L'Horizon Pool and mountains - Jeff Mindell

Next up in our series of articles on the most Instagram-worthy small hotels in Palm Springs is L’Horizon Resort & Spa.

L'Horizon exterior - Jeff Mindell

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.

L'Horizon Pool and mountains - Jeff Mindell

L'Horizon guest room - Jeff Mindell

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.

L'Horizon Pool Bar - Jeff Mindell

L'Horizon Instagram posts

A blue-tiled infinity pool is the centerpiece of the resort, with guest room bungalows scattered around the property.

L'Horizon Infinity Pool - Jeff Mindell

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.

L'Horizon Bungalow with Fireplace - Jeff Mindell

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.

L'Horizon Residence - Jeff Mindell

L'Horizon Residence Pool - Jeff MindellOther 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!

L'Horizon Front Doors and Bike - Jeff Mindell

L'Horizon Hammock and Bocce- Jeff Mindell L'Horizon Instagram Posts

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.

Step foot on the Dive Palm Springs property, and you’ll immediately be transported to the French Riviera of the 1960s.

Dive Palm Springs opened in August 2019 after a two-month renovation. The hotel was built in 1954 as the Sunrise Villa, a western-style hotel. Over the years, it changed names and themes, ultimately becoming the Alpine Gardens before transforming into Colt’s Lodge in 2015. Since being purchased earlier this year, the 11-room property has been “extensively redesigned, both inside and out,” new owner Abdi Manavi says. “We have developed a sense of luxury in all the rooms, and a feeling of serenity throughout the different areas of the grounds.”

The hotel features furnishings by Serena & Lily and Anthropologie, premium linens, and original murals. Most of the King rooms come with an outdoor patio, complete with an oversized daybed, and one has a private hot tub. The most magical room is the La Reve, French for “The Dream.” This room has a custom ceiling mural and wallpaper by Christian Lacroix, a solid brass queen bed with an ultra-comfortable Tuft and Needle mattress, and a red-tiled bathroom with a rainfall shower and smoked glass two-way mirror between the bedroom and shower.

“Dive is more than a hotel,” Abdi says. “It’s a private luxury time machine. Evoking the casual elegance of Saint Tropez in the 1960s, we created Dive to transport our guests to a romantic forgotten world where it’s still safe to relax, play, explore, and release all the trappings of modern life.”

Dive is an adults-only property, and can host events for up to 150 people, including weddings, retreats, and reunions. Guests have been raving about the lush grounds, cozy daybeds, the restored original Libott pool, the koi pond, and The Orchard — Dive calls this its “vacation spot within a vacation spot,” as it has a two-person swing chair, waterfall, comfortable couches and loungers, and a vintage neon sign of a diving girl, affectionally nicknamed Lulu.

“My business partner Dale Fox and I have created an intimate atmosphere for our guests, as you would have staying at a friend’s house,” Abdi says. “We are here to provide magic and ensure our guests are relaxed and happy during their stay. Though I take on the role of an owner and general manager, my business card says ‘Liaison to Happiness.'”

Next up in our series of articles on the most Instagram-worthy small hotels in Palm Springs is Villa Royale. This beautiful property reopened in 2018 after an extensive renovation by its new owners, turning the property into a very popular destination that is full of photo ops.

Villa Royale was originally built in 1947 and was one of the first small hotels in south Palm Springs. It was frequented by Hollywood celebrities as a getaway that met the “two-hour rule” implemented by Hollywood studios at that time, which required that actors under studio contracts could not be farther than two hours from set.

The redesigned Villa Royale retains the charm of its past roots, while adding unique contemporary design details, such as custom murals and artwork throughout the property. A large mural welcomes guests to the property, entitled “Welcome to Your Paradise,” by Sagent Staygold.

A series of geometric murals by Los Angeles-based artist Sara Radovanovitch are located around the property, as well as her travel-inspired “El Viaje” painting in the poolside lanai, and portraits of Hollywood stars in some of the guest rooms. Additional paintings by Juan Casas and Lou Kregal were painted on site at the hotel, featuring desert landscapes, classic cars and movie and music icons.

Villa Royale is a pet-friendly property, so you can enjoy this beautiful hotel with your four-legged friends!

There are three pools on the property, all with gorgeous mountain views that make them the perfect spot for enjoying the scenery with a cocktail in hand. And speaking of cocktails: the team at Del Rey, the hotel’s onsite restaurant and bar, are known for their excellent drinks, as well as a delicious Mediterranean-inspired tapas menu.

Other Instagram-able details we love include the intricately patterned tiles around the property, the bikes available for guest use during your stay, and the vintage 1960 Oldsmobile 88 parked out front by the hotel’s entrance.

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 Instagram and courtesy of Villa Royale.

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.

The Villa Royale has long been a desert hideaway, and now, it’s more stunning than ever.

The 38-room property, built in 1947, reopened in the fall of 2018 with a fresh, modern look. Co-owner and co-designer John Janulis told the Desert Sun the property is “a true Palm Springs time capsule. We did our best to not disturb the overall feel and charm.”

There are bold patterns, bright colors, and beautiful tile work made possible by artisan pieces from Spain, Mexico, and Portugal. The 21-and-over property has three pools, all with mountain views, and is pet-friendly. The intimate Del Rey offers up libations and small plates featuring Spanish and Mediterranean flavors. Led by Chef Louis Martinez, the Del Rey has a beautiful 12-seat oak and marble bar, as well as booths and an outdoor patio with firepit.

The Villa Royale is home to more than 50 original pieces of artwork, commissioned exclusively for the hotel. Prior to the property’s reopening, artists Sara Radovanovich, Lou Kregal, and Juan Casas lived at the Villa Royale while creating their oil paintings of everything from pop culture icons to desert scenes.

The art’s not just inside. Muralist and tattoo artist Sagent Staygold spray painted the “Welcome to Your Paradise” piece that guests see when they arrive, and Radovanovich made the geometric “El Viaje” mural that stands guard poolside.

Dive Palm Springs, BelleVue Oasis join the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels family.

It was a summer of change in Palm Springs, and this fall, you’ll want to check out — and check into — the newest boutique hotels to open in the city.

LaReve room at Dive hotel

Dive Palm Springs is an 11-room paradise, inspired by the French Riviera. Formerly Colt’s Lodge, the property reopened in August, after a meticulous two-month renovation. Most of the rooms come with an outdoor patio, and the most magical one of all, La Reve, features a customer ceiling mural and wallpaper by Christian Lacroix and a gorgeous red-tiled bathroom with a rainfall shower and smoked glass two-way mirror.

“Dive is more than a hotel,” owner and general manager Abdi Manavi says. “It’s a private luxury time machine. Evoking the casual elegance of Saint Tropez in the 1960s, we created Dive to transport our guests to a romantic forgotten world where it’s still safe to relax, play, explore, and release all the trappings of modern life.”

In September, Escape Palm Springs officially became BelleVue Oasis. It is no longer a men’s clothing-optional hotel, but will remain a 21-and-over, mid-century modern resort. The lush grounds are what inspired the new name, with senior hotel manager Charles Zalepeski saying once you walk onto the property, “it’s kind of shocking, you don’t expect it to be as beautiful and as big as it is. The pool is beautiful, and the mountain views are ridiculous.”

Casa Cody, the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, is under new management by the Casseta Group. Casa Cody was founded in the 1920’s by Hollywood pioneer, Harriet Cody, cousin to the legendary, Buffalo Bill. Renovations are underway in several rooms as well as at the Winters House, an original 1930’s California Ranch House, which was added to the property in 2004.

With the closing of the Terra Cotta Resort, Tuscany Manor is now the go-to destination for adults looking for a clothing-optional experience. The all-suite hotel boasts apartment-style units with one or two bedrooms, plus kitchens and living and dining rooms. There is also an updated flower-filled courtyard, complete with a renovated pool, spa, and picnic area. In another major change, the entire property is now smoke free.

As for the Terra Cotta Resort, it is being renovated and will reopen in the fall of 2020 under a new name.

And if owning an exclusive boutique hotel is the dream of a lifetime, The Old Ranch Inn, a Spanish-style landmark hotel built in Palm Springs in the 1930’s, is available for sale at $2.5 million. 

About Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels

Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels is a consortium of independently owned boutique hotels, which are an essential part of this desert resort town’s uncommon culture and economy. From quirky to charming, mid-century modern to clothing-optional, Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has got your stay. Follow the fun on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

John Janulis is not the first guy from the Pacific Northwest to fall in love with Palm Springs (nor will he be the last) but he is the latest and greatest, making a splash with the sleek and seductive renovation of an old Hollywood haunt tucked away on the south end of town.

Amin Casa dates back to the 1930s, when actress Gloria Swanson purchased the spectacular property and used it as a desert retreat, a place to go where she could escape the bright lights of Hollywood.

Once the getaway for a major Hollywood star, Amin Casa (https://www.palmspringspreferredsmallhotels.com/stay/amin-casa) is still as glamorous as it was when Gloria Swanson called the place home.

Long before Ramon Bautista and Nelson Cooley purchased the Historic Tennis Club neighborhood property in 2015, it was owned by actress Gloria Swanson, who used it as a vacation house. She bought it from Pearl McCallum McManus, one of the earliest settlers of Palm Springs, who ultimately became one of its most prominent developers.

While renovated, the residence and bungalow both retain the 1930s charm that drew Gloria Swanson in so many years ago.

Swanson had a prolific career — she was among the nominees for the first-ever Best Actress Academy Award, was a box office draw during the silent and sound film eras, and her turn as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard cemented her status as a Hollywood icon.

Her name lives on at Amin Casa, where guests can rent the Grand Residence of Gloria Swanson with two bedrooms or the Signature Bungalow of Gloria Swanson with one bedroom.  The Grand Residence has its own separate entrance with patio seating, a stone fireplace in the living room, a dining area, two bathrooms, and the largest kitchen on the property, with a range, refrigerator, and ice maker. While renovated, the residence and bungalow both retain the 1930s charm that drew Swanson in so many years ago.  

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.

Korakia Pensione (https://www.palmspringspreferredsmallhotels.com/stay/korakia-pensione) is one of Palm Springs’ most unique hotels.

It’s actually three separate buildings — an adobe dating back to 1918, a bungalow built in 1924, and a 1930s villa. There isn’t just one vibe, as Korakia Pensione has touches of Northern African and the Mediterranean; there are arches and fountains and candles everywhere, with guests able to slip into one of two saltwater pools at any time of day. There’s also a library, which has been a gathering place for writers and artists and musicians for decades.

The property’s one-of-a-kind feel makes it perfect for photo shoots. The hotel has been prominently featured in several of the world’s most popular magazines, including VogueElle, and Architectural Digest. Of course, it’s also been the backdrop in countless wedding pictures, as the hotel and its stunning views of the San Jacinto mountains and palms have attracted brides and grooms from around the world.