, was redesigned and relaunched in 2017 after an extensive makeover by renowned interior designer Mark D. Sikes, who is known for his signature blue and white color palette.
Each of the property’s 28 rooms feature unique combinations of patterned wallpaper, textiles and furnishings, as well as an impressive art collection that includes works by John Baldessari, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney and Alex Katz. The lawn adjacent to the hotel’s pool features a large Donald Sultan sculpture called “Red Poppies” that is one of the popular Instagram-friendly features on the property.
The blue and white striped furniture on the patio is another great spot for a snap for the ‘gram, surrounded by lush banana leaves and mature fruit trees. The hotel also offers fun amenities on site that are just begging for a social media shoutout, including a huge pool, blue and white polka dot bicycles that are available for guests to use and an original shuffleboard court.
The hotel lobby is also full of Instagram gold, including the “library,” which is covered in a striking blue pattern on every surface, an oversized David Hockney Sumo book, and the bar, which has a catchy neon art piece that makes a frequent appearance on social media.
The hotel’s cocktails are also super Instagrammable, featuring fun garnishes and swizzle sticks that make for the perfect poolside drink-in-hand pose!
Holiday House features one of the more unique dining experiences in the desert, with a family-style fried chicken dinner held each Friday night that is open to both hotel guests and the general public. Attendees dine al fresco at a beautifully-decorated long table, enjoying the delicious culinary creations of Chef Gabe Woo. Cantina Tuesdays are another great time to visit Holiday House, with gourmet Mexican fare and margaritas served a la carte in the patio dining area.
If you’re an Instagram fan, you will definitely want to experience Holiday House Palm Springs soon! Be sure to also stay tuned as we explore other great Instagram-friendly small hotels in Palm Springs in a new series of blog posts coming out each month.
Next up in our series of articles on the most Instagram-worthy small hotels in Palm Springs is L’Horizon Resort & Spa.
In 1952, Jack Wrather, producer of Lassie and The Lone Ranger, wanted a desert retreat for himself and his Hollywood friends. He enlisted prominent modernist architect William F. Cody to create a large property in South Palm Springs featuring 20 separate bungalows that ultimately hosted everyone from Marilyn Monroe to the Nixons during its heyday. More than six decades later, designer Steve Hermann, who has designed homes for clients including Christina Aguilera and Vera Wang, purchased the property and reopened it in July 2015 as L’Horizon Resort & Spa following an extensive renovation and redesign.
Hermann’s design update retained Cody’s signature midcentury architectural elements while infusing modern comforts and luxuries. An al fresco fine dining restaurant called SO.PA was added to the property, as well as a poolside bar and a spa.
A blue-tiled infinity pool is the centerpiece of the resort, with guest room bungalows scattered around the property.
One bungalow, called the Fireplace Suite, was Marilyn Monroe’s personal bungalow when she stayed with the Wrathers during the 1950s. It features a wood-burning, copper clad fireplace as the centerpiece of the room and opens out onto a private patio.
The ultimate luxury accomodations at L’Horizon can be found in The Residence, which is a nearly 2,000 square foot standalone home with two bedrooms, a full kitchen, living room, sunken wet bar and its own private pool with gorgeous mountain views.
Other Instagram-able details I love at L’Horizon include the black and white multi-patterned design motifs around the property; the ornate starburst front doors; bikes available for guest use during your stay; bocce ball court; hammocks; and the desert landscaping throughout the resort. The property is adults only, but your four-legged friends are welcome!
Stay tuned as we continue to explore other great Instagram-friendly small hotels in Palm Springs in this series of blog posts coming out each month!
Images via Jeff Mindell for Palm Springs Style and Instagram.
There’s an air of excitement in Palm Springs every October, and not just because of the cooler weather. Running October 14 through 17 is Modernism Preview Week, a mini-version of February’s Modernism Week. This event was originally designed to attract journalists and entice them to write about Palm Springs’ unique architecture.
With few design regulations in Palm Springs, Los Angeles architects Arthur Elrod, E. Stewart Williams, Don Wexler, Hugh Kaptur, and Albert Frey came to the area reveling in the prospect of experimenting with unusual shapes for roofs and buildings. Today, most of their buildings are preserved, and in some cases, also have the original décor.
During Modernism Preview Week, there are numerous tours available, both walking and through the buildings. Be sure to get tickets in advance at Modernism Week.
Palm Springs Art Museum and local citizens come together
Recognizing the significance of these architects’ impact on the Palm Springs area, a coalition of local residents raised funds to convert the Coachella Valley Savings and Loan building originally designed by Stewart Williams into the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. (Fun fact: Williams also designed the Palm Springs Art Museum!) Today, with the design help of Marmol Radziner architects, this building holds the papers donated by Albert Frey, as well as other documents and designs by the architects that helped put Palm Springs on the map.
Exhibitions that excite
The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture Design Center is at the end of downtown Palm Springs’ retail shopping district, and a great stop to make after enjoying lunch. Take time to notice the plants surrounding the building, and how the cacti cast shadows onto the windows. Walking through the entry doors, you are greeted and asked to pay your $5 admission fee.
The Modern Chair exhibition will quickly grab your attention, with each chair having its own space so it can be viewed from different angles. Swiss-French designer LeCorbusier designed the oldest modern chair, and its inclusion helps one see the journey of the development of the modern seat beginning in 1905.
Did you notice incorporated in the décor is the drive-up window installed when the building was a savings and loan? Next to it, the modernism wall is covered in an easily recognized wallpaper design of the ’60s.
A book store and gift shop worth the stop
What do you do with a vault that is impossible to move? Turn it into a place to house your vast collection of architectural books for sale. The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture Design Center’s collection of books will help you navigate the world of modernism, with many of the authors from the Palm Springs area.
With an architectural theme, the items in the gift shop are colorful and unusual — as an added bonus, many of them are created by local artists. Take the time to browse and ask the knowledgeable staff and volunteers any questions you might have.
The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center exhibitions and educational programs change, so be sure to sign up for their mailing list. As you walk out the door, look down. There you will see stars in the sidewalk honoring the architects and interior designers who embraced modernism and helped Palm Springs become a destination that embraces the style.
If you really want to immerse yourself in the architecture, use the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels website to search for mid-century modern hotels. The best way to cap a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center is by then checking into one of these fabulous properties.
Blogger Debra Schroeder of Traveling Well for Less found herself captivated by the Albert Frey-designed Monkey Tree Hotel, with its mid-century modern architecture and fun vintage decor.
We always love it when travel writers visit Palm Springs and stay in one of our uniquely beautiful, independently-owned Palm Springs boutique hotels. But it is particularly heartening when a writer like Joanna visits us and is completely captivated by the charm of her hotel and Palm Springs. Joanna recently stayed at the Alcazar and here’s what she had to say about her trip.
Mathew Westcott grew up in the hospitality business, and now with The Westcott Hotel, he’s making his mark in Palm Springs.
“Palm Springs has been a favorite vacation spot for me for many years and the city has continued to grow and develop — I wanted to be part of that journey,” he says.
Mathew purchased POSH Palm Springs Inn in June 2017, and changed its name to The Westcott in honor of his family. Mathew left behind a corporate career in London and New York to open The Westcott — while it’s his first hotel, his family has been operating hotels in the UK for decades, and he’s learned a lot along the way.
“It’s an industry which I’m passionate about and has always been in my blood,” he says.
Built in the 1930s, The Westcott is in the Uptown Design District, and “from the outside, its simple Art Deco lines are unassuming, but walk through the doors and it feels completely different,” Mathew says. “It’s great to see the way people react each time they enter for the first time.”
Rooms at The Westcott feature luxurious bedding and amenities, flatscreen televisions, and Keurig coffee makers. A complimentary breakfast is served in the morning, and a daily cocktail hour is held in the evening around the large freshwater pool.
“Being a hotel owner is all about creating a unique and memorable guest experience — looking at every detail from arrival to departure and ensuring we exceed expectations,” Mathew says. “In our first few months of being open we have been blown away by the great reviews we have received.”
Mathew says he takes to heart the feedback he hears, and “we’ve continued to tweak our service and hotel as we listen to what our guests say.” They often rave about General Manager Michael Barge, who is “every bit as focused on building The Westcott as I am,” Mathew says.
With The Westcott, Mathew is able to bring together his passion for hospitality and interior design and love of the Art Deco era.
“My goal was to create a unique and timeless property that enabled you to walk through the door and get that 1930s Hollywood golden age glamor combined with modern hotel amenities to make a very special experience,” he says. “We are excited to see the hotel grow and to meet more new guests in our first year.”
No two rooms are alike at Ruby Montana’s Coral Sands Inn (https://www.palmspringspreferredsmallhotels.com/stay/ruby-montanas-coral-sands).
Each one is a testament to the owner’s distinct style, which was on full display in the store she once operated in Seattle, Ruby Montana’s Pinto Pony. Many of the furnishings and knickknacks from the shop made it to California with Montana when she moved in 2000, and they are now in the different themed rooms.
The hotel was built in 1952, but Montana is going for more of a kitschy feel, rather than pure mid-century modern. The hotel is pink after all, with a kidney-shaped pool in the middle of the courtyard, and the rooms have names like “Howdy Doody Goes to Bali” and “The Yiddish Cow Girl.”
Depending on where you stay, there might be wagon wheels and horse lamps next to your bed, pictures of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on the wall, or maybe a leopard carpet covering the floor with a matching duvet on the bed. It’s this fun, surprising vibe that keeps guests coming back.
Palm Springs is known for being a haven for mid-century enthusiasts, but there are so many different architectural styles scattered around the city.
The Del Marcos Hotel was designed by famed architect William F. Cody, his first independent commission in Palm Springs. This modernist hotel launched his career in the desert, and received an award from the Southern California chapter of the AIA for its cutting edge design. The Del Marcos Hotel, 225 W. Baristo Road, Palm Springs. 800-676-1214
The Korakia Pensione describes itself as blending the “silhouette of Tangier with a whisper of the Mediterranean.” A pensione is a type of guest or boarding house, with the term typically used in areas of North Africa, the Middle East, and continental Europe. The hotel has Moroccan touches everywhere, from the courtyard and daybeds to tea service every afternoon and lanterns lit up at night. Korakia Pensione, 257 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs. 760-864-6411
The Andalusian Court, a Spanish Revival inn, feels like it’s out of another place and another time. The old world charm is evident while walking through the inn’s Spanish courtyard and villas — turn a corner and you’ll stumble upon colorful tile and fountains, then make a right and you’ll find fountains, lush greenery, and a well. This hotel has a distinctive 1920s vibe. The Andalusian Court, 458 W. Arenas Road, Palm Springs. 760-323-9980
The Mediterranean-style Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn was once the hideaway of a Los Angeles millionaire, and now is a small, luxury boutique hotel that draws people looking for privacy and relaxation. The Willows, built into the bedrock of a mountain, was designed by William J. Dodd, and completed in 1925. It features terraces, where guests can soak in the surrounding vistas, and complex ironwork and hand-chiseled limestone. It’s no wonder Albert Einstein used to enjoy coming here. The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn, 412 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs. 800-966-9597
Contributed by: Brittany Ryan
Nestled between Indian Canyon and bustling downtown Palm Springs, sits the historic Old Ranch Inn. Here, in this intimate eight-room boutique hotel catering to adults and their pet dogs, is where travelers come to find a home away from home. Although Old Ranch Inn has been offering guests a peaceful escape since the 1930’s, it has recently come under new ownership. Old Ranch Inn is now being looked after by Troy and Jason, and they have big plans for the Inn’s future including an extensive renovation of the guestrooms and public spaces.
Troy, who is a retired partner from the accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young, has 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, loved the idea of customers being able to feel like they were staying at a close friend’s guesthouse.
“Old Ranch Inn is designed to offer privacy and intimacy.” Troy explained to me. “Because the property accommodates 16 people total, we are able to provide a completely customer-centric experience for our guests from the time they check in to the time they check out, which is reflected in our Expedia rating of 4.7 out of 5 and a 9.6 rating out of 10 on hotels.com” And since the hotel is located in a residential neighborhood, it’s a peaceful setting.
This customer-centric experience is made apparent in all of the details of the property. When you arrive at this slice of paradise, you’re welcomed by the trickling sound of fountains and birds singing in the trees. Western lanterns line the property offering a peaceful amber glow in the evenings.
The pool is surrounded by bright teal lounge chairs, each with their own pillow. It’s easy to see why some guests spend their entire trip just relaxing by the pool. Jason and Troy see to it that all of your poolside needs are taken care of – cold water, sunscreen, pool noodles, and floaties. The patio offers a variety of umbrella-covered seating areas. This is a favorite spot for guests to enjoy cocktail hour and dine al fresco under the string lights as the sun begins to set.
Old Ranch Inn is set in the Historic Tennis Club area – one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, founded in 1937. Just minutes from the famous Palm Springs Walk of Stars, Palm Springs Art Museum, the bars/restaurants on Arenas, the Tennis Club was once an under-the-radar destination for Hollywood celebrities, politicians, statesmen, and infamous world travelers. Today, the desert community is considered one of the premiere locations for upscale boutique hotels.
The eight pristine guest rooms at Old Ranch Inn create an instant feeling of coziness. Tasteful western design elements, like Tiffany-style lamps and white quilted linens, are seamlessly blended with modern amenities, like a kitchenette, walk-in shower, and a private patio.
“We wanted to pay homage to the western desert roots that the Old Ranch Inn is known, while still providing a contemporary, relaxing experience for our guests,” says Jason.
Troy and Jason’s vision for a comfortable home away from home is quickly coming to life. The guesthouse caters to both short and long-term travelers. Old Ranch Inn is set in a very walkable location, just a few blocks from local favorites like FARM, a charming, French-inspired eatery, and Wilma & Frieda Palm Springs, a brunch spot with reinvented comfort food. Head in the opposite direction toward the mountains, using one of the Inn’s free bike rentals, to hike one of the popular Tahquitz Canyon hiking trails and get some grand views of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. If you’re lucky, you might even see some big horn sheep.
“We have active guests that love the ease of access to hiking, golfing, shopping, and local dining, and we also have guests that come simply to enjoy the quiet pleasures of relaxing poolside for the majority of their stay,” says Jason.
In short, Troy and Jason’s vision for Old Ranch Inn is to provide a luxury level experience in an intimate setting. The fact that this boutique hotel is perfectly located between the San Jacinto Mountains and Downtown Palm Springs is icing on the cake!