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.

The Andalusian Court is peaceful and romantic.

The Andalusian Court is peaceful and romantic.

There are many words guests use to describe The Andalusian Court — romantic, private, serene, stunning — but one is used over and over again: Magical.

“The grounds are lush and full of water features and fountains and at night it is lit up like a magical fantasyland,” manager Elaine Manion said. “We had one guest tell us he’s not a sentimental guy, but the property at night almost brought him to tears.”

The Andalusian Court was originally built in 1921, and retains its Spanish revival charm. There are seven private villas, each one with a bedroom, fully-equipped kitchen, luxurious bathroom, dining and living room, and fireplace, and some have private outdoor jacuzzis. The gardens are gorgeous, the courtyard pool and fire pits are inviting, and the guest barbecue is a fun touch. There’s also a Hollywood history — Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz often stayed at The Andalusian Court in Villa 4.

“Everything is unique about this property,” Elaine said. “Every villa is fully contained; it is literally turnkey, so you don’t need anything else. The customer service is impeccable, it’s number one, and the grounds are peaceful. The property is quiet because everyone is on the same page; there’s no loud music at the pool, no screaming. It is adults only, so it does have a very peaceful and serene environment.”

The owners have retained the hotel’s original architecture while adding plush new beds and linens, water heaters, and WiFi to each villa. As a bonus, when guests check-in, they are greeted with a goody bag of snacks and bottled water, and they always know that the staff at The Andalusian Court is ready and excited to help them make the most out of their stay.

“We hear wonderful reviews from our guests, and they recommend us to others,” Elaine said. “That word of mouth has led to us having lots of repeat guests.”

Mother and daughter getway to Palm Springs

By Susan Montgomery

My daughter (who is 40-something) is a busy surgeon in San Diego.  I love to travel with her, but she does not have much time to get away. The challenge is: Where can we enjoy a weekend getaway that is not too far away and still feels like a real retreat? Fortunately, we have a lot in common when it comes to our travel preferences. We both love nice hotels with all the amenities (including a fabulous pool of course), wonderful restaurants and cocktails, unique shopping, and lovely weather in the great outdoors.

We have taken a few trips to Palm Springs together and found everything we want in a getaway, including beautiful weather almost any time of year. This article highlights a few of our wonderful experiences on several trips. If you would like to visit Palm Springs with your daughter (or your mother or your sister or your best friend), you might like to stop at some of these spots too.

Stay at The Weekend

We love staying at the small boutique hotels in Palm Springs where we find privacy and serenity in lush settings. While we’ve had relaxing stays at several delightful hotels, I think The Weekend Palm Springs is an ideal choice for a mother/daughter getaway because it offers stylishly furnished two-bedroom suites. My daughter and I prefer our own rooms so this works well for us. At The Weekend, we can stay together but have our own separate rooms for sleeping. (I’ve heard that I snore, but that can’t possibly be true.)

A classic example of mid-century modern architecture, this sleek, luxurious hotel in the lovely Old Las Palmas neighborhood was once a retreat for many of the “rat pack” Hollywood celebrities. The structure has recently undergone a stunning, multi-million dollar renovation but still retains its historical character. These suites surround a beautiful, inviting pool with lounge chairs and benches. (I can just imagine Marilyn Monroe languidly lounging by the pool.) The Weekend is a peaceful getaway but still within easy walking distance of hip bars, restaurants, and shops. Included with each stay is a delicious, ample continental breakfast delivered right to your room every morning. We both love savoring early morning coffee and really looked forward to the delectable breakfast trays.

Eat and drink

There are so many special spots in Palm Springs for great food and cocktails. Here are just a few suggestions for places my daughter and I love.

Azucar is the restaurant at La Serena Villas and is a perfect stop for lunch or dinner. The setting is modish and open with an upstairs deck overlooking the mountains and the pool. The cocktails are innovative and the food is equally tantalizing. We loved the fish tacos and watermelon salad with feta, but there are many other enticing choices.

Cocktails at Azucar in La Serena Villas

Holiday House is another chic restaurant in a small hotel. Its bar focuses on creative cocktails (such as the Aperol Spritz or the Club 55 martini (made with gin, elder flower liqueur, lemon, and rosemary-infused syrup). For lunch, if you are really hungry, you will love the juicy Pantry Cheeseburger or for a healthier option, try the Baby Kale Salad topped with salmon.

Cheeky’s (adjacent to the Alcazar Hotel) is the perfect place for a tasty breakfast or lunch before exploring Palm Springs. We love their cheesy eggs and unique bacon flight accompanied by great coffee or a spicy bloody mary. (Start the day with a zing!)

Wexler’s Deli at another small hotel, Arrive, attracts a lively youngish crowd, but this older babe loved it too. The vibe is rocking and the drinks are refreshing. We tried the savory smoked fish platter that paired well with some unique cocktails, including one that looked just like a snow cone (but was infused with vodka)

For Late Night Fun

When traveling with your daughter, you can’t go to bed too early. After dinner, the night has just begun and there is lots to do in Palm Springs.

My daughter particularly enjoyed the cozy speakeasy, Seymour’s, which is hidden away in the famous steakhouse Mr. Lyons (also an excellent dining choice). Its secret location and dimly lit atmosphere capture the ambiance of prohibition days. Creative cocktails are imaginative and delicious.

The Purple Room in the Trinidad Hotel is an iconic supper club with live entertainment Tuesdays through Sundays and vintage cocktails like Old Blue Eyes, the signature old-fashioned that was evidently Frank’s favorite drink. The dinner menu also offers traditional, nicely prepared steak, fish and pasta options. When we were there most recently, the talented owner, Michael Holmes, was performing a special show with nostalgic rat pack songs that carried us back to a bygone era. I almost expected Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to stroll out on stage to soothe us with their old favorites.

Also harking back to the Hollywood era is the Casablanca Lounge in Melvyn’s Restaurant at the Ingleside Inn. (Melvyn’s is also a romantic spot for classic dishes like Steak Diane and Bananas Foster prepared flambè at your table.) Guests sip cocktails and dance to live music most nights, making this a perfect stop for an after dinner drink.

To do:

Besides eating and drinking, there is lots to do in Palm Springs—all activities that appeal to both my daughter and me. Most of the small hotels have bikes for guests and plenty of tours are available from celebrity home bus tours to walking tours around various neighborhoods. We love the entrancing Palm Springs Art Museum. The impressive collections focus on art of the Americas and California, including Native American artifacts and contemporary glass art, highlighted by a stunning Chihuly sculpture. My daughter and I have also really enjoyed the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. In ten minutes, you can ride in a unique tramcar (with a rotating floor) from the Coachella Valley desert up 8,500 feet to a top peak of the San Jacinto Mountains. At the top you can savor the gorgeous views, hike around, and then have lunch. And of course once you are back from your tram ride, you can shop, shop, shop in the many small boutiques with unique items you can’t find anywhere else. We particularly like the shops with mid-century furnishings and décor.

We never get tired of visiting Palm Springs. There is so much to see and do — and eat and drink — and it’s so special to share the experience with your daughter — or your mother. I hope to go back with my daughter for my birthday soon.

By Susan Montgomery

La Maison, a thirteen-room boutique hotel, offers guests a lushly landscaped oasis in the heart of Palm Springs. It is owned by Cornelia Schuster and Richard Slosky who opened their doors in February, 2012, although the property had been the site of a small resort since the 1950s. I had the good fortune to stay at La Maison a few weeks ago and savored every relaxing moment.

I learned that the owners moved here from Canada where they had owned a four-room bed and breakfast on lovely rural Salt Spring Island. They enjoyed this experience but eventually realized they needed a more viable hotel business without such a short season and more rooms. They had visited Palm Springs many times and loved the area so it was only logical that is where they looked for another inn to own and manage.  After more than a year of searching, they found the perfect property, which they named La Maison.

This property seemed ideal for them even though it needed some renovation. They liked the layout with the rooms on two sides of the lovely pool and the outdoor breakfast nook. They added a wall on one side and lots of greenery, including ficus. They renovated every room with unique consignment pieces, mostly found in the Palm Springs area, that have helped create what Cornelia describes as a simplified twist on a Country French style.

When I first arrived at La Maison, all I saw was a secluded black door in a wall, but when I opened the door I was greeted by an enchanting patio with welcoming comfortable furniture, outdoor fireplaces, tinkling fountains, verdant landscaping, and a glistening pristine pool. The ambiance is all-enveloping, making La Maison a heavenly retreat from the hubbub of daily life.  Cornelia says many of their guests have told them what a wonderful getaway the property is.  Some have even made life-changing decisions while contemplating their lives in this peaceful setting.

The luxurious rooms offer every comfort and amenity. My room was a deluxe king with warm terracotta floors, charming vintage furnishings, and so many other nice touches such as high quality linens on the beds, along with a little lavender sachet.  Later in the afternoon, guests can enjoy wine around the pool and a cooler is always full of iced water, beer and soda for guests.  La Maison also offers guests bicycles and a fully equipped outdoor barbecue grill.

Each morning a bountiful breakfast is served with such treats as pastries, croissants, fruit, yogurt and juice, plus each breakfast features a special item. When I was there, Cornelia made her famous rosemary, grapefruit cake, which I savored.  Cornelia explained that serving “serious coffee” is important to them so they have a professional coffee machine, which can produce exceptional cappuccino, lattes, and espressos.

Three years ago Marsha and Stephen Ferguson joined the staff at La Maison as the on-site innkeepers. This arrangement has worked out beautifully as far as Cornelia is concerned although she and her husband are also very hands-on. Richard is a handyman who can fix almost anything around the property and who also makes early morning coffee for guests. Besides baking wonderful breakfast items, Cornelia works on the books, inventory, and social media. The couple, who have three daughters (one still living at home), have really enjoyed this venture together in their lives.

Cornelia and Richard like focusing on offering their guests special attention and personalized service. They both love getting to know their guests and, in many cases, making new friends who come back again and again. Guests come to La Maison from all over the world. Europeans especially love the old-world ambiance and all guests enjoy the intimate serenity the hotel offers.

Cornelia says that as owners their greatest satisfaction is knowing their guests are happy and feel rejuvenated when they depart. She believes that small boutique hotels, like La Maison, can offer guests a personalized experience that is hard to find in large resorts.

Amin Casa is steeped in Hollywood history. Once the private retreat of Hollywood star Gloria Swanson, it has been lovingly restored and is now one of Palm Springs’ most glamorous boutique hotels. During a recent visit, blogger Marie-Annick couldn’t stop daydreaming about what it would have been like to visit Amin Casa in the 1930s.

With only 13 rooms, La Maison is where you go when you want to experience utter tranquility in a secluded spot. Blogger Deirdre Michalski discovered during a recent stay that this beautiful property is one of Palm Springs’ hidden gems, with flowers and fountains everywhere you turn.

Lizzie Sherman, Creative Director at The Spa Insider, recently interviewed Alyssa McDonald, Director of Spa Operations, to gain an insider’s perspective about what makes a visit to L’Horizon Resort & Spa the perfect choice for a relaxing Palm Springs getaway.  Hint: Prepare to relax just reading about it.

Palm Springs boutique hotels offer spa-mazing pampering services, from facials to massages to body treatments

Tranquil and calming, Whispers at La Serena Villas is a retreat where outside worries melt away. Guests must silence their phones and speak in a whisper, ensuring everyone has a stress-free experience. The spa has several signature services, including a facial, customized for every client to restore complexion vitality. Other standouts include the Whispers of Warmth Stone Massage, a deeply-relaxing heat therapy, and the Treat Your Feet add-on, a 30-minute reflexology treatment that also exfoliates. A couple’s room is available upon request. Whispers at La Serena Villas, 339 S. Belardo Road, Palm Springs. 844-932-8044

Wellness-minded travelers looking for relaxation and rejuvenation will find it at The Monkey Tree Hotel, home to the only Scandinavian spa in Palm Springs. A Scandinavian spa offers a hydrotherapy experience like none other — visitors alternate between hot and cold to alleviate stress, soothe tired muscles, and eliminate toxins. The Monkey Tree Hotel’s facility allows guests to spend their day cycling through a newly-built dry sauna and hot and cold plunge pools at no additional cost. For those looking for some extra pampering, the hotel can arrange in-room massages with 24-hours notice. The Monkey Tree Hotel, 2388 E. Racquet Club Road, Palm Springs. 760-322-6059

Get balanced at L’Horizon’s The Spa, an indoor-outdoor experience. Before a treatment, guests are invited to relax inside The Spa’s white canvas cabanas, and afterwards, they can rinse off using private outdoor showers. There are four treatment rooms and a juice bar, with services including massages, facials, body treatments, and aromatherapy. The Enhancements and Enrichments add-ons are just as exciting — who doesn’t want to follow up their massage with a Wild Lime Scalp Treatment that stimulates circulation and relieves tension. Or include a facial with Eye Contour, which reduces puffiness, under eye discoloration, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. L’Horizon’s The Spa, 1050 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-323-1858

Yoga enthusiasts and newbies can spend their Sunday mornings at the Moroccan-styleKorakia Pensione participating in complimentary yoga sessions. These classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and provide guests the opportunity to start their day off centered, calm, and illuminated. Each class is tailored towards students’ abilities. Private sessions are also available for a fee and can be arranged at the front desk. Weather permitting, meditation sessions are offered on property. Massages using all natural skin products can be booked for the Korakia’s indoor/outdoor spa lodge or in room. Their most-loved treatments include the Hot Bamboo Massage, Eucalyptus Rock Massage, and Aloe Lavender Body Wrap. Korakia Pensione, 257 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs. 760-864-6411

The spa at the Andreas Hotel offers a delightful escape for guests, local residents, and visitors staying at neighboring hotels. Massages include the classic Swedish, Warm Stone, and Lymphatic, and the spa is known for several signature facials — the Ageless Facial, Age Later Face Lift, Oxygen Facial, Clear Cell, or Gent’s Facial. Book a solo treatment or one of the spa’s packages for couples — the Paradise for Two includes champagne, fresh fruit, Image facials, and therapeutic massages, while the Romance Andreas Style features mineral soaks, therapeutic massages, and clay body masques. Body treatments, nail, and waxing services are also available. The Spa at Andreas, 130 Andreas Road East, Palm Springs. 760-325-0900

The pristine Men’s Spa at La Dolce Vita Resort and Spa is a standout in the desert. All of the therapists are male, and have been certified by the state of California. They have designed their massages, facials, and body treatments specifically for men, with specialties including the Sweet Life Massage, a full-body massage using a combination of Swedish, deep tissue, and pressure point techniques, and the Romeo and Romeo Couples Massage. Visitors are also welcome to either come early or stick around after their treatments to use the property’s two swimming pools, whirlpools, and steam room. La Dolce Vita Resort and Spa, 1491 S. Via Soledad, Palm Springs. 760-325-2686

Relaxation is the name of the game at East Canyon Hotel and Spa. The resort primarily caters to gay clientele and is not clothing optional, and has a fully-licensed spa, with trained therapists offering soothing facials, massages, and body treatments. Under new ownership, the spa is being refreshed and upgraded. East Canyon Resort and Spa, 288 E. Camino Monte Vista, Palm Springs. 760-320-1928

There’s no better way to unwind than by staying at Palm Springs small hotel with spa services. Discover more by visiting http://palmspringspreferredsmallhotels.com/ or Facebook to explore a unique collection of over seventy independently owned small hotels – several of which offer unforgettably relaxing spa services that can be invigorating or relaxing, a quiet retreat or an energizing pick-me-up.

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